I know some people have a thing about feet and can't stand to look at them (same goes with hairy nostrils or snotty noses.... well if you have a "thing" about ears, I suggest you look away now!
Today's post is on Auriculotherapy.....
A number of years ago when I was studying Naturopathic diagnostics in London, each study day I would pass a fab little book store which had hundreds of medical and health books to browse through. On one of the days I was mooching around and one particular obscure book jumped out at me and caught my interest.... it was called "Yog Sadhna and yoga healing secrets"... it contained Yoga asanas, breath work techniques and a section in the back on different methods of acupressure. I bought the book, read it and from that time on I was sold on the benefits of ear twiddling.
What I like about it is that the ears are so easily accessible and I've noticed that even just a few minutes of massage/ acupressure can have and massive energy boosting effect. Over the years, I have used the chart in the back of the book on myself and my family, in particular on Heni (to boost her energy and immune system) and, when she is in discomfort, as it seems to calm her down and make her more at ease. The other children have also loved having a session done on them from time to time too, and have found it to be very relaxing. As you can see from the photo above, Heni absolutely loves to have here ears "done"....usually we have a lovely cuddle sessions before she goes to bed and at the same time I often massage and put pressure on the various points around her ears.
In the same way that parts of the feet represent different body parts and organs in reflexology, so too do parts of the ears in Auriculotherapy. Every structure in the body can be mapped on the auricle or outer ear... which can be compared to and upside down foetus with the head represented on the lower lobe, the feet at the top and the rest of the body in the middle section.
Acupuncture was originally practiced as far back as 500 BC, but the modern version of Auriculotherapy was apparently first developed in 1957 by Dr Paul Nogier, a french Neurologist. Since that time, modern technology such a functional MRI scans (fMRI), have shown what those ancient cultures knew all along, and have shown that ear acupuncture/pressure triggers an effect in areas of the brain which correspond to the specific zones on the ear.
The ear consists of over 200 of these pressure points, some of which can be seen below.
Heni particularly likes to have her left ear massaged and completely relaxes and zones out while I am doing it for her, but there is one area (the thoracic vertebrae area) that when I press it, she seems to be completely relaxed and relieved and sent to la la land!
The most interesting part about this for me is that when you look at an ear chart and see where the different body parts are represented .....(above picture and below)
...and then you look at Heni's ears (particularly her left ear)
You can see that the outer shapes of her right and left ear are different and also the inner angles are different.....(the right ear is more of a curve and the left ear is more like a 130 degree angle. The outer shape having an influence on the spinal chord and the inner ridge being more associated with the spinal vertebra... particularly effecting the thoracic spine area!
Heni has a rather large and very distinct curvature (scoliosis) in her thoracic spine which causes the ribs on the left rib cage to form a "hump". I feel that it is no coincidence that the shape in her back reflects the shape in her ears and why she gets such pleasure and relief from it.
"Ear Twiddling" in its basic form of a quick massage to the outer ear can be re-energizing and also relaxing, but systematically applied acupressure to the relevant points can be a form of non invasive preventative health care and form of symptomatic relief. The World health organization (WHO) have listed up to 150 conditions that they say Auriculotherapy can treat. Some of these include various neurological and orthopeadic conditions such as headache, migraines, facial neuralgia and paralysis, peripheral neuropathy and such things as tennis elbow, sciatica, lumbar pain, rheumatoid arthritis and even menopausal hot flushes!
This week has been one of those weeks when I have noticed Heni going on her downward slope again and just the other day I got called in to college because her oxygen saturation's had taken a plummet. Today she is home and we have had some nice cuddles and of course.... we managed to get some of her favourite ear twiddling time in too. Lets hope that among all the other things, it will boost her vital energy and set her back on the right track again.... at the least... it keeps her happy and smiling... and that counts for a lot!
Why not have a go at a quick ear pulling session?
Sit in a comfortable chair and gently pinch the top part of your ears and pull outwards for a few seconds. Gradually move your pinches slowly down and work your way around the ear, pulling outwards for a few seconds and releasing each time.
Then give your ears a 10 second massage.
Notice a difference? What do you feel? Warmth? tingling? Energy and blood flowing?