Auricular acupuncture is one of the more widely used microsystems within eastern medicine. Microsystems use one aspect of the body – for example, the ears, hands or feet – to treat conditions that are present anywhere in the body. Auricular acupuncture may be used as a primary mode of treatment or in conjunction with other treatments such as bodywork, or herbal medicine. Examples of other microsystems include reflexology and Korean hand acupuncture.
Auricular (ear) acupuncture is a specialized alternative therapy that enables the body to restore its natural energy balance and improve overall health. The goal of this treatment method is to reduce stress and anxiety and help relieve any pain or tension. A specialist inserts small needles in specific points on the inner and outer ear lobe which are left in place for about 45 minutes. This protocol was originally developed to reduce symptoms of patterned behavior, addictions, cravings and substance use withdrawal management. Researchers have discovered that auricular acupuncture also benefits the heart by increasing heart rate variability.
Auricular therapy, an adjunct to acupuncture, is based on the same ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine as acupuncture and uses acupoints on specific areas of the ear to treat disease/illness. These specific areas match, or target, different places in the body. When stimulation is applied by inserting the needles along the ear, the brain is sent signals to reduce tension in muscles and joints around the body, therefore reducing pain.
Once this happens, patients experience a deep inner calmness, reduced anxiety, better sleep and improvement in physical, emotional and mental outlook. It’s a beneficial treatment that also enables patients to connect with themselves. The World Health Organization says auricular medicine can affect the whole body. And studies using auricular therapy (acupuncture or acupressure) have shown promising effects in pain management.
Anyone can benefit from auricular acupuncture especially those who suffer from chronic pain, tension, stress, anxiety, and depression.