Electroacupuncture on ST36 for obesity

Posted by Feroz Osman-Latib on

In an animal study to determine the effect of electroacupuncture at ST36 on food intake and body weight in rats, researchers found that rats receiving EA had significantly reduced food intake and body weight. The researchers found from subsequent analysis of medulla regions and ST36 skin tissue that the treatment caused increased release of a neuropeptide, POMC, in certain regions of the brain (NTS & HN). POMC is the abbreviation for pro-opiomelanocortin, it is a neuropeptide that has anorexinergic effects. Increased amounts of this neuropeptide inhibits food intake and reduces body weight. 

Other studies have found that patients who combine acupuncture with a diet and exercise are more successful at reducing body weight than when using diet and exercise alone. This study sheds light on the possible mechanism of acupuncture treatment for appetite and weight control.

When using acupuncture for weight loss we traditionally use a combination of body and ear acupuncture points with treatment sessions 1 to 2 times per week.

Ear Points used include:

Shenmen: Important point for calming the mind and reducing stress

Small Intestine: Reinforces spleen, promotes digestion.

Mouth: Calming point used for smoking, over eating and hyperactive talking.

Hunger Point: Used to relieve hunger and control compulsive eating

Endocrine point: Moves liver Qi and aids in the function of the metabolism

(See video for the location of these points)

If using a laser probe such as the Klas unit with power specifications of 50mW or 80mW, treat each of these points for 10 seconds each,1 to 2 times per week.

Body points include:

ST25 (use laser or insert needle 2 cun deep)

ST36 (use laser or insert needle 1 cun deep)

Use either electroacupuncture or laser acupuncture on these points. For frequency either use a continuous wave or alternate treatments using the following frequencies:









Laser dosage: 25J per point (if using a 50mW laser diode this would be equivalent to 8m20s)

If traditional needles are used retain needles for at least 25 minutes and manually stimulate every 5 minutes.

Treatment should be done 1 to 2 times per week

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