What is Auricular Acupuncture?
Auricular (or ear) acupuncture is a specialist complementary therapy where acupuncture points on the outer ear are needled with small, sterile, disposable needles in order to help many complaints. In auricular acupuncture the ear is seen as a micro~system of the body, (the auricle represents an inverted foetus in the womb) with each acupoint corresponding to a particular area of the anatomy.
Explanations as to how Auricular Acupuncture works differently. The more recent western view is that because the auricle contains a high number of nerve endings, it acts as a direct switchboard to the brain, sending electrical signals via the nervous system, to the area of the body affected. So if we place a needle in the neck point any pain in the neck will be alleviated.
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, Chi (vital energy) runs through pathways in the body called meridians, and these converge at the ear. When the Chi in our body becomes unbalanced or blocked, illness occurs. By tonifing or sedating these points using acupuncture, we can obtain a healthy balance of Chi and our health improves.
What does an Auricular Acupuncture session involve?
An auricular acupuncture session involves placing 5 or 6 small, sterile, disposable needles in each ear. The needles are placed in acupoints corresponding to the area we wish to help, so we may place a needle in the neck point if you were suffering from pain in that area. A programme will be designed to suit your individual needs. Small acupuncture magnets or press needles may be placed in your ears in between acupuncture sessions.
Is Auricular Acupuncture painful?
Ear acupuncture should not be painful. You will be asked to use a special breathing technique whilst the needles are being inserted. You may initially feel a small stinging sensation, but this is just for a second, and you will not feel the needles once they are in place. Needles are left in place for up to 40 minutes. Small magnets or press needles may be placed on selected acupoints between sessions.
By Nichola MacDougall
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