Ear acupuncture – and its close relation auriculotherapy – employ pressure points in the ear to stimulate organs in the body to a system of wellness. Ear acupuncture has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, but in the 1950s a man called Paul Nogier investigated the principles further and created the therapy of auriculotherapy.
Ear Acupuncture vs. Auriculotherapy?
Ear acupuncture and auriculotherapy are similar, but not the same. Both are based on principles of Taoist philosophy which explains life force flows through the body in 12 pathways, whereas 6 pathways being the feminine energy of yin, and 6 the masculine energy of yang. When in balance the body has wellness but when blockages happen then we have a state of dis-ease. In ear acupuncture to cleanse these blockages a therapist may use needles or even simply palpate the pressure point with finger tip pressure, rubbing or pulling.
In auriculotherapy though, the therapist will use either magnets to attract or electrical impulses to repel and manipulate the energy. Both therapies concentrate the energies on the auricle, the external, fleshy part of the ear. The acupressure points on the ear is like a map to the organs of our body. The “father of Auriculotherapy” Dr Paul Nogier, pointed out that this map has the look of an inverted fetus. If you look at someone’s ear you will see that the ear does in fact look very much like a child in the womb.
The Heavenly Gate Point – Shen Men Point
Look closely and you will see at the top of the ear the cartilage makes a triangular shape and at the top tip of this is the point shen men, meaning “heavenly gate”. Shen men this is the primary point used to calm the mind. Clinicians have found it of many uses. In fact, it has been found to be most efficacious to put an ear clip on children with Attention Deficit Disorder. The stimulation of this acupressure point stills the mind allowing other healing to take place.
Shen men relates to the primary neural gateway and so it would be realistic to describe this as the intersection between spiritual wellness and emotional and thus spiritual wellness. It also is directly related to the heart. This is where complementary healing becomes fascinating. The gateway to the spirit and the essence of the patient is opened.
The calming of the qi in the body slows the adrenaline being pumped around the body putting pressure on the heart. In doing so, in calming the mind, the heart is given respite. Many potential heart attacks have been side stepped using these principles. The Shen men point is also treated to stop smoking. For instance, this point is the primary reason for the success in using acupuncture to stop smoking.
Usually ear acupuncture is used in conjunction with other therapies to complement and amplify their effects, whereas auriculotherapy is usually used as a stand alone medicine.