Auricular medicine as developed by Western medical doctors in Europe is a complete modality of diagnosis and treatment. Unlike body acupuncture, auricular acupuncture is treating the central nervous system rather than meridians.As a reflex map of the brain, the ear holds a current read-out of the whole body system, and is a gateway for both assessment and treatments. Auricular acupuncture can successfully treat most any condition, including otherwise inaccessible conditions of the inner organs and central nervous system.
German auricular medicine is a system of auricular acupuncture that grew out of the discoveries of Paul Nogier, M.D., of Lyon France in the 1950s to 1980s. Recent advancements to the medicine have evolved in Germany, the central catalyst being Dr. Frank Bahr, a student and colleague of Dr. Paul Nogier. Thousands of European medical doctors, and now hundreds of North Americans, have been trained in this relatively new German system of the medicine. Advancements offer the practitioner the ability to not only use the ear for diagnosis, but also to determine the priorities amongst active acupuncture points. The result is an individualized treatment plan that provides an effective pathway for recovery. The ear holds the story, and reveals the trail back to health.
The brain is dynamic, always projecting current disturbances as "active" points onto the ear. Going far beyond the use of basic two-dimensional ear maps to locate points, learning to accurately read the ear itself brings these active points alive, and guides the trained practitioner's assessment.
These "current disturbances" we see reflected on the ear can also be long-held and even ostensibly unimportant pathologies or injuries. Physical or emotional scars, or hidden dental infections, for example, may still be presenting a constant stress to the system. Our bodies do not stop trying to heal, to regain homeostasis, and if there is a blockage preventing the natural process of response, that pathology will continue to demand energy. It then become an energy drain or "focus" for the body, preventing other injuries to heal as well.
A precise assessment and treatment can "reset" the related and specific brain area, rewiring and sending a new message to the pathology in the body or the psyche. With such a safe, non-invasive system, we can and do change people's lives; sometimes with single treatments.
The ear offers us the most direct and effective gateway to treat the brain, other than invasive methods such as implants or other surgery. Increasingly, spinal cord or brain surgery is being tried for chronic conditions such as migraines, Alzheimer's, anorexia and epilepsy, when trying auricular acupuncture first could avoid such drastic measures.
The following case studies show the profound effects of auricular acupuncture.
Case Example 1: Brain Injury
A woman in her mid-50s suffers symptoms from a motor vehicle accident brain injury of 10 years ago. She had done very well with the best medicine had to offer her, but still suffers from blurred vision, numbness from her mouth down, headaches and fatigue. With a 4-needle auricular treatment based in an assessment of focus disturbances still blocking her healing, her system revisited many old symptoms over the next 24 hours. She described later to me how she just observed this "unwinding". Then - she reported her eyes felt different and she felt relaxed and "normal." Her vision cleared to the point of no longer needing prism glasses, the numbness was gone, headaches were gone and she was functioning at a level close to prior to the motor vehicle accident. These effects had remained stable when I spoke with her six months later.
Case Example 2: Sinus Blockage
A professional man in his early 40s is anxious, constantly worries and has a hard time concentrating. We do an assessment of his focus activity and discover a sinus blockage. Upon questioning, the patient reports that as a child he had to have sinus surgery on that side of his face. After treatment, the patient reported feeling his whole nervous system calm down, and his obsessive worrying stop. He felt focused and clear. Later he also told me that his chronic knee pain, also on the same side and which he had not mentioned, was gone, along with a new free range of movement.
Case Example 3: Back Pain
A car mechanic has chronic back pain, constant low grade at 3-4/10, occasional 8/10, that is aggravated by his position during work. His shoulders also ache, and his standing posture has a tilt 30 degrees to the right. After reviewing his history, a vasectomy scar from what he described as a terrible experience came up as a priority point, along with a foot injury and the TMJ point. Related spinal points were also treated. Patient felt immediate relief and treatment was repeated three days later. Patient felt energy moving through his legs and knots loosen in his low back. The next time I saw him, his shoulders and wrists were even and he reported being pain free, and that he had even shoveled snow with no pain returning.
These examples show the wide range of conditions that can be effected by auricular acupuncture: motor vehicle accident injury, childhood surgery causing psychological symptoms in adulthood and a musculoskeletal treatment that resolved posture and back pain.
With German auricular acupuncture we are able to go beyond treating symptoms and clear blockages to healing that effect every aspect of a person's whole system of health. The results from a few needles, or point laser treatment, are profound.
Muriel Agnes is an educator and auricular acupuncturist with a PhD in Energy Medicine and a Masters of Adult Education (1987). Since 1999, Dr. Agnes has apprenticed with several doctors of Auricular Medicine, in particular Dr. Beate Strittmatter of the German Academy of Auricular Medicine.