Ear Acupuncture or Auriculotherapy
What is Auriculotherapy?
Many people have heard of reflexology where the systems of the entire body is represented on the bottom of the feet or hands, auriculotherapy is very much the same. Commonly referred to as ear acupuncture, auriculotherapy focuses on treatment of the ear.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the outer part of the ear, the auricle, views the entire body and organ systems in an upside down fetus representation.
What can auricular treat?
Auriculotherapy can be used to treat the same body systems as standard acupuncture.
This form of therapy can treat
- musculoskeletal issues
- organ system dysfunctions
- weight loss
- smoking cessation
Treatments for addictions, weight loss, smoking cessation are popular options using auriculotherapy. In California auriculotherapy is a mandatory treatment in the cases of DWI.
How is this treated?
By using needles with or without electric stimulation, or vaccaria seeds that are taped to a specific acupuncture point on the ear.
How do I know if I need needles or just the ear seeds for treatment?
Dr. Ansari will determine which is the best series of treatments. Often the initial visit or two will include needles and electro stim, with a goal of reducing the level of pain or behavioral modifications down to just the ear seeds.
The eventual goal, especially regarding treatment of addictions, is to teach the patient self care using acupressure on those points most needed to calm cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
About the seeds, how long do they stay in, and what kind of seeds are they?
The seeds are vaccaria seeds. The reason for using these seeds is primarily the size and composition. They are the size of an acupuncture point on the ear, plus the shell is very hard and will not break down with the body oils.
The seeds will typically stay in for 2-5 shampoo/showers.
How will I know when to take them out, or do they just fall out?
When the seeds are ready to fall out, the adhesive will feel ‘gooey’ and begin to slowly separate from the skin. Often you will notice this happening when your hair gets stuck with the adhesive, or you will just feel it. To remove the seeds, lean your ear toward the floor, and pull them off.
Weight loss methods such as, auriculotherapy, or even acupuncture are not ‘magic bullets’ for weight loss. Acupuncture and auriculotherapy will benefit your efforts. Behavior modification, portion control, knowledge of potential food allergies, and of course exercise all play a role in effective weight control.
In TCM diagnosis, the practitioner will look at the tongue and pulse as a method to determine what is the root cause of weight gain. Things such as rapid hungering maybe interpreted as a stomach yin deficiency or excess stomach fire. The weight loss regimen would include acupuncture points to rebalance those meridians.