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Auriculotherapy:
We Are All Ears

by

Elias Lu, DTCM,

Acupuncture Physician

Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine

Tampa - Clearwater - St. Petersburg

Experience
The Power of Touch
Visit our
St. Pete location or schedule a house call

What is Auriculotherapy?

Auricular acupuncture, also known as auriculotherapy (AT) or ear acupuncture, has been practiced in one form or another for thousands of years all over the world. Ancient Chinese physicians believed that the external ear connects to all internal organs and systems via invisible Meridians. Auricular “reflexology” has also been used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and the Mediterranean. Sixty years ago, the modern system of AT was pioneered by the French neurologist Dr. Paul Nogier. His meticulous research identified the ear as a microsystem reflecting the entire body, with distinct points corresponding to various anatomical regions and bodily functions.

 

How Does It Work?

Auriculotherapy operates on the principle that each part of the body is "mapped out" on the ear. Each point corresponds to a specific organ, gland, or anatomical structure. Measuring the electrical conductance, observing the color changes, and palpating for tenderness will reveal the diseased entity. Stimulation of these points – either through manual pressure, acupuncture needles, or electrical devices – will “treat” (really, modulate) the corresponding internal organ or autonomic function.

 

Mechanisms of AT

Scientists don't fully understand how ear acupuncture works. Available research suggests involvement of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems in mediating therapeutic outcomes. It is important to note that the auricle has a rich nerve supply. The cranial nerves include the trigeminal, facial, and vagus nerves, while the spinal nerves include the lesser occipital and greater auricular nerves.

 

Efficacy

Clinical trials have demonstrated that auriculotherapy can be effective as a standalone therapy or as an adjunct to conventional medical therapies in treating various health conditions, ranging from pain management and stress reduction to digestive issues and mental health disorders. Studies have also shown ear acupuncture’s efficacy in treating addictions, especially managing symptoms of withdrawals (i.e. insomnia, stress, poor concentration, headaches, and energy levels). Many practitioners and patients swear by AT, saying that it succeeds where other treatments have failed.

 

Modern Applications

Modern applications of auriculotherapy extend beyond traditional needling to include new techniques such as laser, microcurrent stimulation, and even injections.

 

Acupuncture in St. Pete

As interest in holistic and integrative approaches to health continues to grow, more and more people turn to auriculotherapy for its safe and effective approach to the body-mind. Visit Point of Cure Acupuncture & Electromedicine and Experience the gentle art of AT.

References

Hu, H., Cheng, Y., Fang, L., Yang, L., & Li, X. (2023). Auricular acupuncture for persistent insomnia and anxiety associated with COVID-19: a case report. Frontiers in neurology, 14, 1239385. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2023.1239385

 

Peng, L., Mu, K., Liu, A., Zhou, L., Gao, Y., Shenoy, I. T., Mei, Z., & Chen, Q. (2018). Transauricular vagus nerve stimulation at auricular acupoints Kindey (CO10), Yidan (CO11), Liver (CO12) and Shenmen (TF4) can induce auditory and limbic cortices activation measured by fMRI. Hearing research, 359, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2017.12.003

 

Szymanski, A., & Geiger, Z. (2023). Anatomy, Head and Neck, Ear. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470359/

 

Tan, J. Y., Molassiotis, A., Wang, T., & Suen, L. K. (2014). Adverse events of auricular therapy: a systematic review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2014, 506758. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/506758

Disclaimer

This article was generated with the help of an AI writing tool and should be used for informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information provided. We recommend seeking qualified medical advice before acting upon the information presented.

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Dr. Elias Lu, DTCM is an acupuncture physician with Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine. In practice for over 25 years, he integrates traditional Chinese medicine with modern functional therapies to help people with chronic pain, trauma, neurodegenerative disorders, anxiety, depression, and many other life's challenges.

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