Ear Acupuncture & Acupressure
The earliest use of auricular therapy (ear acupuncture or acupressure) dates back to ancient China. However, it was outgrown in Western Europe. Its foundation was laid by Dr. Paul Nogier, a neurologist in France in the 1950’s. Then, the theory was developed by Frank Bahr M.D. and physical medicine specialist in Germany over the following decades. It is the stimulation of acupuncture points, either with or without acupuncture needles, on the external ear surface that correspond both physiologically and anatomically to specific parts of the human body for diagnosis and treatment purpose.
Ear acupuncture or acupressure is a type of alternative medicine based on the theory that the ear holds a microsystem of the entire body, represented on the auricle, the outer portion of the ear. All signals induced by ear acupuncture travel through a specific part of the brain, the diencephalon, to the corresponding body parts. The body strictly obeys these commands because they come straight from the brain. Thus, ear acupuncture takes advantage of the body’s own control center, the brain.
When an auricular acupuncture point is “active”, it expresses as increased tenderness on stimulation and a higher electrical conductivity. This indicates pathology in the corresponding body tissue or function and makes auricular acupuncture a useful form of assessment of ailments. The texture, color, skin changes and veins in different areas of the ear can also be indicators of the health state.
Either needles or small beads can be used for treatment, including acupuncture needles, adhesive gold/silver plated needles, small magnetic or vaccaria seed with adhesive plaster. By pressing these ear beads, you can stimulate the acupuncture points on your own for up to two weeks. Children are usually not needled can be treated with laser or ear beads instead.
Disturbed, but not destroyed, organ functions affecting the physical, mental or emotional health of the patient can be effectively treated by non-invasive stimulation of the ear surface. Treatable conditions include addictions, allergies, mood disorders, indigestion, food carving and obesity, autonomic symptoms, migraine, pain, insomnia and sleeping disorders, and musculoskeletal and central nervous system disorders. Some patients feel immediately relieved, others need several days before they notice an improvement. Some people feel as if they were walking on air after treatment, and almost all feel very relaxed.
Here at Rapha Acupuncture in Fullerton, we use a set protocol developed for addiction and used around the world by the National Acupuncture Detox Association (NADA), which is an effective way to help people facing enormous stress, anger, depression, fatigue and other emotional and physical pain. Those receiving treatments do not have to wait to feel its impact, as relaxation generally occurs within minutes. For survivors of traumatic events, ear acupuncture is useful in alleviating symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder. Research shows increased mental clarity, improved ability to cope, raised alertness, improved sleep, reductions of pain and muscle spasm, depression, anxiety, and intrusive recall.