HOW TO USE AURICULOTHERAPY FOR INSOMNIA AND SLEEP DISORDERS IN ADULTS
Although allopathy has gained fame globally because of its numerous benefits and practices, there are also other old types of therapies which are practiced in corners of the world to keep the human body healthy. Similar to the types of ancient Chinese medicine like acupressure and acupuncture, auriculotherapy has also gained widespread fame in the Asian as well as European countries. The process involves using needles to stimulate specific organs in the body by making use of the external portion of the ear. In recent times, instead of needles the points on the ear are stimulated by means of lasers, ear pellets and magnets to apply manual pressure on specific points.
Ancient records point to the use of this method in 500 B.C. in China. The importance of this therapy was found by a Frenchman, Dr. Paul Nogier who found out that the points on the outer portion of the ear has connections with the internal organs. He compared the ear to be that of an inverted fetus with head representing the lower ear lobe, the rest of the body in-between and feet at the top of external ear.
Although considered as a part of alternative medicine, it works best when used with other types of medicine like acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic manipulation etc. It is used to effectively relieve body problems like stress, pain and tension. As in allopathy, body pain is controlled by use of painkiller tablets which have endomorphins, acupressure, acupuncture and auriculotherapy stimulate, balance and regulate the inner energy in the body which make the body release or generate endomorphins to relieve pain. A normal session would take between thirty minutes to one hour for the body to release endomorphins. These therapies balance the energy in the body by correcting reflex centers in brain thus reducing pain.
Auriculotherapy has been approved as a safe and effective treatment by the World Health Organization and is being used in recent days to treat addiction related to drugs and smoking. No side effects have been reported and it is considered as an alternative to acupuncture. To prevent smoking in addicts, the practitioner used different frequencies by means of micro stimulation device to stimulate the surface of the outer ears. The success rate related to this therapy is 80% as it reduces the withdrawal symptoms and craving of nicotine in smoking addicts.
Auriculotherapy was developed in the 1940s in France by Dr. Paul Nogier, a neurologist. It is a hybrid medical system used to reduce tension, enable the body to relax and increase circulation. It works on the principle of traditional acupressure and acupuncture utilizing today’s medical science. This is a noninvasive treatment which has been used for years to treat nicotine addiction. Auriculotherapy is a safe and effective treatment accepted by the World Health Organization and approved by the FDA.
Smoking is harmful and addictive, a habit leading to poor health and early death. Those who wish to give up their smoking addiction can choose auriculotherapy, which has the capability to correct the energy flow between points called meridians. It is a painless treatment used to balance and normalize psychological functions. Studies have proved that this method is seven times more powerful than other methods used for smoking cessation.
To detect the meridians, a noninvasive micro stimulation device recommended by the ACI (Auriculotherapy Certification Institute) is used to stimulate the surface of the outer ears. Depending on the different zones of the ear, the auriculotherapy practitioner uses various frequency specific patterns. Normally, the procedure of auriculotherapy takes 30 minutes to about an hour to activate the release of endorphins, a naturally occurring substance. This eliminates the symptoms of nicotine craving and the treatment works well in cigarette users after a few follow-up visits. If the treatment plan is strictly followed, auriculotherapy treatment will have a success rate of 80%.
In almost all the cases, those undergoing auriculotherapy treatment reported no side effects. The treatment is beneficial in that it relieves you from your harmful addiction and enables a healthy lifestyle. If you need an auriculotherapy practitioner for smoking cessation, select one who is well experienced in this field.
