There have been many novel ways to lose weight including numerous unusual diets and various elixirs, ointments, salves and balms made from this or that natural substance. One of the most fascinating assertions, with origins in Japan, is a form of acupuncture that uses tiny balls in or behind the ears rather than needles.
In 1991, Junzo Kokubo, a doctor of acupuncture, published “A new auricular acupressure treatment for smoking and overweight problems” in a Japanese acupuncture journal. Kokubo said he discovered appetite pressure points in the ears. He acknowledged that many people fear needles and that needles or thumb-tacks in the ears could cause discomfort while sleeping or using the telephone. His solution? Tiny balls.
Dr. Kokubo used transparent tape to place one millimeter steel balls over the pressure points in the ears. He used the “A point in the Fossa of Antihelis and B point in the Concha” of both ears. Whenever a patient felt hungry, he or she pressed on these balls; the craving for food disappeared. Kokubo said he successfully tested his discovery on 45 patients. He said using these balls also suppressed anxiety, stress, and a craving to smoke.
A modern version of Kokubo’s discovery, called Presspoint, uses tiny silver balls. This system describes the pressure points and how to apply the balls using a special adhesive patch. When you get hungry, press on the balls for ten seconds. Patients are allegedly able to lose six to eight pounds per month. You can buy kits of supplies that last from three to five months.
Dr.Gregory Sadkhin is said to have researched weight loss methods for cardiac patients in Russia before moving to New England. He became interested in Tsubotherapy, a 1950s form of acupuncture using balls in the ears, of which Dr. Kokubo’s system was a variation. Sadkhin claims to have discovered 16 hunger control points behind the ears. These are The Sadkhin Points, part of his weight-loss program, The Sadkhin Complex. Patients press on tiny steel balls to alleviate hunger.
There have been no mainstream clinical tests of the usefulness of balls in or behind the ears to lose weight. The only evidence is anecdotal. The Food and Drug Administration does not recognize it as a viable therapy.
Most physicians, diet experts, and the American Heart Association recommend eating less food and exercising as the best way to lose weight. The food should contain plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and have a minimal amount of oils, sugars and fats.