Can Ear Acupuncture Help You Shed Belly Fat?

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You may think you’ve tried everything to get rid of stubborn belly fat, but there’s always some new claim emerging for yet another method of slimming down. The most recent is an unusual application of an ancient method of alternative medicine: acupuncture.

A recent study suggests that ear acupuncture can help patients lose weight, but how credible are these claims?

The Study

The study, performed at Kyung Hee University in South Korea, was conducted based on the hypothesis that five needles inserted into the ear at key points, or one needle inserted into a specific point, could affect the metabolism and help patients lose weight.

Ninety-one people were assigned to three different groups (five-point needle placement, one-point needle placement, and placebo needle placement) and given diet restrictions, but told not to exercise.

Quite a few participants dropped out of the study before the eight-week period concluded, but researchers did see weight loss in both non-control groups, which led them to believe the acupuncture did indeed have a positive effect on weight loss.

Are the Claims Credible?

Since this story emerged, health experts have balanced out the positive implications of the study with a healthy dose of reality. Some have questioned the validity of the study, due to the small sample size, short duration, and other factors.

Some critics, such as Professor Edzard Ernst of the University of Exeter, are simply skeptical of the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss. Prof. Ernst stated, “It is hard to think of a treatment that is less plausible than ear acupuncture.” Others are simply withholding judgment of the treatment itself, due to the aforementioned flaws in the study.

Reliable Results with Plastic Surgery

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