Acupuncture, the ancient practice rooted in Chinese culture, is revered for its therapeutic benefits in managing pain and alleviating stress. Now, a new study has revealed that this age-old healing technique also has the power to facilitate weight loss.

This new remarkable was unveiled at the European Congress on Obesity in Dublin, Ireland. The study suggested that combining acupuncture with a carefully controlled diet has shown promising results in significantly reducing body weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), and body fat.

"This type of acupuncture does not require complex knowledge or skill. In Japan, this method to aid weight loss has been used for over 30 years," says the study lead author Dr. Takahiro Fujimoto of Clinic F, Tokyo, reported.

In a departure from traditional techniques, the method ditches intradermal needles in favor of metal beads. "This type of acupuncture does not require complex knowledge or skill. In Japan, this method to aid weight loss has been used for over 30 years," he said.

Ear acupuncture therapy targets specific points along meridian lines to restore the flow of qi and alleviate blockages or disruptions. This holistic approach has demonstrated its efficacy in various areas, including treating drug addiction, assisting in smoking cessation, and facilitating weight loss. Although exact mechanisms remain elusive, studies suggest the method better regulate metabolism, and the endocrine system, enhances digestion, and reduces oxidative stress.

Taking cues from past research that observed significant weight loss in Japanese women treated with ear acupuncture, 81 overweight or obese Japanese men, especially those with with high levels of abdominal fat were made to undergo the process alongside a controlled diet.

During the study, 1.5 mm metal ear beads were carefully positioned on six specific points of the outer ear. To maintain consistent pressure, surgical tape was used to secure the beads in place, and they were replaced twice a week during regular hospital visits.

Measurements such as body weight, body fat percentage, BMI, and abdominal fat were recorded before and after the treatment period and in a subsequent three-month period.

At the end of the study, the participants experienced a reduction of 10.4 cm in their waist circumference, a 4% decrease in their total body fat, and an almost 3-point decrease in their BMI.

"Our findings suggest that acupuncture on the ear may aid weight loss when paired with diet and exercise. It's likely that acupuncture has a positive effect by curbing cravings and appetite, improving digestion, and boosting metabolism," Fujimoto told

Scientists have discovered the science behind acupuncture's ability to lower blood pressure. Photo courtesy of Reueters/Shannon Stapleton