Auricular Acupuncture is a microsystem in Chinese medicine using the ear to treat certain conditions and diseases of the body. Ancient Chinese medical texts have always been aware that there is a connection between the ear and the rest of the body, and although Chinese physicians have been using this system for over 2,500 years it wasn’t until a French acupuncturist by the name of Paul Nogier that this system of medicine was documented and standardized. He was also the first one to point out that the ear looked like an upside down fetus and therefore the whole body could be mapped out on the ear.
So, what kinds of conditions and diseases can Auricular Acupuncture help with? According to Skya Abbate, a licensed doctor of Oriental Medicine in the state of New Mexico as well as the author of Chinese Auricular Acupuncture, through her clinical experience of 20 years she has found that auricular acupuncture has a therapeutic effectiveness of at least 90% for a broad spectrum of diseases.
According to Abbate, musculoskeletal problems, hormonal disorders, thyroid disorders, menstrual problems, and digestive problems are most treatable with auricular acupuncture. And more specifically, pain conditions such as low back pain, migraines, neurologic problems such as multiple sclerosis, vascular problems such as high blood pressure, and emotional problems such as anxiety also respond well.
Nogier also claimed that auricular acupuncture was beneficial for pain conditions as well as emotional problems involving the nervous system. In his book Handbook of Auriculotherapy, Nogier says that ear acupuncture can make patients more sensitive to drug therapy by changing metabolism thereby increasing the rate of absorption and elimination. In addition, ear acupuncture can be used to effectively treat addictions.
Auricular acupuncture is frequently used in conjunction with body acupuncture treatments. And sometimes, acupuncture practitioners will give patients ear seeds.
What are ear seeds? Ear seeds are tiny, little radish seeds on a tiny piece of adhesive tape. They typically are placed on certain areas of the ear by an acupuncturist at the end of an acupuncture treatment and stay on the ear for a couple days until they fall off or until removed by the patient. The ear seeds are placed in the same location that acupuncture needles would be placed and are a great way to help extend the therapeutic effects of an acupuncture treatment. The use of ear seeds is safe and just as effective as auricular acupuncture.
Wouldn’t you like to have something that you can do on yourself at home in between acupuncture sessions? Here at Vitality Acupuncture, we have several ear seed kits available for purchase for numerous conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, weight loss, insomnia, low back pain/sciatica, headache/migraine, and smoking cessation. These kits include 120 individual ear seeds, which is a 4-6 week supply as well as a pair of stainless steel tweezers for the removal and application of the ear seeds. Each kit also comes with a clear illustration and guide of where to put the seeds.
Ask Heather or Stephanie next time you are at Vitality Acupuncture if this is something that interests you. We would love to answer any questions you may have about auricular acupuncture and/or ear seeds!