Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ear acupuncture can help shed pounds

Date:
December 16, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Ear acupuncture can help shed the pounds, indicates a small study, recently published.

Research has shown that ear acupuncture can have an effect on waist circumference, weight and measures of body fat.
Credit: Klaus Eppele / Fotolia

Ear acupuncture can help shed the pounds, indicates a small study published online in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Using continuous stimulation of five acupuncture points may be better at reducing abdominal fat (the midriff bulge) than single point stimulation, the findings suggest.

Auricular acupuncture therapy is based on the understanding that the outer ear represents all parts of the body. It was first used in France in 1956 by Dr Paul Nogier who noticed that a patient's back-ache was cured after s/he sustained a burn on the ear.

Since then the approach has been used to treat drug addiction and help people give up smoking and lose weight.

The Korean researchers compared acupuncture of five points on the outer ear -- shen-men (divine gate); spleen, stomach, hunger, and endocrine -- and one point (hunger) -- with sham treatment on 91 overweight adults (BMI of 23 or more).

Participants were asked to follow a restrictive (although not weight loss) diet and not to take any extra exercise during the eight week period of their treatment.

Thirty one people were randomly assigned to the five point treatment, which involved the insertion of acupuncture needles 2mm deep into the outer ear. These were kept in place with surgical tape for a week, after which the same treatment was applied to the other ear, with the process repeated over eight weeks.

Another 30 people were assigned to the same treatment process, but at just the one hunger point. And a further 30 were given sham treatment -- with the same process and timescales, but with the removal of the needles immediately after insertion.

All participants were weighed and measured at the start and end of treatment, and four weeks in, to include BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass, percentage body fat, and blood pressure to see what impact acupuncture might have.

Twenty four people dropped out before the eight weeks were up, 15 of whom were in the sham treatment group, suggesting that perhaps they found it harder to regulate their desire to eat and cope with the restrictive diet, say the authors.

But among those who kept going for the entire period, significant differences were apparent after four weeks, with the active treatment groups showing a 6.1% (5-point treatment) and 5.7% (1-point treatment) reduction, respectively, in BMI compared with the sham treatment group among whom there was no reduction in BMI.

Weight also differed significantly after four weeks in both active treatment groups compared with the sham treatment group.

Waist circumference fell, with the largest drop seen in the group on the 5-point treatment compared with the sham groups, although this difference disappeared after taking account of age.

Measures of body fat also fell after eight weeks, but only in those receiving the 5-point treatment. There were no significant differences in blood pressure among the groups.

The authors conclude that both five and one point approaches can help treat overweight, but that the five point approach may be more appropriate for tackling abdominal fat.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Yeo, K. S. Kim, S. Lim. Randomised clinical trial of five ear acupuncture points for the treatment of overweight people. Acupuncture in Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010435

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Ear acupuncture can help shed pounds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216204023.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, December 16). Ear acupuncture can help shed pounds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216204023.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Ear acupuncture can help shed pounds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216204023.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins