Smoking Habit And Eating Disorders

Two of the fields in which ear acupuncture has often been applied are those of tobacco addiction and obesity. In this paragraph they will be considered together because they have some common features such as depressive mood, compulsory behavior and craving which have often been the object of treatment with acupuncture. Even if the systematic reviews on both subjects are inconclusive as regards their efficacy over time, it is nevertheless noteworthy that auricular stimulation on one or more points has been added to almost every smoking cessation and weight loss program.

For addiction to tobacco, 25 smokers were compared to 25 sex- and age-matched non-smokers: ESRT showed at least eight sectors with a higher concentration of points than PPT (on the left of Fig. 7.11). Some of them contained clusters of points which have often been found in different medical conditions and should therefore be considered non-specific and perhaps related to the electrical detection itself. There is another cluster on sectors 25-27, both with ESRT and PPT, which on the contrary is original and has never been found in other symptoms. This cluster is located on the ascending branch of the helix and overlaps both with the Chinese external genital (HX4 waishengzhiqi) and urethra (HX3 niaodao) areas.

This area belongs to the so-called 'libido' areas proposed by Durinyan for the treatment of sexual disorders. It is possible that this area represents a craving area particularly for those smokers who stop smoking but who continue for some days/weeks to have a pronounced desire for cigarettes. What is surprising is that the craving for pleasures other than sex, such as sweets, ice cream, chocolate, etc., may also cause a concentration of points in this area.

Acupuncture Points For Eating Disorders

Fig. 7.11 Clusters of points with low ESR in 25 smokers on the left; cluster of tender points with PPT of the same subjects on the right. The colored sectors correspond to a significantly higher concentration of points, respectively, for ESRT vs. PPT on the left side or for PPT vs. ESRT on the right side of the figure. Colored areas = lateral surface; blank areas = medial surface.

15

14

13

12

Fig. 7.11 Clusters of points with low ESR in 25 smokers on the left; cluster of tender points with PPT of the same subjects on the right. The colored sectors correspond to a significantly higher concentration of points, respectively, for ESRT vs. PPT on the left side or for PPT vs. ESRT on the right side of the figure. Colored areas = lateral surface; blank areas = medial surface.

As regards the liver area (sectors 14-16) and the cyclothymic area (sectors 4, 5 and 6), these show a slightly larger cluster with PPT than with ESRT (on the right of Fig. 7.11). The lung area, which is a classical zone of the ear used for the treatment of abstinence syndromes (see Ch. 1), is symmetrically observable both with ESRT and PPT.

The distribution of points in 25 subjects with obesity and eating disorders is quite different from that in smokers. ESRT shows three groups of sectors with significant differences: two are the colon and the pituitary area, the third, on sectors 20 and 21, corresponds to the representation of the Chinese kidney (on the left of Fig. 7.12). It may be questioned whether the activation of the kidney area is concomitant with the low metabolism of these subjects or may depend, according to TCM, on a deficiency of Yin of Kidney which is accompanied by asthenia and psychologically by a loss of will.

Another important area carrying a larger amount of low ESR corresponds to the mouth-esophagus area: according to the standardization process, in fact this area carries the same indication (withdrawal syndrome) as the lung area.

PPT shows only one group of sectors (7-10) with a significant concentration of points compared to ESRT (on the right of Fig. 7.12). This cluster is located mainly on the helix area 4 which has indications for tonsillitis, fever and hypertension. In several obese patients this area often looks swollen, reddish and is moreover tender to thumb-index palpation. We are at loss to interpret this phenomenon: perhaps the representation of the thyroid gland on these sectors may activate a series of aligned points on this part of the helix which could therefore also be called the 'metabolism-related area'. Another impression, however, emerges in considering that this area becomes sensitized especially

Ear Acupuncture For Obesity

Fig. 7.12 Clusters of points with low ESR in 25 patients affected by obesity and eating disorders on the left; cluster of tender points with PPT of the same patients on the right. The colored sectors correspond to a significantly higher concentration of points, respectively, for ESRT vs. PPT on the left side or for PPT vs. ESRT on the right side of the figure. Colored areas = lateral surface; blank areas = medial surface; areas with crosses = internal border of the antitragus.

Fig. 7.12 Clusters of points with low ESR in 25 patients affected by obesity and eating disorders on the left; cluster of tender points with PPT of the same patients on the right. The colored sectors correspond to a significantly higher concentration of points, respectively, for ESRT vs. PPT on the left side or for PPT vs. ESRT on the right side of the figure. Colored areas = lateral surface; blank areas = medial surface; areas with crosses = internal border of the antitragus.

in subjects inclined to binge eating and that treatment here seems to reduce the number of uncontrolled eating episodes and also seems to control the night eating syndrome.

Two further areas seem moreover to be related to eating: the first corresponds to the cyclothymic temperament, whereas the second, on the internal surface of the antitragus (see the area with the crosses on Fig. 7.12), seems to overlap with Nogier's hypothalamus on the lateral surface of the antitragus. In my opinion this area becomes sensitized when a delay in feeling satiety is prevailing; stimulating these points and at the same time inviting the subject to slow down food intake may help in restoring physiological appetite.

As already discussed in Chapter 6 and in the first part of this chapter, in my opinion there are some factors limiting the wide application of auricular diagnosis with ESRT.

The first limitation is that practitioners do not really know exactly what is happening when the display of the device begins to flash or a sound is heard when the measuring probe is applied on one point rather than on another.

The second limitation is, as already discussed in the first paragraph, that the search for points with lower ESR is much more time-consuming than

Acupuncture For Cynics

Acupuncture For Cynics

Have You Always Been Curious About Acupuncture, But Were Never Quite Sure Where To Stick The Needles? If you associate acupuncture with needles, pain and weird alternative medicine then you are horribly misinformed about the benefits of the world's oldest form of medicinal treatment.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment