Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ear Ye, Ear Ye

In the early 50's several new patients of Dr. Phillip Nogier were coming into his office in France with similar burn marks on their ears. In each case they had been put there by a healer who had treated them successfully for back pain by cauterizing them along the helix of the ear. Taking note, Dr. Nogier went on to map out the rest of the ear, based on patient feed-back, in the shape of an upside-down fetus, and auricular therapy was born.  It is one of  the most powerful pain relieving tools in my acupuncture arsenal at Stroger Hospital. And many times I use ear-seeds for my first-time patients rather than needles, with equal effect.

To wit, Thursday I had a new patient present with low back and left leg pain at a 10 out of 10 level, not uncommon in my practice there.  She could barely walk, and when she sat on the chair in the treatment room she was curled up in a tortured knot of  torment.  She had not eaaten anything yet, and she was needle-phobic.  Not an uncommon presentation.  I expalined the value of having "fuel in her tank" to power up our therapy, which relies on moving her energy around her body to where she needs it.  Then I told her we were going to use the keypad of her ear to dirct the energy to the areas of pain, her back and left leg.  In the process she should feel some relief.

Reading her body language, I knew that she was more skeptical than hopeful, but also desperate.  I showed her the Chinese vacaria seeds mounted on little squares on tape that we use, and explained each point as I squeezed it in place on her left ear. Shenmen (Spiritgate) for stress; low back, and left leg points, I pinched each point hard and guided her fingers to them so that she could find them later, for at home relief.  Then I asked her to get up from the chair and start walking around the room. She gave me a look like I was crazy (much pain is memory of pain), but humored me. With each step her confidence grew more, and her pain grew less.  Until she was moving around the room relatively pain free, shaking her head that she couldn't believe it.