Auriculotherapy refers to acupressure or acupuncture applied to the ear.
The ear is a complete microsystem. On the external ear, there are acupuncture points that correspond to every part of the body, making it a self-contained system of treatment within the whole body. While originally based on the ancient practices of Chinese Medicine, the correspondences of specific parts of the body to specific parts of the ear was first developed in modern France. This integrated system of Chinese and Western practices of auriculotherapy brings us to its modern day application in practice.
From a Western medical viewpoint, the nervous innervations of the ear are the leading explanation of how and why ear acupuncture works. The nerves that innervate the ear connect with our internal organs and all parts of the body. Applying pressure to the external ear stimulates these nerves, which travel to the central nervous system, stimulating neurotransmitters that alleviate pain.
The ear is also richly supplied with blood vessels. Auriculotherapy improves peripheral blood flow, circulating more oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. And just like in full body acupuncture treatments, endorphins and enkephalins (our natural painkillers/ “feel good” hormones) are elevated after auricular treatments!
In Chinese Medicine, your health depends on the flow of qi and blood in your body. This energy travels along invisible pathways, known as meridians. Meridian pathways travel all over the body, including to the ears. Stimulating ear points communicates with the meridians to help clear up any qi blockages. Resolving these blockages can help improve and prevent a variety of health conditions.
Auriculotherapy can be used successfully on its own or in combination with full-body acupuncture to enhance treatment results. Ear acupuncture and ear seeds stimulate the body to heal itself and help people feel calm, relaxed, more in their bodies, and less pain.
Since pretty much the whole body is represented on the ear, some of the many conditions that can be addressed with auriculotherapy include:
~ musculoskeletal issues like back pain or arthritis
~ hormonal and endocrine imbalances
~ asthma and allergies
~ mental-emotional conditions like depression, stress, and anxiety
~ insomnia and sleep disorders