Ear Acupuncture is a wonderfully flexible therapy, that combines well with other treatments, and in which practitioners can be trained to a variety of different levels. Some colleges train their students in Ear Acupuncture alone, or in conjunction with Naturopathic or Chinese Medicine studies. However, practitioners can also be trained to administer the 5-needle drug detoxification protocol only (and this has been very effective for the training of staff that work in drug treatment centres).
Treatment is normally given with the patient sitting; hence the therapy lends itself equally well to treatment on a one to one basis; or to drop in clinics where patients may be treated as a group. This enables the therapy to be offered both privately or in charitably run clinics allowing it to be made available to the less well off.
Although Acupuncture has been around for as much as 5,000 years, Ear Acupuncture did not really take off until the 1950's when a French Physician Dr Paul Nogier noticed that some of his patients had healed scars from cauterisation for Sciatica. Some historians have suggested that the cauterisation technique was brought back from China by 16th century missionaries, but anyway he investigated further and his researches led him to develop a complete map of the ear. A report on his research was published in a European Acupuncture Journal in 1956, and came to the attention of Chinese researchers, who enthusiastically pursued this new speciality. Nogier's work was pioneering and his reflex maps are still in use today. He passed away in 1990, but is recognised as the 'Father' of modern ear Acupuncture.
At the time The Yellow Emperor's Classic was written in 500 BC only 6 ear points were known, those that connected the 6 Yang meridians to the auricle. Since then due to Nogier's pioneering work and continued research in China, Europe and the USA more than 200 usable points have been mapped and treatment protocols have been developed for a wide range of conditions. In addition to needling, treatment methods have been developed using ear seeds, magnets, electro stimulation and laser therapy.
The range of conditions for which treatment protocols have been developed includes: addictive behaviours including smoking, acute and chronic pain, some neurological conditions (including post Polio syndrome), stress related and psychological disorders, skin circulatory respiratory and digestive disorders.
Written by John B Fontana Dip Hyp, Dip TPT, GHR Registered, EAR Registered
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