Acupuncture has been used for a long time especially in the Chinese traditional medicine as treatment of many diseases. Acupuncture typically works on specific points of the body known as meridians. The essence of acupuncture is to increase flow of energy and achieve the yin/yang balance. When there is interference with the flow of energy an imbalance is created which results in pain. Therefore acupuncture is used to stop the blockage of energy in the acupuncture meridian channels. Auriculotherapy is one of the types of acupuncture that is used today to heal variety of diseases. It’s done on the left ear (auricle). It involves the stimulation of the auricle of the external ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other parts of the body.
It is also known as ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture when the stimulation is achieved by the insertion of acupuncture needles, whereas the term auriculotherapy often refers to electrical stimulation of the surface of ear reflex points. On the ear there are specific pints to be stimulated by manual pressure, referred to as auricular acupressure or ear reflexology. Acupuncture points on the ear can also be stimulated with lasers, magnets, and ear pellets. All this is aimed at restoring flow of energy in the rest of the body to heal pain open blockages of energy flow that may be caused by prolonged drug use.
Some drugs are known to block the effects of opiate drugs. Researchers have revealed that these drugs that block the effects of opiate drugs also block the pain relieving effects of Auricular therapy. Scientists have opined that the pain relief from auriculotherapy is drawn from the release of endorphins into the blood. As common knowledge, endorphins are your body’s natural pain relieving chemicals. These endorphins are created by the brain and are similar in chemistry to opiate drugs such as morphine. When these opiates are used or other drugs with similar chemistry to the endorphins they will mimic the activities of the endorphins and the brain responds by suppressing the production of its own endorphins leading to dependence on the drugs. With the auriculotherapy, the balancing of energy throughout the body is achieved. Stimulation of the auricular acupuncture microsystem can lead to a homeostatic state whereby any form of stress or pain is lessened, this is possible as auriculotherapy facilitates a balancing of energy throughout the body macrosystems or by correcting pathological reflex centers in the brain.
The ability and effectiveness of auriculotherapy in reducing drug abuse is explained in both the western neurological conceptualization and traditional medicine view. The first evidence of the power of auriculotherapy in reducing the substance cravings of drug addicts came from H.L. Wen of Hong Kong in the 1970’s. These evidences were further expanded upon by Dr. Michel Smith, a physician who practices Oriental Medicine in New York City. The Lung point on the ear used to relieve addiction disorders is said to affect the energy of the Lung meridian, which affects not only respiratory disorders but problems with detoxification. A Western neurological explanation of drug detoxification with auriculotherapy is based on the observation that the concha area of the ear which is used to treat addiction problems represents the control of the autonomic nervous system through the vagus nerve and through the hypothalamus of the brain. When a specific reflex point is stimulated on the ear, it corresponds to a specific area of the body an action which leads to either a reduction of excess stimulation or an enhancement of diminished under activity of the affected region. The overall effect of auriculotherapy is to create a more balanced condition throughout the body, it is with this balance that the adverse effects of drugs of abuse on the addict are fought and the normal function of the body restored.
Despite its effectiveness in treating variety of diseases there is no direct nerve connection between the ear and the rest of the body. Auriculotherapy owes its effectiveness to the fact that the nerves from the ear connect to reflex centers in the brain. These nerves send neurological reflex messages to the spinal cord and then to nerves connecting to the corresponding part of the body hence facilitating healing of affected parts of the body.
The ear works as the map of the entire body. It links the rest of the body to the nervous system. With Auriculotherapy doctors can energetically treat a number of painful conditions through the brain by reaching out to the affected areas through the ears. Today the modern science has proved what most cultures believed to be true while some people discarded as mere beliefs; acupuncture works. Technology such as Function MRI (fMRI) proves that ear acupuncture indeed triggers an effect in areas of the brain, specific to the corresponding zone on the ear.
There are several ways through which auriculotherapy can be administered. Sometimes some special needles can be used but mostly auriculotherapy is done needle-free. some of the needle free methods include; use of electrical or laser stimulation, specialized pressure pellets made from gold, silver, steel or herbal seeds, as well as magnets, and manual pressure. Most doctors who use this therapy will have all this methods of administration but will choose the best method in relation to each case.
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