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with Anna M. Landauer, L.Ac., CMT, MTCM


What is auricular acupuncture?

Auricular (ear) acupuncture was developed by ancient Chinese practitioners, and was also used by  Northern Plains tribes using porcupine quills. It consists of stimulating particular points on the skin by the insertion of tiny, solid, needles at points related to internal body functions.

What are some potential benefits?

Ear acupuncture relieves many symptoms and illnesses, including headaches, body aches, back pain, stress, insomnia, tremors, anxiety, depression, PMS, menopause, skin problems, cold/flu, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, addictions/cravings, nausea and arthritis. It calms the nervous system, reduces stress, decreases pain, increases energy and immunity, and normalizes sleep.

Does it hurt?

Sometimes a point will be sensitive but this small sting or pinch only lasts or a second. Tell the acupuncturist if a needle hurts during the treatment and they will adjust it for you.

Community Acupuncture Clinic, Santa Cruz, CA
Massage and Acupuncture in Santa Cruz California
Acupuncture and Massage Practitioner, Santa Cruz

What is the protocol?

This particular treatment is a set protocol- everyone receives the same 5-7 points. It has been specifically designed for stress management, relaxation and chemical dependency treatment.

From the Cleveland Clinic:

Ear Acupuncture Points for the NADA Protocol

While traditional acupuncture sessions might involve the placement of needles in different points on the body, the NADA protocol is an auricular or ear therapy.

Needles are placed in five specific points and patients rest for about 30-45 minutes with them in.

The points are:

Kidney – This point promotes healing in the organs and can help ease fears.

Liver – The liver ear point helps with blood purification and detoxification.

It’s also believed to reduce anger and increase confidence.

Lung – The lung ear point can help with the release of emotions and expand

lung capacity.

Shen Men – Also known as the “Divine Point” or “Heavenly/Spirit Gate,” the

Shen Men point is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and body. It can also promote detoxification, reduce pain and help energize other acupuncture points.

Sympathetic – This point helps manage the sympathetic (regulates fight-or-flight responses) and parasympathetic (maintains rest and digestion) branches of the autonomic nervous system. It’s good for pain relief as well because it can dilate the blood vessels.

NADA is usually offered in group settings which makes it more affordable. But there’s another added value in this community acupuncture approach. People experiencing it will know that they’re not going through things alone.

More info here.

Auricular/Ear Aupuncture
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