The sporting and fitness worlds quite often cross paths with alternative medicine. Michael Phelps, for one, said that the cupping marks in his body during the last Olympics aroused the interest of health fanatics all over the world. This year, the shift in attention is in auricular acupuncture or ear acupuncture. This type of acupuncture has been used by East Asian countries for thousands of years. A few years back, it saw an increase in popularity among celebrity circles but it’s now witnessing resurgence in the fitness and health community. Notable trainers, NBA players, Jujitsu fighters, and Brazilian as well as MMA athletes have been known to favor this therapy. Bec Donlan, Equinox instructor, for instance, uploaded a video of herself going through the procedure.
How does Overland Park’s Auricular Acupuncture Work?
Auricular Acupuncture uses a fetus-shaped map that’s naturally outlined on the skin of the auricle or outer ear. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture points on the ear are related to specific areas on the body and in the brain. Pressure, electro stimulation, electro stimulation, lasers, and needles then are used on different ear acupoints to generate a therapeutic effect on the body. If you have knee pain, for example, your practitioner will activate the area of your ear that conforms to your knee.
Auricular acupuncture also can be mobilized to address a wide range of issues from, anxiety to digestive disorders. Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute’s chief acupuncturist and manager, Jamie Starkey says, “There are several numbers of cranial nerves that are connected to the ear and you’ve got a meaningful impact over the ANS (autonomic nervous system).” “This is the part of the nervous system that governs body functions you don’t think about like digestion, heartbeat, and breathing.” “Because of this, the body has the ability to bear upon those activities through the pricking of the ear.”
New York City posturology expert and auriculotherapist Rafael Torres uses auricular acupuncture to resolve alignment problems (such as having a limited range of motion in your shoulders or having one hip lower than the other) in his recreational and professional athlete patients. Anyone can influence his or her own brain, in theory, and hence postural imbalances can be treated through the pricking of the ear. Torres and other experts employ auricular acupuncture as one component of the larger practice of posturology that also uses techniques such as shoe insoles and other methods.)
Research Involving Posturology and Auricular Acupuncture
According to Starkey, “We normally administer auricular acupuncture for nausea, insomnia, addiction-related symptoms, anxiety, pain, and even for weight loss.” “There are several very compelling randomized-control studies that uphold the efficacy of auricular acupuncture for these conditions.” Aside from her job at the Cleveland Clinic, Starkey is also part of the medical staff of the Cleveland Indians. The main objective in her job is to help athletes cope with inflammation and pain via whole body acupuncture (including auricular acupuncture), while postural problems are left to other medical experts.
Starkey believes that the theory practitioners of posturology follow seem like a valid one, but warns that it’s just what it is — a theory. She says “It’s a fact that cranial nerves are found in the ear implies that auricular acupuncture can really activate the nervous system, but whether that’s good enough (or not) to generate modifications in posture is still a mystery”.
What It’s All About
Bottom line, auricular acupuncture is a safe treatment for almost everyone. Starkey says, “It involves minimal risks and if anyone notices a benefit, it will be worth his while”. Like all forms alternative therapies, the person should carefully consider whether there’s an obvious cause and effect prior to and post treatment. You need to make sure you’re really seeing benefits whether you’re simply making an effort to do some mental check of how you’re feeling or you need to take the time to jot down a few notes about how you feel before and after treatment.