What is it?
Another form of acupuncture which uses the ear as its needling area. Its been around for many years and dates back as far as body acupuncture. So how does it work and what is it used for?
Take a look at the two pictures below:
Fig 1, shows a picture of the fetus in the womb.
Fig 2. Shows the ear with bones placed in a somatotopic orientation around the ear itself and clearly looking like the fetus in the womb.
Auricular acupuncture uses fig2 as a base for where to place needles. Points on the ear represent all organs, muscles, bones in the body and in orientation of the fetus. For example in the ear lobe this is the face and is needled for tooth ache. The ear can be used alone to treat a dysfunction, the rest of the body does not need to be touched for this but sometimes practitioners will combine the two together.
There are many conditions that can be treated with this method, here are a few:
Pain, digestive orders, headaches, respiratory, kidney, illnesses and many many more.
Apart from the above, auricular acupuncture is also commonly used for addiction and this is known as The Nada principle. This is mostly used in addiction centres where specific points are used to aid the recovery process. Parts of this principle can also be used as a programme for weight loss or to stop smoking.
Where do the needles go and why?
Fig 3 shows you treatment points from a muscular skeletal system. But it is not that simple as a diagnosis with Traditional Chinese Medicine will be made first to identify where best to needle. This is essential as finding the route cause to why you have this particular problem which ensures a precise treatment. There are also other points on the ear, which you don’t see in fig 3, representing internal organs, endocrine, master points and more. Up to 200 points to be precise! (Olsen 2014)
What to expect during a treatment:
Information is taken regarding your reason for coming and then a diagnosis is made. The benefits of auricular treatment, is that you don’t need to remove any clothing. Sometimes the points are chosen from TCM diagnosis, palpation of the ear or by using a pulse technique which shows where to place the needle. Needles are retained for 20 mins and electro acupuncture can be administered during the treatment too.
You may be given an ear seed to retain in your ear after the treatment. Ear seeds are tiny black seeds from the vaccaria plant that are on adhesive tape which sticks to the ear. Placed on certain areas to stimulate the point at your own convenience which again aid the recovery process.
I hope you enjoyed this blog today if you would like to try auricular acupuncture then please take advantage of a 25% discount off your first appointment using the below code : Nov17auricular.
Have a great day
fig 1, can stock photo (2017). Avaliable at www.canstockphoto.com. ( Accessed 3rd November 2017)
fig 2, Olsen, T(2014). AuriculotherapyManual. Churchill Livinstone. P14
fig 3, Olsen, T(2014). AuriculotherapyManual. Churchill Livinstone. Additional Chart.
fig 4, can stock photo (2017). Avaliable at www.canstockphoto.com. (Accessed 3rd November 2017)4
Olsen, T(2014). AuriculotherapyManual. 4th edition. Churchill Livinstone.