Ear or Auricle is an organ of hearing. It is composed of a plate of elastic cartilage, a thin layer of fat and connective tissue supplied by numerous nerves. The main nerves in the ear are the great auricular and the lesser occipital that are derived from the second, third and fourth cervical spinal nerves, and auricular-temporal branch of the trigeminal nerve; vagus, the mixed branch of the facial nerve and the glossopharyngeal nerve, and sympathetic nerves.
When disorders occur in the internal organs or other parts of the body, various reactions may appear at the corresponding areas of the ear, such as tenderness, decreased cutaneous electric resistance, morphological changes, and discoloration. Thus, when making a diagnosis, those phenomena can be taken into consideration. Therefore, these sites are also referred to as tender spots, conductant points or reflex spots. Stimulating the sensitive sites serves to prevent and treat diseases.
Use in Acupuncture
Ear therapy or Auricular therapy has long been used in China. It has been shown to aid in the treatment of all types of conditions, from weight loss to addictions, insomnia, back pain, infertility, headache, vomiting, and more.
Ear acupuncture is generally incorporated into a regular acupuncture treatment. In addition to using acupuncture points on the rest of the body, your acupuncturist may select a few ear acupuncture points that they feel will be helpful for your particular condition.
Ear acupuncture points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear tacks. The small black seeds are the seeds of vaccaria segetalis, also called cowherb seeds. The seeds are placed on the ear over specific auricular points. The continuous mild pressure they exert is amplified by stimulate of the seeds with one to two minutes of fingertip massage every 3 hours.