The size of acupuncture needles vary. We have some very small needles and we have some slightly larger needles. They vary because they get used in different parts of the body. Some of the needles that go into the face are tiny little needles, and if I’m holding it you won’t actually see it.
How far does a needle go in?
Small needles will go in about 2.5-3 millimetres. There are ones that go into the ear, that go in about 3 millimetres.
Why would you put a needle into someones ear?
The ear is a micro system in the body, and it has a little map of the body on the ear. There’s certain different areas of the ear that relate to different parts of the body. The lobe itself relates to the head and the top of the ear relates more to the lower body and the hands and feet. The internal area relates to the internal organs. Therefore we are able to utilise a variety of points in a protocol for a variety of conditions, from lower back pain to muscular-skeletal pain, to migraine headaches and insomnia.
What is the science behind this?
As a micro system there was some research done in the 70’s that every part of the gross anatomy of the body reflects the rest of the anatomy. There was some research carried out in France for the ears being mapped out for different areas of the body. They used FMRI scans after the needles were placed in the ear to see which areas of the brain lights up and then that relates to that part of the body. So what we know is that by placing a needle in an area that says that it’s the stomach on the ear, the part of the brain for the stomach lights up and therefore a message comes from the brain to the stomach to balance the body.
What does all this mean for my problem?
The vast majority of patients we see have a musculoskeletal problem. The patient will come in and we will ask for a score of their pain out of 10. We then palpate an area of the body that relates to the pain from their ear. They will give a pain score, we then needle that area. After the treatment another pain score is provided and we find that it will have either gone to normal or it will have been seriously reduced.
This looks great, who can help me?
Jon is our amazing acupuncturist – visit his profie here
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