Introduction To Auricular Therapy
As a RMT (Registered Massage Therapist), Dave offers ear laser acupuncture (more aptly “auriculotherapy” or “auricular acupuncture”) in his massage treatments to treat a host of different pain, injury and stress related conditions or syndromes.
As a Certified Laser Therapist (separate from his massage practice), Dave offers ear laser therapy to help clients stop smoking, reduce sugar/food cravings for the purposes of weight loss and also help treat addictions including drugs, alcohol, nail biting, gambling and technology addiction.
Auricular acupuncture has a strong track record of performance in Europe, where it is has been utilized by medical doctors for decades.
Whether used in conjunction with other techniques or by itself, ear laser therapy (auriculotherapy) is often an effective adjunct or treatment option where other therapies have failed. Best of all, it is safe, non-invasive and has no known negative side effects.
No Needles Used, Only Gentle Laser Light
Instead of using traditional acupuncture needles, Dave uses gentle and relaxing low level laser therapy (LLLT) to stimulate acupuncture points painlessly.
In addition to being a discomfort-free technique, ear laser therapy also offers the following advantages:
- Effective for many health conditions including physical and mental.
- It is clinically practical because it does not require a patient or client to disrobe.
- Because any body part can be treated from the ear, even inaccessible body parts can often be effectively addressed.
What Is Auricular Acupuncture?
Auricular acupuncture is the stimulation of acupuncture points on the external ear surface of the ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other areas of the body. The ear holds a microsystem of the whole human body (including the brain) that is consistent with the brain map discoveries of Canadian neuroscientist Dr. Wilder Penfield in the 1940’s.
Although acupuncture evolved in the context of Asian medicine, the specialty of ear acupuncture was developed in western Europe. It’s foundations laid by Dr. Paul Nogier, a neurologist working in France in the 1950’s, it was deepened and expanded by Frank Bahr M.D. and physical medicine specialists in Germany over the following decades.
Treatment has traditionally been performed by needling the respective points on the ear and, if necessary, also on the body. Modern, low-intensity laser therapy equipment however allows practitioners to stimulate ear points painlessly. Dave only uses gentle laser light to stimulate acupuncture points in the ear and body.
Many different health conditions can be treated by ear and body acupuncture including migraines, insomnia, depression, addictions, and most conditions of pain and inflammation. Some patients
feel immediate relief, others need several days before they notice an improvement. Some people feel as if they were walking on air after treatment, and almost all feel very relaxed.
How Does Auricular Therapy Work?
The map on the ear is in form of an inverted fetus with all the fine details of the anatomical, physiological, and emotional body represented. The tissue of the ear is unique and has functions in addition to our sense of hearing. The ear is the first organ to develop to its full size and become fully functional about 18 weeks after conception and is one of a few anatomical structures composed of tissue from each of the 3 primary types (endo, ecto, mesoderm) in the developing embryo.
All signals induced by ear acupuncture travel through a specific part of the brain, the diencephalon, then along neurological pathways to the corresponding body parts. The body strictly obeys these commands because they come straight from the brain. Thus ear acupuncture takes advantage of the body’s own control center, and is a powerful healing modality that is pain free, drug free and non-invasive.
History Of Auricular Acupuncture
The earliest use of ear acupuncture, like body acupuncture, is thousands of years old. It has been used as a form of health care according to ancient records in multiple countries worldwide including Egypt, China, Rome, Persia and Greece. Even historically, it’s use is indicated for a variety of health problems.
Auricular acupuncture, as we know it today, however, is largely the result of the discoveries and work of Dr. Paul Nogier of Lyon, France. In the early-1950’s, Nogier, a medical doctor who taught neurology at the local medical school and had trained in Oriental acupuncture, was intrigued by patient reports of healing of back pain through cauterizing points on the ear, and ancient references to ear acupuncture. He spent the next couple decades pursuing empirical research.
Nogier quickly discovered that stimulation of the ear acupuncture points were highly effective in alleviating pain and other symptoms in other parts of the body. As more ear points revealed themselves, he saw that the map of these points on the ear is in the form of an upside down fetus. Now, sixty years later, many exciting and fascinating developments in understanding this medicine and how to use it for complex assessment and treatments are being tested and offered by trained practitioners around the world.
A further critical discovery was that acupuncture points on the ear are only active when there is a corresponding disturbance in the patient’s physical or emotional system. This amazing discovery makes auricular acupuncture a tool for patient assessment as well as treatment.
How Can Ear Laser Therapy Help Me?
Auricular acupuncture treatments stimulate the body’s own neuro-hormonal regulating systems, assisting the body’s natural ability to balance and heal. Auricular acupuncture promotes well being and balance, and can prevent the development of illness.
It can be particularly effective for treatment and management of these conditions:
- Muscle and nerve pain (neck, low back, etc.).
- Migraines, headaches.
- Inflammation: arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid), Fibromyalgia, Gout.
- Stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression.
- Irritable bowel & constipation.
- Weight loss & sugar Cravings.
- Addiction (smoking/nicotine, alcoholism, pain killers, illicit drugs, technology addiction, sex, theft, gambling, thrill seeking, etc.).
Specifically in regards to addiction, auriculotherapy has received considerable press attention in this regard. Many addiction programs have incorporated ear acupuncture with results that can range from helpful to occasionally miraculous.
Even the U.S. military has taken interest in auriculotherapy for pain relief as it applies to emergency situations. Retired Col. Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH has been instrumental in this regard. Dr. Niemtzow’s “Battlefield Acupuncture” technique is an efficient protocol used with very positive results since it’s creation in 2001. Increasingly, military doctors are becoming trained and using this auricolotherapy technique.
How Effective Is Auriculotherapy?
There are a number of scientific studies that demonstrate the efficacy of auriculotherapy:
- (1980) A double-blind, experimentally controlled UCLA research study statistically verified the scientific accuracy of Auricular Diagnosis. A statistically significant level of 75% accuracy was achieved in diagnosing the musculoskeletal pain problems of 40 pain patients. By evaluating specific areas of heightened tenderness and increased electrical activity of the ear, areas of the body with some dysfunction could be correctly identified, whereas areas of the body free from pathology were correctly identified with non-pathological points on the ear. Subsequent UCLA research focused upon the comparison of Chinese and French auricular points, the use of auricular electro-acupuncture for withdrawing chronic pain patients from opiate medications, and the naloxone reversibility of dental analgesia produced by auriculotherapy.
Other research studies that show auriculotherapy is not just for pain:
- Ear acupressure for dementia: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25322869.
- Auricular acupuncture for insomnia: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25233674.
- Ear acupuncture, ear acupressure and auriculotherapy for cigarette smoking cessation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25064021.
- Auriculotherapy for stress: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4292631/.
- Auriculotherapy for constipation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25020089.
- Auricular electroacupuncture for obesity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24559812.
- Auricular stimulation for diabetes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25440376.
- Auricular point sticking for Hypertension: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26062187.
- Auriculotherapy for menstrual irregularities: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387641/.
- Ear acupuncture therapy for depression and obesity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25098839.
- Electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture for methamphetamine withdrawal syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24843957.
- Ear acupuncture for migraine therapy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23409612.
Does Ear Laser Therapy Hurt?
If a trained practitioner uses acupuncture needles, ear acupuncture can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Fortunately, Dave uses low-intensity laser therapy to stimulate auricular points in the ear.
This allows for a completely PAINLESS and non-invasive treatment.
The only known side effects reported by patients and clients are all positive: more positive moods, better sleep, and a decrease even in non-related symptoms.
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