Ear pellets in Ear Acupuncture

| July 19, 2011 | 0 Comments | 1,145 views

Ear pellets (or BBs) are a convenient method for administering an ear acupuncture treatment (Figure 6.6). It is my favorite method of ear delivery. The BBs come in sterile silver, gold, titanium, copper, and stainless steel. They are affixed to either clear or flesh colored plasters that can easily be applied to the ear by picking up the BB with tweezers or forceps. The size of the BB is perfect for discrete stimulation of the point and almost unnoticeable in the ear.

Figure 6.6 Ear pellets

Figure 6.6 Ear pellets

Points that are indicative of a deficiency require gold for treatment, whereas those indicating an excess necessitate silver. Use gold for pain from exhaustion, hypofunction, or pain that increases when the specific action of the auricular point is called into function. Silver is used for pain caused by hyperfunction, trauma, or pain that increases at rest and improves with movement. If you are not sure what metal to choose, palpate the points with an ear probe. If the pain created by contact with the probe radiates over a large area of the ear, an excess condition of hyperfunction is indicated and silver will disperse the pain. If the pain only radiates over a limited area, use gold. I have no clinical experience with stainless steel, copper, or titanium BBs. Stainless steel and titanium pellets have a neutral, balancing property and can be used either way with the therapeutic action achieved via the stimulus vs. the quality of the metal.

Helmut Kropej notes in discussing the metallurgic properties of needles that “although there is no definitive scientific proof as yet to the different effects of gold and silver needles, we can state that the action of precious metals is based on their own electrical potential. Gold has an electrical potential of +0.285 and silver of only –0.048 on the basis of the hydrogen electrode. This potential is, however, increased by the contact potential after insertion of theneedle into the tissue, resulting in an even greater potential difference.”11

He also says that, “in contrast to body acupuncture, incorrect selection of the metal of the needle manifests itself in the ear with immediate intensification of the peripheral complaints. This is the result of ear acupuncture reflex action. The error can be corrected by using a different metal.”11 The same can be said of ear pellets.

The practioner should provide the same instructions to patients in regard to retention time for the pellets, how to press, how frequently, how long, and also to keep the area dry

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Category: Acupuncture Courses, Auricular Acupuncture

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