Researchers have found that acupuncture may help to regulate weight in obese subjects, by having a beneficial effect on hormones which influence hunger and satiation, even after a few weeks of treatment.
Forty women with a body-mass index greater than 30, were randomly allocated to either an acupuncture treatment group, or to a sham (non-penetrating) acupuncture group. Treatments were given twice a week for a total of five weeks. Comparing the women before and after treatment, acupuncture was shown among other things, to decrease insulin and leptin levels, induce weight loss, and reduce body-mass index.
(Influence of Acupuncture on Leptin, Ghrelin, Insulin and Cholecystokinin in Obese Women: A Randomised, Sham-Controlled Preliminary Trial. Acupuncture in Medicine, September 2012.)