Did you know that there are over 200 acupoints in the ear? While this little organ may seem like a strange candidate for treatment, acupuncture of the ear (auricular acupuncture) can actually be used to treat a variety of unrelated conditions, from pain to anxiety to substance abuse.
When used in conjunction with other acupoints and forms of alternative medicine, auricular acupuncture can have significant and lasting effects. Let’s take a look at some research concerning ear acupuncture as well as some conditions it can be used to treat.
Ear Acupuncture in Ancient and Modern History
Acupuncture of the ear is an ancient practice and form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has been mentioned in Chinese literature as early as 770 BC. In recent years, a significant amount of research has been conducted to support existing observations and form new theories concerning the use of auricular acupuncture for a number of conditions.
In the 1950s, French doctor Paul Nogier published “Treatise of Auriculotherapy,” a book that made connections between different points along the external ear and internal organs and body systems. He found that the shape of the ear resembled that of an inverted fetus, and organs on the model fetus corresponded with points on the ear, as shown in the figure below.
Developed by Dr. Nader Soliman, SAAT is a new form of auricular acupuncture used for treating different types of allergies, including food and environmental sensitivities. A single needle placed in the ear has been proven to reduce allergy symptoms by 80-95%. SAAT works by “reprogramming” the immune system, resulting in long-term relief.
Conditions Treated By Ear Acupuncture
Besides treating allergies through SAAT, acupuncture of the ear has been proven to be able to treat:
- Pain and Inflammation. A study conducted in 2015 found that auricular acupuncture reduced chronic lower back pain by over 40% after a single session. After 4 weeks, pain had reduced by over 60% and levels of inflammatory cytokines and neuropeptides had notably decreased.
- Anxiety Disorders. Research conducted in 2001 found that healthy volunteers reported decreased levels of anxiety in as little as 30 minutes after receiving treatment.
- Addiction Recovery and Substance Abuse. In fact, the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) has created a standardized protocol of five points on the ear–Lung, Kidney, Liver, Shen Men, and Sympathetic–that work together to calm the nervous system, improve detoxification, and reduce anxiety and grief. Many addiction treatment programs utilize or recommend auricular acupuncture as part of their protocol.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A study conducted in 2020 on a group of women found that those who received auricular acupuncture reported improvement to their IBS, including “decreased loose stools, abdominal pain, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, stress, and heart rate variability compared with the control group.”
Why Choose Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a safe, painless, affordable, and highly-effective form of treatment. Being minimally-invasive, it requires no recovery time–in fact, many patients experience immediate results!
If you are seeking a licensed, experienced acupuncturist in the Louisville, Kentucky area, consider contacting River City Wellness. At River City Wellness, authentic, compassionate service is our greatest priority. We offer acupuncture, herbal therapy, moxabustion, cupping, and much more. You can schedule an appointment online or call (502) 822-0626 for details.