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The practice of acupuncture is the stimulation of certain acupuncture points on the human body for the purpose of controlling and regulating the flow and balance of energy in the body. The practice includes the techniques of piercing the skin by inserting needles and point stimulation by the use of acupressure, electrical, mechanical, thermal or traditional therapeutic means.
Chinese medicine views the human body as a complete organic entity that interconnects the external phenomenal world and the physical bodily structure through a series of natural laws. Chinese medicine focuses attention on the patient rather than on the disease, grouping together signs and symptoms of a disease and synthesizing them, until a clear picture appears that provides a diagnosis of the person as a whole.
A patient's illness is closely related to the emotional and mental aspects of a person. The Chinese doctor will diagnose and treat the individual taking into consideration the continuum line produced by the interactions of body, mind and spirit. Generally, in Western medicine a disease is diagnosed according to what is happening to the mechanical structure of the organs in relation to the disease process. In Chinese medicine, the internal ORGANS are actually the power of ORGAN FUNCTION, not the physical structure of the organ. Chinese and Oriental medicine emphasizes the performance and functions of the organic structures.
Auriculotherapy (also known as auricular therapy, ear acupuncture, or auriculoacupuncture) is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine which views the ear as a micro-system which reflects the entire body. Auriculotherapy uses the auricle (outer portion) of the ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other parts of the body.
Auriculotherapy treats physical, mental or emotional conditions by stimulating points on the outside of the ear. Stimulation of these points is achieved by the application of electrical stimulation, manual pressure (auricular acupressure), ear pellets, laser or the insertion of acupuncture needles.
Numerous Chinese texts refer to the role of the ear as an instrument for the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention and treatment of disease. Most of these texts go back to the earliest recorded Chinese body of medical information wherein they established the connection between the ear and the rest of the body. One such reference the Neijing, (The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine 500 B.C. to 300 B.C.) included the observation that the ear is not an isolated organ but intimately connected with all the organs of the body.
In 1957 a French neurologist performed clinical trials based on a phrenological projection of a fetal Homunculus (similar to an inverted fetus) on the ear as a reference for complaints and points for treatment. The results of this study were published in Treatise of Auriculotherapy.