Auriculotherapy is the practice of stimulating acupuncture points on the ear which reflect back to the body. Auriculotherapy was first used in China but was expanded upon in France by Dr. Nogier. He was instrumental in the location and mapping of the entire ear. He saw the ear as an inverted fetus overlaying the auricle where as the head of the fetus is the earlobe, the spine is the back of the ear and the feet being located at the top of the ear, and the rest of the ear representing the body. Auriculotherapy has gained popularity for addiction control such as smoke cessation, alcoholism, drug addiction and food addiction (weight loss). The auriculotherapy points can be treated by use of needle stimulation, electrical stimulation, laser stimulation, or acupressure.
Types of Acupuncture Therapy
Laser acupuncture can be used in instances when needling is contraindicated or canít be employed. For patients who have a phobia to needles this is a viable alternative. Needles cannot be used on children so the alternative is to laser the acupuncture point instead. In modern medical acupuncture the laser is seen as a replacement to moxibustion. Moxibustion is the burning of the dried mugwort to stimulate the meridian through heat production, but this technique has the potential to be malodorous and to burn the patient. Therefore the laser is again the viable option.
Electrical Acupuncture is a technique which involves needling the same precise points as in traditional acupuncture. The only difference is an electrode clip can now be placed to the needle giving continuous electrical stimulation to the needle. This can be used as opposed to constantly stimulating or twirling the needles by hand. The electrical current is also similar to a TENS unit or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation which can help block the perception of pain. This is very helpful in cases of sciatica or other chronic pain symptoms.