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Auricular Acupuncture


 

What is it?
Auricular Acupuncture (sometimes referred to as auriculotherapy, ear acupuncture, auricular therapy, or the more advanced auriculomedicine) is a concise and clinically effective therapeutic modality involving stimulation to acu-points located on the ear (auricula).  

As the first organ to develop o its full size and become fully functional approximately 18 weeks after conception, the ear is also the first sensory organ to begin working as early as the 8th week in utero. It is a unique sensory organ that not only connects an individual to the rest of the world through hearaing, but also serves as an extraordinary and complete system (known as "microsystem") for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of almost every human illness.

This highly specialised system of acupuncture has been traced back to ancient China, Persia, and Greece; however, it was fully developed by Dr Paul Nogier, a medical physician from Lyon, France. Known as the "father of auriculotherapy" Dr Nogier combined his knowledge in conventional medicine (primarily neuology/neurophysiology), manual medicine, and acupuncture to develop Auricular Acupuncture. Initially through clinical observation, and later through research, Nogier found that the entire ear was innervated by numerous cranial and spinal nerves, and in particular the vagus nerve linking the entire structural and functional human body to the auricle.

How does it work?
There are two approaches that can be given in order to understand how the ear may effect the rest of the body, the Chinese medical and the Western Medicical approach. Chinese Medicine is based on philosophical and theoretical phenomena through thousands of years of observation of people and the universe around them. The concepts of Yin and Yang, the channel system, the notion of Qi or energy and its physiological relationship to blood etc are all involved in the practice of Auricular Acupuncture and Body Acupuncture.
   
In Chinese Medicine the metaphysical view of the universe and of peoples' interaction with it is the principle focus, even more so than the study of anatomy and physiology. For a better understanding of how the Chinese view the human body see the acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine sections of the website.

The ear is seen as a thoroughfare for all the channels in acupuncture, they are therefore able to be influenced through the stimulation of specific points on the auricle. However, if one only reallywishes to understand the basis of th ear and its medical capabilities then it is vital to understand the Western scientific approach to this field. It must be emphasised that there are a lot of modalities available that claim effetiveness when they are actually aren't, Auricular Acupuncture is not one of these, its methods and the proof behind those methods are undeniably scientific.

Auricular Acupunctures' foundations are within anatomy and physiology. Without going to extreme details, the auricle has diagnostic and treatment capabilties due to nerve innervation and the presence of neuro-vascular complexes. These small entities consisting of micro-hormones are distributed under the skin of the external ear. Neuro-vascular complexes manifest as acupoints on the ear with decreased electrical resistance that are linked to histological micro formations made p of a nerve, a lympathic vessel, an artery and venule. Therefore the ear can influence corresponding areas through reflexes (eg. within pain relief) and neurovascular complexes (internal disease).
 
 What to expect from a treatment  

Physicians in Auricular Acupuncture will conduct thorough diagnostic procedures, as appropriate, for the presenting patients' condition. The actual treatment will involve one or a combination of the following: Ear Needles (pain free, stainless steel / gold / silver and single use disposable), ear seeds (magnetic, gold, silver, or herbal), and electrical stimulation (minute frequencies are used for maximum patient comfort), or laser (for specific conditions and children).

 

Initially auricular acu-points will be found through electrical methods or pulse palpation (a specialist method known as the N-VAS). The treatment will usually last 15 20 minutes, however, may be combined with body acupuncture (20 30 minutes). Depending on what the presenting condition is will determine the amount of treatment, however, as a guide one can expect anywhere between 2 8 sessions.

 
What conditions can it manage or treat?

Auricular Acupuncture is a clinically proven and inexpensive medical modality. Research all around the world has shown this method to be efficacious in the treatment and management of many conditions, including:

Acute & Chronic Pain:
This may be due to muscular tension, strain, or trauma. Auricular Acupuncture can particularly help in cases of unresolved and chronic pain. Neuralgia (pain involving nerves) is also an established indication for this method; this may include Trigeminal Neuralgia, Sciatica, and associated headaches.

Addictions:
Highly recommended for individuals wishing to quite smoking. Auricular Acupuncture is able to assist not only with associated S/S of stress, irritability etc, but also with the actual cravings associated with nicotine addiction. In addition, Auricular Acupuncture is also renowned for it's assistance in Heroin and Cocaine withdrawal.

Neurological:
Disorders of learning abilities such as ADD / ADHD and dyslexia are very common in today's society, particularly in children. Acupuncture can assist with associated symptoms.

Gynaecological:
Particularly in association with pain and hormonal imbalances. Auricular Acupuncture may assist in infertility treatments and pre-conception care as well.

Allergic & Inflammatory Conditions:
Hay Fever, Sinusitis, Rhinitis, Dermatitis, etc, may be treated with Auricular Acupuncture. Many points have a direct response with the various systems that assist with the management of these conditions (e.g. Histamine response, release of ACTH etc).

 
Who do I see?

David S. White utilises the methods of Auricular Acupuncture and Auriculomedicine daily in his private practice. His treatment protocols are based on many years of research, practice, and methods recognised by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.), National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (N.A.D.A.), and Lyon Group of Medical Studies (GLEM).

For a consultation and treatment, please call the Macquarie St. Clinic of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine reception on or email our office at info@sydneyacupuncture.com.au  

 
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