Ear Acupuncture
Ear Acupuncture can help lose weightSuperFantastic/Flickr

Acupuncture can help lose excess fat, a new study claims. 

Acupuncture, originated in ancient China, is a treatment that involves inserting thin, solid needles into acupuncture points in the skin.

In the study, researchers from the Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea looked at 91 overweight people and found that a form of acupuncture, known as auricular therapy (ear or Auriculotherapy), helped achieve a six percent reduction in body mass index (BMI). Auriculotherapy, developed by French neurologist Paul Nogier, works by stimulating different points on the surface of the ear to cure different health-related problems.

The treatment, which involves stimulating five points on the surface of the ear, was most effective in losing belly fat.

For the analysis, the participants were divided into three groups, according to the type of treatments they received for two months. The first group underwent a treatment that involved inserting needles to five points on the ear related to shen men or divine gate, spleen, stomach, hunger and endocrine.

The second group received a one-point acupuncture treatment focussed on the hunger point on the ear. The third group underwent sham treatment, where the needles were not kept long but removed immediately after insertion.

During the study period, the participants followed the same diet and were not involved in any weight lose exercises.

BMI, waist circumference, body fat and blood pressure of the participants were measured and recorded at the beginning and end of the treatment. The five-point group achieved a 6.1 percent drop in weight after one month, while the one-point group followed them closely (5.7 percent).

The study has been reported in Acupuncture in Medicine.