The healing power of auriculotherapy
Many of you are aware of the amazing health and wellness benefits of acupuncture. I have a close friend who is a master acupuncturist and she has traveled all over the world to master her craft. She has treated me for various things over the years, and I am a big fan. Auriculotherapy is similar to acupuncture, but is only treated on the surface of the ear and there are no needles used in this type of treatment. Much like acupuncture, there are only a couple of contraindications. For safety reasons, auriculotherapy should not be performed on those who are pregnant or anyone who has a pacemaker. Auriculotherapy is completely safe on all others.
I am bringing you this article today because not very many people have heard about auriculotherapy. One of the most beneficial aspects of the treatment is the sedation effect. When we become stressed with our day to day living, our mind tends to go into what is called fight-or-flight syndrome. The symptoms of fight-or-flight syndrome are shallow breathing, increased heart rate, and our awareness is heightened. Our adrenal glands go into high gear and adrenalin is pumped into the blood stream to prepare us for battle. During this state of heightened awareness, we live our lives through the lens of fear. We are constantly on the defensive and looking for our enemies. Our ability to be creative is diminished, and rational, cognitive thinking is impaired.
After long periods of fight-or-flight syndrome, our body begins to break down. The negative thinking becomes firmly entrenched behavior, creating a vicious circle of stress-inducing thought. Chronic illness such as irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and addiction are common companions of fight or flight. Many seek treatment for the visible symptoms and are then prescribed drugs that simply mask the body’s attempts to show us there is something that needs our attention. By treating the apparent symptoms and not addressing the chronic state of being we have developed, the other symptoms begin to get worse. This is the never-ending cycle that so many people are now caught up in. We have become a society that has medicine cabinets full of drugs to “fix” things that can be easily corrected with a lifestyle change.
Many people fear that reducing their stress means less productivity. Our culture has us believing that our health and well-being is secondary to our financial security. Yet with the rising cost of health care, soon, if not already, it will be far more costly to neglect our health than continue a lifestyle that requires us to overwork and overproduce. Having a healthy stress management ritual helps us to be more productive in our work, emotionally available for our friends and family, and open to hearing our higher self and the soft hints of our intuitive nature.
Holistic wellness methods such as acupuncture, auriculotherapy, chiropractic, naturopathy, yoga, and meditation, to name just a few, are surefire ways to stop the fight-or-flight syndrome in its tracks. Stress can never be eliminated; in fact, we need stress in our lives to provide a contextual field and propel us to our natural state, which is self-improvement. Our society has all but given up on the natural path to wellness in favor of the quick fix in the forms of pills and surgeries. While I do understand that there are situations that call for the medical community to step in and help, I am of the belief that if we practice healthier, holistic lifestyles, the need for traditional medicine would be minimal. Stopping chronic illness starts at arresting our fight-or-flight response and finding a state of relaxation.
The first point treated in auriculotherapy is called the Shen Men. The Chinese have had awareness of this point for over 5,000 years. When the Shen Men is stimulated using the micro-current tool used in auriculotherapy, the mind becomes sedated, allowing for a greater connection to our soul voice. When the mind is “out of the way,” the body’s ability to heal is unlimited. Furthermore, the panic mode brought on by our fight-or-flight mechanism is virtually eliminated, easing us into a normalized state of being. Sometimes simply being reminded of what it feels like to not be worried or anxious is all it takes for a person to understand just how stressed out they really are.
There are over 350 reflex points in the ear referring to every system, organ, and limb of the body. The procedure is quick and painless, although some would describe it as mildly uncomfortable. The results are immediate and undeniable. For a quick and relatively painless session, relaxation is induced and fight or flight is arrested for the time being. If the person receiving treatment has any mild aches or pains, the therapist can locate and stimulate corresponding points and ease the discomfort.
Used in many treatment facilities, auriculotherapy has shown remarkable results in patient retention. On average, patients attending 28-day treatment facilities typically only stay around 10 days. Studies show that facilities who offer advanced relaxation therapies like yoga and auriculotherapy have almost 100 percent retention.
For those wishing to quit smoking, auriculotherapy offers an easy way out. The hardest part of quitting smoking is the discomfort of withdrawal. By stimulating the correct points we can trick the brain into releasing endorphins, the exact same feeling we get when we are smoking, without the nicotine to produce it. After just a few treatments, the body normalizes its production of endorphins and the withdrawal stage has passed.
If you are looking for a stress management protocol, try looking into auriculotherapy and see for yourself. Typically, you will find this treatment being offered in chiropractic offices and holistic wellness centers. The average treatment takes about 20 minutes to ½ hour.
I am bringing you this article today for two reasons: The first is as an informational piece. I feel this is a valuable tool to have in your holistic health toolbox. The second reason is to tell you that at our Path to Peace recovery retreats, we offer this service for no additional charge daily. For someone wishing to quit smoking, who plans on attending the retreat, this could be a great way to kick it off.
Our next P2P retreat is coming up quickly. This one will be held in San Jose, California, from September 19 – 22nd. After that, we will be taking to the east coast in Orlando, Florida, from October 24 – 27th. Click here for more information and registration for these retreats.
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation with JR Westen. You can visit his website here for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)