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Auricular Acupuncture for Weight Loss

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Based on an article by Vanessa Vogel Batth, LAc

Edited by Megan Marco, LAc

The ear has acupuncture points that, when utilized, can help you lose weight. This is because the ear is a map representing the body -- including the spleen and stomach -- that are responsible for appetite, satiation, cravings, and overall weight. A 2015 study published in BMJ Open Gastroenterol entitled "The effects of auricular acupuncture on weight reduction and feeding-related cytokines: a pilot study" evaluated auricular (outer ear) acupuncture and its effectiveness as a treatment for weight loss concluded "there was a statistically significant difference in the percentage change in body weight and active ghrelin levels in each individual participant." Stimulating certain points along the cartilage of the ear had suppressed several appetite-related hormones, including ghrelin, which is termed hunger hormone for its ability to trigger appetite, increase food intake, and promote fat storage. Another option for weight loss is ear seeds.  We use ear seeds that are small round beads made of metal.  Patients like the ear seeds because they look like little silver piercings. Ear seeds are non-invasive and secured with a small, clear adhesive patch.  These are left on specific ear acupuncture points so patients can easily press on the points or, on their own, the points do acupressure for self-treatment.

Here are ways auricular acupuncture helps manage weight: Improves Eating Habits Acupuncture aligns food preferences with nutritional requirements of the body. For example, your result could be an increased desire for veggies and easily digestible proteins, accompanied by a disinterest for indulging in overly sweet, oily, or salty foods.

Controls Cravings Acupuncture is especially useful in staving off intense cravings for fatty, sugary, or salty foods.  It also has the extra advantage of minimizing compulsive snacking associated with stress.  Anything that passes into the body orally, including alcohol and certain drugs, falls under the benevolent influence of the ear points.  This could mean a reduction in the number of times a cigarette or a slice of pie enters the mouth.

Reduces Stress The process of changing food habits and incorporating new eating rituals can be stressful, increasing your desire to snack. The point Shen Men, which mean "calm the mind," does not directly influence appetite or digestive issues, however Acupuncture on Shen Men instills a sense of peace and mental clarity. Dr. Marco does Shen Men in most Full Acupuncture treatments when you express that you have stress and definitely in the auricular treatments.

Improves Digestive Health and Portion Control The Stomach and Spleen ear acupuncture points give your digestive organs a tune-up, helping them become more functionally strong. As the Stomach and Spleen become more efficient, cravings and the tendency to overeat can become things of the past. Even utilizing the Stomach point on its own activates the region of the brain that controls satiety, so appropriate portions of food are consumed. 

We are here for you. Call today or schedule through to start your healthy acupuncture routine. Schedule your appointments for Ear Acupuncture, Ear Seeds, Regular/Full Acupuncture, or to learn more about Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Your friendly Acupuncturist, Megan Marco looks forward to helping you! 860-536-3880

Check out this demo of Megan and Alicia for more info:

Sources: Auricular Acupuncture Weight Loss Found Effective. (2013). Healthcare Medicine Institute. Retrieved from Ito, H., Yamada, O., Kira, Y., Tanaka, T., & Matsuoka, R. (2015). The effects of auricular acupuncture on weight reduction and feeding-related cytokines: a pilot study. BMJ Open Gastroenterology, 2(1), e000013. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2014-000013

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