Auriculotherapy is similar to acupuncture, but pertains to certain points on the ear. By touching an electrical stimulant to the ear, a variety of health-related conditions may be alleviated, such as nausea, fatigue, and numbness. Listen to physical therapist, Karen Gilbert explain more about auriculotherapy.
Karen Gilbert: Auriculotherapy is an electrical stem treatment where we treat the ear to change something in the body. All of our therapists here are auriculotherapists, they are all certified and what we do is use a small stimulus in the ear to determine points that are not in equilibrium.
So, let me give you an example. We did a double-blinded study here for head and neck patients that couldn’t produce saliva. We had read some research on the fact that you could actually do acupuncture and produce saliva in their mouth, and that’s a big issue when you’re talking about trying to eat and swallow. So, you stimulate a point on the ear, the mouth, the salivary gland and maybe some other, a few other points for seconds. We measure it in eight seconds, second intervals. Literally, patients start producing saliva almost immediately; the points are not treated if they are not out of sync so the machine reads that for us and after doing that double-blinded study we said, “OK. We can use this tool on lots of other things.”
We use it for nausea, there is not a reason to not come down to your therapy appointment now because you’re nauseated because you come down here and we might take care of it. We also use it for mobility, stabilities, balance. Our favorite thing to use it for is, many of our patients have been sedated, they had a treatment, and they had to have sedations and there’s a point on the ear called a cingulate gyrus its part of the limbic system you stimulate it and literally they do this and are ready to go. Kind of, some people say, “You just took me out of my little coma I was in.”
You know, so auriculotherapy has become a tool that we wouldn’t be without. There also using it throughout the hospital for smoking cessation. The modality itself, not traditional in our fields but once a therapist and it doesn’t matter where there from use it, they wouldn’t be without it.