Ear Piercing for Weight Loss

The prevalence of obesity is increasing in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report of 2018 claims that 42% of the population is overweight or obese. This condition has promoted weight loss programs and alternative medicines for weight loss in the country. The spending per year on weight loss has been estimated at as much as $147 billion in 2008 US dollars. As a result, ear piercing for weight loss treatment also has gained widespread popularity.

The acupuncture experts say that weight loss is possible through an ear piercing. If you’re expecting to have an ear piercing for weight loss and for fashion in one go then it is not possible. Because the purpose is different for each case. Ear piercing for weight loss is a medical procedure. Therefore, ear piercing for fashion has absolutely nothing to do with weight loss.

Ear piercing for weight loss is also called ear stapling or auricular acupuncture by experts.

Ear piercing is also done for other certain other medical gains such as freeing people from addiction to stress, smoking, and drugs. Anyway, the main purpose of this article is how to lose extra kilos using ear piercing.

What is Ear Piercing or Ear Stapling for Weight Loss?

Now let us get into a bit of detail about how ear stapling or ear piercing is done for weight loss.

Ear stapling comes from the traditional Chinese medicine of acupuncture related to the pressure points in the ear. Certain points of the ear are considered to improve general health, and control appetite, and food cravings.

The ear stapling Chinese acupuncture procedure involves the insertion of small stainless needles and steel devices in the inner cartilage of the ear.

Chinese traditional acupuncture ear stapling for weight loss
Chinese traditional ear stapling for weight loss

The insertion of stainless needles and steel devices is done at various points of ear cartilage. These needles put pressure on the expected points of the ear. The pressure on these points sends signals to the brain. These signals to the brain carry the message to decrease appetite, to feel full, and then food-killing cravings for consuming sugar, alcohol, and tobacco.

Clinical Evidence and Study on Ear Stapling for Weight Loss

Acupuncture is getting over 40 years of popularity for several medical gains. It has not left the weight loss as well. There are many publications that talk about weight loss using acupuncture procedures. One popular procedure is ear stapling. Here is the one publication in NCBI that talks about the clinical evidence on effective treatment for obesity.

Clinical Studies on Ear Piercing for Weight Loss

  1. A study published Pacific College of Health and Science talks about ear piercing for weight loss. The study involved 20 obese women between 22 to 42 years of age. They were put on a combination of a 2000-calorie diet and a 15-minute walk every day. One group received additional 15 minutes of ear stapling treatment per week. The group without ear stapling treatment had only about one and a half kilos of weight loss. The group with ear stapling treatment showed a significant weight loss of about 5 kilos. Further, the acupuncture ear stapling group also reported a decrease in appetite.
  2. Another study in 2014 from Austria says that ear acupuncture is safe to do. It is a non-drug treatment for obesity and addiction. This study was done with a small group of about 56 participants.
  3. A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted on 91 Koreans with five ear acupuncture points for overweight people. In the trial, 75 females and 16 males were used with a body mass index (BMI) over 23. They also ensured that they did not have any weight loss treatment in the past 6 months. The trial was conducted for 8 weeks. After the treatment, a reduction of 6.1 % in BMI was reported. The study helped to conclude that 5 ear points acupuncture treatment was effective in treating overweight people.

You can use our BMI Calculator to find out if you are overweight or obese.

How is Ear Stapling Carried Out?

Here we describe at a high level how the ear stapling is carried out. The acupuncturist uses a specialized staple gun to pierce the cartilage of the external ear. The process may cause some pain during and after the treatment for a short time.

The thin surgical staple or needle remains in the cartilage of the ear for six weeks to three months. It depends on the acupuncturist who decides how long the needles or steel devices remain in the ear.

Acupuncturists may request a revisit of the patient to reposition the needles. Because once the body gets used to the staple or needle it will not be effective anymore. So, it has to be re-positioned in a different location of the cartilage.

How does ear-piercing work for weight loss?

It is all about the pressure points based on traditional Chinese medicine. Once the needles are in place, they put pressure on those points which normalizes the metabolism. It reduces appetite and food cravings.

Further, ear piercing triggers the release of endorphins in the brain. These endorphins soothe the nerves and help avoid eating more than needed for the body. It lowers stress and anxiety. Endorphins also assist the digestive system to function accordingly. So, all put together you end up shedding extra kilos.

