Acupuncture needles are used to treat conditions and ailments by inserting a small fine needle into the outer part of the ear. The needle is inserted into the cartilage of the ear.
Why do you put it in the ear?
There is a lot of things going on around the ear, it is not just there for hearing, it is a massive sensory organ!
The ear has a lot of nerve innovation; the trigeminal nerve, the vagus nerve and the C4 nerve. When you put the needles in the ear you stimulate these nerve which feedback to the brain.
The inner ear is where our balance mechanism is and it allows us to know which way up we are.
Where is the science behind putting needles in the ear?
The original science came from Dr. Paul Nogier, whose paper was written in 1958. He carried out a lot of research using the VAS pulse, which is a pulse response. It’s not like taking a pulse to see if you’re alive, it’s to see if there’s a response to a stimulation to the ear which tells the practitioner if that point is responsive and ready for treatment.
There is some more modern research which was done by Dr. Alimi. He used FMRI scans (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and measured the participants blood oxygen levels. There head was scanned and this could be used work out which parts of their brain lit up when a needle is inserted into different parts of the body.
What about the different tissue types in the ear?
You have got different tissue types in the ear and body; mesoderm, endoderm, and ectoderm.
- Ectoderm is the lining of the skin, it also lines the internal organs as well as the nervous system.
- Endoderm is mainly comprised of fat cells.
- Mesoderm is mostly where the muscle and bones lay.
What is the purpose of inserting needles into the ear?
There is a pre-set protocol which can be and is tailored to the individual and there problem. This is subject to the signs and symptoms of how someone’s presenting with their condition. There is a protocol for migraines, headaches, musculo-skeletal pain, allergies, and a whole myriad of other things. We base the treatment on the specific protocol but can also put in other specific things for the client.
For example if someone is suffering with central, and or lower back pain we can place needles around the back of the ear to help reduce the pain.
What is battlefield acupuncture?
Battlefield acupuncture was developed by Dr. Niemtzow or Colonel Niemtzow, from the United States Air Force at St. Andrews Air Force Base. He developed a specific protocol using five points on the ears, using a semi-permanent needle. What he found is by putting these five points in specific areas of the ear, he’s able to treat pain. It’s been such a successful treatment that there are hospitals in Australia that use the protocol in the ER room for patients coming in.
What are some of the benefits of acupuncture?
- Pain relief
- Helping with sleep patterns
- Respiratory problems
- Digestive problems
- Musculo-skeletal injuries
- Nerve pain
- Headache and migraines
…and so much more!
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This article was written by our team of specialist therapists at Perfect Balance Clinic. If you would like more specific advice about how our team can help you with this condition or symptoms you may be having, please complete the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you shortly.