Traditional Chinese Medicine is nearly 4,000 years old. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, one of the first written texts of Chinese Medicine, made mention of auricular acupuncture around 500 B.C. However, with technological advances and growing research, TCM has transformed into a much gentler and specific healing system.
In the 1950’s Dr. Paul Nogier, of France made a ground-breaking correlation. He noticed that some of his patients had a scar on the upper part of their ear. When he inquired about it, he learned that a local practitioner was cauterizing a specific area of the ear to relieve sciatic and low back pain. Dr. Nogier took this a step further by researching not only what areas of the ear correlated to what parts of the body, but also how much stimulus was needed to elicit a response.
How does auricular acupuncture work?
Auricular acupuncture is the stimulation of points located on the external ear to diagnose and treat health conditions
The ear is thought of as a microsystem, a microcosm of the whole body fit neatly into the ear. The lower ear lobe represents the head. The feet are at the top of the ear, and the rest of the body is in between. Microsystems also appear in foot and hand reflexology, as well as fascial and scalp acupuncture.
Dr. Nogier discovered that these points can be stimulated manually, or with acupuncture needles, a laser, magnets, or ear seeds. Regardless of the means of stimulation, activation of these points can be a very powerful addition to regular acupuncture treatments.
Dr. Nogier’s research is now the model used when teaching auricular acupuncture. The Chinese adopted it in 1958, and it has since become the standard of auricular acupuncture around the world.
Auricular acupuncture has been used in Europe for at least 50 years, and is now starting to flourish in the United States.
Health conditions that auricular acupuncture can treat
With auricular acupuncture, many different conditions can be treated using only a few tiny needles. Auricular acupuncture can address conditions such as chronic pain, drug addiction, high blood pressure, and nausea. It has also been found to help decrease the dosage of anesthesia in operating rooms.
The U.S. military has been using auricular acupuncture for its current and veteran battlefield personnel. Combined with meditation, yoga, and massage, it is used to treat combat-related PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Auricular acupuncture is a great way to give acupuncture a try, especially if you are a little shy of needles. Calandra Center for Health & Wellness offers an “Acupuncture & Reiki Stress-Reduction Hour” once a month. Since it is offered as a community gathering, why not grab a friend and experience it together? You’ll see for yourself the stress-reducing effects that are possible. And, you’ll also learn the first meditation of Reiki Level 1. It’s a great tool you can take with you for stress reduction at home.