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October 2021

J Altern Complement Med. 1998 Winter; 4(4): 399-403.

Effect of tragus clips on gastric peristalsis: a pilot study.

Choy DS, Eidenschenk E.

Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, New York 10021, USA.

In the past 22 years we have used the "hunger point" on the tragus of the ear to induce aversion to cigarette smoking and inhibit appetite for weight reduction with varying degrees of success. This has generally been accomplished by inserting press needles into the tragus of both ears. Because these needles gradually lose effect over a 5- to 7-day period, they have had to be changed every 5 to 7 days. To obviate this need, ear-clips (Aculite; I-Openers, Cranston, RI) were devised to be worn on the tragus. Previous work using press needles on the tragus induced slowing of gastric peristalsis, thought to be mediated by inhibition of a branch of the vagus nerve that innervates the tragus. The present study measured the duration of single gastric peristaltic waves before and after wearing the ear-clips for two cycles. There was a marked prolongation of gastric peristalsis time (GPT) when the ear-clips were applied, a return to baseline times when the clips were off, and a second, but less dramatic prolongation when the clips were on, p = 0.01. We conclude that the ear-clips were effective in delaying gastric peristalsis, and may have value in reducing appetite in association with weight loss programs.

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