Everyone from chiropractors to registered nurses is touting ear stapling as the be-all, end-all New Age weight-loss strategy. Plug your ear with one staple, the story goes, and the fat slides off you like butter on top of a hot yeast roll.
Practitioners claim piercing stomach-related pressure-points on the ear will:
a) release endorphins
b) stimulate the circulatory system, and
c) alter the body’s bio-electric field.
(Take your pick.)
Despite the dangers of infection from “back alley staplings,” customers claim the staples help them lose weight, stop smoking, sleep better, and get over chronic constipation. (Take your pick.)
Me? I’m more than a little skeptical about this one, for at least three reasons. One: not even the people offering the service agree on why it works. Two: treatments that claim to cure everything from obesity to insomnia are generally money-making schemes for quacks.
Three: just last night, on the flight from Atlanta to Jackson, I sat behind four ladies — three nurses and a beautician, I think — who had just become “certified” to deliver stapling services during a two-day workshop. Here’s their discussion, almost ver batim:
Lady 1: So, how are we going to sell this?
Lady 2: Oh, you know how people combine their years of experience and say “We’ve got more than thirty years experience with so-and-so?” We can do that, so we won’t sound like we’re new at this!
Lady 1: So, how much experience do we have?
Lady 3: We’ve all got two days. Put us together, that’s a week. “A week of combined experience!” That doesn’t sound very good.
Lady 4: Wait! I did a paper in high school on accupuncture! What was I … eighteen? So I can say I’ve been studying this for almost ten years. If y’all’ve ever done anything on accupuncture or even ear piercing, you could do the very same thing. You could even count how long you’ve been a nurse, really.
By the end of the conversation, these ladies had managed to stretch their attendance at a two-day ear stapling workshop in Atlanta into more than three decades of ear stapling goodness.