This blog is for those interested in eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, who wish to use cutting edge methods to relax their bodies. Auricular techniques activate the same mechanisms, which help with associative memory recall, through EMDR and restoration of dual attention, bypassing any requirement for cognitive involvement (e.g., prefrontal cortex).
The most valuable tool required for this technique, and one that every client has easy access to, is their ears.
The client’s brain maps their somatic and emotional experiences onto the ear.
EMDR practitioners can read the client’s ear and gain access to their somatic and emotional experiences.
Auricular therapy gives the therapist a ‘window into the brain’
Auricular therapy gives the therapist a ‘window into the brain’ and provides a dynamic and up to date neurological map of specific brain areas including the client’s sensory body experiences, the somatic unconscious, somatic memory networks and associated emotions.
Auriculotherapy creates a therapeutic alliance with the client. It has powerful effects on brain function, which facilitates retrieval of information normally inaccessible by other means.
Facilitating access to emotions: the neural signature of EMDR stimulation
Clinical evidence theorises that EMDR stimulation triggers the brain to produce an electrical signal. The observed mechanism is not fully understood, but it is hypothesised to be related to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep inconsistency.
This neural signature of EMDR stimulation was observed in both healthy and clinical populations.
Positive outcomes for auricular based PTSD treatment
Successful studies show that auricular acupressure treatment can reduce symptoms of mental disorders, particularly anxiety disorders. Mental health implications auricular acupressure treatment for This includes generalised anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
and social phobias.
Auricular acupressure treatment has also proved beneficial in the management of conditions like insomnia and depression. Auricular therapy for anxiety disorders includes the use of auricular acupressure treatment with an ear candle, single needle acupoint injection, auriculotherapy with ear drops, auriculotherapy with electrotherapy, or auricular acupuncture.
The use of auricular therapy to treat anxiety disorders
Treating mental disorders, such as anxiety, with auricular therapy is very safe with no known side effects or contraindications. Since auricular therapy does not require any medications, this form of treatment is a great alternative treatment compared to medications or treatments that involve surgery.
Auriculotherapy can be practiced by trained therapists and auriculotherapists without the requirement of advanced medical licensing. Auriculotherapists and auricular acupuncturists can practice auricular therapy in states that do not require licensure to practice auriculotherapy.
Auricular therapy is a non-invasive treatment for anxiety disorders
Since auricular therapy is a non-invasive, well-tolerated treatment for anxiety disorders, the technique is an effective solution compared to conventional medical treatments such as chemical medications. This treatment is beneficial in providing symptom relief, without the side effects associated with benzodiazepines or other medications. Auricular Therapy is also a non-invasive and cost-effective treatment compared to other non-talk therapy-based interventions such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Improve EMDR treatment with your ear
The ear is a microsystem scientifically validated for assessment and treatment via neuroauricular modulation [13-15], by acupressure, acupuncture, electro-stimulation, laser, and transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation or tVNS [12-15].
Over 30,000 medical doctors worldwide use neuro auricular modulation, and that number is fast growing. Auriculotherapy, also known as ear acupuncture, is a common treatment in Germany, where it is part of the national health care system.
This technique of somatic therapy emphasises the importance of re-establishing energetic flow/regulation/dual attention when blocked.
Auricular treatments are drawn from auricular medicine, a medicine developed in France by the physician Paul Nogier and advanced in Europe by the research of Dr Frank Bahr, MD, and colleagues.
Effectiveness of neuromodulation techniques
The effectiveness of neuromodulation techniques performed through the outer ear have been scientifically proven. This is because of the capacity to identify therapeutic specificity of auricular points, as linked to the somatotopic representation of the body and its ailments, as well as the ability to stimulate these points to influence specific aspects of the central nervous system.
From a health care professional’s perspective
The use of ear-based auricular stimulation in mental health services, including the US Department of Veterans Affairs, for the treatment of pain, addiction, and trauma, is most evident in the validation of neuromodulation via the ear through therapeutic electrical transduction devices. These special applications are particularly relevant to psychology because scientists recognise that everything is energy. The use of ear-based auricular treatment provides direct feedback on what is keeping traumatic stress-related symptoms stuck.
Using auricular acupuncture treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder
PTSD symptoms can impact a person’s life in a dramatic way. A research study found that acupuncture can help treat PTSD. Auricula acupuncture, combined with usual treatment methods, was found to reduce PTSD symptoms. The use of auricular acupuncture in conjunction with eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing treatment can also be an effective way to decrease PTSD symptoms and improve general psychological status.
Acupuncture for PTSD
There are a multitude of auricular acupuncture points that specifically focus on different areas of the brain. For instance, there is a point located at the base of the ear, where the ear lobe attaches to the side of the head that is labelled the limbic point.
Improving mental health
There are techniques that therapists can use in the treatment of mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Auricular acupuncture, also known as Auriculotherapy stimulates specific points on the ear that help relieve symptoms associated with each mental disorder. Auriculotherapy is a safe, drug-free, and painless form of treatment with no side effects. Auriculotherapy provides the most dependable, clinically effective methods for treating various mental health disorders.
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing EMDR Geelong West
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing is a one-of-a-kind therapy that is particularly successful in the treatment of trauma. It can, however, help with other mental health problems including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD)
- Substance abuse and addictions
- Confidence concerns
- Somatic and psychological symptoms
- Relationship issues
- Chronic grief
- Chronic pain
How does eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing work?
The goal of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing is to assist people with post-traumatic stress disorder by helping them re-experience past events without the associated emotional or physical distress. In these cases, the use of EMDR improves their mental health dramatically.
As the person focuses on a traumatic event, EMDR bypasses the trauma memory’s stored neural circuit by activating an alternative circuit through lateral eye movements. This activation of new neural circuits interrupts the out-of-control nerve impulses that maintain anxious or fearful thoughts.
Auricular techniques, as adjunctive therapy for EMDR, are used to activate the same mechanisms, shown to help with associative memory recall, through EMDR and restoration of dual attention, bypassing any requirement for cognitive (e.g., prefrontal cortex) involvement.
Shannon Bowman is director of Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling and leads neuro-auricular methods for EMDR at his practice in Geelong West.
He has partnered with the Canadian Institute of Auricular Medicine (CIAM) to enhance this dynamic and highly effective treatment for mental health conditions. Shannon’s passion is finding solutions to mental health problems through novel, innovative, complementary, and alternative medicine.
Shannon Bowman is the Director of SJB Clinical Consulting Pty Ltd,
and Create Balance Psychotherapy & Counselling VIEW HERE.
Create Balance Laser Therapy VIEW HERE
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Shannon has a clinical interest in treating trauma, PTSD and ADHD.
He is accredited as an Mental Health Social Worker AMHSW,
psychotherapist and registered EMDR practitioner. Associations below.
Australian Association of Social Workers
EMDR Association of Australia