Our bodies have many ways of communicating with its different parts. We typically believe that the nervous system is the main pathway of that communication. Science now knows that there is a much faster and more extensive network of communication based on energy flow within our body. It is at this level of cell-to-cell communication that acupuncture works and derives its healing changes in the body. Body acupuncture is based on a system of 12 meridians which run through the surface of the body with energy (life force or chi) flowing smoothly from one to the next. Through the influence of external forces such as wind, cold, heat , dampness, trauma, chemical poison and improper eating or from internal forces such as stress, emotional upset or lack of sleep, the smooth flow of energy is interrupted with excess in some meridians and deficiencies in others, resulting in many kinds of diseases.
Through proper diagnosis and treatment, the proper energy flow is restored to the meridians and health is restored. Acupuncture does not just relieve pain, but actually stimulates the body to heal itself.
Acupuncture has been around for over 4,000 years and there are probably 1,000 different ways of performing it. I have many books based on unique and varied ways to accomplish effective results with use of acupuncture.
Stimulation of acupuncture points can be done with very fine needles, electrical stimulation, sound, laser light and herbs. We have gradually started using laser stimulation more than needles with very good results. I believe that a general consensus of experienced acupuncture practitioners would agree that needle stimulation generates the greatest response within the body.
Remember that acupuncture is only part of the broader healing art of meridian therapy which also includes manipulation of the spine and other joints of the body, herbs and other nutritional compounds and emotional help in the form of counseling or meditation.
Ear Acupuncture (Auriculotherapy)
Within the body, there are also microsystems, which are areas that contain acupuncture points representing the whole body. The most common microsystem is in the ear (see chart) although other microsystems are in the foot, hand, nose, tongue, face and scalp.
Ear acupuncture is a fairly recent addition to acupuncture treatment. In the late 1950’s, Dr. Paul Nogier, a French medical doctor, gradually discovered the map of points representing the entire body in the ear, which ended up being an inverted fetus superimposed on the ear.
Stimulation of ear points can be done with needles, electrical stimulation, laser light or pressure. It can be used alone or with body acupuncture. We have seen amazing results utilizing the ear for treatment. We frequently will utilize laser stimulation of the cervical spine, occiput, temporal, and forehead ear points along with supporting points for patients with headaches. The result is a dramatic reduction in the muscle spasm at the base of the skull. Combining body points with hip points in the ear can bring great relief for pain in that area. Ear acupuncture can also be used for smoking cessation and weight loss. Other conditions such as asthma and stomach pain area also effectively relieved.