Patient Feedback on the Effectiveness of Auricular Acupuncture on Pain in Routine Clinical Care: The Experience of 11,406 Veterans. Citation: (Zeliadt 2020, 101-107)

The American Veterans Health Administration (VHA) launched a national initiative to train providers in Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) treatment as a non-pharmacological approach to pain management, and performed a research project over a 2 year period (2016-2018) to evaluate its effectiveness on immediate pain relief. This project took place at 57 VHA medical centers in the United States. A total of 11,406 veterans were treated with BFA at least once, in some cases 3 times.  More than 75% expe...


Review of Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Challenges for Translation to Clinical Practice. Citation: (Yap 2020)

Several studies investigating the use of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) for disorders tinnitus, migraine and pain show therapeutic effects similar to those produced by the more invasive direct vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Although VNS is an FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of both depression and epilepsy, it is limited to being a second or third-line treatment option for severe, intervention-resistant cases, due to risks involved with device implantation. In contrast, t...


Anatomo-Physiologic Basis for Auricular Stimulation. Citation: (Mercante 2018, 141-150)

The human ear (the auricle) offers access for neuromodulation in support of a broad range of therapeutic approaches. Auricular methods work well under both biomedical and biopsychosocial models (for pain and other conditions). From Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation,[1] to acupuncture,[3][6] to psychological frameworks such as Polyvagal Theory, Trauma-Informed Care, and Somatic Psychology,[2-3] auricular methods provide an integrative pathway to healing that is grounded in a holistic...


Auricular Acupuncture for the Treatment of Pediatric Migraines in the Emergency Department. Citation: (Graff 2018, 258-262)

Headache remains a frequent complaint for children presenting to a pediatric emergency departments and typical treatments such as oral or intravenous medications do not always relieve the pain. An alternative intervention shown to be effective is auricular acupuncture. This pilot study presents a cohort study of patients 8 to 18 years of age treated by ear acupuncture, with all showing improvement or resolution of their migraine headache, Read the entire pilot study (external link) Reference...


Combined electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture for postoperative pain after abdominal surgery for gynecological diseases: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Citation: (Lam 2018)

Often, study results of acupuncture for relief of postoperative pain do not offer compelling results owing to high risk of bias associated with improper randomization, inadequate control, and lack of blinding and allocation concealment. Systematic reviews do conclude that the evidence for Auricular Acupuncture on reducing postoperative pain is promising [18]. Study protocols such as this, provide an example for integrative medicine practice in a hospital setting for the management of postoper...


Auriculotherapy to reduce anxiety and pain in nursing professionals: a randomized clinical trial. Citation: (Kurebayashi 2017)

In a randomized clinical trial with an initial sample of 180 professionals, Kurebayashi and her colleagues studied the effectiveness of auricular methods (e.g. an auricular protocol for pain & anxiety) as a efficient, drug-free approach for improving the quality of life of the nursing staff of a hospital.  Results showed a 17% reduction in anxiety, a 36% reduction in pain, and a 13% increase in the mental aspect of quality of life. Details on descriptive statistics, analysis of variance...


Auricular Acupuncture Analgesia in Thoracic Trauma: A Case Report. Citation: (Papadopoulos 2017, 49-52)

In a case of thoracic trauma (rib fractures with pneumothorax and pulmonary contusions) with severe chest pain leading to ineffective ventilation and oxygenation, doctors in emergency department applied auricular acupuncture to ameliorate pain and hopefully improve his functional ability to cough and breathe deeply. The patients pain scores diminished considerably within minutes. Ventilation and oxygenation indices improved to safe limits. Read the full case report (external link) Reference...


Battlefield acupuncture: Opening the door for acupuncture in Department of Defense/Veteran’s Administration health care. Citation: (Walker 2016, 491-8)

Battlefield acupuncture, a form of auricular protocols based in auriculotherapy and auricular medicine, is an ear acupuncture procedure used in a number of medical facilities throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) for treatment with positive impact in polytrauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury as well as pain management. The DoD seeks nonpharmacologic/opioid pain management across the continuum of care, and this paper presents interest for, and progress related to,...


Auricular acupuncture diagnosis in patients with lumbar hernia. Citation: (Romoli 2016, 61-65)

Romoli and his colleagues completed a study to identify the specific auricular zones related to lumbar hernia in patients treated using a series of epidural infiltrations with corticosteroids. A significant association was found for some auricular areas, along the series of epidural infiltrations, with a progressive reduction in the number of tender and low electrical resistance points together with a decrease of pain and hand-foot distance. It was concluded that auricular zones found with au...


Evaluation of the Immediate Effect of Auricular Acupuncture on Pain and Electromyographic Activity in Patients with Neck Pain. Citation: (de Oliveira Silva 2015)

In a study to assess the immediate effects of auricular acupuncture on electromyographic activity of the upper trapezius muscle and pain in non-specific neck pain patients, the immediate effect of auricular acupuncture interventions on the electromyographic activity of the upper trapezius muscle showed positive results. Abstract and link to full text at Hindawi. Reference:Andréia Cristina de Oliveira Silva, Daniela Aparecida Biasotto-Gonzalez, Douglas Meira dos Santos, et al., “Evaluation o...


Exploring Self-Reported Benefits of Auricular Acupuncture Among Veterans With Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Citation: (King 2015, 291-299)

Auricular acupuncture treatments have become increasingly available throughout a variety of healthcare settings, resulting from a push for the expansion of non-pharmacologic treatment options. Specifically in military treatment facilities, this has been the case for offering support to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A study aimed to explore the self-reported benefits of auricular acupuncture treatments for veterans living with PTSD found positive improvement resulting fr...


Auricular therapy for chronic pain management in adults: A synthesis of evidence. Citation: (Zhao 2015, 68-78)

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials investigating Auricular Therapy for chronic pain management, showed promising results for relief. The full text can be requested via PubMed. Reference:Zhao HT, Tan JY, Wang T, Jin L. Auricular therapy for chronic pain management in adults: A synthesis of evidence. Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2015 May;21(2):68-78.