Discover More About: Ear Reflexology

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Ear reflexology, otherwise known as auricular reflexology or auricular therapy, is a unique type of reflexology in its own right.

The outer ear, called the "pinna," or "auricle," is essentially ribbed cartilage covered by the skin. Ears are sensitive and full of nerve endings (over 500!), making them an effective area to treat with reflexology.

Similar to other types of reflexology, the ear reflex points include points for every body part, organ and gland. Additionally, however, they also contain points for emotional balance, such as points for anti-depression, balance of sadness and worry, and for anti-aggression. Unlike other types of reflexology where right and left reflexology maps represent the right and left sides of the body, each ear has a map of the entire body.

A Little History:

Ear reflexology was developed in France by Dr. Paul Nogier in the 20th Century, who thought the ear reflexes resembled a baby in fetal position; Traditional Chinese Medicine claims the origins of the medical importance of the ear thousands of years prior, but the mechanism was by cauterization, and only much later by acupuncture. Though the European and Asian ear maps differ, many points have been standardized by the World Health Organization.

The Basics:

With each ear representing a full anatomical body, imagine it in an upside-down orientation, in that the reflex for the head is located at the bottom of the ear on the ear lobe, and the reflex for the toes is located at the highest point of the ear. The inner, firm cartilage rim of the ear represents the spine; the outer, softer cartilage represents the structural body (musculoskeletal system); and the inner "bowl" of the ear, located more centrally, represents the organs.

How It Works:

Stimulating ear reflex points encourages the body to heal itself. A common theory as to how ear reflexology works involves nervous system impulses - by working the points, electrical impulses are sent out from the reflex on the ear to the brain, and then messages are relayed to the corresponding body parts or organs, telling them to regulate themselves. Meridian theory proposes that applying pressure to the ear reflexes releases energy blocks along major energy pathways located within the body, thus increasing energy flow to specific areas that need it, and also generally, throughout every body system.

The Benefits:

The benefits of ear reflexology range from an enhanced immune system and deep relaxation, to improving physical symptoms of illness, pain, and other conditions. Because the ears are so small, and each contains the whole body map, an ear reflexology session can be performed in a relatively short time as compared to other reflexology sessions. For the same reason, ear reflexology is very easy to "add on" to other treatments, making the overall effect of any session more effective. With specific points that can be used for particular goals, like "muscle relaxant", grounding points, and psychological well-being, clients can benefit in very specific ways. And a few select ear reflexes can be stimulated between sessions, by using small, round ear beads - as easy to apply as tiny bandaids!

Fun Facts:

- Ear reflexology is the only type of reflexology that has specific points to treat addiction.

- Any condition ending in "itis" can be soothed and treated by rubbing the outer edges of the ear to stimulate anti-inflammatory points.

- Pinching the very top of the ear can stimulate allergy relief.

-Special point "Shen Men" is nicknamed "gateway to Heaven", and is thought of as a universal healing point to treat virtually any condition!

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