What is Auricular Acupuncture & How Can it Help Me?
Auricular acupuncture, also known as ear acupuncture, is a technique based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine that evolved in Western Europe. French neurologist and trained acupuncture physician Dr. Paul Nogier laid the foundation in the 1950s, which was expanded on by Dr. Frank Bahr and other physical medicine specialists in Germany in the ensuing years.
The ear is a unique part of the body. It is the first organ to fully develop, in both size and function, and is one of few structures in the body that is composed of all three primary tissue types, endo, ecto, and mesoderm. Interestingly, the ear itself looks like an inverted fetus.
Dr. Nogier found that the ear holds acupuncture points for the entire body, and that acupuncture stimulation of these points was particularly effective in alleviating a number of symptoms.
In present day acupuncture practice, auricular acupuncture is most frequently used in conjunction with regular full body acupuncture treatment. Ear seeds or tacks might also be used, allowing patients to stimulate certain points on their own in the days following their acupuncture session. Auricular acupuncture has been especially helpful for weight loss and anxiety as well as in alleviated symptoms of stress, depression, pain, muscle spasms, emotional pain, fatigue, and even attention issues.
With regards to weight loss, there are points on the ear directly linked to hunger and appetite, specifically the hunger point, stomach point, endocrine point, and the Shen Men point. Activation of these points with auricular acupuncture works to stimulate the release certain hormones and neurochemicals. Traditional acupuncture also works to support weight loss by impacting ghrelin and leptin, hormones that are responsible for fat storage, hunger/satiation, and metabolism.
Acupuncture also works to promote function of the liver and digestive organs. Reported benefits of acupuncture include curbed appetite and cravings, improved digestion, increased nutrient absorption and use, boosted metabolism, and more balanced hormones and mood.
Questions? Ask your favorite Maitland acupuncture physician about ear seeds or auricular acupuncture at your next session at The Points of Health.
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