The Incredible Range of Ear Acupuncture Points
Most people are familiar with acupuncture, where very fine filaments (‘acupuncture needles’) are inserted into specific acupuncture points on the skin to relieve pain or otherwise help sort out health disorders. (Performed correctly, with Japanese style acupuncture there is no discomfort when this is done, and most people find their treatments to be comfortable and relaxing.) However, not many people would know that the most concentrated area in the body for acupuncture points is the ears. So far we have discovered over 200 points in this small area, so it takes an experienced therapist to locate and treat them properly.
As there are so many points here, almost any part of the body can be treated just using the ears. Here is a basic map of some of the points and areas in the ear.
Locations of Ear Points
Interestingly the ear has been described as being similar to an inverted foetus, and most of the acupuncture points in the ear match this model. For example,
- Almost all of the points for areas of the head are found in the lower part of the ear (on the lobe)
- Internal organs are normally in the middle, and
- Points for the spine are on the large curved area from the head up to above the organs (or to below them for an inverted foetus)
Uses of Ear Points
Ear points are most often used as part of a regular acupuncture treatment with points on the body as well. However, occasionally they might be used on their own.
- If a client cannot lay on the treatment table, the therapist may seat them in a chair and just use ear points
- For cultural reasons, a client may not want to expose their forearms, lower legs or other parts of their body
What about Ear Piercing?
The jury is still out on this, but the experience of many senior acupuncturists is that there is a very slim chance that ear piercing may result in a negative effect on the body. For example, on very rare occasions piercing the eye point on the lobe has caused a sudden deterioration of that person’s vision. To avoid any problems, we suggest
- Having the ears pierced by an experienced professional to minimise any damage to the ear
- Using earrings that are of a high quality metal (minimum 9 carat gold plated, sterling silver or stainless steel). One client found that the only earrings she could use were 18 carat gold plated.
- Not having many piercings. For example, we find a very high incidence of lower back pain in clients with many earrings around the rim of the ear.
- Don’t use heavy earrings that could stretch or damage the ear.
In the hands of an experienced therapist, auricular (ear) acupuncture points can be powerful tools to relieve pain and resolve health disorders, and as you can see the range of conditions that can be treated is very extensive. We are here to help, so if you have any questions about ear acupuncture or any health issue you may have, please feel free to get in touch.