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Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy, is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Auricular therapy refers to the ear acupuncture system according to Paul Nogier, a french doctor who tested ear acupuncture scientifically on a very large scale. It widely used for many conditions, including addiction treatment, mood disorders, obesity, pain, and many other symptoms . This medical system is seen as a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. The acupuncture points found on the ear can help to regulate the body's internal organs, structures, and functions.
Ear acupuncture is often incorporated into a regular acupuncture treatment. In addition to using acupuncture points on the rest of the body, I may select a few ear acupuncture points that they feel will be helpful for your particular condition.
It is also used on it's own for specific conditions
Ear acupuncture points can be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear tacks. Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant. These seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks. Ear tacks are very small needles with an adhesive backing. Ear tacks are inserted into the ear and left in the ear for a few days or up to one week.
Ear acupuncture has a long history of use in China.
It was mentioned in the most famous of ancient Chinese medical textbooks, “The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine.”
In modern times, auricular therapy as demonstrated by Nogier has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's own natural pain killers.
It was not until the 1970's that Auricular Acupuncture gained acceptability outside of Europe and China.
A study performed by a Hong Kong practitioner (Wen et al 1973) showed that stimulation to the Lung Zone on the auricle assisted patients in the withdrawal of Heroin.
This possibility of a non-methadone and non-psychological intervention in the treatment of substance abuse became the focus of one particular American physician Dr. Michael Smith.
From this, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) was developed and erected at Lincoln Hospital in New York. The well known NADA protocol is still used today, in collaboration with psychological intervention, as a very effective method of substance withdrawal management.
Developed in the 1950's by French doctor Pr. Paul Nogier, Auriculotherapy is based on both western and traditional Chinese medical concepts. Dr. Nogier first observed that some of his patients had been cauterised in the upper ear for relief of Sciatic Neuralgia. Through clinical observation and research Dr. Nogier realised that this particular area corresponded to the lower back region, and from this developed the theory of the "inverted foetus" known as a somatotopic representation (that is, a concentration of reflexes, a reflection, of the body onto a specific area, in this case the auricle) the inverted foetus was similar to the distribution of control centres as mapped on the human brain, this allowed a non-invasive access to the entire body. Dr. Nogier also introduced this method of acupuncture, using the inverted foetus theory, into China.
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