Date: 03 Dec 2012

Clinical efficacy of simple obesity treated by catgut implantation at acupoints

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To observe the clinical efficacy of treatment with catgut implantation at acupoints on simple obesity.


Following the theory of Chinese medicine (CM), pattern identification (PI) and treatment was based on the patient’s symptoms and signs. Patients were observed during three courses and one year following treatment through self-comparison before and after six or seven acupoints catgut implantation. Obesity was divided into five types based on PI: (1) Stomach (Wei) and Intestine excess-heat, (2) Spleen (Pi) deficiency and phlegmwet stagnancy, (3) Liver (Gan)-qi stagnation, (4) Spleen-Kidney (Shen) yang deficiency, and (5) Liver-Kidney yin deficiency. Changes in the following measurements were recorded in 820 patients: body weight, body girth, skin-fold thickness, body mass index (BMI), fat percentage (F%) and waist/hip ratio (WHR) and in the following blood values: leptin (LP), insulin (INS), blood lipids, fasting blood sugar (FBS), and insulin sensitive index (ISI) before and after the treatment. Values were compared with those of healthy controls (normal group).


Catgut implantation showed efficacy with all five types of obesity. Efficacy was greater in males than in females. There was no significant difference between the different types by Kruskal-Wallis H test, but the effect was best and of the highest number in patients with Stomach and Intestine excess-heat. Skin-fold thickness, body weight, waist circumference, F%, BMI, and WHR in all 820 cases decreased after treatment (at 90 days and one year), with significant differences before and after treatment (P<0.01). Improved metabolism of blood lipids was also seen. Following treatment, LP, INS, and FBS decreased significantly (P<0.01) and ISI increased significantly (P<0.05).


Catgut implantation at acupoints provided effective and persistent results, convenience, safety, painlessness, and prolonged effect with no side effects, resulting in reduced body weight and fat and improvement in body shape.

Supported by Science Research Projects of Colleges and Universities of Liaoning Provincial Committee of Education (No. 05L121)