Auricular acupuncture (placement of press needles) was applied at the stomach point (according to Nogier) and sometimes at the point of psychological balance (Shenmen) for the control of anxiety and for help in weight loss in 800 patients over a two year period. Press needles were inserted and left in for 10 to 15 days at the auricular acupuncture point and resited again after 4 to 5 days. At the same time, instructions were given for the standard treatment of obesity (information leaflet, low calorie diet, aerobic exercise, behaviour modification, psychological support, etc.). The patients were followed up for a period of one year.
The participants were 683 women and 117 men aged between 15 and 76 years. The Body Mass Index (weight/height) was used to determine the degree of obesity, and cases were divided into three groups according to the number of acupuncture sessions as follows: 468 patients (Group A) had one acupuncture session, 278 (Group B) 2 to 4 sessions, and 54 (Group C) had over 4 sessions, all conducted at 15 to 20 day intervals. A reduction in overeating was reported by 81.1% of patients, and 46.7% of the 697 patients who had noted anxiety symptoms claimed that treatment had helped in the reduction of anxiety. Regular exercise was encouraged, and started by 43.4% of the 703 who had no such habit. There was no significant weight loss in 35.2% of patients. During the first 3 months there was an overall significant weight loss in 64.8% and 35.5% at 6–12 months. The percentage weight loss was higher in Groups B and C and remained higher at six months and one year after the start of acupuncture treatment. Group B presented a good six month result in 61.2% of patients and a good annual result in 39.1%. In Group C results were 88.9% and 77.8% respectively.
The control of overeating and anxiety using auricular acupuncture al the stomach and Shenmen points in this audit has been beneficial. Its correct use in an integrated obesity control programme may prove of significant long tem help.