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Piercing decisions

Post Independent/Kelley Cox
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Melissa McWhorter didn’t even wince while having her ears stapled Tuesday.”Oh, I’ve got seven tattoos,” said McWhorter, of Glenwood Springs. “This’ll be nothing.”McWhorter was at the Ramada Inn for ear stapling, an acupuncture procedure often used for weight loss, smoking cessation and pain management. The Oklahoma native said she has tried popular weight-loss programs to no avail and decided to give ear stapling a shot. She hopes to lose around 30 pounds from a staple as small as the span of a pinkie nail.”I’ve eaten well and exercised and still can’t get past a 10-pound weight loss,” McWhorter said. “I needed something to get past that point.”Representatives from Independent Diet Management, a consulting firm based in Enid, Okla., are providing the ear-stapling procedure at the Ramada Inn from 4-9 p.m. today for $75 for staples in both ears. Company founder Skye Ransom, a licensed nurse practitioner, said she conducts holistic ear-stapling procedures and seminars nationwide.

“I was the fourth one in the United States to do this,” Ransom said. “It’s picked up so big in the South – we have people waiting at the door and when we open the floodgates, they pour in.”Tuesday was Ransom’s first visit to Colorado. She and her mother, who assists with the weight-loss consulting firm, were in Glenwood to help move Ransom’s sister, Korissa Hoover, back to Oklahoma. Ransom planned an ear-stapling event for Thursday in Denver during the family road trip. The three women have all had ear-stapling procedures.”Korissa had it done over Christmas, and she had it taken out because she had lost enough weight. Usually your body’s not going to let you lose more weight than you need, but everybody’s going to work differently,” Ransom said. “But we’re very shocked when people don’t lose any weight.”Ransom had stapling in two acupuncture points on her ear for weight loss and to stop smoking. The mother of five said the change in her body’s cravings have helped her go from a size 16 to a 10 in six months.”Before I would wrestle you for the last piece of chocolate cake – now I don’t even eat chocolate,” she said. “Now, the healthier foods are what I find myself craving. What I try to tell people is it becomes a controlled diet without impulsive cravings.”

Ransom has spent much of her holistic medical career focusing on auriculotherapy, the study of ear acupuncture, and started doing ear-stapling procedures professionally about a year and a half ago.”Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years,” Ransom said. “This is just on a more permanent basis.”Hilary Back, a doctor of naturopathic medicine who has a holistic healthcare office in Carbondale, said she was not familiar with ear stapling. She couldn’t confirm the effectiveness of this form of acupuncture for weight loss, but she has seen acupuncture procedures help her clients stop smoking or abusing drugs.”In general, I’ve seen it work for people quitting smoking, which is more addictive than most drugs. I just really haven’t seen weight loss just from acupuncture,” Back said. “But just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it’s not out there.”Ransom said she doesn’t rely on ear stapling alone to be a cure-all for her clients. But she does make sure they’re ready to maintain a healthy weight or quit smoking for good after the procedure.



“I warn people ahead of time that you really need to be ready to quit smoking and keep the weight off,” she said. “I don’t do just acupuncture I try to encourage them to make a lifestyle change.”And, Ransom said, ear stapling doesn’t hurt.”It feels like getting your ears pierced,” McWhorter said.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com

Ear stapling is an acupuncture procedure commonly used for weight loss, smoking cessation and pain management. Independent Diet Management is conducting its second day of ear-stapling procedures from 4-9 p.m. today at the Ramada Inn in Glenwood Springs. More information about ear stapling can be found at the company’s Web site at http://www.dietstaple.com.


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