Ear acupuncture, also called, “Auricular Therapy” is when acupuncture needles are place on your ear! Your ear is a microsystem, a map of the body. We often needle ear points in conjunction with body points; but auricular therapy is also a stand-alone treatment as well.
There are many widely used auricular point protocols that address specific conditions. For example, Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) is a protocol that uses a set of five acupuncture points that have been shown to have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS), and how the body perceives pain. This point prescription was developed by Dr. Richard Niemtzow, a radiation oncologist and the first acupuncturist in the military. In case studies, this protocol has been shown to have the same pain relieving effects as opioid drugs.
Another prescription, established by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association is called, the “NADA protocol” and is a standard auricular treatment. It has been shown to reduce cravings for alcohol and drugs – including nicotine, minimizes withdrawal symptoms, increase calm, improve sleep and reduce the stress response.
An acupuncturist can use any number of auricular acupuncture point combinations to treat many conditions including, but not limited to: pain, addiction, weight loss, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, digestion, and even menstrual cramps or PMS.
Auricular seeds are little “bandaids” with beads that stimulate auricular points and can be put on after a treatment to prolong the effects. This allows the patient to press on them whenever they feel they need relief. We also have patients who come in specifically for auricular treatments as it takes very little time, “minutes”, to administer. Our frontline healthcare staff has utilized this effective treatment to manage stress. The same can be done with Acupuncture Semi-Permanent (ASP) needles as well. ASP needles can stay in for up to a week. These needles have been used by soldiers, on the battlefield, – hence the name BFA. Whether used alone or in conjunction with your regular acupuncture treatments, auricular therapy is a powerful tool in helping the body to regulate and achieve balance.