What Is Auricular Therapy? (& Should You Try It?)

By Felicity Carter

1 year ago

What to know about this traditional Chinese medicine technique

Looking for ways to minimise pain, stress and anxiety? You might want to try auricular therapy. We chat to certified auricular acupuncturist and founder of 001 Skincare London, Ada Ooi, to find out everything we need to know about the treatment.

What Is Auricular Therapy?

‘Auriculotherapy, or auricular therapy, is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique that focuses on areas of your ear to relieve pain, calm the mind, and treat illnesses,’ says Ada. ‘It works by viewing the ear as a micro system that relates to the internal organ system. The ear consists of over 200 acupuncture points, and some of them are recognised to help relieve pain, calm the mind, and aid with certain symptoms like insomnia.

Someone receiving Auricular Therapy on their ears

(c) 001 Skincare London

‘It is based on treating the ear as a micro system which reflects the entire body, and the shape of the ears encapsulates an inverted embryo. In the middle of your ear lope, you’ll find reflexive points to the eyes, the curved rim of the ears with points related to the spine and top of ears for the lower limbs. Stimulating these points stimulate or regulates qi (the consistent rhythm for our daily functioning), and as some points are identified as reflexive to our musculo-skeletal and organ systems, auriculotherapy can be used to treat the relevant problematic conditions. Some of these include anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, nausea, as well as gynaecological and digestive disorders. Studies have also shown certain protocols of a combination of points have shown improvement for deeper mental health, addiction and behavioural issues in children and adults. Auricular acupuncture first originated in China during the Chou period (first millennium BCE) and has been used in TCM ever since.’

How Does It Work?

‘Your practitioner will start by assessing the entire body, tongue, pulse and limbs and then checking the ears to see what condition the body is in – as certain internal issues will show up on the ears – and then using these signs they will place the needles in specific areas on the ear to stimulate the points.

‘When acupressure points are stimulated either through massage or acupuncture, endorphins are released which work as a natural painkiller, decreasing any discomfort. It also stimulates the production of serotonin, lifting the mood and tackling issues like anxiety, depression and insomnia. You will feel much more relaxed, which is the most ideal state of being to treat problematic conditions and your nervous system. Your body will receive signals to reset, re-regulate and regenerate.


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‘According to TCM, acupressure helps to regulate qi throughout the body. When qi is out of balance, blocked or stagnated across the body, this is where health issues arise, so by regulating the flow of qi across the body’s meridians (channels) while addressing problematic conditions, this will improve overall health and wellbeing.

‘All my treatments at the 001 clinic are designed based on combining Western therapy and Chinese medicine principles and techniques, to stimulate the meridian networks (reflexive to strengthening internal organ system health) and facilitate lymphatic drainage (releasing fascia tension and its emotional memories), aligning both physical and mental health for long term benefits in regulating qi to create a full circuit for your entire wellbeing immediately and sustainably. When your internal wellbeing is healthy, you genuinely glow from within.’

What Are The Advantages?

‘Auriculotherapy boosts immunity, balances hormones, detoxes the body as well as helping to ease neck, back and shoulder pain or digestion issues,’ lists Ada. ‘In traditional Chinese medicine there are 12 primary meridians that carry energy throughout the body, and acupressure on the ear can stimulate these meridians depending on where the seeds are placed. There are more than 200 acupressure points in the ear, and this close relationship with the nervous system and meridians means that ear seeding can help with chronic pain, migraines, depression, anxiety and overall decrease stress levels.’


You can book an auricular therapy treatment with Ada at 001skincare.com

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