abstracted & translated by
Honora Lee Wolfe, Lic. Ac., FNAAOM (USA)
Keywords: Chinese medicine, acupuncture, ear acupuncture, obesity, body mass index
On page 19 of issue #1, 2005 of the Zhen Jiu Lin Chuang Za Zhi (Clinical Journal of Acupuncture & Moxibustion), Qu Ben-qi et al. published an article titled, "The Acupuncture, Ear Point Pressure & Dietary Regulation Treatment of 268 Cases of Obesity." A summary of this study follows.
All 268 patients enrolled in this study were seen as out-patients at a university-affiliated hospital in Shandong. Among them, there were 238 females and only 30 males. These patients ranged in age from 16-52 years. Most had already tried weight reduction medications without success.
Body acupuncture consisted of needling the following points:
Qu Chi (LI 11)
Yang Ling Quan (GB 34)
Feng Long (St 40)
Tai Chong (Liv 3)
Shang Ju Xu (St 37)
Zhong Wan (CV 12)
Tian Shu (St 25)
Shui Fen (CV 9)
Liang Men (St 21)
Hua Rou Men (St 22)
Da Heng (Sp 15)
After obtaining the qi, the needles were retained for 30 minutes, They were stimulated every 10 minutes. Depending on the patient’s condition, either supplementing or draining hand technique was used. During the first course of treatment, acupuncture was given once per day. During the second and third courses, it was given once every other day. Altogether, 30 treatments were administered.
Ear points chosen consisted of:
Magnetic pellets were taped over 4-5 of these points these points on one ear at a time. Every three days, the ears were switched. Each day, patients were instructed to press these pellets 2-3 times for 5-10 minutes each time.
At the same time, patients were instructed to control their intake of sugar and fats and to eat more vegetables and low-sugar fruits.
After three courses of treatment, the most a patient lost was 20 pounds and the least was 2.5 pounds. After the first course of treatment, the most a single patient lost was eight pounds, and the least was two pounds. No other outcomes were provided.
According to the Chinese authors of this study, obesity is due to former heaven natural endowment insufficiency, addiction to fatty, sweet, thick, slimy foods, enduring lying down and predilection for sitting, and insufficient exercise. As people reach middle and older age, their spleen-stomach movement and transformation function gradually declines and their metabolism of fats, sweets, and thick flavors gradually becomes weaker. The finest essence of water and grains is not able to be transformed, engendered, transported, and spread. Instead, pasty fat, phlegm, and dampness lodge internally. Based on this theory of obesity, the body acupuncture points in the above protocol were selected in order to regulate and rectify the spleen-stomach functions of movement and transformation as well as to drain excessive stomach fire, free the flow and discharge the large intestine, rectify the qi and fortify the spleen, dispel phlegm and disinhibit dampness, warm the kidneys and invigorate yang, course the liver and rectify the qi, clear and downbear liver yang. The ear points were selected to regulate and rectify the function of the viscera and bowels, decrease hunger and promote a feeling of satiety. In terms of dietary therapy, for breakfast, the patients mainly ate egg whites. For lunch they ate lots of vegetables and a little grains. For dinner, they ate lots of vegetables and a little egg whites. During this study, patient’s diets were not excessively regulated so as to avoid hypoglycemic syncope or disturbances in work or study. In general, the patients that exercised the most or were the most active got the best outcomes.
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