History of Ear Acupuncture
The history of ear acupuncture is based ancient Chinese medicine. This is a holistic system of medicine that has been part of the Chinese culture for over 3,000 years. Chinese medicine aims to optimise human life, allowing the body to heal itself. Treatments include acupuncture, massage, herbs, cupping, moxibustion, magnets and seeds, and acupressure.
The history, philosophies and principles of Chinese medicine explain that the body works as an integrated system. It recognizes that the accumulation and balance of the Yin, Yang and Qi within an individual determines their health or disease.
The ‘Nei Jing’ asserts that the nature of any entity, living or not, is determined by the intrinsic balance between opposing states, Yin and Yang.
Disturbances in balance result in changes, often seen as symptoms or signs of disease. Acupuncture treatments are intended to restore balance. Balance is accomplished by influencing the vital energy, the Qi.
How does Qi work?
Qi flows through channels in the body and in the spaces between muscles and the skin. Qi has many functions including:
- warming, moistening and nourishing;
- promoting normal function of the organs;
- providing energy for different processes;
- regulating the body; protecting the body; and
- ensuring that organs remain in their proper positions.
A very important role of Qi is in maintaining balance. In this sense, it is a homeostatic mechanism by which the body can heal itself and establish a state of wellness.
If Qi encounters a Yin–Yang imbalance, Qi corrects the situation by transforming one to the other, thus restoring balance and harmony.
If, however, a blockage exists that impedes the flow of Qi, a factor is present that is interfering with the Qi, or if there is a Deficiency of Qi, this healing transformation does not take place.
There are Acupuncture techniques for
- opening blocked channels
- for expelling pathogenic factors that are interfering with normal processes
- for boosting Qi in cases of Deficiency
Psychiatric disorders frequently relate to energetic disharmonies involving the 5’Spirits’. These are:
- the Hun (the noncorporeal spirit),
- the Po (the corporeal spirit),
- the Zhi (the will),
- the Yi (the intellect) and
- the Shen (the mind and the connecting spirit.)
Western medicine focusses on human body pathology i.e. alterations in anatomy or physiology that give rise to illness and disease states. Diagnoses usually include tests of blood, urine, stools, biopsies, scans, x-rays and physical examinations.
Treatments usually include the use of drugs, electotherapy or surgery to treat the symptoms and the cause, and cure the problem. It is well known that the pharmaceutical industry has played a big role in driving the prescribing and use of drugs. Today we find ourselves very dependent on taking and living on prescription and over the counter drugs for every possible condition.
We are a nation taking pain-killers, sleeping tablets, anti-inflammatories, anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anti-diarhoea, laxatives, decongestants, anti-histamines, ritalin, respidol, stimulants, relaxants etc.
Many of these only suppress the symptoms, and often have precarious side-effects and interactions.
Patients are often dependent or addicted to these drugs (regarded as chemical toxins in Chinese medicine). Their long term usage is not particularly beneficial or effective for us. Most drugs are metabolised by the liver, as is alcohol. Liver function can become seriously challenged over time.
More people are looking at alternative or complementary medicine that could help them heal. These include acupuncture, homeopathy and reflexology, to name but a few.
Ear acupuncture, when used alone or in conjunction with other modalities or counseling can be very effective in treating a number of conditions.
What is amazing is that many findings and treatments in Chinese medicine that are sometimes hundreds, if not thousands of years old, are only now being discovered by science and western medicine as being correct and effective.
Let us have an open mind and try things that can help us. Let us learn from history. It is well known that the body is capable of healing itself, and acupuncture can assist with this through detox and balancing.
Ear acupuncture is safe!