The other day, I had my ear needled. My mom’s acupuncturist, Matt, suggested it. He said it would help me de-stress. It is amazing how stress can make you look like a giant elephant.
Or a spaced-out cat. “You will buy me that Betta fish. You know I’ve always wanted one. Buy it… Buy it meow–oops–now!”
Matt put 3 needles in my left ear at various acupuncture points for relaxation.
He then put 3 needles in my twin sister’s left ear. Matt pointed out that my sister and I have completely different ear anatomy. He said he can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their ears.
The ear is a microcosm of the human body– and in both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine it is compared to an upside down fetus.
You can also de-stress by using your own fingers to press on acupressure (or marma) points of the ear. According to Vassant Lad’s book, Marma Points of Ayurveda:
Gently pulling the earlobe downwards helps to descend energy to relieve headaches and migraines. It has a tranquilizing effect because of its functional connection with higher cerebral activity, which promotes tranquility and bliss. This action also aids in stress management and quieting children who are hyperactive.
Qi gong is an ancient Chinese health practice that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention for total body wellness. Try this Qi Gong ear exercise.
Shiatsu is a form of therapeutic bodywork from Japan. It is based on the same principles as acupuncture–in which pressure is applied to certain points on the body using the hands. Take a look at this Shiatsu ear exercise.
You can even make up your own daily ear massage routine. Just do what feels right for you. You cannot go wrong. Your whole body will benefit!
David Crow’s “In Search of the Medicine Buddha” is one of my favorite books. It’s about an acupuncturist, David Crow, who leaves his acupuncture practice in San Francisco to study Tibetan healing practices in Nepal.
When my mom first had her stroke, I knew acupuncture could help her. The problem was finding an acupuncturist who made house calls. When I found one who did–the next problem was convincing the nursing home/ rehab facility of the value of such a service. Long story short, they were not convinced. The medical staff would not even allow our mother to leave the facility for acupuncture treatment. My sisters and I had to wait (3 months) until our mom was home before she could be treated by the acupuncturist.
When the acupuncturist, Matt Brookman (http://www.brookmanacupuncture.com), first came to our house, he asked our mom about her concerns. Our mom said she was “miserable” and wanted to feel better. She was in a lot of physical pain and was mentally drained. The main concerns my sisters and I had centered around our mother’s emotional state–plus her insomnia, excessive night time urination and anxiety. The acupuncturist evaluated our mom by looking at her tongue and checking her various pulses. The acupuncturist then explained that the meridians of the body he would be working on for stroke recovery are the same meridian points that affect emotional balance. A win-win for us!
According to The Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences (www.acos.org):
A meridian is an ‘energy highway’ in the human body. Qi (chee) energy flows through this meridian or energy highway, accessing all party of the body. Meridians can be mapped throughout the body; they flow within the body and not on the surface, meridians exist in corresponding pairs and each meridian has many acupuncture points along its path.
The term ‘meridian’ describes the overall energy distribution system of Chinese Medicine and helps us to understand how basic substances of the body (Qi, blood and body fluids) permeate the whole body. The individual meridians themselves are often described as ‘channels’ or even ‘vessels’ which reflects the notion of carrying, holding, or transporting qi, blood and body fluids around the body.
Practitioners of Chinese Medicine must be as knowledgeable about these meridian channels as the Western Doctor is about anatomy and physiology of the physical body. Without this thorough understanding, successful acupuncture treatments would be difficult. A practitioner of Chinese Medicine must know how and where to access the qi energy of the body to facilitate the healing process.
Matt, the acupuncturist, also prescribed Chinese Herbal Medicine for our mother. Matt ordered the herbs for us.
Our job was to cook the herbs in water and give them to our mother in the form of a tea twice a day.
Matt’s acupuncture treatments along with his prescribed medicinal tea have proven to be crucial components in our mother’s recovery. And Kookaburra is happy because she finally has a new boyfriend!