Ear acupuncture is very effective for those illnesses that are within the realm of Oriental medicine to treat, both with body acupuncture and herbs. In over 20 years of clinical experience, I have found that the therapeutic effectiveness of ear acupuncture is in the 90% range and this scope covers a broad spectrum of diseases. Disorders that are most treatable with ear acupuncture include musculoskeletal problems, such as knee, shoulder, and ankle problems; hormonal disorders, such as hot flashes associated with menopause; thyroid disorders and menstrual problems; and diseases of the Zang-fu organs, such as stomach ulcers, asthma and allergies, and digestive problems, just to name a few. Specifically, the ear is an excellent site to treat any problem that has a pain component, such as low back pain, migraines, skin disorders (i.e., dermatitis), and neurological and vascular problems, such as multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure, respectively. Emotional problems, such as anxiety, also are treated satisfactorily through this method.
Nogier claims that ear acupuncture has four major usages. He purports that the best indication of auriculotherapy is the presence of pain, including extreme cancer pain. Also, it is useful in the treatment of painful shingles if caught early. It can be employed for emotional problems involving the central nervous system. It makes patients more sensitive to drug therapy by changing metabolism thereby increasing absorption and elimination, and it can be used to effectively treat addictions.
I found all of these claims to be true as well.
Apart from its clinical efficacy, historical roots, and contemporary usage, there are other features that make employing ear acupuncture a valuable option. They include the following:
• Auricular medicine is easy to learn and master.
• Ear acupuncture tools are not costly. Regardless of which modality (needles, pellets, etc.) is selected for treatment, the equipment required for ear acupuncture is minimal and relatively inexpensive.
• Ear acupuncture can be used as an exclusive and independent modality, or as an adjunct to therapy that serves to enhance the treatment initiated through the other methods.
• The results obtained from auriculoacupuncture are quick, effective, and time-tested with over a 2500-year history.
• Ear acupuncture is a relatively noninvasive technique that is both convenient to the patient in terms of ease of administration and promotes the patient’s compliance through self-treatment.
• Unless it is used inappropriately, ear acupuncture incurs no negative side effects.
• Auricular medicine has a broad range of applicability to numerous clinical conditions, including the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
• Like body acupuncture, ear acupuncture can be used for the treatment of diseases of the internal organs, musculoskeletal, and emotional problems. Ear therapy is particularly effective for the treatment of pain, inflammation, and skin disorders, and can treat both acute and chronic disease.
• The ear can be used successfully for virtually every clinical condition, producing at least a 90% success rate.
• Like body acupuncture, if properly applied, the strength of auricular acupuncture is that it stimulates the body to heal itself according to the principles of balancing Yin and Yang and promoting proper organ function. Helmut Kropej reminds us though, “… regardless of the specific illness with which you are dealing, you must always keep the pathophysiological cause in mind. Only then will you be able to get to the root of the disorder.”
We must keep these factors in mind when we construct ear acupuncture prescriptions and proceed to treatment.
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