“Preparation for my most challenging cases could sometimes take 8 sessions or more. With auricular neuromodulation, client preparation for EMDR often reduces to just one session.” 
Shannon Bowman, AMHSW
(former CIAM student, and current CIAM presenter)
“It’s really not about the target, it’s about recognizing
what got stored in the neural pathway... attention to this is very important!”
Laurie Colson-Young,
LMFT, LPCC (CIAM presenter)
“Wonderful work! The EMDR portion of How to Access Somatic and Emotional Experiences is immediately useful and applicable to my EMDR practice.” 
Dr. Timothy Rowe, MD,
Psychiatrist and Director of Psychiatric Services at St. Christopher’s Inn Addiction Treatment & Recovery Community (CIAM student)

Auricular Methods for Mental Health Professionals

From Psychiatry Advisor to Psychology Today, awareness of neuro-auricular methods is accelerating among mental health professionals. Globally, auricular methods are at the convergence point of several related fields of increasing importance to mental health care: non-invasive neuromodulation, neurofunctional acupuncture, neurology-based somatic therapies, and low-level laser therapy.

These frequency- and resonance-based fields are supporting integrated mental healthcare, especially in settings related to complex trauma and substance abuse,[1-10] and they represented a segment of the healthcare market valued over US$14 billion in 2020 — forecast to grow over 7% annually through 2027.[11-13] 

With neuro-auricular modulation, mental health professionals now have access to precise neurological insight on their most challenging clients — and the tools to prime the nervous system for improved response to therapy.
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Clinically Relevant

Neuro-auricular modulation and other auricular methods, as taught by CIAM, support targeted assessment, helping build trust in the client-therapist relationship — with methods that can be easily applied within the scope of most mental health practices.
Watch conversation on the ear as a tool to build trust
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Supports both cognitive and somatic modalities (with alignment to various models such as Adaptive Information Processing, Polyvagal Theory, and others)
Watch Q&A on relationship to EMDR and other somatic approaches
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Learn to use one of the most accessible tools for specific neural insight that every client already brings to each session — their ears!
Watch Q&A on “Why the ear?”
and “How do physical and mental issues show up on the ear?”
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Clinical tools to improve objective measures and bypass pre-frontal cortex involvement for precision, insight, and session efficiency.
Watch intro on the use of Auricular Methods for objective measurement of neural disturbances and rapid insight

Collaboration for Advancement

Mental healthcare delivery faces challenges; both treatment challenges (such as the challenges presented by complex chronic trauma) and practice challenges (resulting from insurance pressures, resource concerns, and difficulties integrating services within the healthcare system).

Contributions of the Canadian Institute of Auricular Medicine (CIAM) to address these challenges include collaboration for advancement. And, it is the intention behind every course in CIAM’s highly endorsed curriculum.


Clinical collaborations such as those with Create Balance, are helping lead the integration of therapeutic tools — effectively used in other medical fields — now offering great promise to address challenges at the forefront of mental healthcare. 


Our work with associations such as the North American Neuromodulation Society, helps further the representation of mental health professionals using Auricular Medicine, and related non-invasive auricular neuromodulation therapies.

& Sponsorship 

Through sponsorship and conference presentations we strive to support mental health pioneers in somatic- and energy-related psychotherapies, such as the members of EMDRIA, with tools for improved measurement, resourcing, regulation and more.


We strive to always be at the forefront of your field. Consulting with therapists who specialize in the area of practice into which Auricular Methods integrate, helps us ensure that our training is relevant and can be practically applied.

