Objective: To compare the efficacy of short duration electroacupuncture with conventional electroacupuncture to reduce weight and other parameters in obese Thai women.
Methods: A randomized crossover study was conducted in 76 simple obese women. Participants were randomized to undergo either eight weeks of 30-minute electroacupuncture (EA30) followed by an eight-week washout period, then eight weeks of five-minute electroacupuncture (EA5), or EA5 followed by a washout period, then EA30. Electro-acupuncture was performed at 14 acupoints for two sessions per week. Participants were randomized to undergo either eight weeks of EA30 followed by an eight-week washout period, then eight weeks of EA5, or EA5 followed by a washout period, then EA30.
Electroacupuncture was performed using a stainless silver needle at 14 acupoints for two sessions per week. The needle was connected to an electric stimulator that delivered a constant current, 40 Hz and 3 mA, for 30 or five minutes according to the assigned treatment period. The primary outcome was the difference in weight reduction between the short-duration and the conventional EA while differences in other anth-ropometric parameters and biochemical parameters were considered as secondary outcomes.
Results: After each treatment period, all anthro-pometric characteristics of both groups decreased from the baseline regardless of the treatment sequence, including body weight (1.4-1.8 kg; 0.01), body mass index (0.56-0.70 kg/m ; 0.01), waist and hip circumference, skinfold thickness and body fat percentage as well as the improvement in fasting blood glucose and lipid profiles. There were no significant differences of the treatment effects on anthropometric parameters and biomedical chemistries between conventional and short-duration EA. No adverse effects were reported.
Conclusion: Short duration electroacupuncture at 14 acupuncture points had comparable efficacy to conventional electroacupuncture in reduction of weight and other anthropometric parameters as well as to improve biochemistry parameters in obese women.