Auriculotherapy is a health care procedure in which stimulation of the auricle of the external ear is utilized to alleviate health conditions in other parts of the body. While originally based upon the ancient Chinese practices of acupuncture, the somatotopic correspondence of specific parts of the body to specific parts of the ear was first developed in France. It is this integrated system of Chinese and Western practices of auricular acupuncture which is presented.
Specific points on the ear can also be stimulated by manual pressure, referred to as auricular acupressure or ear reflexology. Acupuncture points on the ear can also be stimulated with lasers, magnets, and ear pellets. Stimulation of the specific ear reflex points that correspond to a particular area of the body leads to either a reduction of excess stimulation or an enhancement of diminished under activity of the affected region. The overall effect of auriculotherapy is to create a more balanced condition throughout the body.
Insertion of acupuncture needles into specific acupoints can relieve the symptoms and underlying pathology of a particular health problem.
Auriculotherapy is considered one form of alternative medicine, which also includes acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, homeopathy, and biofeedback.
More about health care procedure
Auriculotherapy can reduce the tension, stress, and pain not fully relieved by other medical procedures, but works best when implemented as part of a multidisciplinary complement of multiple treatment approaches.
The endorphins, endogenous morphine molecules that relieve pain in a manner similar to external opiate chemicals, have been used as one explanation for how auriculotherapy serves to relieve pain.
Auriculotherapy is typically used for these and other health conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Low back pain
Also to enhance mood, aid in smoking cessation, alleviate pain, promote sounder sleep, relieve stress, and support weight loss.