Tools that Advance the Clinical Practice of Mental Healthcare

  • Pain numerical rating scale (NRS) assessment of disturbed neural states/function via reflex zones on the auricular microsystem 
  • Vascular autonomic signal (VAS, or Nogier Pulse) assessment of disturbed neural states/function via reflex zones on the auricular microsystem via palpation of autonomic nervous system response to stimuli 
  • Diagnostic electrodermal activity (EDA) probes for empirical measure of objective units of disturbance (OUDs) — to assess, support, or extend the reporting of subjective units of disturbance (SUDs)
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) for auricular neuromodulation with application of medical frequencies — including frequencies that resonate with the cortex, subcortical parts of the brain, and interconnected nuclei throughout the brainstem 
  • LLLT (low-level laser therapy) for auricular neuromodulation with application of medical frequencies — including frequencies that resonate with the cortex, subcortical parts of the brain, and interconnected nuclei throughout the brainstem 
Tools from the field of Auricular Medicine (clockwise from top left): The Vascular Autonomic Signal (VAS), a pulse wave displacement by which to palpate autonomic nervous system (ANS) response to stimuli. RJ Laser Pen featuring the medical frequencies of doctors Nogier, Bahr, Reininger, Scholtes and Petermann. The German-made Pointoselect digital DT by Schwa-medico which also provides TENS. And, other assessment and treatment approaches offering Auricular Medicine as a window to the brain. 
[1] Carter K, Olshan-Perlmutter M. NADA Protocol: Integrative Acupuncture in Addictions. Journal of Addictions & Nursing. 2014;25(4):182-187. https://alliedhealth.ceconnection.com/files/NADAProtocolIntegrativeAcupunctureinAddictions-1419263411853.pdf
[2] Carter, K. O., Olshan-Perlmutter, M., Norton, H. J., & Smith, M. O. (2011). NADA acupuncture prospective trial in patients with substance use disorders and seven common health symptoms. Medical Acupuncture,
23(3), 139-135.
[3] Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration. (2000). Uniform facility data set (UFDS): 1999 (DHHS Publication no. SMA 99-3314). Rockville, MD: Author.
[4] Reuben, C. (2005). Acupuncture & auriculotherapy: Valuable natural treatment modalities for addiction. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 269(81), 84.
[5] Shiozawa P, Silva ME, Carvalho TC, et al. Transcutaneous vagus and trigeminal nerve stimulation for neuropsychiatric disorders: a systematic review. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2014; 72: 542-7.
[6] Kong J, Fang J, Park J, et al. Treating Depression with Transcutaneous Auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation: State of the Art and Future Perspectives. Front Psychiatry. 2018; 9: 20.
[7] Fang J, Rong P, Hong Y, Fan Y, Liu J, Wang H, Zhang G, Chen X, Shi S, Wang L, Liu R, Hwang J, Li Z, Tao J, Wang Y, Zhu B, Kong J. Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Modulates Default Mode Network in Major Depressive Disorder. Biological Psychiatry. 2016 Feb 15;79(4):266-73. 
[8] Kurebayashi LF, Turrini RN, Souza TP, Marques CF, Rodrigues RT, Charlesworth K. Auriculotherapy to reduce anxiety and pain in nursing professionals: a randomized clinical trial. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2017;25:e2843. Published 2017 Apr 6. doi:10.1590/1518-8345.1761.2843
[9] Badran B, Dowdle L, Mithoefer O, Austelle C, McTeague L, George M. Neurophysiologic effects of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) via electrical stimulation of the tragus: A concurrent taVNS/fMRI study and review. Brain Stimulation. 2017; 11(3):492-500. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2017.12.009
[10] Hays SA. Enhancing Rehabilitative Therapies with Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Neurotherapeutics. 2016;13(2):382-394. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0417-z
[11] Global Non-invasive Neuromodulation Market Outlook. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals report section for therapeutics in non-invasive neuromodulation market on Expert Market Research website. 2020. Accessed February 2022. https://www.expertmarketresearch.com/reports/noninvasive-neuromodulation-market 
[12] Acupuncture Market By Service Type, By Application, By End User and By Region: Global Trends, Market Share, Industry Size, Growth, Opportunities and Market Forecast 2021 to 2028 – Report Code : HC-U3382. Healthcare industry report on Future Wise Market Research & Reports website. Accessed February 2022. https://www.futurewiseresearch.com/healthcare-market-research/Acupuncture-Market-By/8986 
[13] Global medical laser market size, share and COVID impact analysis – report ID FBI101071. Industry reports in the medical device/medical lasers market section of the Fortune Business Insights website. 2019. Accessed February 2022. https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/medical-lasers-market-101071