Ear acupuncture can be a very effective method for relieving acute pains and chronically stiff joints, sometimes these have been cured within minutes. For some problems it can be more effective than body acupuncture. Ear acupuncture is easy and safe for self-treatment and in healing groups. Organ diseases and glandular disturbances may respond less dramatically, but ear needling will always be very helpful as a supportive method with other forms of treatment.
The main disadvantage of ear acupuncture is the requirement to find the most painful spot for it to be fully effective, and this is not pleasant for people who are very sensitive to pain. The best points are those that feel like an electric shock or like hitting a raw nerve! However, often the pain will be felt as being beneficial, especially because it usually decreases with continued needling. This pain may be considered as ‘letting off steam’ or congestive energy from a target organ through the ‘safety valve’ of an ear point. However, chronically weak organs may also benefit from ear needling if no pain is felt in the corresponding ear point. Generally, however, you may follow the rule ‘The more sore the point, the more effective the treatment’.
The Benefits of Ear Acupuncture
Any part of the body can be stimulated through the use of a corresponding point on the ear. As with regular acupuncture, the biologic mechanism is not understood. However it is believed that by stimulating points on the ear, the acupuncture needle sends electrical impulse messages to the brain, which are then thought to stimulate other areas of the body. In this way, auricular acupuncture can relieve pain in the joints and muscles, stimulate the organs and the brain itself, and achieve a number of other therapeutic effects for the patient.
Ear acupuncture is thought to be effective in treating mental/emotional disturbances including anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is also used to treat physical pain such as arthritis, back pain, migraine, headache, tendonitis, and sciatic pain. Through stimulation of corresponding points in the brain and body, auricular acupuncture is also used as a therapy to treat digestive problems such as colitis and indigestion, as well as respiratory and sinus problems like asthma, hay fever and sinusitis. The therapy may also be used to treat obesity, pre-menstrual syndrome, and addiction to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.