Auriculotherapy is the stimulation of the auricle of the external ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other parts of the body.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the ear is seen as a microsystem representing the entire body. Auricular acupuncture focuses on ear points that may help a wide variety of conditions including pain. Acupuncture points on the ear are stimulated with fine needles or with earseeds and massage (acupressure). Recent research has shown that auriculotherapy stimulates the release of natural endorphins, the body’s own feel good chemicals.
Ear seeds are traditionally small seeds from the Vaccaria plant. They are held in place over auricular points by a small piece of adhesive tape, or plaster. Ear seeds may be left in place for up to a week and may help some patients to self manage their chronic pain. It is recommended that the earseeds are massaged two to three times a day or when symptoms occur by applying gentle pressure to the earseeds and massaging in small circles. Earseeds should be changed at least once a week and always checked daily for signs of infection. Remove them immediately if the surrounding area becomes red, sore or inflamed.
Because every part of the external ear connects through the microsystem remote reflexes to every part of the body, a wide variety of health problems are relieved by auriculotherapy. The most commonly uses of auriculotherapy have been for the control of chronic pain, detoxification from addictive drugs, relief of nausea, internal disorders, emotional issues and reduction of hypertension.
By facilitating a balancing of energy throughout the body macrosystems, stimulation of the auricular acupuncture microsystem can lead to a homeostatic state whereby any form of stress or pain is lessened. The overall effect of auriculotherapy is to create a more balanced condition throughout the body.