Obesity in Chinese medicine relates to a Spleen Qi and Yang Deficiency with pathogenic Damp/Phlegm. Often there are associated imbalances such as a Kidney Yang Deficiency, internal Heat and so on. Acupuncture treatment is aimed at addressing these imbalances. I also recommend a relatively low-carb paleo-style diet.
For a great talk on low-carbohydrate diets click here.
Acupuncture for Obesity
There isn’t a great deal of research into acupuncture for obesity but there are four papers over at the Journal of Chinese Medicine’s research archive.
Acupuncture can never be used on its own to treat weight loss. There has to be a commitment to a healthy diet and lifestyle; although I don’t believe that the conventional advise on this either works or fits with the scientific evidence. I also don’t believe that there is one fits all diet. Dietary guidelines have to be tailored to the individual. A diet has to be health giving and filling to satiety. You can’t lose weight if you are hungry. I strongly recommend following the paleo diet and support the work of Robb Wolf, Mark Sissons and Prof Loren Cordain.