Published: 01/18/2016 - Updated: 03/10/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
The auriculotherapy is becoming more well-renowned every day. It consists of stimulating acupuncture points which are located on the ear in order to exert different therapeutic effects. Most people are unaware that while Auriculotherapy has been applied for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine, it was in France, thanks to Dr. Paul Nogier, that its effectiveness was proven in the Western world.
Dr. Paul Nogier discovered that there was some connection between the body’s nerves and the ear. Due to burn wounds on the ear of someone who had them performed by a healer in order to relieve sciatica pain, this motivated and attracted the attention of Dr. Paul Nogier to investigate further. He was later able to relate the stimulation points with different effects in each of the organs. In fact, the acupunctural chart of the ear which we know today was drawn by him, in which the outer ear includes all organs, representing an inverted fetus.
Later this therapy would be used for different health purposes, and today is an alternative to which many people turn.
Types of Auriculotherapy
Stimulating energy points in the outer ear can take many forms, from a massage with your fingers to needle punctures. Other materials that can be used are pellets, which are small seeds resemble mustard seeds, however, the application must be specific and pressure must be progressive in most treatments.
Practical Applications of Auriculotherapy
Auriculotherapy applications range far and wide: From pain management to helping someone to stop a bad habit. Here are some of its best known and employed applications as follows:
To combat the pain of Sciatica: This application was that which motivated the research of Dr. Paul Nogier, as previously described they used to make a burn on the ear to relieve sciatica pain immediately. Currently it is not recommended, since it is enough to stimulate the right spot with a pellet or puncture to relieve pain.
Smoking Cessation: Auriculotherapy can help combat anxiety that often is the reason which leads us to this horrible habit. Its application for this purpose may require several sessions, however, it is a useful alternative.
Slimming: Following on from the previous application, it has been observed that we can also see benefits if we use auriculotherapy to ease anxiety as a cause of obesity. Currently this option has become very popular, thanks to its effectiveness.
To improve our overall health: Auriculotherapy can also help stimulate the function of specific organs, so it is useful for treating health problems in general.
Combating aches and pains: This alternative may be useful in combating various pains that afflict us.
Dysmenorrhea: This technique has been successfully used to treat period pain to help improve blood circulation, as well as menstrual flow. It can also be used to stimulate menstruation.
As infertility treatment: Auriculotherapy is an alternative that can help improve female sterility using stimulation on the spot of the ear which corresponds with the uterus or womb, as well as limiting the stress points.
A therapy which attacks various symptoms
In a session of auriculotherapy, often various points on the ear are treated. Not only this, but the choice of treatment depends on the diagnosis of the therapist, who will help to identify the cause of the symptoms which can be fought with the use of this alternative more comprehensively and appropriately .
Often more than one session is required to achieve the desired results, however, most of the results are visible within 24 hours and by repeating the therapy, the results become increasingly obvious.
Does it hurt?
Depending on the auricular stimulus it may or may not be painful, as there are certa
in points that are more sensitive than others. Pain may be present when it comes to puncture, however it is described as fleeting and tolerable.
When the needles are small and remain in the ear for several days, they may feel sore to the touch.
Precautions and Risks with auricolotherapy
While the application of this therapy may seem easy, it is important to choose the appropriate points for treatment, and it is recommended to see a specialist who can apply points required.
In addition, this treatment must be applied with proper hygiene to avoid infection especially if a puncture is made.
Auriculotherapy is generally safe, however it should not be applied when the skin of the ear is red or irritated. If the skin of the ear has injuries this therapy should not be used.
It is not advisable to use this therapy if pregnant.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 03/10/2018
About the author