Acupuncture Ear Points


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Acupuncture ear points, (also known as auricular acupuncture points or acupuncture points in the ear), can complement treatment on your body's channels or meridians of acupuncture.

They are now regularly taught in acupuncture courses and, because they are easy to access and don't need the patient to undress, have become widely used in the treatment of addiction and, more recently, in the treatment of acute pain.

Many professionals now use them to support other treatment, without needing to understand any of the ideas behind Chinese medicine.

In the opinion of trained 'classical' acupuncturists this is a pity because it makes the ear seem like just another treatment modality for Western medicine and because, from experience, we know that using ear acupuncture points in support of treatment based on Chinese medicine makes them work better and for longer.

Advantages of Auricular Acupuncture Points

What are the advantages of acupuncture ear points?

  • Easy access
  • Easy to clean
  • Quick to use, so useful in pain or for drug dependency
  • If semi-permanent needles are inserted, or patches placed, they can be easily pressed or rubbed by the patient
  • Different results come from using needles, concentrated laser light and magnetic fields, making ear acupuncture a field full of potential for research and treatment
  • Like other reflex systems of diagnosis, the ear can be used to diagnose and treat pathology elsewhere in the body
  • Can be used to treat many metabolic, hormonal and functional problems
  • Can powerfully complement body acupuncture

Some Disadvantages of Ear Acupuncture

What are the disadvantages of using acupuncture points in the ear?

  • Acupuncture points are very close together
  • People's ears differ widely so points can be hard to locate
  • Some people are very sensitive to acupuncture in their ears
  • Strong treatment to anaesthetise pain can delay diagnosis of or even conceal underlying problems
  • The underlying complexity makes it hard to learn properly
  • Great skill is needed to use its full potential
  • Lasers for ear acupuncture can be expensive
  • Used for self-diagnosis can lead to hyperchondriacal states.

Who uses Ear Acupuncture Points?

Although ear acupuncture has been used to some extent for many hundreds of years in China, where practitioners based their diagnosis and treatment on the metaphysics behind traditional Chinese medicine, not all acupuncturists use them.

This is because auricular acupuncturists often use a different theory to that of traditional Chinese medicine. Many skilled acupuncturists using traditional Chinese medicine get tremendous results without using ear points so don't need this additional modality.

However, auricular acupuncture lends itself to treatment by people from other therapies, such as osteopaths, chiropractors, naturopaths, psychotherapists, physiotherapists, nurses, even dentists and doctors! To get results they often don't need much training.

Self Acupuncture or Treatment

Self acupuncture using ear points isn't easy because you can't see what you're doing!

But it's not difficult to locate sore points yourself, and then rub or press them. Sometimes, because of the way the nerves in the ear are reflex to other parts of the body, this can be quick and effective at reducing pain.

However, be warned: you may find you have small areas in the ear that are very sensitive to pressure! You might not know they were sore until you press them.

History of Ear Acupuncture

For a history of Ear Acupuncture, click here.

Books on Acupuncture Ear Points

There are many. I've read a number and mainly use:

Auriculotherapy Manual by Terry Oleson, pictured on the right. This is a major text-book with an enormous amount of information: quite hard to absorb.

I also use Principles of Ear Acupuncture by Axel Rubach, pictured on the left. This is much shorter and succinct, with clear descriptions and suggestions for how to treat. However, any system of medicine needs practice, not to say training. When you are sick, you may not be the best person to decide, objectively, what to do, let alone where to prod in your ears. Do consider seeing somebody professional!


Find an Acupuncturist!

If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the book(s) described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.

If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.



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By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.

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For the Latest Reviews of 'Qi Stagnation', click here!

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