Auriculotherapy

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a medical system that dates back nearly 4,000 years. Auriculotherapy using acupuncture needles was first mentioned around 500 B.C. in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which is the equivalent of the Bible for TCM practitioners. However, the method in which auriculotherapy is practiced today is actually based upon discoveries that occurred in France in the 1950s. Modern auricular acupuncture is based upon the work done by the late Dr. Paul Nogier of France.

Auriculotherapy is the stimulation of the external ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions. These health conditions may be taking place anywhere throughout the body. The stimulation of these points can be done manually, with an acupuncture needle, a laser, microcurrent, magnets or ear seeds. The auricular points respond to many different types of stimulation making  this form of treatment ideal for those who do NOT like to be stimulated with needles. Another advantage of using auriculotherapy is that the treatments can be quick. The diagnostics are based on the reflex properties of the external ear. Thus, only the active points can be detected and will require treatment.

The current form of auriculotherapy came about after Dr. Nogier noticed a scar on the upper ear of some of his patients. When he inquired about the scar, he found out a local practitioner had been treating these patients for sciatica pain and she was cauterizing this specific area on the external ear to relieve their low back pain. Dr. Nogier conducted similar tests on his own patients and found their low back pain was also relieved. He tried using other means of stimulation as well, such as acupuncture needles and found it to be just as effective as cauterizing the area. So Dr. Nogier theorized if an area of the upper external ear is effective on treating low back pain, then perhaps other areas of the ear could treat other parts of the body. This led to the model now used when teaching auriculotherapy. The ear is thought to represent the whole anatomical body. However, it is upside down in orientation, so the head is represented by the lower ear lobe, the feet are at the top of the ear and the rest of the body is in between. According to history, the Chinese actually adopted this model into auricular acupuncture in 1958.

Auriculotherapy is based on anatomical knowledge making it a very powerful complement to regular acupuncture treatments. It has been used in Europe for the past 40 to 50 years. It is finally starting to take root in the United States. The U.S. military, over the past 5 to 10 years, has started utilizing auriculotherapy for its battlefield personnel. This form of battlefield acupuncture is used to help soldiers deal with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) brought on by being in combat.

Since auriculotherapy allows for every part of the external ear to connect through the microsystem to every part of the body including the brain, many conditions can be treated using a variety of stimulation methods. Not only can PTSD be treated using auriculotherapy, but also things like chronic pain, drug addiction, high blood pressure and nausea. Another advantage for those who are a little needle-shy, auricular acupuncture is a great way to treat them because they will never see the needles and they will still get the help they need to achieving health and wellness.

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