Ear acupuncture is a treatment that I use on many of my acupuncture patients for a good reason; it works! Also called auricular acupuncture, ear acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles into specific points in your ear to address imbalances and symptoms in different parts of your body. Much like foot reflexology, ear acupuncture is based on the theory that your entire body is reflected in your ear.
I first became interested in ear acupuncture several years ago, when I was living in Iran. One of my friends who had been studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in China came home and introduced me to a doctor in Iran who specialized in ear acupuncture and acupressure. I was so intrigued that I worked for two months in his clinic that provided only ear and scalp acupuncture treatments.
With the knowledge I gained there, I treated two of my cousins using ear acupuncture, and I quickly saw how effective these kinds of treatments can be. One cousin struggled with allergic reactions to any kind of pollution, hot weather, and stress. I gave her four ear acupuncture treatments, and for four years after, she had no allergies whatsoever. Last year, my cousin called me from Iran and said that only now—four years later—her allergies were beginning to come back, but her symptoms were very mild compared to what they had been before having the ear acupuncture treatments.
A second cousin of mine also had allergies, but they took the form of severe dryness, itching, and redness in her eyes. Her eyes were so painful and dry that she described blinking as torture. Her allergies occurred every spring for her entire life. I gave this cousin five acupuncture treatments, and that spring, she had no allergies!
In the clinic at BodaHealth, I use ear acupuncture to enhance my body acupuncture treatments. I’ve found that it’s really helpful when I’m treating patients with conditions such as stress, anxiety, menstrual issues, pain, and traumatic injuries. And of course, it helps people who are struggling with allergies. Other conditions that can be helped with ear acupuncture include shoulder pain, nausea, and fertility concerns.
For ear acupuncture, I use tiny needles (ear needles). However, the idea is to stimulate points in your ear that correspond with the body parts or organs that I’m treating. Sometimes I use a small tool called an ear probe to stimulate the points. If I feel that a point should be stimulated for a longer time, I will tape tiny ear beads or lettuce seeds onto the point and send the patient home with instructions to gently pinch the point frequently for the next couple of days.
Needless to say, my goal is to use all the healing tools that I can to help my patients feel better. I’ve found that ear acupuncture is one of those tools that is natural, safe, effective, and enhances my treatments. If you’re interested in trying ear acupuncture or acupressure, give us a call and book a free consult!
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Maryam is a Registered Acupuncturist and also teaches Anatomy at the Tzu Chi International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Vancouver. As a practitioner, Maryam is drawn to working with a wide variety of patients, especially those who are struggling with pain conditions, and those with stress and stress-related symptoms.