Auricular acupuncture is one of the more widely used microsystems within eastern medicine. Microsystems use one aspect of the body — for example, the ears, hands or feet — to treat conditions that are present anywhere in the body. Auricular acupuncture may be used as a primary mode of treatment or in conjunction with other treatments such as bodywork, or herbal medicine. Examples of other microsystems include reflexology and Korean hand acupuncture.
Based on its efficiency, convenience, and profound results, auricular acupuncture is widely used in community settings such as offices, schools and community centers. It is also used by Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) in the areas of disasters and catastrophes. Natalie Miner is a member of AWB and is trained to work in field settings. She was a volunteer for stress relief during the Southern California Fires of 2007.
Clients are treated in a group, sitting in chairs, fully clothed. Needles are inserted in the ears based on a protocol developed by the National Acupuncture Detox Association. Other needles may be used on accessible body points as needed.
- Acupuncture addresses physical and mental health conditions simultaneously.
- Immediate effects include a sense of well-being and relaxation, reduced anxiety, depression, and improved sleep.
- General improvements in health (headaches and other pain, digestive complaints, etc.) make it easier for patients to receive other services (like counseling). Treatment outcomes improve when patients feel better.
- Effects are immediate, but can also be long lasting, beyond the time the treatment is being given.
- Few other modalities, except medication, offer immediate relief. This makes community acupuncture ideal while clients are waiting for other services which may take longer to provide.
VERSATILE — EFFECTIVE IN A WIDE VARIETY OF SETTINGS
- Acupuncture can be successfully integrated into a wide range of programs already in existence, including medical programs that utilize medication, mental health facilities, and social service agencies.
- It can be done anywhere; in parks, churches, and waiting rooms, as well as health clinics.
- Patients with varying needs (trauma survivors, staff, emergency workers, etc.) can be treated in the same group.
- There are almost no side effects or contraindications. It is non-addictive.
- Treatments are done in groups, so many people can be treated at once.
NON-VERBAL and NON PERFORMANCE DEPENDENT
- Clients don’t have to be able to intellectually understand or express their feelings to get relief.
- Equally effective when there are language or cultural barriers.
- Healing in a community environment is especially beneficial when a disaster, trauma, or conflict has affected the whole community. Acupuncture in a group setting allows the community as well as the individuals to experience healing.
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