As the first organ to develop to its full size and become fully functional approximately 18 weeks after conception, the ear is also the first sensory organ to begin working as early as the eighth week in utero.It is an extraordinary sensory organ that not only connects us with the world and each other through the power of hearing, but also serves as a unique and complete microsystem for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of virtually every human illness.
Physiologically, the ear is a powerful nexus of energy through which all of the 12 main meridians either directly or indirectly intersect with the potent eight extraordinary vessels. This accessible energy is encapsulated in hundreds of auricular acupuncture points that make possible the utilization of the ear as an important method of treatment by clinicians.
Auricular acupuncture is easy to learn and master, and when accurate point selection and needle technique are applied to the correct diagnosis, it yields dramatic, immediate and long-lasting results with a high rate of clinical efficacy.
Assuming the clinician knows how to correctly diagnose and differentiate an illness as well as how to precisely locate and select auricular acupuncture points for a prescription, it is interesting to see how versatile the ear acupuncture points are for numerous and unrelated medical conditions due to their multiple, broad-based energetics that are the hallmark of Oriental medicine. While a general rule of Oriental medicine is to "treat what you see" so that the unique energetic configuration of the individual is responded to, there are still what we might call "core" ear acupuncture points that the practitioner can frequently use so that the essential features of an illness are addressed. My recommendation is not that practitioners memorize any prescription, but rather that they try to discern how each point contributes to the formula. By doing so, they will test their understanding of the etiology, pathogenesis, and signs and symptoms of a disease, and thus be able to effortlessly select these points when such an illness is encountered without the need to even reference the point energetics.
Table 1. Core Acupuncture Points for the Treatment of Common Disorders�
|Kidney||Liver||Heart||Spleen||Other points specified|
|Carpal tunnel syndrome||•||•||•||•||•||Fingers, Wrist|
|•||•||•||•||Gall Bladder, Stomach, Diaphragm|
|Coronary artery disease||•||•||•||•||•|
|Diarrhea||•||•||•||•||Large Intestine, Stomach, Sanjiao|
|Facial paralysis||•||•||•||•||•||Cheek, Diaphragm, Jaw, Sanjiao, Brainstem|
|Fibromyalgia||•||•||•||•||•||•||Sanjiao, Diaphragm, Relax muscle|
|Herpes zoster||•||•||•||Lung, Diaphragm, Local area|
|Irritable bowel syndrome||•||•||•||Large Intestine|
|Migraines||•||•||•||•||Diaphragm, Ear apex|
|Myopia||•||•||•||•||•||•||Eye, Eye 1, Eye 2, Stomach|
|Neurodermatitis (chronic lichen simplex)||•||•||•||Lung, local area involved|
|Otitis media||•||•||•||•||•||Inner ear, Mouth|
traumatic stress disorder
mandibular joint disorders
|•||•||•||•||•||Jaw, meridian involved (i.e. Stomach etc.)|
|Torticollis||•||•||•||Cervical vertebrae, Diaphragm, Neck|
Part one of this article provides the reader with a comprehensive list of clinically effective formulas for the treatment of 26 common diseases. This information is offered in an alphabetized chart form that makes it easy to access and study, as well as to visualize the multiple functions of the same points. Certainly the practitioner should not apply these points to treatment without understanding the person's medical history and the specific differentiation of illnesses, which my have several patterns. Correct location of the ear points of course are essential to the treatment, and the reader is encouraged to consult standards in the field or my latest book, Chinese Auricular Acupuncture.
Part two of the article, which will be published in the December issue, briefly summarizes the salient energetics of the core acupuncture points so that the reader can appreciate their role in the auricular prescription. Finally, in part three, treatment modality options are outlined for the practitioner.
- Abbate S. Chinese Auricular Acupuncture. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2004.
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