Auricular Acupuncture: Alternative Treatment for Chronic Pain

Contributed to Judy Morey, RN, ND

aricular acupunctureChronic pain affects millions of Americans every day. It’s well known that chronic pain affects people in many ways—not only in physical pain but can show up in the form of fatigue, depression, and irritation. There is good news though– there are treatment options available that don’t involve taking medication or having a medical procedure.

Auricular (ear) acupuncture is a specialized alternative therapy that enables the body to restore its natural energy balance and improve overall health. The goal of this treatment method is to reduce stress and anxiety and help relieve any pain or tension. A specialist inserts small needles in specific points on the inner and outer ear lobe which are left in place for about 45 minutes. This protocol was originally developed to reduce symptoms of patterned behavior, addictions, cravings and substance use withdrawal management. Researchers have discovered that auricular acupuncture also benefits the heart by increasing heart rate variability.

Auricular therapy, an adjunct to acupuncture, is based on the same ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine as acupuncture and uses acupoints on specific areas of the ear to treat disease/illness. These specific areas match, or target, different places in the body. When stimulation is applied by inserting the needles along the ear, the brain is sent signals to reduce tension in muscles and joints around the body, therefore reducing pain.

Once this happens, patients experience a deep inner calmness, reduced anxiety, better sleep and improvement in physical, emotional and mental outlook. It’s a beneficial treatment that also enables patients to connect with themselves. The World Health Organization says auricular medicine can affect the whole body. And studies using auricular therapy (acupuncture or acupressure) have shown promising effects in pain management.

Anyone can benefit from auricular acupuncture especially those who suffer from chronic pain, tension, stress, anxiety, and depression. To learn more about auricular acupuncture and other Integrative Medicine treatments, please call (513) 475-WLNS (9567).

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