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Auricular Acupuncture Can Help With Weight Loss

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Learn how Dr. Williams utilizes a home-based auricular acupuncture program to help with weight loss.

Auricular (or, of the ear) acupuncture is based n the understanding that the ear contains points corresponding to all parts of the body, including the internal organs.  This theory can be applied to clinical treatment for people who are in need of losing weight.

In a recent medical study, researchers who recruited 91 adults with a BMI of 23 or higher performed an 8 week trial that showed that auricular acupuncture was effective in helping suppress appetite and losing weight.

Study Setup

They divided the participants into 3 groups – 2 active, and one control group.  The first group of 31 were treated with auricular acupuncture to five points on the outer ear.  The filaments were kept in place in one ear with surgical tape for one week, after which the same treatment was applied to the other ear, with the process repeated over 8 weeks.

The second group of 30 were treated at one point only, the Hunger point. The remaining group of 30 received a placebo treatment in which the filaments were removed immediately after insertion, but the surgical tape remained in place, with the removal of the filaments unknown to the group.

All of the participants were weighed and measured at the beginning of treatment, at four weeks in, and at the end.

Study Results

24 of the volunteers dropped out before the 8 weeks were up, 15 of whom were in the control group receiving the placebo treatment, the authors suggesting that perhaps they found it harder to regulate their desire to eat and cope with the restrictive diet.

Among those who remained for the entire period, significant differences were noticeable after 4 weeks:

  • The 5 point treatment group saw a 6.1% drop in their BMI
  • Those in the 1 point treatment group saw a 5.7% drop in BMI
  • There was no change in the BMI of those receiving the placebo treatment
  • Measures in body fat fell only in those that received the 5 point treatment

The authors of the study conclude, “Both 5-needle acupuncture treatment generally used in Korean clinics and 1-needle treatment at the Hunger point appear to be effective in reducing body weight in the short term.”

However, they add that “the 5-needle treatment may be better for tackling abdominal fat.”

Learn how to control your appetite in our workshop near you!


The study appears in the Journal Acupuncture in Medicine.

SOURCE: ‘Randomised clinical trial of five ear acupuncture points for the treatment of overweight people’, Professor Sabina Lim et al, Acupuncture in Medicine.  British Acupuncture Council. Published on December 17, 2013