Not many people are aware of this but approximately 50 percent of Americans swallow a prescription medication for pain. Obviously, this statistic is quite alarming. Ear acupuncture, also called auricular acupuncture, auriculotherapy, or electro auricular therapy can be a safe and much better alternative to taking drugs. Electro auricular therapy is a new proven sophisticated system of treatment from Europe that is now practiced around the world. Practitioners of this system can treat your body for a wide range of health concerns and issues by the stimulation of specific ear acupuncture points.
Clinically studied both nationally and internationally, electro auricular therapy has been well documented and its results have been shown in various medical journals. It is just now beginning to make its impact in United States despite the fact that it has been widely used in several European countries for decades. In Germany, more than 30,000 physicians adopt electro auricular therapy on a daily basis in the treatment of patient health conditions. This therapy has been validated to provide pain relief and healing after all conventional medical treatments have proved unsuccessful.
In 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that auricular acupuncture is “perhaps the best documented and most scientifically developed and the most widely used and most practical, of all of acupuncture’s micro-systems.”
This UN organization also acknowledges auricular acupuncture as a healing option for more than 150 illnesses like:
o Tennis Elbow
o Peripheral Neuropathy
o Cancer Pain
o Meniere’s Disease
o Hot Flashes
o Facial Paralysis
o Dry Mouth
Origins of Auricular Acupuncture
Auricular acupuncture is often thought of as a healing system that was developed by the Chinese; the truth is, this type of treatment was founded and developed fairly recently by a French doctor named Paul Nogier, in 1950. Since ancient times, the ear has been utilized to address diseases; the Chinese had some notion that this could be done but they were not the ones who developed the auricular system.
Dr. Paul Nogier
Dr. Nogier began to develop auricular therapy when he observed that some of his patients had a scar on their ear. After doing a little investigation, he found that a practitioner was cauterizing the spot on the ear for sciatica patients. With this information, he began to do more research about it. When he inserted needles in this spot on some of his patients, they experienced some improvement in their condition. Elated by his discovery, he decided to conduct more comprehensive studies. He started to wonder that if one area of the ear helped better sciatica symptoms, would the other areas of the ear also work on treating other areas of the body.
The doctor finally found out that the ear is energetically related, to the outer body—also denoted as a “micro-system,” which is a system representing one small part of the body. As his research progressed, he began to realize that the ear corresponded to an upside down fetus. If you can imagine the ear as an upside down fetus, then by stimulating the part of the ear that represents the fetus’s knee, you can treat problems of the knee! On the ear’s auricle or outer ear, he found that every part of the human body could be actually mapped out.
In 1957, Dr. Nogier announced his findings in France. The Germans acknowledged this information, followed by the Chinese. In 1958, the Chinese did research that validated his work. They bestowed Dr. Nogier with the title “Father of Auricular Therapy.” They developed his theory further in their own way but Dr. Nogier did not stop developing his work and actually advanced it further beyond what the Chinese have done.
With the aid of his research team, Dr. Nogier discovered that the ear’s surface is a three-dimensional holographic energetic extrapolation of the human physiology and anatomy.
A hologram represents a three-dimensional photographic image of an object.
Now that Nogier saw that the ear is a three-dimensional representation of a human fetus generated by energy interference patterns, he began to create three distinguishable mappings of the body on the ear. Where the zone or point is located on the ear depends on whether the illness is degenerative, chronic, or acute. In other words, for each tissue or organ, there is a specific area of the auricle that represents it.
It is very rare to find acupuncturists who are using Dr. Nogier’s sophisticated and complex auricular acupuncture’s three phase approach. Most acupuncturists, inclusive of those utilizing the Chinese system, only use the one phase approach. Moreover, Dr. Nogier’s advanced system of bio energetic testing called Auricular Medicine has been adopted by even fewer acupuncturists in their practice.
If conventional medicine has had no answer for your health problem, auricular acupuncture can be the kind of treatment that would be effective in treating your problem.
Western allopathic medicine considers the ear as the body organ in your body that helps us with balance and allows us to hear. Dr. Nogier’s work has now proven that the auricle has an added and very important function. It has a complicated neural network system that enables the body, ear, and brain to communicate with each other. When your body suffers from an illness, an acupuncturist who uses the system of Dr. Nogier can electrically detect any imbalance on the acupuncture points in your ear related to the tissue or organs affected. The acupuncturist can energetically set off a natural healing reaction by stimulating the specific ear acupoints.
