Thinking outside the box: Psychological acupuncture for adult obesity

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


This study examined treatment of food cravings in 88 overweight/obese adults and compared“psychological acupuncture’ (Emotional Freedom Techniques; EFT) to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), in addition to a non-clinic comparison group. EFT is a brief novel intervention combining elements of exposure and cognitive behavioural therapy, and somatic stimulation. Australian research has found EFT for weight, food cravings and smoking to be durable over time.Adults were randomly allocated to either the EFT (N=52) or CBT (N=36) treatment program and completed an 8-week treatment program, and compared to 66 adults from a non-clinic comparison group. Degree of food craving, perceived power of food, restraint capabilities and psychological symptoms were assessed at pre-, post-, 6- and 12-month follow-up points.Both the EFT and CBT groups resulted in significant decreases in food cravings and power over food from pre- to 6-months and were comparable to the non-clinical comparison group, and no significant differences were observed between the groups. At 6-months both the EFT and CBT group had significantly greater restraint scores compared to the community sample but no differences existed between EFT and CBT. There was a significant interaction effect on body weight; the EFT group lost on average 3.66 kilograms from pre to post and 6.79 kilograms from pre to 6-months. The CBT group lost only 1.1 kilograms from pre to post, with a total loss of 4.33 kilograms from pre to 6-months.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAnnual Australian Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference: Finding common ground - Outrigger Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 18 May 201519 Aug 2015
Conference number: 2nd


ConferenceAnnual Australian Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference
CityGold Coast
Internet address


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