HEADLINES Published January13, 2015 By Staff Writer

Ear Acupuncture Aids In Weight Loss

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(Photo : Joe Raedle / Getty Images News) Acupuncture can help in losing weight.

Ear acupuncture has been proven to aid in weight loss. According to a new research, putting five acupuncture needles in the outer ear may help people lose extra pounds. Ear acupuncture therapy is rooted on the theory that the outer ear represents all parts of the body. One needle will be inserted to the area for hunger and appetite while the other needles are for the various key points in the ear.

Researchers from Korea conducted a study that was published in the BMJ Journal Acupuncture in Medicine. This type of alternative medicine was first used in France in 1956. Dr. Paul Nogier first used this method when he observed that his patients' backache was cured when a burn on the ear has been done. From then on, he started mapping the key points of the outer ear that are linked to the different parts of the body.

For the study, the researchers compared the effectiveness of acupuncture in helping obese people lose weight. Using a randomized controlled clinical trial, they studied 91 Koreans who included 16 men and 75 women. The participants have a body mass index (BMI) of 23 and above. They were divided into three groups wherein one group received a five point acupuncture treatment, the other with one point acupuncture treatment and the last group used a control treatment.

According to the lead researcher, Sabina Lim, from the department of meridian and acupuncture in the Graduate College of Basic Korean Medical Science at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, "If the trend we found is supported by other studies, the hunger acupuncture point is a good choice in terms of convenience. However, for patients suffering from central obesity, continuous stimulation of five acupuncture points should be used. Increased metabolic function promotes the consumption of body fat, overall, resulting in weight loss."

The first group had needles inserted in their acupuncture sites for shen-men, stomach, spleen, hunger and endocrine. They were left there for a week. After one week, another set of needles were inserted to the points on the other year. The process was repeated for 8 weeks. On the other hand, the second group only had one needle inserted for the course of 8 weeks. For the last group, they received the five point treatment but the needles were removed after insertion.

Also, they were asked to have a restricted diet but not a weight loss diet. They were also barred from doing additional exercise during the test. For measurements, their BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, body fat, and percentage body fat were gauged. Those who finished the trial in the five point therapy group had noticeable differences in their body mass index. The results were significantly different with 6.1% reduction in BMI for the first group, 5.7% for the one point group and no difference for the control group. Apparently, all the markers were reduced in the first group. Hence, the study showed that using five-point acupuncture in the ear can aid in weight loss and overall health.

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