Ear massage A natural remedy

(Beijing today)
Updated: 2007-03-27 10:54

Ear massage A natural remedyThe ear, an oft-neglected body part, has a special place in the human system. When you discover how effective ear massage is and how effective it is for the body, you may be stunned: for many of life's discomforts, ear massage provides a simple, non-invasive answer.

Mechanism

Within the ear's system is a collection of links that offer direct routes to the central and peripheral nervous sstems, Yin Lin, a surgeon from Beijing Biotinge Medical Spa, says. The auricle of the ear can be viewed as a microsystem of pressure points connected to the entire body. For example, if your shoulder aches, you can feel relief if the "shoulder area" of the ear is pressed, similar to the microsystems thought to be on the feet, face, legs and back.Clinically, doctors are interested in the access to body systems offered by pressure points in the ear, Lin, says. Stimulating the ear's pressure points is referred to as auriculotherapy. It was discovered by the French in 1950, and then picked up and studied by Chinese doctors.While auriculotherapy can be used to address a countless array of health issues, treatments targeting pain relief and addiction have demonstrated some of the most dramatic responses.

Pain relief

Studies conducted by Michael Smith, a physician who practices Oriental Medicine in New York City, suggest that applying pressure to specific ear locations can relieve body pain. Ear stimulation triggers the release of the body's natural painkillers'endorphins - chemicals poduced in the brain that reduce pain and lift the mood, Smith says.

By rubbing the ear, doctors can access nearly every part of the body's anatomy. Ear massage also aids in adjusting hormone and neurotransmitter levels in the body and brain. For many diseases with no known treatment, the ear's pressure points may offer a way to effectively reduce symptoms and increase the quality of life.

Addiction

Ear stimulation is utilized world-over to help reduce drug dependence and assist in detoxification of addicts. A new attempt by St John's Mercy Medical Center in Washington is using ear stimulation as a fast, safe and painless way to quit smoking.The area of the ear accessed in addiction treatment is the concha, Lin says. The two hollow areas of the outer ear correspond to the autonomic nervous system via the vagus nerve, and stimulating these areas can enhance relaxation and help to maintain balance.

Useful resources

Learning more about anatomy and the map of the ear can help add a new level of healing to basic ear massage.

1.Auriculotherapy Manual, 1998, Terry Oleson, PhD, Health Care Alternatives

2. auriculotherapy.com

Dr Terry Oleson provides answers to plenty of FAQs readers may have.

3. emedicine.com

An online collection of free massage information.

Simple and inexpensive home remedies are grabbing more attention thanks to their DIY novelty, lack of serious side effects and sometimes utter absurdity. Beijing Today presents some weird remedies submitted by numerous netizens to show how home remedies work, and how people use crazy cures to stay fit and healthy.

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