The ear holds a micro-system of the body, the auricular acupuncture map on the ear is in form of an inverted fetus with all the fine details of the anatomical, physiological, and emotional body represented.
Auricular acupuncture has many benefits, of which accessibility may be most prominent; it is also simple, safe, low-cost and east to deliver in any treatment setting.The most popular treatment protocol using acupuncture points in the ears is NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxifiaction Association). The NADA protocol was developed around 1980 at a rehabilitation center in New York – five ear points for the treatment of addiction. Nowadays it is still used in the treatment of addiction and also for trauma recovery, PTS, etc. Research shows that acupuncture can help a person cope with the stress factors that contribute to use of addictive substances, and reduces the pyscho-physical challenges of withdrawal from addictive substances. Studies have indicated that the NADA protocol addressed both the addictive and stress components of drug dependency. When treatments are administered in a group setting, recovery is enhanced by support from the community.
The use of acupuncture for addiction led to its use for the prevention and treatment of trauma.
Research also shows that acupuncture is a powerful somatic therapy that rebalances the brain after significant stress, as well as the nervous and hormonal systems. Acupuncture treatment, especially shortly after the exposure to traumatic events, can help prevent the development of post-traumatic stress (PTS). With more extended treatment, acupuncture can also restore resiliency for those you suffer from long-term PTS.
My experience with ear acupuncture:
I had the pleasure of training with Acupuncturists without borders in 2014. AWB provides training and trauma aid to people around the world, they bring in pop up clinics and offer treatments to those in need after natural disasters. We learned how to set up a clinic in a disaster zone, to provide a safe and dry place for people to come and have treatment. In this type of setting is where accessibility is so important, ear points can be administered with the person fully clothed and no dialogue is needed.
Learn more here : http://www.acuwithoutborders.org/
During my five year Doctor or Traditional Chinese Medicine program, part of our clinical practicum was offering free auricular acupuncture treatments at a local community building. These services were offered in a drop in setting for those working towards recovery from addiction to many different substances from drugs and alcohol to food, sugar, and sex.