The Uses And Scientific Proof Of Auricular Acupuncture

The aim of ear acupuncture, auricular acupuncture or auriculotherapy is the stimulation of certain acupuncture points on the auricle or outer ear for diagnosis and treatment of health problems. Innervation of the ear points is achieved by sticking a few or numerous tiny needles into acupuncture points on the ear and they are left in place for about 10 – 30 minutes. Sometimes, the acupoints are stimulated through the use of electro-acupuncture although electronic devices, magnets, and lasers may also be used for stimulation. Adhesive items such as magnetic seeds or beads are often included for longstanding applications.

Some Familiar Health Problems that Can Be Resolved With Auricular Acupuncture:

Gynecological symptoms such as

Menstrual pain
Irregular menstruation

Psychological issues such as

Panic attacks
Addictions
ADD/ADHD
Fears
Manic disorders
Depression anxiety

Cardiovascular Disorders such as

High blood pressure
Stroke
Restless leg syndrome
Varicose veins

Neurological disorders such as

Headaches
Migraines
Stroke
Paralysis
Neuralgia
Bell’s plasy
Trigeminal nerve disorder

Musculoskeletal conditions such as

Tennis elbow
Sciatica
Acute injuries
Arthritis
Frozen shoulder
Whiplash
Back pain
Neck pain

Other conditions such as

Obesity
Diarrhea
Constipation
Infertility
Impotence
Tinnitus
Palpitations

Auricular Acupuncture – A History

Auricular acupuncture traces its roots back to ancient China. While most of what we know about this subject was lost due to the book burning purges of the Communists, it was believed that thousands of years ago, the ancient Chinese stimulated several acupoints on the auricle to restore health and repair the movement of chi or vital energy. According to the Nei Jing, the oldest medical document in the world, written around 450 B.C., there are several forms of ear acupuncture.

The ancient Greeks also practiced auricular acupuncture around this time. The Father of Modern Medicine, Hippocrates, was said to have brought about sterility in men by rupturing the ear’s backside. It is also believed that sciatica can be treated when one burns an acupoint on the anti-helix of the outer ear.

However, it is a French acupuncturist and doctor named Dr. Paul Nogier who is most responsible for developing the healing system of auriculotherapy. Half a century ago, mainly through trial and error, Dr. Nogier, formulated a theory proving that the shape and configuration of the outer ear roughly corresponded with that of an upside down fetus. The fetus’s head is situated on the protuberance or lobe of the ear while the curls on the inside of the auricle corresponded with the apex of the feet. He referred to this upside down map of a fetus as his “small person in the ear”. He found through intensive examinations that when a part of the body on the micro-systems of the auricle is stimulated, it had an effect on the matching part of the body. Also, he discovered that when additional points are stimulated, it relieved some of the symptoms of sciatica, diabetes, and high blood pressure. His accomplishments reaped awards in France and in the acupuncture society of Germany. His popularity made its way into China where eventually, the Chinese honored Dr. Nogier by naming him the “father of auricular acupuncture.”

it was discovered in the early 70’s that certain auricular acupuncture therapies proved effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms brought about by addiction to substances including tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. A couple of clinics from both ends of the US (one in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, Ca, and the other in South Bronx in New York) began using this therapy in their detoxification clinics with extreme effectiveness. They found out that inserting needles into five acupoints in the auricle produced a powerful sedating effect, reduced withdrawal symptoms, and helped relieve pain. These included the acupoints associated with the lung, liver, kidney, and sympathetic energy channels as well as the shen men point (spirit gate point). They were named the “five-point treatment protocol.” In 1985, the NADA or National Acupuncture Detoxification Association was founded in 1985 to train health professionals in the NADA auriculotherapy protocol. This protocol serves as one of the most potent treatment in the curing of substance abuse.

The United Nations through the World Health Organization in 1989 proclaimed auricular acupuncture to be a legitimate form of medical treatment. Modern clinical trials and studies also have proved the worth of this therapy as a way to address a wide range of disorders and diseases.

Some time ago, researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine led by Terry Olesen, Ph.D have demonstrated the certainty of auricular diagnosis. The doctor pursues his findings by using auricular acupuncture integrating both Western and Chinese practices into his treatment. He is an authority on auricular acupuncture today and has published a manual of the therapy in 1996.

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