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Auricular Therapy: A specialized form of acupuncture

Most of us have heard of acupuncture, but have you ever heard of auricular therapy?  It's a specialized form of acupuncture that focuses on treating pain by inserting needles in the ear. Developed by a French physician in the 1950s, it is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. In this form of therapy, each area of the body has a corresponding point on the ear. As such, needles placement to treat a patient's pain will depend on the specific area of bodily discomfort. This type of alternative medical treatment can be provided by a number of practitioners, including biofeedback specialists, acupuncturists, chiropractic doctors, reflexologists, and others.

Almost any area of the body can be treated by this type of acupuncture; however, literature suggests that headaches, chronic pain, detoxification from addiction, relief of nausea, and reduction of hypertension are common conditions of persons seeking this approach as a remedy.

It is thought that auricular therapy works in one of two ways: One theory, (Nedergaard), suggests that this needle based treatment results in elevated levels of adenosine, a naturally occurring body compound that acts as a pain reliever.  The second theory (Niemtzow) states that auriculotherapy results in elevated levels of endorphins (the  human body's naturally occuring pain reliever).

According to web site that contains additional information for patients and future practitioners, some insurance companies will cover the patient's expenses for this form of treatment.  It's always wise to check with your insurance first if you are considering this or any other alternative medical treatment.

Sources:;; wikipedia


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