Is Your Ear A Portal To Pain Relief?
Many ask: “Why are you treating my ear for pain that is in my back?” If you are a patient you already understand. This is Auriculotherapy.
Side effects of standard pain medications can limit their use. Therefore, non-pharmacologic pain relief techniques such as auriculotherapy play an important role in pain management.
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for pain relief due to a variety of causes including low back pain, osteoarthritis, and headache.
Auriculotherapy is an adjunct to traditional acupuncture and over the last 60 years has developed into a distinct treatment system of its own.
It is based on a set of anatomical maps superimposed onto the ear. Stimulating a point on the map has an effect on the anatomical organ associated with that point.
For the ear, auricular points may be stimulated with probes, electrical current or laser; all of which may be considered forms of auriculotherapy.
Early studies of auriculotherapy have demonstrated beneficial effects on both pain and anxiety including pain associated with cancer, knee arthroscopy, hip fracture, and hip replacement.
Several recent studies have suggested that auricular acupuncture alone can relieve pain and anxiety associated with hip fracture and reduce acute pain due to a variety of causes in the emergency department setting
On the ear there are more than one hundred meridian points, which relate to various organ systems and parts of the body.
During fetal development the first structure to form is the brain and spinal cord. At nine days of development a projection from the mesoderm will develop a small nob, which will ultimately become the external ear.
All parts of the body both internal and external will have a specific reflex point to the external ear. Targeted stimulation of one or more points of these points result in a remarkable healing response.
The Ancient Asians as well as contemporary European and American practitioners view the ear as resembling an upside down fetus will all the body parts proportionality arranged in and on the ear.
Therefore, the lobe of the ear would relate to the head, brainstem, face, etc. Where as the top of the ear relates to the knee, foot, ankle and more.
The entire spine may be treated throughout the ear using all the reflex points discussed.
The success rate in Ear Acutherapy is stellar. In our clinic we have been using ear treatments for over 25 years with patients.
- Brinkhaus B. Witt CM. Jena S, et al. Acupuncture in patients with chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:450–457. [PubMed]
- Haake M. Muller HH. Schade-Brittinger C, et al. German Acupuncture Trials (GERAC) for chronic low back pain: Randomized, multicenter, blinded, parallel-group trial with 3 groups. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:1892–1898. [PubMed]
- Manheimer E. Linde K. Lao L, et al. Meta-analysis: Acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146:868–877. [PubMed]
- Linde K. Streng A. Jurgens S, et al. Acupuncture for patients with migraine: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2005;293:2118–2125. [PubMed]
- Alimi D. Rubino C. Pichard-Leandri E, et al. Analgesic effect of auricular acupuncture for cancer pain: A randomized, blinded, controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2003;21:4120–4126. [PubMed]
- Usichenko TI. Kuchling S. Witstruck T, et al. Auricular acupuncture for pain relief after ambulatory knee surgery: A randomized trial. CMAJ. 2007;176:179–183. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
- Usichenko TI. Dinse M. Hermsen M, et al. Auricular acupuncture for pain relief after total hip arthroplasty: A randomized controlled study. Pain. 2005;114:320–327. [PubMed]
- Barker R. Kober A. Hoerauf K, et al. Out-of-hospital auricular acupressure in elder patients with hip fracture: A randomized double-blinded trial. Acad Emerg Med. 2006;13:19–23. [PubMed]
- Goertz CM. Niemtzow R. Burns SM, et al. Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of acute pain syndromes: A pilot study. Mil Med. 2006;171:1010–1014. [PubMed]
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