Acupuncture Springfiels MO
Soft Touch Acupuncture and Advanced Allergy Therapeutics


What is Auriculotherapy?

Image courtesy of Terry Oleson
soft touch acupuncture

Many people have heard of reflexology where the systems of the entire body is represented on the bottom of the feet or hands, auriculotherapy is very much the same.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the outer part of the ear, the auricle, views the entire body and organ systems in an upside down fetus representation.

What can auricular treat?

Auriculotherapy can be used to treat the same body systems as standard acupuncture. This form of therapy can treat not only musculoskeletal issues, but organ system dysfunctions as well as addictions, weight loss, and smoking cessation.

Treatments for addictions, weight loss, smoking cessation are popular options using auriculotherapy. In California auriculotherapy is a mandatory treatment in the cases of DWI.

How is this treated?

By using needles with or without electric stimulation, or vaccaria seeds that are taped to a specific acupuncture point on the ear.

How do I know if I need needles or just the ear seeds for treatment?

Renea will determine which is the best series of treatments. Often the initial visit or two will include needles and electro stim, with a goal of reducing the level of pain or behavioral modifications down to just the ear seeds. The eventual goal, especially regarding treatment of addictions, is to teach the patient self care using acupressure on those points most needed to calm cravings or withdrawal symptoms.

About the seeds, how long do they stay in, and what kind of seeds are they?

The seeds are vaccaria seeds. The reason for using these seeds is primarily the size and composition. They are the size of an acupuncture point on the ear, plus the shell is very hard and will not break down with the body oils.

The seeds will typically stay in for 2-5 shampoo/showers.

How will I know when to take them out, or do they just fall out?

When the seeds are ready to fall out, the adhesive will feel 'gooey' and begin to slowly separate from the skin. Often you will notice this happening when your hair gets stuck with the adhesive, or you will just feel it.

To remove the seeds, lean your ear toward the floor, and pull them off.

Is this method for weight loss preferred over ear stapling?

Yes, definitely. Although Renea is qualified, by virtue of her degree as an acupuncturist, to do the ear stapling for weight loss, she chooses auriculotherapy as a preferred method.

The reason quite frankly is that ear stapling is an ear infection waiting to happen.

But is the ear stapling more effective for weight loss because it stays in 24/7 and for a much longer time?

Before answering this question - let's define a term called homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the ability of the body to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting physiological processes, despite constant varying external conditions - including physical injury.

The placement of the staple is in the area of the ear representing the stomach area. The selling point of those who promote this method state that it will tame hunger cravings 24/7 initiating weight loss. Ear stapling is an injury to the ear. After a short length of time, in the body's attempt to maintain homeostasis because of this injury, it's hunger craving sedation ability is no longer effective.

Weight loss methods such as, auriculotherapy, or even acupuncture are not 'magic bullets' for weight loss. Acupuncture and auriculotherapy will benefit your efforts. Behavior modification, portion control, knowledge of potential food allergies, and of course exercise all play a role in effective weight control.

In TCM diagnosis, the practitioner will look at the tongue and pulse as a method to determine what is the root cause of weight gain. Things such as rapid hungering maybe interpreted as a stomach yin deficiency or excess stomach fire. The weight loss regimen would include acupuncture points to rebalance those meridians.

The type of food cravings a patient has will tell the practitioner what systems are out of balance: sweet, salty, etc.