Auricular Acupuncture

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Auricular Acupuncture History

Paul Nogier, known as the Father of Auricular Acupuncture, is credited with discovering ear acupuncture in the 1950s. However piercing of the ear to relieve pain can be traced back to the Stone Age, as well as to ancient Egypt where women who no longer wanted to bear children were pricked behind the ear, and to Hippocrates, who reported that men were pricked behind the ear to treat impotency.

Through his practice of medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture, Paul Nogier successfully mapped points on the external ear that corresponded to organs in the body. His map is known as Homunculus and resembles the shape of an inverted fetus.

Auricular Therapy

During an auricular therapy session, the practitioner inserts five needles into five acupoints on the external ear, which remain in place for about one hour. Another form of ear acupuncture is acu-detox, intended for individuals trying to cleanse their body and withdraw from drugs. Promoted by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association or NADA, ariculotherapy has been found to help people:

  • Stop or reduce using
  • Relax
  • Deal with cravings
  • Feel calmer
  • Regulate mood swings
  • Sleep better
  • Have a positive attitude towards recovery

Auricular Acupuncture Techniques

Points on the ear may be stimulated by:

  • Massage
  • Needle
  • Laser/electricity
  • Ear Seeds (seeds from a Vaccaria plant used to stimulate ear acupuncture points for longer periods of time – i.e. a few days or weeks)

Following an auricular acupuncture treatment, you may feel groggy or sleepy, hence driving is not advisable.

Auricular Acupuncture Research

While the efficacy of auricular acupuncture is still being researched, early results cite its success in helping treat anxiety, analgesia, tobacco dependency, and other forms of substance abuse. However the jury regarding ear acupuncture is still out, as there are multiple maps which do not all agree with each another.

Ear Acupuncture Safety

Ear acupuncture needles are inserted into the outer ear and far away from major blood vessels. Safety standards are upheld via regular procedural reviews conducted by authoritative bodies such as NADA. Auricular acupuncture can be used alone or as an adjunct or compliment to other health treatments.

Conditions Treated by Auricular Acupuncture

Common applications of auricular acupuncture include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Sciatica
  • Hip fractures
  • Hip replacement
  • Kneed arthroscopy
  • Headaches
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Addiction
  • Mood disorders
  • Certain types of cancer