How Does Auricular Therapy Work?
In Dr. Nogier’s system of auricular acupuncture, there are actually no direct neural connections between the ear and the body. However, the ear has nerves that connect to the brain’s reflex centers. These reflex centers transmit signal down to the spinal cord and then to the nerves that are tied to the targeted areas of the body.
It is only now that the ancient therapies that have been used by countless number of people throughout history are being scientifically proven to work by modern science. This is certainly the case with acupuncture. In fact, MRI technology has shown that auricular therapy does indeed generate a healing effect in certain regions of the brain that conform to a specific area on the auricle.
Auricular acupuncture has been a scientifically proven treatment and this cannot be disproved by skeptics. There is a huge volume of documented medical studies of auricular therapy and acupuncture published in various medical journals throughout the world. Acupuncture has been effectively used thousands of years before the first pharmaceutical drug was manufactured and used.
Auricular acupuncture has been practiced in continental Europe for more than four decades. The volume of worldwide research about it is outstanding. In the US and China, clinical studies have validated the accuracy of auricular diagnosis:
In a UCLA study, a 75 percent rate of accuracy was attained in 40 patients properly diagnosed in finding the area of their musculoskeletal pain problems. The World Health Organization formed expert panels that led to international standardization of designation of ear acupoints.
Auricular therapy is also now used to address pain suffered by cancer patients that cannot be relieved by prescription drugs. In the Nov 2003 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a research study was published that showed 90 cancer patients benefited from auricular acupuncture in significantly relieving pain associated with cancer.
In a Chinese study involving 2,000 patients specific ear acupoints were used that led to a decrease of these patients’ medical symptoms.
Another Chinese study published in Feb 27 2007 in the Zhongguo Zhen Jiu medical journal indicated success in the alleviation of lower back pain. Research has shown the success of auricular therapy in curing and drug addiction.
Undergoing Auricular Therapy
Chinese acupuncture entails the insertion of needles into specific acupuncture points in the body. Each ear acupoint is just a few millimeters or less from each other and there are actually more acupuncture points on the ear than there are on the body. Acupuncturists can now use a device that can find the acupuncture points with utmost precision, thanks to recent advanced technology. The device can sense a lessening or increasing of electrical skin conductivity, and when that occurs, the acupoint is considered said to be active. An acupoint only becomes active if there is a problem with a related tissue or organ.
The most advanced and latest devices can also identify the polarity of the active acupoints that tells the acupuncturist what the body exactly requires to treat the problem. The acupuncturist needs to ascertain what frequency to stimulate the acupoints with and D. Nogier has developed seven frequencies. The success of the treatment depends on the skill of the practitioner in using this vital component.
In Germany, around 26,000 medical doctors use a device that can identify imbalances in the body. A doctor gently examines the patient’s auricle to look for signs like tenderness, dryness, bumps, discoloration, etc, while the patient lies down on the table. The doctor then uses the device and places it against certain points on the auricle and sees if the device locates any imbalances. Each active acupoint is treated for about 8 seconds to a couple of minutes. This treatment is absolutely painless although you may experience a slight prickling or tingling sensation but no pain.
Anyone can receive auricular acupuncture. As long as they can remain still for half a minute, children can be treated with auricular acupuncture. However, this treatment is contraindicated for people implanted with electronic implanted devices, pacemakers, or cochlear implants.
People react to this treatment in different ways. Each person is unique and there are several factors that should be taken into account such as the severity of the condition and how long the condition has been present. The natural healing abilities of the body can be jumpstarted with electro auricular therapy. When the body is burdened with illness, it generates different channels to circumvent the illness. Electro auricular therapy makes the body remember to handle the problem that plagues it and helps restore balance in the body.
Some people may require multiple treatment sessions while there are many who experience immediate relief. When treating pain, a decrease of pain is usually felt within the next few hours or before the patient leaves the office.
The outer ear has more than 400 acupuncture points on the ear and many of these point overlap.
Does Auricular Acupuncture Have Any Side Effects?
At the site of the treatment, you may develop a small sore or redness or feel some bit of tenderness. After the session, you may either feel tired or energized as if your symptoms have flared up. If you felt the latter, your body should start to calm down after a day or two. Patients also commonly experience a deeper sleep quality at night after the treatment. Some may also experience vivid dreams at night after treatment.
Amy-Sui Qun Lui is a board certified and licensed acupuncturist in Cleveland, OH and the founder of Asian Health Center.