About Auricular Therapy

Auricular therapy is the insertion of needles or adhesive backed seeds to specific areas of the ear to produce a lasting effect in the body to enhance and extend the effects of an acupuncture treatment. Auricular therapy is a relatively new method of treatment when considering the millenia long history of traditional Chinese medicine. Auricular medicine was developed in China in the 1950’s and has spawned offshoot treatment techniques in France as well.

Auricular therapy is considered a microsystem.

Microsystems are a concept in traditional Chinese medicine that states that the whole body can be treated by affecting a specific part. This extends to the idea that the whole body can be seen in a single part of the body. For example, practitioners will look at a person’s tongue during their intake evaluation. The different areas of the tongue and their appearance can help a practitioner with their diagnosis as different parts of the tongue correspond to different parts of the body and the body’s condition can be read through the interpretation of the tongues appearance.

How it Works

In the same way that the tongue can be used as a diagnostic tool, so can the ear. A practitioner will often scan the ear with a small probe to look for sensitive areas on the ear that can correspond to problems on the body, they will look for discolorations, raised areas, areas of dryness or flaky skin, all of which holds a different diagnostic clue that can be combined with other intake questions to help narrow down a correct diagnosis.
The head is associated with the earlobe, with the internal organs being located near the opening to the ear canal and the spine and limbs running along the outside curvature of the ear. Each of the different areas of the body are then associated with a corresponding area on the ear. In addition to these organ and body part areas, there are also specific points that are empirically known to be effective for the treatment of a certain complaint or condition. In the French system, there are also associated areas of the body located on the ear, but they also utilize a system of electrical resistance associated with different electrical frequencies for treatment of various conditions. A treatment will often change as the person’s pattern changes, with the practitioner utilizing the different frequency areas to affect the body. The Chinese and French systems will also vary in the actual method of treatment as well. The Chinese system will use very small, thin needles, adhesive backed seeds, or small adhesive backed inter-dermal needles to stimulate the appropriate areas on the ear. The French system will use a Bi-Polar electrical probe that will provide mild electrical stimulation to the appropriate area.

In the Chinese system that is most frequently encountered, the ear is seen as in inverted fetus.

Auricular therapy can be a very effective treatment on its own but is often used in conjunction with regular acupuncture and herbal medicine to enhance and lengthen the treatment as the seeds or inter-dermal needles can be left in for several days. Auricular therapy is also effectively used for the treatment of addictions and smoking cessation.

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