Auricular acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture

Since ancient times, the ear has been the seat of precise points and areas corresponding to organs and functions of the human body. Auricular acupuncture, an equally remote discipline, fights disorders and addictions by limiting itself only to the patient’s ear

Auricular acupuncture

What came to Paul Nogler’s ear

The use of the external component of the ear , specifically the auricle, for therapeutic purposes has been handed down since ancient times, from Hippocrates to Valsalva, from Colla to Borelli. At least at the beginning, this medical practice was characterized by its empirical nature, which was accompanied by the work of healers and mystics , until, in the second half of the twentieth century, a French doctor heard about the work of a certain Madame Barrin . The healer’s house was the destination of patients from all over Francein order to be healed thanks to the cauterization that the woman practiced on a specific point of the ear. It was a miracle. 


This is what came to the ear of Paul Nogier , considered the founder of the discipline known as auricular acupuncture or auriculotherapy. In 1956, Nogier defined auricular acupuncture as ” the utilization du pavillon auriculaire à des fins thérapeutiques “. Another version of the story tells that Nogier had observed that several of his patients from Corsica reported cauterization at the level of the auricle. Analyzing the clinical history of these patients, the doctor discovered that these cauterizations were carried out in Corsica by some farriers , of a certain skill, to treat sciatica pains. 

Thus, the Lyons doctor set to work to  experiment with the various points of the ear , discovering that it contains the representations of the innervations of the various organs and systems in such a way as to provide the image of an  inverted fetus in the ear .

The French theory reaches the ears of the Chinese , acupuncture practitioners, who claimed the paternity of the method, since acupuncture also includes some points on the ear.

Auricular acupuncture differs from Chinese acupuncture, not only for the way the needles are inserted, which in the first case is limited to the ear, while in the second it follows the meridians of the body and therefore the acupoints which are distributed over different areas of the skin. , but above all because in the case of auriculotherapy it is possible to apply, after a diagnosis performed according to the canons of official medicine, a reproducible and equal therapy for each morbid form. 

In traditional Chinese medicine, the diagnoses are instead based on concepts that have never been definitively demonstrated, and in which the figure of the doctor is above all an essential figure of filter between the diagnostic-therapeutic concepts proposed by the Chinese medical-philosophical system and the true diagnosis performed according to the modality of scientific medicine.


Auricular acupuncture: how it works

Auricular acupuncture is based on the assumption that the auricle reproduces in detail the whole of the human organism. The ear is the place of confluence of precise  energy channels  corresponding to organs and functions of the organism. These acupuncture points are stimulated, through different ways, to treat organic diseases and energy imbalances of various types. 

The effectiveness of the treatment is denoted after the first sessions, especially for therapies aimed at  addictions to smoking, food and alcohol . It is precisely in the context of these last applications that auriculotherapy enjoys the greatest success among the average population, also considering the presence of specific ear stimulators on the market , sponsored as useful for  quitting smoking  or for losing weight.

As with acupuncture in general, auricular acupuncture is also characterized by a scarce presence of side effects . This allows all age groups to approach this discipline and to undergo auricular stimulation treatments. Among the disorders and pathologies treatable through auricular acupuncture we find  insomnia ,  anxiety , stress ,  panic attacks ,  depression , nausea, vomiting, shyness, smoking, alcohol addiction, overweight, hunger control, sciatica, back pain,  neck pain , scapulohumeral periatritis,  psoriasis , infertility, erectile dysfunction, treatment of the tonsils and discomfort due to posture.


The auricular acupuncture session

The patient is placed on the couch in a comfortable position and, before carrying out the application of the needles, a careful ear examination is carried out which involves careful observation of the color of the skin and any imperfections (moles, papules, desquamations). A skin alteration or the presence of imperfections in a certain area will suggest a problem relating to the underlying point. The ear is palpated bilaterally and symmetrically , holding it between index and thumb, in order to highlight painful areas; we then move on to a finer check with the probe for a better identification of painful points that can vary in their painful sensitivityin relation to the state in which the patient is, the climatic conditions, the time of the visit. Once the painful areas have been identified and the effective relationship between organs and structures in dysfunction assessed, we move on to treatment which, normally, is not very painful and lasts 15 ‘- 20’. In chronic pathologies, the sessions are carried out once a week and for a maximum period of 10 applications; only in exceptional cases or in acute forms can they be more frequent.


The point on the auricular acupuncture points

Two different types of auricular acupuncture points tend to be distinguished . The first is that of the reflex points of organs or parts of the body such as the viscera of the thoracic cavity, the heart, the abdomen and the stomach. These organs have their own reflex points in the basin area of ​​the ear. The vertebral column, on the other hand, has its own reflex points on the arch that delimits the basin, the so-called antihelix.

The second typology of points is that of the so-called functional points . These are the points that do not find anatomical correspondences but that are used for specific purposes or to generate a general rebalancing. 

Among the functional points, the most important are the Shenmen , the Subcortex and the Endocrine . The Shenmen is located on the upper part of the auricle, the Subocortex between the basin and the lobe and the Endocrine at the bottom of the basin. The Shenmen has a sedative, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory action. Subcortex is useful in the treatment of insomnia, bulimia, anorexia, ulcers and psychosomatic skin diseases. The endocrine is stimulated in cases of stress and gynecological pathologies.

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