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Losing weight is a daunting task for many individuals, and it is not uncommon to look for unconventional ways to achieve this goal.
One such alternative approach to weight loss is through the stimulation of ear pressure points. According to experts, there are specific acupressure points on the ear that, when stimulated, can help suppress appetite, reduce cravings, and aid in weight loss. (1)
This article will explore the science behind ear pressure points for weight loss, the most effective pressure points to target, and how to stimulate them.
Target Ear Pressure Points for Weight Loss
The ear is a complex and highly sensitive part of the body, and it has multiple pressure points that are connected to different organs and systems.
Auriculotherapy is a type of therapy that uses specific points on the external ear to diagnose and treat diseases. It involves stimulating these points with various techniques.
Each area of the ear is believed to correspond to a specific part of the body, and stimulating these points can help treat internal diseases such as obesity. So, basically, auriculotherapy is a method of using the ear to treat certain health conditions. (1)
- Shen men
1. Shen men point
The Shen men point is located in the center of the ear. A research study found that the most commonly used acupoints for weight management were shen men and stomach points. (4)
Research has also shown that, in people with obesity, ear points such as Shen men can be stimulated for reducing blood glucose levels and body weight by raising serum insulin and C peptide levels.
In short, the stimulation of this point on the ear can help in controlling weight and reducing blood sugar levels in people with obesity. (5)
2. Stomach point
The stomach acupoint is another commonly used pressure point on the ear for weight loss through auriculotherapy. This point, along with other points such as the hunger point, helps regulate feelings of satiety and fullness.
Studies have shown that stimulating the stomach acupoint through auriculotherapy can lead to a significant reduction in weight, even within the first week of treatment.
So, the stomach point can be an effective pressure point to include in an auriculotherapy treatment plan for weight loss. (6)
3. Hunger point
The hunger acupoint is a crucial ear pressure point for weight loss. Several studies have investigated the efficacy of ear electroacupuncture on appetite and weight control and found positive outcomes.
One study found that stimulating the Hunger point was significantly more effective in appetite control than the placebo points.
Another study involved stimulating three pairs of ear points (stomach, hunger, and shen men points) with a low-calorie diet for eight weeks, and the result showed subsequent weight reduction.
These study results suggest that stimulating the hunger acupoint can effectively help in weight loss by controlling appetite. (7)
4. Other points
A study that included 91 participants with a BMI of greater than or equal to 23 evaluated the effectiveness of five ear acupuncture points (shen men, spleen, stomach, hunger, and endocrine points) commonly used in Korean clinics to treat obesity.
After eight weeks, the participants in the treatment groups showed a 6.1% reduction in BMI. The study suggested that the five ear acupuncture points commonly used in Korean clinics are effective in treating overweight individuals. (3)
How Do Ear Pressure Points Aid in Weight Loss?
More than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture was developed in China, and it has since become one of the oldest medical practices globally. It involves the precise insertion of fine and sterile needles into specific points or “energy pathways” of the body. (8)
Acupuncture can help with weight loss in the following ways.
1. Bringing a calming and relaxing effect on the body
The needles activate the release of endorphins, which are natural hormones that provide a sense of well-being. This process induces a calming and relaxing effect that helps to counteract the inclination to overeat due to increased stress, anxiety, or frustration.
2. Regulating appetite and energy spent
Acupuncture might help you lose weight by controlling your appetite and how your body uses energy. Your brain and nerves work together to manage your food intake and energy levels.
The hypothalamus, a part of the brain, is especially important in controlling hunger. Acupuncture can influence the hypothalamus by changing the signals it sends to the rest of the body.
By doing so, it can help regulate how much food you eat and how much energy your body uses, ultimately helping you to lose weight. (9)
3. Regulating organ function
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) suggests that obesity is caused by problems with the spleen, stomach, and kidneys. These organs have meridians that connect to the ear.
By stimulating specific points on the ear, the energy flow in these meridians can be improved, helping to regulate the functions of these organs and reduce weight. This works through the activation of the associated meridians and pathways to boost energy and help the organs work better, ultimately leading to weight loss. (1)
Is Weight Loss Through the Stimulation of Ear Pressure Points Safe?
Acupuncture or acupressure, in general, has been widely studied for its safety and efficacy, and numerous clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating various conditions, including obesity.
Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize acupuncture as a safe and effective treatment option. (9)
How to Stimulate Ear Pressure Points for Weight Loss
Stimulating ear pressure points is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine to aid in weight loss.
Here are the steps to stimulate ear pressure points to achieve weight loss at home by yourself, as shared by experts:
- Locate the pressure points: Several pressure points on the ear are associated with weight loss. These include the hunger point, Shen men point, and stomach point. You can use a mirror or ask someone to help you locate these points on your ear.
- Clean your hands and ears: Before you start stimulating the pressure points, it’s important to clean your hands and ears with mild soap and water to avoid infection.
- Apply gentle pressure: Once you’ve located the pressure points, use your fingers or a small ear massager to apply gentle pressure. Press and rub each point for about 1-2 minutes. You should feel a mild ache or tingling sensation.
- Repeat daily: For best results, stimulate the pressure points daily for around 8 weeks. You can do this in the morning or evening or whenever you have time.
- Combine with healthy habits: While stimulating ear pressure points can aid in weight loss, it’s important to also adopt healthy habits such as regular exercise and a balanced diet to achieve long-term weight loss.
Most-Asked Questions About Ear Pressure Points for Weight Loss
Can ear pressure points really help with weight loss?
Is it safe to stimulate ear pressure points for weight loss?
In general, ear pressure point stimulation is safe. However, if you have doubts, you can consult a healthcare professional before attempting it.
How long till I see weight loss using ear pressure points?
Can I stimulate ear pressure points for weight loss myself, or do I need to see a professional?
While it is possible to stimulate ear pressure points for weight loss yourself, it may be more effective to see a professional acupuncturist or reflexologist.
Ear pressure points can be stimulated to promote weight loss through a practice called auriculotherapy. Auriculotherapy involves stimulating specific points on the ear using various techniques to diagnose and treat various diseases.
Several ear pressure points are believed to be particularly effective for weight loss, including the Shen men, stomach, hunger, endocrine, and spleen points.