Auricular acupuncture is a type of treatment that focuses on the ear. Although it is based on the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, French scientist Paul Nogiers, the father of modern auricular acupuncture, who created with the development of the technique somewhere in the middle of the 20th century.
No matter the origin, auricular acupuncture is believed to be effective because the ear is a stimulant organ, hosting approximately 200 points connected to other parts of the body. By stimulating these points with fine needles, the body will be nourished and strengthened, restoring any Qi deficiency the person might have. In scientific terms, auricular acupuncture is a treatment system that normalizes a dysfunction of the body through stimulation of definite points.
The cells in the ear are believed to be very potent containing information from the entire body creating groups that correspond to different parts of the body. Almost all acupuncture session involve the ear, and you might be surprised by the multitude of uses and benefits of this type of treatment.
Uses of auricular acupuncture
Thanks to the amount of information hidden in the ear cells, practitioners can use auricular acupuncture to treat a great array of medical conditions. While auricular acupuncture is often used to treat drug addiction, almost every medical condition from anxiety, depression, and headaches to chronic pain, allergies, and arthritis can be treated to some extent by this type of alternative medicine.
Although further research in needed, existing studies focusing on auricular acupuncture prove that this technique can indeed deliver great improvements in overall health.
A study published in 2003 in Complementary Therapies in Medicine focused on the potential effects of auricular acupuncture regarding insomnia. Fifteen elderly people suffering from insomnia were included in the study and treated for three weeks. The results showed significant improvement not only in the quantity but also in the quality of sleep of the participants. What’s even more interesting, the positive results lasted for approximately six months after the treatment ended.
Another study published quite recently, specifically in 2012, analyzed the effects of auricular acupuncture on 35 patients suffering from migraines. The authors of the study discovered that a weekly treatment conducted over a two month period can deliver positive results for migraine sufferers.
An overview of 17 studies focusing on the benefits of auricular acupuncture in pain management showed that the treatment can ease pain symptoms, especially of those who have had a recent surgery.
Another examination of existing studies, this time focusing on constipation management, showed that auricular acupuncture can help people with this condition. However, the authors of the review noted that further research is needed in this area as the existing information wasn’t enough to confirm the findings.
Master points and symptom attributions
Master points are continuously electrically active in comparison with other points located on the ear, and they have an important impact on the treatment by being effective in alleviating a great variety of symptoms, most related to the nervous system and medical conditions like anxiety, fear, and nervousness.
- Point Zero is located in the middle of the ear, and it offers a general homeostatic balance
- Shen Men is one of the most popular ear pressure points, and is very effective in treating anxiety, stress, and excessive sensitivity
- Autonomic Point located on the outer side of the ear, this point is useful in balancing the nervous system and improving blood circulation
- Thalamus Point is used to ease over excitement and shock
- Endocrine Point, as the name suggests, this ear point is used to balance the endocrine hormones or treat hypersensitivity and rheumatism
- Allergy Point is very useful for patients with allergic symptoms and inflammations; this point also eliminates toxicity
- Tranquilizer Point is used to calm patients with severe anxiety episodes
- Master Sensorial Point is very effective in treating tinnitus, a constant ringing noise in the ears
- Master Cerebral Point related to the nervous system and very useful in treating patients with anxiety, nervousness, fear and OC
When you begin your acupuncture treatments, the practitioner may advise you to continue the treatment at home by using ear seeds. The seeds are traditionally made from Vaccaria plant, but they can also be manufactured from other types of material. The use of seeds following the acupuncture session is a type of acupressure that you can do by yourself at home, increasing the chances of healing.
All in all, auricular acupuncture is a very complex field of alternative Traditional Chinese Medicine where the ear is considered one of the most important microsystems of the body. A microsystem is a part of the body that is used to treat conditions related to every other part of the body. For instance, if you go to the acupuncturist to heal your kidneys, the ear and its corresponding point for the kidney will be used as a treatment solution.
Although more research is needed, there is no question that auricular acupuncture is great for the body. Auricular acupuncture is even used by famous celebrities, for example Kate Moss has been known to use this technique in order to ease her drug addiction.
No matter what health condition you are struggling with, whether it is substance abuse, anxiety, or chronic pain, it is worth giving auricular acupuncture a chance. The first step is to book a consultation with a practitioner and talk about your medical condition. The acupuncturist will know how to proceed and will guide you through the healing process.