How Much Ear-Stapling Cost?

It cost you from $50 to $100. However, there is no fixed rate as such. It depends on the acupuncturist’s experience and popularity.

Guidance for Using Stapling Acupuncture for Weight Loss

ear piercing chart including weight loss
Complete Ear-Piercing Chart including Weight Loss

Here is what Andrew Weil, M.D. says if you choose ear piercing treatment for your weight loss.

  • Importance of finding a certified and experienced acupuncturist
  • Ensure ear acupuncture is personally administered by a qualified acupuncturist
  • Over the years unqualified practitioners have caused many complaints leading to ear infections and severe pain
  • The ear-piercing treatment has to be combined with reduced calorie intake to have a good effect on weight loss. (You can use our BMR calculator for your calories intake needs)
  • Ensure to increase your physical activities

This way you can shred off unwanted extra pounds from your body. He says it is not just placing needles in the ear. There is more to normalizing the weight of your body than just having needles in the ear.

Here are a few quick tips to combine with ear stapling for weight loss. Try weight loss drinks and the best milk for weight loss too fast track losing weight.

Other points to consider before treatment:

  • Piercing any foreign material into any part of your body may cause infection
  • Piercing cartilage increases the risk of infection and deformity
  • Doing it in unsanitary conditions is dangerous
  • DO NOT go to a body piercer for ear stapling
  • The largely unregulated practice of ear stapling is dangerous

Benefits from Acupuncture Ear Piercing

The benefits vary depending on which ear points are used in acupuncture. The benefits are many including:

What are Daith and Tragus Piercing for Weight Loss?

The Daith and tragus are areas of the ear with pressure points that are linked to appetite according to acupuncture practices. Therefore, ear stapling in those areas is known as Daith or tragus ear piercing for weight loss.


Hope you now have understood the benefits and risks involved in ear piercing for weight loss. The most important ear piercing for weight loss is to find a certified and experienced acupuncturist.

If the needles and steel devices, and not placed in the right pressure points the efforts go in vain. In such cases weight loss is not guaranteed, it is what acupuncturists say.

You need to understand there have been complaints over the years that lead to infection and pain due to wrong practices. This is because of unqualified practitioners. Never go to body piercers for weight loss treatment.

Also, ear stapling alone will not make you lose weight. It is required to have a low-calorie intake and increased physical activity to get rid of the extra weight in your body.

It will be useful for you to find out about the patients who have received weight loss treatment using ear piercing from the acupuncturist. Such information will help and give you confidence in deciding on the acupuncturist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What piercing helps you lose weight?

The ear stapling acupuncture method helps to lose weight. It may take about six weeks to 3 months. The staples do the expected pressure on the specified points of the ear. The pressure points send messages to the brain to reduce appetite and food cravings to help weight loss. Click here for details on how ear stapling works.

Where is the pressure point for weight loss?

The acupuncture ear stapling procedure has 5 points of pressure in the ear. The complete detail on how ear stapling is done, its benefits, and its risks are discussed in this article.

Can piercing your tragus paralyze you?

If is it done correctly by an experienced acupuncturist, tragus piercing cannot paralyze or cause any notable side effects.

9 Sources

Noble Home Remedies relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for accuracy and reliability while avoiding tertiary references. Our editorial policy provides more information about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date.

  1. Acupuncture can help with weight loss – Pacific College of Health and Science – https://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2014/11/05/acupuncture-can-help-weight-loss
  2. Acupuncture on Obesity – Clinical Evidence – US National Library of Medicine – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6022277/
  3. Acupuncture – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acupuncture
  4. Can Ear Stapling Promote Weight Loss? by Andrew Weil, M.D. – https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/diets-weight-loss/can-ear-stapling-promote-weight-loss/
  5. Acupuncture for the treatment of obesity: a review of the evidence – International Journal of Obesity – https://www.nature.com/articles/0802254
  6. A randomized clinical trial of five ear acupuncture points for the treatment of overweight people was published in PubMed – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24342715/
  7. Ear stapling: a risky and unproven procedure for appetite suppression and weight loss in PubMed – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20155684/
  8. Adult Obesity Facts by CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
  9. What is the difference between Ear Stapling and Acupuncture for weight loss – Acupuncture referral service? – https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/What+is+the+difference+between+Ear+Stapling+and+Acupuncture+for+weight+loss+#
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