Owing to greater awareness of neuro-stimulation via the ear (as seen, for example, in Psychology Today, BBC News, and Psychiatry Advisor), Auricular methods for understanding and treating the body and mind are gaining interest from patients who seek improved wellbeing. The ear is unique in that it receives the major nerve branches. As introduced in the video below, it is a microsystem of the body which projects our somatic and emotional experiences. This auricular microsystem has an extensive history in ear acupuncture, and more recently in neuro-acupuncture. Neuroscientific research shows the ear to be a neurological map or “window to the brain.”
Therapists can easily incorporate this “window to the brain” into their practice because the ear is a tool each patient already brings to every session. Learning how to use that tool can help guide therapy. Using the ear as an access point for insight into what is really going on with your patient, and for neurostimulation or neuromodulation, supports the the work of leading therapists interested in somatic approaches:
- Polyvagal theory as a new paradigm for healthcare
(Stephen Porges and Stanley Rosenberg)
- Disruption of suspended fight-or-flight response from Dorsal Vagal shutdown
- Vagal importance in management of emotions
(Bessel van der Kolk)
- Energy- and resonance-based neurobiology of mind/body/relationships
In a leading step to present relevant and applicable auricular knowledge that aligns with these advancements in the field of psychology, the Canadian Institute of Auricular Medicine (CIAM) presents components from its longstanding and highly-endorsed core curriculum for continuing education in Auricular Medicine taught in North America since 2003. Therapists now have an approachable and engaging introductory learning resource: How to Access the Emotional and Somatic Experience Mapped by the Brain — Auricular Methods in Psychology.
 Strittmatter B. Identifying and Treating Blockages to Healing: New Approaches to Therapy-Resistant Patients. Stuttgart, Germany: Thieme; 2004: V.
 Agnes, Muriel. Auricular Medicine: Window to the Brain. Blurb, 2018
 Mercante B, Deriu F, Rangon CM. Auricular Neuromodulation: The Emerging Concept beyond the Stimulation of Vagus and Trigeminal Nerves. Medicines (Basel). 2018;5(1):10. Published 2018 Jan 21. doi:10.3390/medicines5010010
 Rosenberg S. Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve. Berkely, California: North Atlantic Books; 2017:87-93.
 Levine P. Walking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. Berkely, California: North Atlantic Books; 1997.
 van der Kolk B. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York, New York; Penguin Books; 2014.
 Siegel D. Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind. New York, New York; Norton & Company; 2011.