Monday, May 08, 2006

Medical Board Bars Ear Stapling For Weight Lossl

Shaveta Bansal - All Headline News Contributor

Jackson, MS (AHN) - A state medical board has ordered 14 weight-loss businesses that perform ear stapling to stop the practice, alleging they are operating illegally.

Mal Morgan, executive director of the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure, said board investigation into complaints from people suffering from serious ear infections prompted the board to take action.

Ear stapling, a new, popular weight-loss procedure that draws from ancient acupuncture, is cropping up throughout Mississippi.

In Mississippi, only doctors licensed in acupuncture are allowed to perform acupuncture procedures. Other states allow people with certification besides medical doctors to practice acupuncture.

Dr. Aena Payne, a board-certified acupuncturist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said acupuncture on the ear can help with weight loss, but does not support ear stapling because of the threat of infection.

She said proper diet and exercise are also necessary.

Comment: In Mississippi there is no legislation or rules authorizing the practice of acupuncture by board certified acupuncturists. All this means is that MDs can practice acupuncture without any training and get away with it while anyone else, qualified or not, runs the risk of prosecution. While I am not a fan of ear stapling for any reason, I would like to know how many of those running weight loss clinics were real acupuncturists (ie: NCCAOM certified) and how their infection rates corrolated with those who were unqualified prectitioners just jumping on a trend.

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