Auriculotherapy, is a medicinal procedure that stipulates that by stimulating the ear painful symptoms (all over the body) are alleviated. Typically electrical devices are employed although acupuncture needles are alternately used, in which case the procedure is known as ear acupuncture. The difference between the electrical approach and the acupuncture method is that the electrical stimulation typically produces more immediate results. However, neither is shown to be more effective than the other. The procedure is said to have stemmed from Chinese culture, although it is unclear how prevalent it actually was in its indigenous culture. The specific correlation between sections of the ear and specific body parts was developed in France in the 1950s. Despite the fact that elements of auriculotherapy date back over 2,000 years, the procedure has not been accepted the scientific community and its merits are widely debated.
Auriculotherapy portends that because the ear is linked to all parts of the body through the microsystem (the belief that, by resembling the appearance of an inverted fetus, the structure of the ear represents a microcosm for the entire body), stimulating the external ear can improve a vast array of bodily symptoms. Learning how to perform the procedure involves becoming familiar with the inverted fetus microsystem, the 250 ear reflex locations, and the methodology for treating the vast array of maladies that can be alleviated through auriculotherapy. This is a relatively simple procedure that can be achieved after only a few training classes. A session typically lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. Between four and six acupuncture needles are inserted into the ear and remain in place for roughly 20 minutes. The needles are inserted in the location within the ear that corresponds to the body part associated with the patient’s symptoms. Patients are usually treated twice a week for the first two or three weeks and then once weekly for the following several weeks. After this period, treatment continues at a rate of once a month. Provided that one is trained in the procedure, it is possible for a person to perform auriculotherapy on themselves.
Auriculotherapy is most often employed in order to treat drug addiction, although it is also commonly used for heart conditions, chronic pain, hypertension, or relieving nausea. With regard to treatment of drug addiction, it is believed that auricular therapy reprograms the nervous system so that it is no longer dependent on drugs. Auriculotherapy is considered to be especially effective in treating drug addiction, and drug dependency is reduced for weeks at a time even after the first couple of visits. The procedure produces results very quickly, although it is still recommended that eight to twelve visits are necessary in order to substantially relieve symptoms. Side effects generally relate to pain or soreness in the ear, and pregnant women should not be treated. Similar to conventional acupuncture or aromatherapy, auriculotherapy is considered a form of complementary medicine and is only recommended for use in conjunction with more scientifically accepted medicinal practices.
Almost all health conditions can be helped to some degree with auriculotherapy. By stimulating reactive ear points and creating a balance throughout the body, a wide variety of health problems can be relieved. According to studies, auriculotherapy has been reported to have positive effects on chronic pain conditions, drug abuse, hypertension, nausea, and insomnia. Auricular therapy relaxes the nervous system, decreases anxiety and increases optimism.