Stress and anxiety are sensations you probably face at times in your life and can be brought about from a variety of external and internal factors. For over 40 million Americans, anxiety is a continuous mental struggle, but a new Traditional Chinese Medicine is now gaining some serious traction in the alternative medicine community, and it’s something you may even want to consider for yourself, and all you need is a seed and a piece of tape.
Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can be active forms of alleviating anxiety, while supplements, diet changes, and herbal treatments are also common forms of relief. Auricular Acupressure is an ancient technique that places seeds on specific points on the ear to treat a full breadth of conditions from anxiety to weight gain.
If you suffer from chronic anxiety, consult your doctor before attempting any form of treatment for your condition.
How it Works
If you’re a newcomer to the world of acupressure therapy, here’s a brief rundown of how it works. The foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the theory that our bodies contain a meridian system, with levels of yin, yang, and chi, through which our life energy flows.
These levels can sometimes become imbalanced, which can cause maladies ranging from physical pain such as nausea, inflammation, or a headache to mental suffering such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia.Acupressure therapy clears the blockages in certain acupuncture points that can cause imbalances in our meridian system.
Auricular acupressure focuses on meridian points in the ear.Here are three acupuncture points that you can use to improve your mental wellbeing.
Why The Ear?
The ear holds a microsystem of the body. The brain map discoveries of Canadian neuroscientist Wilder Penfield found that maps of the body exist on the surface, or sensory cortex, of the brain. This same map is also used for different areas of the rest of the body, “microsystems,” and in particular precision, onto the ear.
Shen Men is also known as the Master Point. Master points are commonly recognized in acupuncture therapy as being constantly electrically active. Other points in the ear are not always active. It is situated at the apex of the triangular fossa; about halfway between the center and the top of your ear.
If you use acupuncture therapy and are having a hard time finding active treatment points, treat Shen Men first, as many find the points that need treatment will then become active. Shen Men, also known as “heavenly or “divine gate,” thought to be powerful enough to treat stress, anxiety, depression and inflammatory diseases.
Acupuncturists usually opt to put pressure on the Shen Men in the ear first because of its effectiveness and can provide you with seeds so you can relieve stress at home.
Dr. Paul Nogier was famous for developing Auriculotherapy in France. While drawing meridian zones throughout the body, Nogier noticed that Point Zero was at the geometrical and physiological center point on the homunculus of the ear. It aligns with the solar plexus, a complex of radiating nerves of the sympathetic system at the pit of the stomach.
Point Zero is identified for bringing the body into homeostatic balance. This point balances energy and regulates the activity of the brain and hormones. Patients who have trouble staying centered usually get sent home from an acupuncturist with a seed at Point Zero for home care.
Sympathetic Autonomic Point
The sympathetic nervous system jumpstarts the body into fight or flight mode for survival purposes. Essentially, many of our organ functions shut down so that we can save ourselves during emergency situations. This has served the human race well through our evolution.
Conversely, the parasympathetic mode is the way through which our body regenerates and heals. When someone comes in for acupuncture, a therapist will always try to help him or her to move back into parasympathetic mode. The Sympathetic Autonomic Point will do exactly that.
This point allows us to move from a stressful “fight or flight” mode to a more peaceful and alleviated sense of mind.
How to Use
Using the diagrams we have provided, use a piece of adhesive tape to stick a seed at the specific points on your ear. They should be there for a maximum of five days. Most acupuncturists recommend you use Vaccaria seeds, as they are the seeds used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Although many scientists consider acupuncture and acupressure therapy to be a pseudoscience, this alternative medicine has been used to remarkable effect in a number of patients for thousands of years. It is completely safe and non-invasive, so it is a great supplement to medications that could potentially cause you more harm than good. But again, always consult a physician if you have any mental or physical conditions before starting or halting any forms of treatment.