- Dr Samantha Law
Calm the Mind with Auricular Therapies (Ear Acupuncture + Ear Pellets)
The auricle of the ear has been used as a microsystem of the body in Chinese medicine treatments for thousands of years. All vertebra, sympathetic/parasympathetic nerves, spinal nerves, visceral organs and the central nervous system, and including all anatomical sites and many functional points are represented on the ear. They total over 200 specific acupuncture points.
Acupuncture enables deeper point stimulation which promotes stronger rebalancing effects on the body's internal function. Needles are retained for 15 to 20 minutes.
To learn more about acupuncture, click here.
Ear pellets are small metal beads on a little sticker that are placed on the ear. It is a take home treatment where you can stimulate the points when you need it most. When you need emotional calm and clarity, need to stop the withdrawal symptoms or cravings, you can stimulate the points with the ear pellets.
1-5 ear pellets are placed on one ear each treatment. Lightly pressing on the bead massages and stimulates the point. The approximate recommendation is to massage each point for 3 minutes, 3 times a day for 3 days. Additionally, if certain symptoms arise, you can massage to help with alleviating the symptoms. Once 3 days have past, you take out the sticker yourself. Ear pellets are placed on the alternate ear each time to avoid overstimulation, and then desensitisation of one ear over a long period of time.
Auricular Therapies for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery
Ear acupuncture or ear pellets have been used complimentarily alongside other treatments such as acupuncture or herbal treatments as well as being integrated with mental health and addiction rehabilitation programs. Certain points on the ear are great with calming the mind. This is great for people experiencing anxiety, stress, overthinking, anger, depression. A specific protocol was developed by Hsiang-Lai Wen in 1972 called NADA protocol. It utilises five points on the ear: " shen men, sympathetic, lung, kidney and liver". These points have been used to aid with reducing withdrawal symptoms, preventing cravings, detoxification and keeping the mind calm to prevent relapse. It can be used to assist drug, alcohol and smoking cessation; recover from food and any other type of miscellaneous addictions.
Shen Men: translates into Spirit Gate. In Chinese medicine the spirit includes one's consciousness, mental health, mental functioning, vitality and presence. This point has been traditionally used to calm the spirit in order to bring calmness, clarity and improve the mood.
Sympathetic: calms the sympathetic nervous system down
Lung: helps with any respiratory issues and releasing any emotions held in the chest such as grief, heartbreak and sadness
Liver: helps with detoxification, promoting proper circulation around the body, relieving stress, anger and frustration
Kidney: helps support adrenal function, releasing fear and supporting overall internal organ functioning
Want to Give an Auricular Therapy a try?
The We're All Ears Mental Health Collaboration has just been announced where there are specials available for psychotherapy/counselling and auricular therapies at Narre Warren Wellness Centre. Click here to find out more! Auricular therapies are also complimentary as a part of your acupuncture and cupping treatments, if needed.
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