Skip to main content

Ear Acupuncture

What is Ear Acupuncture?

In 1990, the Director General of the World Health Organisation proclaimed to an international
gathering that - "Auricular acupuncture is probably the most developed and best documented,
scientifically, of all the microsystems of acupuncture and is the most practical and widely used."

Auricular acupuncture, or ear acupuncture as it is more commonly known, is similar to body acupuncture but with stimulation on the external ear only. It can be used to treat a variety of health issues, with points on the external ear corresponding to and affecting different organs and body systems.

How does Ear Acupuncture Work?

Although there is still a great deal to learn about how acupuncture achieves its therapeutic effect, it has been shown to be brought about through the stimulation of the nervous system. The external ear itself is richly supplied by nerve endings which are linked to the brain and other organs via the central nervous system and so stimulation of these nerve endings is thought to influence the relevant organ being stimulated. Every organ has a nerve supply which can either speed up or slow down the functions of that particular organ, and due to a variety of factors like chronic stress, these organs can become over stimulated or understimulated. It is known that acupuncture causes the release of many potent, morphine like, pain relieving chemicals called endorphins, which are more powerful than morphine, and the neurotransmitter serotonin which affects mood.

Stimulation of specific points on the ear can help rebalance the function of target organs - some of its affects can be felt immediately. Treatment is very relaxing, and yet people may feel energized for many days afterwards.

What does treatment involve?

Points on the ear will be chosen based on symtoms and issues discussed during the consultation. Generally, 5 points per ear are chosen, and needles are left in for 20 to 25 minutes. Although there may be an initial pinch when needles are inserted, once there it is quite relaxing.

What conditions may benefit from Ear Acupuncture?

Ear acupuncture can be used in many situations, with immediate results. Weightloss, digestion difficulties, fatigue, hormone imbalances, fever and numerous other issues respond well.