Ear acupuncture is the stimulation of the points on external ear, and it is often used in conjunction with body acupuncture. While the earliest uses of ear acupuncture points date back to ancient China, modern applications of auriculotherapy are based on the work of Dr. Paul Nogier of Lyon, France.
Ear acupuncture how it works?
The ear is a complete microsystem. On the external ear, there are acupuncture points that correspond to every part of the body, making it a self-contained system of treatment within the whole body. This phrasing distinguishes a microsystem from the macro-acupuncture system of meridian channels that extend over the whole body and the nervous system connection of reflex pathways that inter-relate different parts of the body. Microsystems have been reported for foot reflexology, hand reflexology, face acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, and iridology.
From a Western medical viewpoint, the nervous innervations of the ear are the leading explanation of how and why ear acupuncture works. The nerves that innervate the ear connect with our internal organs and all parts of the body. Applying pressure to the external ear stimulates these nerves, which travel to the central nervous system, stimulating neurotransmitters that alleviate pain. Stimulating points on the ear not only can alleviate problems associated with nearby regions of the face and head but can also relieve pathological disorders in the chest, abdomen, lower back, and feet. According to microsystem theory, it is not that there are direct connections between the ear and the back or the ear and the foot. Rather, nerves from the ear connect to reflex centres in the brain which send neurological reflex pathways to the spinal cord and then to neurons going to the spine or to the foot.
Ear acupuncture vs ear seeds
Ear acupuncture involves the gentle placement of tiny, disposable needles into specific sites in each ear. These hair-thin needles are even smaller than those used for body acupuncture. The needles remain in the ear for the duration of the acupuncture treatment.
If needles aren’t your thing, consider using ear seeds instead, which is considered to be “a gentle version of era acupuncture”. This is actually acupressure – an alternative to acupuncture which uses the same qi-balancing points across the ear. Ear seeds are a completely non-invasive technique and activate the ear points by simply sticking on to the acupuncture points. These tiny, stick-on seeds come in the form of actual seeds, metals like gold or silver, or crystals. One of the main benefits of ear seeds is their convenience and ease of use. Patients can stimulate them when at home, in between acupuncture sessions. Another benefit of ear seeds is their durability. They can last up to a week or more, depending on the type of ear seed used and the location it was applied. This allows the therapeutic benefits to continue even after the initial treatment.
What are the benefits of ear acupuncture?
I use ear acupuncture in my practice mostly to reduce anxiety and stress, depression, relieve pain, to balance and restore digestion, promote and support women’s health, regulate and bring in balance hormones, improve sleep quality and restore emotional health and wellbeing. But also, to help to detox in addictions, quit smoking or lose weight. Almost all health conditions can be affected to some degree by stimulating reactive ear points.
NADA involves the gentle placement of up to five small, sterilized disposable needles into specific sites on each ear. NADA Acupuncture is increasingly recognized as a universally useful intervention in the treatment of addictions and behavioural health. It helps to reduce cravings for alcohol and drugs, minimized withdrawal symptoms, increase calmness, better sleep, and less agitation, relief from stress and emotional trauma, a discovery of inner quiet and strength.
Ear acupuncture is another tool that I love to use in my practice. If it is appropriate and I believe you will benefit from this TCM technique it will be added to your treatment plan. I offer this service to my clients as an add-on free of charge to their acupuncture treatment to enhance the healing. That reflects my natural desire to help people living their best life, with no pain and limits to their dreams!
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