Have you heard about acupuncture needles that stay in ears? Perhaps you have seen Penelope Cruz wearing these small, gold studs in her ears while waking the red carpet? Whatever it is that awoken your interest for ear acupuncture, we are glad! Ear acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice, one that represents a source of many health benefits. It is a painless and straightforward answer to many of our worries.
What is ear acupuncture?
Ear acupuncture is also known as auricular acupuncture. It is a type of auriculotherapy. Auricular acupuncture, like any other type of auriculotherapy, focuses on applying acupressure or acupuncture to an area that is limited to the ears only. And so, unlike traditional acupuncture, ear acupuncture focuses on treating the body by treating the ears.
This ancient treatment method has been developed in the mid-20th century. It was the French scientist Paul Nogier that came up with the idea of ear acupuncture. Nowadays, he is still known to be the “Father of Auriculotherapy.”
Battlefield acupuncture is a particular type of acupuncture developed by the famous Dr. Richard Niemtzow. The reason why he decided on that specific name was that he intended to use the battlefield acupuncture on the battlefield where often western pain medications are either not allowed or not available. This specific type of ear acupuncture uses special acupuncture needles as well, ones known by the name of ASP® needles.
The ASP® needles, or also known as semi-permanent needles, are usually made of three types of metal. In most cases, it is the gold ASP® needles that are used. Other metals used for the production of ASP® needles are stainless steel and titanium. Depending on which health issue the doctor is treating, different ASP® needles are being used. The ASP® needles are quite small as we are talking about 3.4 millimeters of gold ASP® needle.
Up to today, the Battlefield acupuncture is still preferred over the traditional ear acupuncture. The ASP® needles are safe, secure, and convenient to use. They are also thought to provide immediate pain relief, but their effects are also suggested to last longer than the ones achieved with traditional ear acupuncture.
Speaking of traditional ear acupuncture, the session can last anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes. The acupuncture needles are then removed – a generally painless procedure. The inserting of the needles is also suggested to be painless as well. The session is done while the patient is either sitting down, lying on their side, stomach, or back.
On the other hand, when it comes to ASP® needles, you need to know how long do acupuncture needles stay in for. These are the acupuncture needles that stay in for days. Depending on various factors, but mainly on the health issue that is treated, the needles can stay in the ear between 3 to 14 days. They do not cause any pain after they are inserted, and the patient is free to go on with their regular routine. In the days that follow, the patient is instructed to gently press and/or massage the area around the needles. Other than that, no special care is required.
How does it work?
As traditional Chinese medicine believes, our poor health is due to the disbalance between the yin and yang as well as the disturbed flow of energy or “qi/chi” in the body. And so, being a part of this ancient medicine, ear acupuncture focuses on restoring the balance between yin and yang and improving the energy flow in the body to treat any health issue that we encounter.
It is believed that our ears serve as a microsystem or a map that shows our body in a miniature. You will be surprised to learn that they are as many as 200 different acupuncture points in the ear. However, only 39 of the known acupuncture points have been standardized by the World Health Organization (WHO) – an event that took place back in 1990. Today, approximately 10 of those 39 standardized ear acupuncture points are mainly being used as a part of the auricular acupuncture.
The potential benefits of ear acupuncture
A wide range of health issues is being treated with the use of auricular acupuncture. Here is a list of the most significant auriculotherapy benefits. Ear acupuncture offers to provide relief from these issues:
- Chronic pain;
- Side-effects caused by chemotherapy;
- Cancer pain;
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS);
- Addiction and more.
Now let’s discuss the science behind some of these potential beneficial effects. A 2015 review looked at the results of 15 studies. The goal was to confirm the possible positive effect of auricular acupuncture on insomnia. Luckily, the researchers achieved a positive outcome and found that ear acupuncture is beneficial in terms of soothing insomnia.
Ear acupuncture is a scientifically-backed up treatment method when it comes to treating migraines as well. According to a 2012 study, 35 migraine patients experienced an improvement in their symptoms after having undergone weekly ear acupuncture sessions for two months. And a 2017 research showed that ear acupuncture could cause pain relief within the first 48 hours after needle insertion.
A review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found ear acupuncture to have a positive impact on constipation as well. And a 2017 study showed that with the use of auricular acupuncture, the participants reduced their body weight, body mass, and waist circumference.
A study published in the Behavioral Sciences investigated the effects of ear acupuncture among 100 participants. The participants were enrolled in a treatment plan for their substance use disorder but also received ear acupuncture. Those who had around two ear acupuncture sessions per week experienced a faster improvement in their condition. They reported better energy levels, mood, and overall health in addition to being able to find a job soon after having completed their treatment program.
Is ear acupuncture safe?
Ear acupuncture is considered as a generally risk-free treatment method. The majority of side-effects have been minor and limited to dizziness, nausea, skin irritation, and minor bleeding at the insertion site. A 2014 review that looked at 40 studies explained that no major side-effects and health risks had been related to the use of ear acupuncture and semi-permanent ear acupuncture.
Can you do your own ear acupuncture at home?
Ear acupuncture can be easily practiced from the comfort of your own home as well. If you are unable to find a certified practitioner, not to worry. You can still order an ear acupuncture kit like the Multi-Condition Ear Seeds Acupuncture Kit that is available at Amazon and start benefiting from this amazing technique very soon. With the right instructions, there is no reason why you should not enjoy a relaxing session of ear acupuncture at home.
For home use when it comes to ear acupuncture, instead of needles, patients are recommended to use ear seeds. These do not puncture the skin like the ear acupuncture needles do, which makes them more comfortable and easier to use. The Multi-Conditional Ear Seeds Acupuncture Kit comes with an eBook placement chart. Using this chart and the provided probe, you can locate the acupuncture point that will help you treat the health issue that is troubling you the most.
Then, by following the provided instructions, you can easily apply the acupuncture beads. These come attached to adhesive tape so that you can rest assured that they are here to stay for as long as you need them to. Choose between the magnetic ear beads and the Vaccaria seeds. You are free to shower, exercise, and do whatever you do daily with the beads staying attached to your ear. After 3-5 days, use the tweezers to remove the patch! And just like that, you get to use the benefits that the acupuncture needles that stay in ears have to offer.
Whether it is migraine, constipation, depression, or insomnia that you are dealing with, we sincerely recommend that you take a look at the world of auricular acupuncture. It truly deserves the attention that it gets, and we honestly think that it deserves even more.
This traditional Chinese technique has helped millions of people all around the world to overcome whatever health issue that they have developed as a side-effect of their disturbed chi flow in the body. By placing acupuncture needles that stay in ears, the auricular acupuncture practice promises to relieve several health issues. Can you do your own acupuncture? Yes, you can! If you, too, are feeling the effects of a disbalance between your yin and yang, do allow ear acupuncture to restore it for you. You will never regret having trying it, and you can even do it at home! Purchase these small acupuncture needles that stay in ears and start enjoying the benefits of the practice as soon as possible.
Bonus: Download free ear acupressure points chart
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