According to a study published in Acupuncture in Medicine, auricular acupuncture is a good way to shed pounds off your body.
The study also suggested that in the immediate reduction of stomach fat, repeated stimulation of five acupuncture points is better than one point stimulation.
Auricular acupuncture treatment is founded on the notion that the auricle or external ear corresponds to all parts of the body. Auricular acupuncture was first introduced in 1956 in France by Dr Paul Nogier who observed that after a patient suffered a burn on the ear, his backache got cured.
This procedure, since then, has been adopted by today’s acupuncturists to help people lose weight, give up smoking, and to treat drug addiction.
The researchers from Korea compared acupuncture treatment involving stimulation of five points on the auricle (external ear): endocrine, hunger, stomach, spleen, and divine gate (shenmen) points with sham acupuncture on 91 adults who are overweight (with a 23 BMI or more).
The test subjects were told to not to take any extra exercise and adhere to a restrictive (but not weight loss) diet at the beginning of their eight week period treatment.
Randomly assigned to the five point therapy were thirty one people. The five point therapy involved the sticking of acupuncture needles into the auricle 2mm deep. Surgical tape was used to keep the needles in place for a week, after which the same therapy was administered to the other ear, with the process repeated over a couple of months.
The same treatment process was designated to another 30 subjects, but only one acupoint – the hunger point – was needled. Sham treatment was then further given to another 30 — with the same timescales and process, but with the needles immediately removed after insertion.
At the beginning and end of treatment as well as in the four weeks into the experiment, all subjects were measured and weighed to include their blood pressure, percentage body fat, body fat mass, circumference of their waist, and their BMI to observe what effect acupuncture in Jacksonville might have on their weight.
Before the eight weeks were completed, 24 people dropped out of the experiment; 15 of them belonged to the sham treatment group, indicating that, according to the authors, they probably found it difficult to regulate their food cravings and cope with the restrictive diet.
Conspicuous differences were apparent after four weeks among those who stuck it out for the entire period, with the treatment groups (5-point treatment) showing a 6.1 percent and 5.7 percent (Single-point treatment) decrease in BMI as opposed to the sham treatment group from which there was no recorded decrease in BMI.
After four weeks, weight also significantly differed between the treatment groups and the sham treatment group.
There was a decrease in waist circumference in both groups, with the largest drop seen in the 5-point group treatment compared with the sham treatment group. However, this discrepancy vanished after age was taken into account.
After eight weeks, body fat measurement also fell but only in the 5-point treatment group. In blood pressure measurement, there were no meaningful discrepancies among the two groups.
The authors concluded that both the five point and one point treatment can help address excess weight, although they concluded that the five point technique may be a much better treatment for reducing stomach fat.