For the growing number of Americans seeking help with anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders, centuries-old Chinese medicine offers a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and highly effective solution.
Auricular acupuncture, which focuses on the ears, is a particularly interesting technique for treating a variety of symptoms related to these problems.
This form of ear therapy has been used successfully to relieve acute and chronic pain experienced by soldiers and veterans. Called “battlefield acupuncture,” it has been widely studied by medical centers in the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration, with proven results in reducing back pain, musculoskeletal, neuropathic pain. and headaches.
Similar to other forms of acupuncture, auricular therapy focuses on how areas of the body are connected by pathways called meridians or channels.
“For example, massaging a specific area of your temple can rule out a migraine,” said Denise Demback, LAC, an experienced local acupuncturist. “We have found that stimulating certain areas of your ear can relieve a number of ailments.”
Unlike other acupuncture therapies, the ear seeds – tiny gold pimples or tacks placed in the ear – can stay in place for several weeks, providing a constant and ongoing source of relief. In addition, inserting the ear seeds is a quick and convenient process, without the need to undress or lie down for an extended period of time, making it easy for patients to consider. In fact, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol used by practitioners for emergency response and community well-being calls for the insertion of ear seeds while the patient is standing.
Patients who experience severe anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues may want to consult their health care provider about auricular acupuncture as a way to relieve symptoms and improve overall well-being. .
Beware, however, of doing this on your own by purchasing ear seeds online and placing them in your ears. It is best to see a qualified acupuncturist or AcuDetox specialist licensed to perform the NADA protocol in the state of Delaware.
Ear acupuncture focuses on these five areas, which are linked to other pathways in the body:
1: sympathetic, located along the outer edge of the ear, is connected to the stress response. Acupuncture releases spasms and dilates blood vessels, helping to balance the autonomic nervous system, which controls breathing, heart rate, and digestive processes.
2: Shen Men, an oval shaped depression inside the upper ear, is also known as the Spirit Gate. Acupuncture in this area is believed to anchor the mind and calm the mind, used to help patients cope with insomnia, pain management, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, fear and panic attacks.
3. The kidney, in the center of the ear, is known as the water element and is the basis of Chinese medicine’s yin and yang balance for optimal health. Acupuncture in this area, believed to control the essence of graceful aging, can help strengthen lower legs, spine and bone marrow, improve digestion and fertility, and more. It is also used to help calm fear, paranoia, and mistrust, and to build confidence.
4. Liver. Located along the ridge inside the ear, the wooden element is connected to the regulation of blood flow. Acupuncture relieves metabolic functions, such as nourishing the liver, ligaments, skin, nails, and hair, and helps regulate periods, sleep, mood, and digestion. Stimulating this area with acupuncture is also helpful in dealing with emotions of anger, violence, frustration, or depression.
5. Lung. The area on the underside of the ear crest, known as the metallic element, controls respiration and the functions of the skin. Acupuncture is associated with the elimination of imbalances of apathy, lethargy, lack of inspiration and grief.
Dr Uday Jani treats the entire patient using an integrative medicine approach at Shore View Personal Care, a concierge practice on Route 9 near Milton. He is board certified in internal medicine and has a background in integrative medicine. For more information, call 302-684-0990 or visit www.udayjanimd.com.
Denise Demback is a licensed acupuncturist and oriental medicine graduate who has practiced since 2002. A graduate of the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, she is nationally certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbs. For more information, call 410-241-7467 or visit www.activelifeacupuncture.com.