Auriculotherapy And Phytotherapy Used in Cancer Treatment
Auriculotherapy or ear acupuncture is a therapy based on the piling of needles in the ear. Its historical roots date back to classical antiquity of Mediterranean people, Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, described the scarifications of the posterior ear against sexual impotence and treat sciatica. And again, Galen described the therapeutic use of scarifications in some diseases of the ear. Auriculotherapy is based on the principles of conventional medicine and Western uses of specific points of the ear that correspond to somatotopic areas distant parts of the body, such as the stomach, the muscles of the spine, and so on. By insertion of needles or other stimuli can cause reflexes that induce stimulation of neurogenic type in organs and tissues of the human body. In this discipline the therapeutic concept of the disease remains the same medicine, the only thing that changes is the way of doing therapy, then gastritis or gallstones are the same disease described in the treaties of Medicine officer, have nothing to do with particular beliefs or philosophies, and the same condition is given the same treatment.
The acupoint used to treat nausea in all these diseases is always the same and does not vary according to personality the patient’s eating habits, etc. Scientific research in this field is developing rapidly, although at the moment auriculotherapy in cancer patients has proved especially useful for pain treatment.
Phytotherapy deserves a separate mention because herbal medicine is the discipline that comes closest to the natural conventional medicine as it is based of course on the use of chemicals present in plants, with organic farming activities. Besides, just think that 30 – 40% of conventional drugs derived from herbal substances. Herbal medicine is the medical discipline so using medicinal plants and derivatives in prevention and treatment of diseases, in relation to the pharmacological properties of chemical constituents present in the plant, or better in the preparation used. It does not follow diagnostic or therapeutic methods different from those of scientific medicine. The medicinal plant, so it can simply be considered, a container of chemicals, sometimes isolated and used as such in therapy, in other cases the source of raw material for the production of drugs or as a basis for the production of herbal medicines themselves. Herbal medicine is a discipline particularly promising for the cure cancer, both as a preventive measure or as a complementary therapy to chemo and radiotherapy or surgery. It is used as an immunostimulant, for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and radiodermatitis and to combat certain symptoms such as fatigue, depression, constipation, etc.
There are also many studies that confirm the pre-clinical anticancer activities of substances present of many plants. The substances of plant origin may also be toxic, causing serious interactions with pharmaceutical drugs taken concurrently, or be responsible for allergic reactions. For these reasons, suitable extracts must always be used, quality controlled, standardized active ingredients, purified from useless or dangerous, and used only with medical prescription. For example, cancer patients often use honey and aloe smoothies (presented as a miracle cure for cancer!), not knowing that just some substances present in the plant cut the effectiveness of Chemotherapy.
Managing Pain With Ear Acupuncture
Ear acupuncture, which is also known as auriculotherapy, originated in China. It has been practiced in Asia for 2000 years and in Europe for 50 years and recently has been accepted in United States. It is based on the principle that the imbalance in energy flow is the cause of ailments in the human body. Acupuncturist identifies the lines of energy along the body. The imbalance can be corrected by inserting needles at specific points along the lines of energy.
Our body functions are mapped on the outer surface of the ear. To stimulate a particular part of the body its corresponding location on the outer ear is pricked with a needle. The acupuncturist takes complete medical history of the patient including life style and habits. He uses 6 to 12 needles to insert them in the locations that he has identified. The treatment session lasts for 30 to 45 minutes.
Ear acupuncture is quite effective in case of acute pains and chronic stiff joints. Sometimes the patient has been cured within minutes. Ear acupuncture is considered as safe and easy for self treatment and group healing. It is going to be effective if the needle is inserted at the point that gives maximum pain. Initially the pain will be felt and gradually it gets reduced.
The main disadvantage is to locate the point that gives maximum pain. This is difficult for people who are very sensitive to pain. After the treatment, the patient experiences reduction in pain for several hours. As the treatment is repeated the pain reduction period increases from several hours to several days and several weeks. Auricular therapy is used for several types of pains including back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
Acupuncture and Scar Removal, a Naturopathic Perspective
Acupuncture is an ancient art that dates back as far as the ice age, when sharp pieces of bone were used with charcoal to “needle” and leave tattoos at different sites on the back along the spine, most likely to reduce pain. It evolved over thousands of years to become a very sophisticated system that is most often used in conjunction with Chinese medicine.
