Rapid growth in Neuro-auricular Modulation:
The recent FDA clearance of a wearable transcutaneous auricular nerve field stimulator (tAN) as developed by Spark Biomedical in Dallas, Texas, and featured in Practical Neurology, is one example of the investment by Pharma and Tech based on the increasing interest in neuro-auricular modulation research. The device, and similar devices like it, stimulate nerves on and around the ear.
The microsystem of the ear has been used for millennia in the field of ear acupuncture, and for decades in the fields of Auriculotherapy and Auricular Medicine. The ear is recognized as a window to the brain. The unique innervation of the ear by the major nerve branches of the body, including cranial nerves, offer the anatomo-physiological basis — as recognized by the World Health Organization — for the treatment of mind and body via the ear. The neuroscience underlying and validating these treatments is continuing to catch up and is rapidly growing as evidenced by recent growth in neuro-auricular modulation related research and conferences such as the 2020 taVNS Conference by the Medical University of South Carolina.[3-14]
Are Healthcare Professionals Keeping Pace?
Unfortunately, many clinicians, therapists and other healthcare and wellness professionals have been too busy in their practices to keep pace with the auricular insights now being advanced by neuroscience — as biomedical devices become just another competitive force on private practice. And, patients often do not understand the distinctions between the treatment outcomes promised by a biomedical device, a drug, or integrative therapy offered by a therapist or healthcare practitioner.
The coming shift in healthcare toward bioelectronic medicine points to the importance in ongoing continuing education. Especially training in neuro-auricular modulation, a field of neuroscience that is now validating the direct application of Auricular Methods (and Auricular Medicine) across all aspects of healthcare (including biomedicine, psychology, manual therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, and many other related fields of practice).
CIAM | Editor’s Note: Training in neuro-auricular modulation, as used in the fields of neuroscience and Auricular Medicine, has been offered by the Canadian Institute of Auricular Medicine (CIAM) since 2003 — to all healthcare professionals not just physicians and acupuncturists.
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