EAR REFLEXOLOGY OR AURICULAR THERAPY
WHAT IS AURICULAR THERAPY?
Auricular Therapy, also called Auriculotherapy, is both a diagnostic and an integrative treatment procedure that is used for pain relief and the alleviation of addictions. The principles of Auricular Therapy are based both upon Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and upon neurological reflex therapies that were discovered in Europe.
The essential premise in Auricular Therapy is that there are a neurological reflexes and energetic correspondences between specific areas of the external ear, or auricle, and other parts of the body that are arranged in the pattern of an inverted fetus. Detection of selective ear reflex points can be determined by monitoring tenderness to applied pressure, by electrical measurement of lowered skin resistance, or by the physical observation of small regions of skin discolouration or skin protrusions.
Treatment of these reactive ear reflex points can be achieved by tactile acupressure, by the insertion of acupuncture needles, or by transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Auricular Therapy is effectively utilized to reduce chronic pain and anxiety within a few minutes of treatment and can alleviate the aversive symptoms of opioid withdrawal or reduce the craving for opioid medications.
WHAT ARE EAR SEEDS?
Ear seeds are seeds placed on your ear to serve as tiny acupressure devices. They’re a type of auriculotherapy, a traditional Chinese medicine technique that focuses on areas in your ear. They're thought to promote comfort and relaxation. People may use them to help with pain, insomnia, substance abuse, and mental issues ranging from anxiety to grief.
These seeds traditionally come from an herb called vaccaria but can also be made of ceramic or metal. They're placed on the outside of your ear over certain acupuncture points. They’re usually held in place by waterproof tape and stay on your ears for up to a week.
Ear seeds are safe for just about anyone, although it's always a good idea to tell your doctor about any alternative treatments you try. Some people use ear seeds along with acupuncture treatments. They may help the effects of acupuncture last longer between sessions.
HOW EAR SEEDS WORK
After cleaning your ear with an alcohol swab, a practitioner places the seeds on the outside portion of your ear. It doesn’t hurt, but you may feel some tenderness or warmth.
Once they're in place, you massage them two to three times a day. To do this, apply gentle pressure to the seeds and move them in small circles.
Auriculotherapy is meant to promote the release of natural endorphins, "feel-good" chemicals in your body. Experts don’t fully understand why or how ear acupuncture or acupressure may help with certain conditions. But there's some evidence that auriculotherapy can relieve symptoms.