What is Ear Acupuncture?

Ear or auricular acupuncture is part of Chinese medicine which has been around for thousands of years, treating everything from digestive problems to addiction and insomnia. (byrdie.com)

If you’ve ever experienced any issues with sleep, you’ll likely try anything to back on your restful cycle. Perhaps after trying herbal teas, sleeping pills or reducing your coffee intake — you’re looking for something else. 

Take a look at this quick helpful FAQ guide to see if this is right for you. Then schedule an appointment with one of our experts in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

What Exactly is Ear Acupuncture?

Ear acupuncture is a treatment system based on normalizing the body’s dysfunction through stimulation of points on the ear.  

As with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture, hair-thin needles get inserted into the skin. This technique works because groups of pluripotent cells contain information from the whole organism and create regional organization centers representing different parts of the body, through recruitment of more cortex cells dedicated to specific areas of the body.

Stimulating these points in the ear can relieve symptoms with a reliable duration.

What are the Health Benefits?

In modern medicine, it has been used to treat addiction, promote sound sleep, aid in smoking cessation, and more.

Substance use or addiction recovery 

In the 1970s, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) developed a standardized ear acupuncture protocol designed to support drug and alcohol treatment by easing withdrawal symptoms and increasing a sense of calm in the body.

The program uses three to five points: the sympathetic, Shen Men, kidney, liver, and lung points. These may be stimulated by needling, touch, movement, heat, or electricity. (verywellhealth.com)

Evidence for insomnia

A 2018 study comparing ear acupuncture versus no treatment found that the treatment groups had better outcomes in reducing insomnia.

Migraine Headaches 

Ear acupuncture may be useful for treating migraines as well, according to a study published in Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research in 2012. It found that two months of weekly treatments led to significant improvements in pain and mood for 35 migraine patients.

Whole-body Approach to Treatment

Your TCM practitioner will first do a pulse diagnosis to determine if ear acupuncture is the right treatment strategy. You may need a few different approaches and ear acupuncture can easily be done along with any Distal Needling Acupuncture.


PC: Photo by Rafsan Alam on Unsplash

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