A study published in December 2013 in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine suggests that placing five acupuncture needles in the outer ear may help people in their weight loss goals.

Ear acupuncture is based on the theory that different parts of the outer ear, or pinna, correspond to different parts of the body. One needle can be inserted in to the hunger and appetite area or 5 needles may be inserted into five key points in the ear. Typically, using five needles is used for patients experiencing central obesity.

More research is warranted, however, as the placebo effect is strong, especially when needles are involved. As such, people may believe in the effects of the treatment so strongly that they believe it was the treatment and not their willpower that caused them to lose weight.

The results of previous similar studies have been mixed. One found no statistical difference in body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference, but another saw a statistically significant difference in percentage of weight lost and waist size. What do you think? Would you be willing to try acupuncture to assist with weight loss?

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