The effects of the auricular acupuncture therapy on obesity and weight loss of boxers

By WBA 14/02/2009

Introduction

Since the twenty-first century, the improvement of nutritive and sanitary conditions with the development of medical science resulted in an extended average span of human life. On the other hand, however, improved life conditions have produced new symptoms that could cause different human diseases. Especially, obesity is considered as one of the main causes of adult diseases. Therefore, medical experts recommend finding appropriate method of weight control. The methods of weight control include volume of exercises, reduced diet, fasting, sauna, or even weight control drugs such as diarrhea remedy, emetic, diuretic and body fat dissolvent.

Boxers are one of the professional athletes who involved in weight-limited events. For professional boxers, the method of weight loss is considered as one of the most important factors that determine the issue of contest along with the skill and physical strength. The extreme weight loss induces weaker physical fitness, reduction of blood and plasma volume, decreased content of muscle glycogen and concentration of blood glucose, which results in extreme fatigue and a sharp decline of muscle strength and cardiopulmonary endurance. Furthermore, these conditions could eventually cause rapid hunger and thirst, extreme anxiety, hypersensitivity and psychological agitation. Any one of these negative effects would cause a loss in the game and a loss of confidence.

Therefore, the efficient and formulated weight control method is required to have effective reduction of body fat without psychological and physiological alteration which can reduce level of exercise performance. To reduce side effects of inappropriate weight loss method and to increase level of exercise performance, I would like to introduce the theory and practical techniques of the auricular acupuncture therapy. I also anticipate that boxers apply this therapy, which is used effectively for obesity therapy in oriental medicine, to practice for weight loss.

What is the ‘auricular acupuncture therapy’?

The auricular acupuncture therapy is one of the regional acupuncture therapies used commonly in the Oriental medicine, which have treated various diseases of body through a needle insertion on the auricle. The auricular acupuncture therapy has recently been systemized by French doctor P. Nogier. He got a hint from an episode about a patient who got burnt in the auricle and was healed his sciatica by itself. Nogier applied this phenomenon to the actual clinical practice, and finally he reported his positive results to the International Congress of Acupuncture, held in Marseille on 1956. He observed the identification of auricular reactions in response to the disease of organs and viscera, and the similarity between the auricle and the upside-down position of the fetus.  

The therapeutic effects of the auricular acupuncture therapy can be explained by a relationship between the original functions of nerves distributed on the auricle and internal organs. Nerve supplies of the auricle are trigeminal nerve, parasympathetic vassal nerve, facial nerve and glossopharyngeal nerve.
Another theoretical basis of the auricular acupuncture therapy is related on the Thalamus-Pituitary gland system. Auricular acupuncture is supposed to stimulate this system in brain and can produce alteration in concentration of hormones.

Treatment of obesity by using the auricular acupuncture therapy.

Obesity is mainly due to an imbalance between excessive energy intake and expenditure. Therefore, excessive calories are stored as fat in the adipose tissue. Overabundant fat in obesity induces disorders of physical activity and function, and increases in degenerative diseases such as arteriosclerosis, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, after all, shortens life span and increases mortality. Therefore, obesity therapy brings to positive prevention of adult diseases. Strategy for obesity consists of the regulated diet, physical activity, and medication. Auricular acupuncture therapy, as a facile method, may give surplus benefits to anti-obesity.

Practical points of the auricular acupuncture therapy

Clinical points of high frequency on obesity and relief of anxiety are selected; Spiritual Gate(TF2), Hunger Point(TG3), Spleen(IC8), Stomach(CR1), Endocrine(IT2). The auricular points are detected by means of the acupuncture point detector, Neuralstift Svesa 1070, or identified directly with reference to the chart of auricular points.  

