What is Auricular Acupuncture?
Auricular acupuncture is the stimulation of acupuncture points on the external ear that are used to treat different health conditions in other parts of the body. Every point on the ear corresponds to a well defined part of the body. Since all of the organ systems are represented on the ear, that system can be accessed, treated, and supported though stimulating these ear point with needles or “ear seeds”. Utilizing points on the ear can be a great way to increase treatment success and prolong treatment results.
The earliest use of ear points dates back to ancient China but auricular acupuncture as we know it today is based on the work of Dr. Paul Nogier. He discovered that the ear holds all of the acupuncture points of the body plus more detailed physiological and anatomical correspondences. He also found that stimulation of these points were very effective in alleviating pain and other symptoms. When an auricular acupuncture point on the ear is “active” it expresses as increased tenderness on stimulation and a higher electrical conductivity. This can indicate pathology in the corresponding body tissue or function which makes auricular acupuncture a useful form of assessment. There is an entire field within the acupuncture world that is strictly devoted to auricular acupuncture, where it is used exclusively for addictions, trauma, and pain.
We like to utilize ear points by using ear seeds during or after an acupuncture treatment. They are placed on the appropriate acupuncture points with an adhesive backing and will stay in place for 3 to 4 days before falling off naturally. They help by offering constant point stimulation to the organ systems that were worked on during any acupuncture treatment to strengthen and solidify the benefits of the treatment. They are completely painless and are very small so are not usually seen by others. But, if anyone does see them, you have a fun story to tell.