The wide ranging benefits of acupuncture have been covered at length, but more often than not it’s pain relief that has patients turning to the therapy. But acupuncture is for so much more than just pain relief, and we’re thankful that a recent article from Self reminded readers of that.
Aside from the analgesic effects of acupuncture, Self also outlined nearly all the benefits of acupuncture treatment form stress and allergy relief to calming relaxation. It also introduced two more recent advances in acupuncture treatment – electroacupuncture and ear seeds.
Performed in the same way as traditional acupuncture but with one big difference – electroacupuncture also uses a tiny electrical current that helps to augment and enhance the therapy. It is thought that the use of the current can help to further stimulate the balancing of chi, and needle placement follows the same acupuncture points and meridians as the traditional approach.
Self quotes Joseph F. Audette, M.D., and the chief of the department of pain management at Atrius Health in Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School as saying, “There’s a lot of evidence showing that electroacupuncture releases endorphins to relieve pain,” Dr. Audette says. “Also, you’re almost guaranteed a quick response, whereas manual acupuncture takes more time and attention.”
Essentially, ear seeds are exactly what the name says – tiny pellets placed along the outer ear and along specific acupuncture points. While acupuncture needles are always removed prior to the end of a session, ear seeds, often the seeds of the vaccaria plant, are stuck to the ear via adhesive tape and can be left on for about five days. Also known as auriculotherapy, it’s said the benefits of ear seed therapy can include addiction and smoking cessation, headache and backpain relief, and more.