What is Auricular Therapy?
Auricular therapy is a relatively new (in Chinese Medicine terms) form of acupuncture and acupressure. Although auriculotherapy has its historical origins in ancient China, Dr. Paul Nogier, M.D. of France has been the driving force behind the advancement of this treatment modality in modern acupuncture. Auricular therapy is a type of acupuncture based on the structure of the ear. If you look at the shape of the ear, you will note that it looks much like an inverted baby, with the lobe of the ear being the head. In the 1950’s, Dr. Paul Nogier, M.D., noted this unusual presentation and determined that the zones of the fetal shape corresponded to specific zone of the ear, and that by pressing on certain points, there would be a corresponding response in the body.
When the human body is formed, embryonic cells divide into three types of cells that eventually form all the skin, tissue, nerves and organs of the body. These embryonic cells are the endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm cells. Endodermic cells develop into the digestive tract, lung alveoli, pancreas, thyroid, and brain stem. Mesoderm cells develop into the bones, connective tissue, blood vessels, kidney and ovarian parenchyma, cerebellum, and cerebral medulla. Ectoderm cells develop into the skin, thyroid and breast ducts, aspects of the pancreas, bronchi, cervix, renal pelvis, cerebral cortex, and others. Through various studies over the years, Dr. Nogier helped bridge a gap between Eastern and Western medicine by discovering that the ear had hundreds of specific points that, when stimulated, would cause a reaction in our central nervous system and positively affect corresponding organs, glands, and musculoskeletal systems because the ear connects to endodermic, ectodermic and mesodermic tissue. The ear essentially is a reflection of the entire body in micro form.
How is Auricular Therapy different then normal acupuncture?
Unlike acupuncture body points that have a specific locus on the body that can always be detected, auricular points on the ear can only be detected (through physical examination or electrical conductivity testing) when there is a problem in the corresponding part of the body that relates to that portion of the ear. This is because, as discovered by Dr. Nogier, when a particular area of the body is in distress, there will be a change in the pulse in the corresponding portion of the ear. This is known as the Vascular Autonomic Signal (VAS).
When Dr. Nogier was doing his research, he found that when he stimulated certain points on the ear there was a corresponding change in the pulse at the radial artery on the wrist (where doctors often hold your wrist when they are taking your heart rate). The VAS was studied and found to be measurable and repeatable using modern equipment. Over time, by comparing the VAS of specific points in the ear when areas of the body were healthy to when they were not, it became possible to more fully map the points of the ear that corresponded to each area of the body. As a result, the development of modern auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture) has been one of the greatest acupuncture tools developed to treat imbalances in the body.
If you are already looking for auricular therapy, or you would like to ask more questions, please contact us today. We are most convenient for patients located in the Lakewood and Wheat Ridge areas of Colorado, but we are happy to treat anyone who needs us. Contact us today to see if we can help you!