What is Auriculotherapy?
Auriculotherapy is needle-less stimulation of the external ear for alleviating pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Auriculotherapy uses electricity to diagnose and treat auricular acupoints (acupuncture points on the ear). The external part of the ear is considered a “Microsystem” of the body. Microsystems are like small images of the whole body, located in different locations on the body and in this case, the ear. The ear is a complete Microsystem of the human body. All parts of the body are represented in an inverted pattern on the ear. There are other Microsystems in the body but the ear has been shown through research to be the most effective Microsystem. This is due to the type of tissue that makes up the ear and due to its direct connection to the nervous system, which controls every single cell and bodily function.
Auriculotherapy works by stimulating the central nervous system through the cranial nerves and spinal nerves on the auricle (external ear). This stimulation results in neurotransmitters being stimulated within the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system. This stimulation of neurotransmitters modulates the pain and modulates nerve function beginning the healing process within the body to that organ or body part that is affected.
Auriculotherapy for Smoking Cessation
Auriculotherapy has been used for years to treat addictions. It wasn’t until the last decade until the technique became very popular and is probably due to people becoming more health conscious about the risk of cigarette smoking and other addictions. When it comes to nicotine addiction Auriculotherapy tricks the body into thinking it is still receiving nicotine when it is not. The way it does this is by stimulation natural chemicals called “Endorphins”. The brain has specific neuroreceptors that nicotine binds to when the substance is ingested. The endorphins also fit these receptors. By manipulating these receptors with Auriculotherapy we are able to make these endorphins lock to them. The body thinks it is nicotine so there is no withdraw symptoms. This will last for 1-2 weeks and possibly longer. During the first few weeks getting over an addiction is the hardest. Without the exposure to nicotine the body will slowly lost its addictive neurological pathway. When this happens the body will no longer crave the substance. Auriculotherapy buys the time for this to happen. Some people respond differently as each person’s physiology is different. For some, the reaction may be short lived and for others it will last long enough for the body to rewire itself and reestablish normal neurologic pathways. If the reaction is short lived more treatments will be required to get over the addiction.
Typically one treatment is all that is necessary and 75% of patients quit with one treatment. Overall 4 out of 5 patients will quit with Auriculotherapy. Auriculotherapy will get you 75% of the way to getting over the addiction. You will be left with about 25% of the cravings. You should have no problem dealing with this. This is why even with Auriculotherapy you have to be willing to quit. You will have to have motivation. For those not ready to quit, you will cave at the very slightest craving. If you are thinking about Auriculotherapy for smoking cessation or any other addiction, be prepared to want to quit. Some people respond differently as each person’s physiology is different. For some, the reaction may be short lived and for others it will last long enough for the body to rewire itself and reestablish normal neurologic pathways. If the reaction is short lived more treatments will be required to get over the addiction.
After treatment you are to have NO nicotine. This means no patches, gums, or inhalers. Your body does not care whether the nicotine is from a cigarette, cigar, or chewing tobacco or from the above listed products. By ingesting nicotine the addiction will begin to reestablish itself. The addiction pathway you have established for nicotine is still there. The brain has a memory of this. With Auriculotherapy we desensitized the neuroreceptors that nicotine binds to. Remember we did this by creating endorphins and manipulating the receptors. Each exposure to nicotine, whether it from a patch, gum, or a cigarette will slowly turn these receptors back on. As more and more are turned back on or reprogrammed by the exposure to nicotine, you become once again addicted. Once a smoker always a smoker, there is no thing as “I can have just one”. What I have just explained to you is the reason why.
Auriculotherapy (Stop Smoking) New Patient
Stop Smoking Case History (1 page)
Mt. Zion Chiropractic Office Only
Does Auriculotherapy hurt?
For most, the procedure is painless. You may feel a tiny sensation in the ear where the point is being treated. This is usually for a second of two and then the sensation goes away. If it feels slightly uncomfortable we can decrease the intensity to where you do not feel it. Most of the time this isn’t necessary as the treatment is tolerable.
How frequently will I be treated to stop smoking?
Usually with smoking addictions, all that is needed is one or two treatments to break the physical addiction to nicotine.
How is Auriculotherapy performed?
Auriculotherapy is performed by the doctor using electricity (micro-current) as a means to diagnose and treat auricular acupoints, and is also used to treat the acupoint. The wand measures the positive and negative polarity (differential) of acupoint and surrounding tissue. When there is a large difference in polarity, either positive or negative, it is indicative of the presence of an injury, pathology or disease in that part of the body that corresponds to the acupoint. If the point is extremely positive, the machine will automatically stimulate the ear point with electrical stimulation positively or negatively as needed. This is all done with the touch of a button on the wand. The machine, which is called a Stim-Flex 400A is the most advanced equipment in the field and allows the doctor to diagnose pain, dysfunction, and disease whether it be somatic, visceral, or psychological in origin.
Are there side effects?
The primary side effect of ear acupuncture or Auriculotherapy is tenderness or inflammation to the ear itself. This is usually very rare. Auriculotherapy and acupuncture generally have almost no side effects, especially if the doctor is using Auriculotherapy with electrical stimulation, which is how Dr. Woodrow performs Auriculotherapy. Infection is possible when the skin is pierced with the acupuncture needle, but is never heard of in Auriculotherapy. If the patient is afraid of needles, Auriculotherapy is a painless alternative to ear acupuncture. Auriculotherapy is contraindicated in patients that are pregnant and for those patients who have certain types of pacemakers.