Auricular acupuncture, or ear acupuncture, is the stimulation of acupuncture points on the external ear surface for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other areas of the body. It is a form of acupuncture based on the idea that the ear is a micro system of the entire body represented on the auricle. Such method of treatment was recorded as early as 500-300B.C. in the book Neijing. In TCM it is believed that the ear is not a separate organ but closely connected with channels and Zang Fu organs. Clinically, diseases of various parts of the body can be treated by needling the corresponding auricular points, which in turn may promote free circulation of Qi and blood in channels.
As a comprehensive system of diagnosis and treatment, however, ear acupuncture is of recent origin. A French physician – neurologist Paul Nogier first drew serious attention to the correspondences between specific sites on the auricle and other parts of the body in 1957. He published his results in 1957 with his Treatise of Auriculotherapy.
There are approximately just over 200 acupuncture points in the ear and each of these points has its own name. These acupuncture points in the ear are all related to different parts of the body.
Ear acupuncture is generally incorporated into a regular acupuncture treatment. In addition to using acupuncture points on the rest of the body, your acupuncturist may select a few ear acupuncture points that they feel will be helpful for your particular condition.
Althought there are no direct nerve connections between the ear and the rest of the body. The nerves from the ear however, connect to reflex centers in the brain, which send neurological reflex messages to the
spinal cord and then to nerves connecting to the corresponding part of the body.
Imagine your brain as a computer. Inside this computer is a "map" of the entire body. This map is projected onto your EAR through your nervous system. Finding the points on the map is like using a computer's keyboard or mouse to gain entrance into the system. With auricular therapy we can energetically treat a number of painful conditions through the "brain's computer."
From a Traditional Oriental Medicine perspective, pain is caused by blockage of Qi in the acupuncture meridian channels, thus creating an imbalance in the total body (macro-system) acupuncture system. Stimulating specific ear points in the auricular micro-system leads to a balancing of energy and an increase flow of Qi.
Some people are fearful of needles. This is no problem, since special herbal seeds or magnetic pellets mounted on a "band-aid" type material provide outstanding effects.
Ear acupuncture points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear magnetic pellets. Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant. These seeds or pellets are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks.
For better results, you can stimulate yourself by pressing the seeds or magnetic pellets attached to the acupoints. Pressing a couple of times of day, for about 30 to 60 seconds each time. Points on your ear that correspond to your body areas of dysfunction or condition, may be red, and will often be tender or sore when pressed.
Auricular acupuncture is a very effective therapy that we have had great results with and that we incorporate into most acupuncture treatment. Because of the profound effect aauricular acupunc and auriculotherapy have on the central nervous system, it is very effective at relieving Pain.
Another highly effective use of ear Acupuncture is for addictive behaviors such as cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, or overeating. The direct connection the ear points have to the central nervous system and the brain prove even more effective than body points for treating addictions.
If you are interested in quitting an addiction, the treatments will help alleviate the physiological cravings in your body. When used for the purpose of treating addictions, it is best to get Acupuncture treatment several times per week for the first couple weeks, until the worst of the cravings, physiological symptoms, and mood swings have subsided.
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