Acupuncture of the ear, also known as auricular acupuncture if you want to get technical, is a powerful and simple tool that can effect great change. The ear is a micro-system for treating the entire body. In this there are specific areas that can be stimulated to influence the autonomic function of the nervous system, which is primarily responsible for our fight-or-flight response and with that the down-regulation thereof. This can be tremendously effective for treating anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, chronic pain, you name it and there's most likely a point on your ear that can help treat it.
A lot of research has been done in the area of addiction recovery with a combination of 5 of these points, called the NADA or Acu Detox 5 needle protocol. This protocol is practiced by certified trainees in a variety of professions, and used to help eliminate cravings and withdrawal symptoms, as well as treating a wide variety of symptoms associated with recovery. We often use auricular points in addition to other points on the body in the treatment room. In certain settings, like our outreach program at Mt. Carmel, we primarily rely on these points. Patients report feeling more relaxed, sleeping more deeply, having reduced food cravings and more!