In Chinese medicine, the practitioner is treating an intricate system of energy meridians that cover the body. In China, acupuncture was not as highly regarded as herbal medicine until recently. In the past it was the modality of the “lower” class, but is now more widely used by strata of society.
In the USA it was first accepted by mainstream medicine as an effective method of reducing pain and has been used in conjunction with various surgical procedures. However, it has other applications that are not as well known that are associated with surgery, scar treatment and as an alternative to surgery.
In this paper I will discuss the use of acupuncture to treat scars and how scars can affect the meridian system, how various lesions such as lipomas can be treated with acupuncture as an alternative to removal via surgical means, and the general concept used in acupuncture to cause anesthesia and decrease anxiety before surgical procedures.
Scars can cause problems for a patient due to their cosmetic nature, but they are also very capable of disturbing the flow of energy in a meridian (1). A blockage in a meridian causes an imbalance in the flow of “Chi,” which literally means energy. There are 12 basic meridians on the body and many others depending on what system you study.
The basic 12 correspond to different organ systems such as the Liver, Heart, etc. and an imbalance in a meridian can cause damage to a real internal organ. Scars are about the size of a penny or larger tend to be more problematic, but if a scar is located at an acupuncture point then even the smallest scar can disrupt the flow of energy.
There are probably numerous ways to determine if a scar is being detrimental to a person’s health. The system I use if Applied kinesiology. The technique is simple but complex and should only be utilized by someone certified in Applied Kinesiology by the International College of Applied Kinesiology.
The first step is to find a strong indicator muscle. The patient then touches the scar and the muscle is then tested again to see if it weakens. This can also be used to see if touching scar will strengthen a muscle that was originally weak. Some scars may affect only certain muscles. Once a scar needing treatment is found an appropriate method of treatment must be employed.
One technique for scar removal is minor surgery itself, which can also be a cause of scarring. This can done for scars due to previous procedures that were not properly sutured, but should only be done after less invasive methods have failed. Less invasive approaches include rubbing the area daily with wheat germ oil, needling the scar with acupuncture needles, and the tiger warmer tool (2).
One of the problems associated with acupuncture and other natural medicine systems is the lack of research based medicine. Acupuncture is a traditional form of healing that has been used for thousands of years to treat many different conditions. There are many people who claim they have “cured” cancer with natural medicine, but as we know, cancer can only be “cured” by surgical excision.
In one testimonial I found on the internet, the patient claims that a lipoma on their leg disappeared after being treated by an acupuncturist (3). The testimonial doesn’t say what else the person was doing so it is hard to say if acupuncture alone is the best method for treating lipomas. However, it does warrant more investigation and I ask that anyone who is interested support this kind of investigation.
Anyone who is preparing to undergo surgery is at risk for anxiety associated with this invasive procedure. Acupuncture, particularly auriculotherapy, has been shown to decrease this anxiety. In a study involving 55 staff members at a hospital who work in operating rooms, anxiety was significantly reduced in participants who received occlusive press needles at the shen men or “relaxation” points on the upper ear as compared to the sham group that received needling at the middle ear (4).
Reducing anxiety before a surgical procedure is important in terms of patient care. Needling the ear can be dangerous and should only be done by highly trained individuals. There are also ear beads that can be taped on and have less potential to do harm.
The most often discussed use of acupuncture is, perhaps, its potential to cause temporary or permanent anesthesia to an area of the body, where permanent anesthesia is typically not the desired result but rather a side-effect of needling a nerve. Acupuncture has been shown to increase endorphin release, which can block pain sensations (5).
Electrostimulation can be employed at the sites of the needles to enhance the anesthesia. In a case of orthopedic surgery of the patellar ligament, needles were placed at SP11 and LV10 and connected electrical stimulation one half hour prior to surgery to effect the tibial nerve. Also, PC6 and LI4 were needle and electrically stimulated to reduce anxiety. Different points can be used to decrease pain in different areas of the body and should only be done by highly trained acupuncturists.