Q: That means sticking needles in your ear?
A: Yes and no. Your ear lobes will be needled and some of the visible areas on your ear. There is no needling of the hearing canal. The needles are considerably smaller and thinner than with body acupuncture. The insertion depth is 1 to 2 mm depending on the location.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: Yes, it feels like a mosquito bite with the insertion pain rapidly settling down.
Q: Why should I suffer?
A: In Classical Chinese Medicine books there are references to treatments done to the ear, but it was the French doctor Paul Nogier, who worked out that a person’s body physiology as well as a few functional systems can be mapped onto it. This is a result from the human growth pattern, where each person grows from a fertilized egg into a well-developed fetus before its birth.
Paul Nogier found out that you can regulate bodily functions, reduce pain and thus treat systemic illnesses by needling specific ear points.
Q: Is it better than body acupuncture?
A: Body and ear acupuncture are two different treatment modalities. I combine them, in many cases. Ear acupuncture has been often deployed by non-TCM practitioners, since it has a shallower learning curve than body acupuncture. I do have patients that prefer just ear acupuncture on their own, because of their previous experience.
Q: What is ear acupuncture used for?
A: Detoxification, mental disbalances, systemic issues (hormonal disbalances) and also for pain management.
Q: What are the specific advantages?
A: You don’t need to undress. The diagnosis entails looking for sensitive (sore) areas on the earlobes, thus more emphasis is put on the body’s response to locate the points to treat. After the first treatment, follow-up sessions can be less time-intensive. It’s a good treatment for maintenance purposes and periodic visits.
Q: Anything to add?
A: Yes. I have patients that are not interested in a detailed discussion about their problems. They just need support for dealing with their (health) issue without feeling pressured into taking on any advice. Sometimes, because of cultural reasons, undressing may be a challenge or there is simply a language barrier. Ear acupuncture in those cases is a good treatment modality. I also treat couples during the same appointment. This can be:
- an elderly husband and wife
- a younger son bringing their father or mother, who does not speak German or English
- a single parent with their (teenage / adolescent) child
- a social worker bringing her client
Q: What do I need to keep in mind, when I bring a second person along?
A: The building in which I have the clinic is not wheel-chair accessible. After 10 flights of stairs, there is a lift to the floor of my clinic, but you need to be mobile. The street is uneven and there is no room to park any walking aid on the ground level. You would have to carry it up the 10 steps.
When I treat two adult persons both of them need to be fit to provide treatment consent. Children must be 16 years or older and if not present I need the guardian’s written consent.
For all cases, if there is a more suitable treatment modality, I will recommend that one.