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Encyclopedia > Auriculotherapy

Auriculotherapy - not to be confused with auricular therapy using needles (ear acupuncture) - is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that the ear is a microsystem, meaning that the entire body is represented on the auricle (or auricula, or pinna - the outer portion of the ear) in a similar fashion to reflexology (zone therapy) and iridology (iridodiagnosis), and that the entire body can be treated by stimulation of the surface of the ear exclusively. Scientists regard this as pseudoscience. Acupuncture (from Lat. ... Alternative medicine describes practices used in place of conventional medical treatments. ... A human ear (also called auricle or pinna) The ear is the sense organ that detects sound. ... Auricle has the following meanings: The external portion of the ear. ... This is an example of a reflexology chart, correlating areas of the feet with portions of the body. ... Iridology is an alternative medicine practice in which patterns, colors and other characteristics of stromal fibers of the iris are examined for information about a patients systemic health. ... Phrenology is regarded today as a classic example of pseudoscience. ...

Contents


History

In the 1950s, Dr. Paul Nogier noticed that a local lay practitioner in Lyon, France was treating sciatica by cauterizing an area of the ear, which prompted him to investigate ear acupuncture and subsequently develop auriculotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain (and later, for substance abuse) [1]. However, auriculotherapy has never been shown to be an effective treatment for sciatica or any other form of chronic pain (or to have any beneficial effect above that of a placebo for substance abuse). The 1950s were the decade that traditionally speaking, spanned the years 1950 through 1959. ... Sciatica is a pain in the leg due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. ... Hot cauters were applied to tissues or arteries to stop them from bleeding. ... A placebo, from the Latin for I will please, is a medical treatment (operation, therapy, chemical solution, pill, etc. ...


Compared to acupuncture

  • auriculotherapy considers the ear to be a localized reflex system connected to the central nervous system (whereas ear acupuncture focuses on the acupuncture meridians) [2]
  • auriculotherapy uses neither needles nor fixed stimulation points [3] [4]

Treatment (stimulation of the auricle) is usually by means of an electrical probe, or sometimes photobiomodulation (laser therapy). The concept of meridians (Chinese: jing-luo) arises from the techniques and doctrines of traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture and acupressure. ... Photobiomodulation also called Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Cold Laser Therapy, Laser Biostimulation, phototherapy or just Laser Therapy, in medicine and veterinary medicine, is one of many Laser applications. ...


Maps

Many widely differing auriculotherapy maps exist (examples: [5] [6]). Nogier first proposed a "somatotopic" map with the body appearing on the ear as an inverted fetus, with the head towards the lower lobule, the feet at the uppermost portion of the auricle, and the body in between; he subsequently produced three further "phase" diagrams providing additional and alternative sets of stimulation locations, in which the part or parts of the ear considered to represent a specific organ varies significantly depending on the "phase" of the ailment [7]. Some French system practitioners now use a more distorted representation of the body in the ear, more similar to the somatotopic representation on the cerebal cortex [1]. Chinese system diagrams place more emphasis on metaphorical names rather than anatomical locations. Fetus at eight weeks Foetus redirects here. ...


Studies

  • 1980: a study in the Journal Pain concluded "results ... support the hypothesis that there is a somatotopoic organization of the body represented upon the human auricle" [8]
  • 1984: a controlled crossover study involving 36 patients suffering from chronic pain found that "...auriculotherapy is not an effective therapeutic procedure for chronic pain" [9]
  • 1999: a study in the Journal Acupuncture in Medicine "...found no evidence to support the concept that the body is represented on the ear" [10]

Bibliography

  1. ^ Rubach, Axel (2001). Principles of Ear Acupuncture. Thieme.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Auriculotherapy: Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (1250 words)
Auriculotherapy is generally performed once per week on patients for a sequence of several months, although the frequency of treatment depends on the patient and condition.
Auriculotherapy, like all acupuncture, should not be performed on weak or exhausted patients, nor on those who are very hungry or have just eaten a meal or drunk alcohol.
Auriculotherapy should not be performed on pregnant women during the first two trimesters (six months) of pregnancy, and afterwards only on very particular points on the ear for pain control.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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