Method of needle insertion

After the identification of the auricular point, the subcutaneous needle of the auricle, which is specially made for the purpose of being kept in place for a few days, is inserted in one auricle by pincette and fixed by skin tape. After three or four days, the same process is practiced on the opposite auricle. Consistent pressure is applied to prevent missing of needle and give a continuous stimulation on the auricular acupuncture points.

Discussion

The auricular acupuncture therapy is simple and inexpensive, so that numerous studies are conducted to discuss this effective therapy on obesity. Auricular acupuncture reduces food intake by suppressing appestat area and leads to lose weight through lipolysis.

Cholesystokinin(CCK), as a factor related with food intake, increased significantly in the most area of the cerebral cortex after the stimulation of auricular acupuncture, which might incite alteration of neuron. It is well known that activation of neurotransmitter could be induced by auricular acupuncture.???

We investigated the effect of diet and exercise therapy combined with auricular acupuncture on fifty patients. In the results of our study, there was significant weight loss in 80% of patients treated with auricular acupuncture. These results denoted that the auricular acupuncture therapy induced the loss of appetite, promotion of lipolysis and reduction of storage fat from accelerating metabolism, and improved resolution of patient on food control. Thus, we suggest that auricular acupuncture is a useful therapy for obesity, which is one of the main causes for adult diseases.

Practical application of the auricular acupuncture therapy on weight control in boxer

In oriental medicine, there are pharmacotherapies, general acupuncture therapy, auricular acupuncture therapy, electrolipolysis therapy, Qigong, negative therapy as a therapy for weight loss. Among these therapies, the auricular acupuncture therapy has been used widely because of its safety, economy, and efficiency. The auricular acupuncture therapy does not disturb the physical activity and makes the daily life possible while treatment. In consequence, this therapy is supposed to be available to adapt to athletes, especially.

Maintaining capacity of exercise performance with reducing weight as much as possible in weight-limited competitive athletes is the key to determine whether to win or lose. At this time, the auricular acupuncture therapy with reducing diet and sweating by exercise may offer various benefits to weight loss. It could minimize the side effects and maximize exercise performance.?

We carried out the auricular acupuncture therapy on Spiritual Gate(TF2), Hunger Point(TG3), Spleen(IC8),Stomach(CR1), Endocrine(IT2) of twenty elite boxers during fasting period of 7 days before competition. They were divided into two groups; therapy-treated group(n=10) and non-treated group(n=10). Before and after treatment and competition, respectively, blood sample were drawn and analyzed to determine the levels of glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, leptin. Urine sample, likewise, were taken and analyzed to determine the levels of Na+, K+, Cl-, CA++, creatinine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. The auricular acupuncture therapy significantly increased in the levels of? Na+, K+, Cl-, cortisol, epinephrine and significantly decreased in the levels of leptin, hormone related to obesity.

Several years ago, weight control by using auricular acupuncture therapy to WBA Super Feather champion before competition in our clinic was telecasted. This treatment proved to be the very effective in weight control and could get successful consequence.??

Conclusion

The acupuncture therapeutic treatment, which has been considered as an oriental mysterious medicine in the past, is becoming popular as new alternative medicine all over the world. Now it has become noted for non-medication and natural cure to be unwholesome treatment.

One of the acupuncture therapies, the auricular acupuncture therapy is easier to learn and convenient to operate, compared with general acupuncture therapy. In these aspects the auricular acupuncture therapy is attracting greater public attention than ever.

Especially when the auricular acupuncture therapy is used for obesity, which is considered as the principal cause of adult diseases, it would have considerable significance in viewpoints of safety, economy and efficiency.

In case of boxers, they also should take a doping test before and after the match, so they cannot make free abuse of drugs. Therefore, if weight-limited athletes including boxers attempt to reduce their weights according to weight control program with the auricular acupuncture therapy, they can maximize exercise performance without any suffering, and extend their athletic careers by preventing injuries.

As the above auricular acupuncture therapy is able to operate even if it is only for the simple training, so I recommend actively this method for obese people and trainers supervising athletes in the field.