What is it?
German Auricular Acupuncture (also known as German Auricular Medicine) is an exciting, relatively new, approach to treatment whereby stimulating acupuncture points on the external ear surface, a practitioner can treat health conditions in other parts of the body.
The ear represents a map of the whole body, including the musculoskeletal system, the organs, and the brain. The practitioner inspects the ear for changes in shape, color, tenderness, and electrical conductance that signify pain, illness or any other pathological change. The “active “ points that relate to the pathology are then treated with a needle, LASER or electrical stimulation. The treatment will reset the brain’s “sick” communication signal, and allow the body to restore its natural balance, correcting the pain/illness. The treatments are precise, focused and very effective.
The ancient Chinese and later the French mapped out points on the ear. More recently auricular acupuncture is based on the work done by Dr. Paul Nogier, a neurologist in France, who conducted research from the 1950’s and over the next few decades. He discovered that stimulation of the ear acupuncture points were very effective in alleviating pain and other symptoms. More recently studies were done by the Germans, Dr. Frank Bahr, mapping out very precise points and backing up their research with MRI studies.
In the German Auricular Acupuncture, the practitioner is looking for 3 types of points on the ear:
- Anatomical Points (hip, shoulder, lumbar spine, etc.) These are the most basic. This is similar to other types of ear acupuncture.
- Functional Points. These exert an influence on the body as a whole or systemically. Functional points can calm the nervous system, reduce inflammation, regulate hormone levels, improve sleep and much more. Each system of auricular medicine has functional points unique to it.
- Focus Points. These can be any kind of point that harbors a body/brain memory of a particular stress or trauma on a person’s body. Injuries, illnesses, surgeries and scars (both physical and emotional) can all cause focus activity in a point as well as a blockage to healing. In other words, people suffering from longstanding afflictions that don’t seem to respond to other treatments may have an opportunity to heal if old focus This concept is unique to the German style of auricular therapy.
What does it feel like?
Every patient is different, and the only drawback we have encountered with auricular acupuncture is that the needles hurt. You want a point to have a strong bite to be fully effective, and most people get on board with this, but some cannot. The good news is that advanced training in German auricular medicine includes auricular laser therapy, which does not hurt.
At Tsawwassen Physio, two of our therapists are practicing this form of medicine in conjunction with our other treatment modalities. The results have been excellent.
For more information on German Auricular Acupuncture visit www.vitalprinciple.ca.