Ilona Patz, naturopath, Potsdam, Germany
The field of acupuncture is seemingly inexhaustible and in terms of its complexity may be considered an area of knowledge in its own right. In my own case I have realised that I am probably too old now to fully master the intricacies of acupuncture. Of course, I also started too late.
Ear acupuncture is no exception, because even the small area of the ear mirrors our entire body. A few years ago Frau Brügemann tested ear acupuncture for us as a means of weight loss and I believe many of you successfully use this method. In my practice too I have helped some 30 patients now, particularly women.
But weight loss is somewhat unquantifiable. We cannot really check whether patients are actually keeping to the dietary advice they are given etc. But one point in particular struck me and I followed up on it. All my patients confirmed that they felt much better overall as a result of the treatment. Frau Brügemann herself pointed out at the time that test subjects who were experiencing the menopause complained about far fewer of the associated symptoms. I remembered this and wanted to try it out on the next patient who came to me with acute climacterium symptoms. The patient had previously tried the usual herbal and homeopathic remedies. At this point it should be noted that the vast majority of patients unfortunately do not have much patience with this treatment or with themselves. They want everything to happen quickly and to help straightaway. All these women’s magazines also promise success within a week, whether it is with losing weight or other ailments. We all know that this is nonsense. But what is our knowledge compared with that of these clever magazines. With the next patient, for whom I myself needed a lot of patience during treatment, I thought of using the ear acupuncture points.
It occurred to me, or rather I already knew, that the majority of points always relate to and activate hormonal regulation among other things. So I thought I’d give it a try. At the next consultation with this patient, who was complaining of extremely acute hot flushes and had been teased by colleagues about it, I offered her the option of trying ear acupuncture. Also, it was the height of summer and the patient had no wish to undergo cupping, a procedure that I otherwise frequently use when treating menopause symptoms.
I explained my methods to her and offered to treat all 10 points rather than just those that were relevant to the hormone system, since she also wished to lose some weight.
I proceeded as follows: The programs I used are standard programs from the computer manual, but with reduced times. On the treatment plan you can see where the points are located and which programs are used to treat them.
At the next consultation she was quite excited and told me that it had really helped, she was better able to sleep and only the hot flushes hadn’t completely disappeared yet. Of course this wouldn’t have happened after just one session anyway. She felt more active and was not so tired during the day. She also lost around 4 kg in weight over the course of the treatment – a welcome side-effect!
One cause for complaint was that her ear felt really huge all day long and that she could really feel the acupuncture points. This actually confirmed to me that I was on the right lines. This powerful sensation subsided during the course of the treatment.
Since I generally keep to the weight reduction treatment program my patients come once a week for a period of ten weeks. After this time most of the symptoms, such as hot flushes, mood swings and similar are significantly improved. Some patients continue to come at their own request, because they simply feel much better with this treatment. A few have left it for another 3 months and, as will always be the case, there are some who have never come back. I assume this means that they are feeling well.
Since the purpose of this therapy was to treat the patient’s menopausal symptoms and not primarily to help them lose weight, they was not expected to make any changes to their diet or exercise regime. Even so, patients lost some 3 – 4 kg.
When I came up with the idea for my paper I had already treated some 20 patients using this method.
In all patients points 2 – 4 reacted very strongly, almost painfully. Point 2 is also known as the “eating and smoking point.” Because the urge to eat is controlled by our hormones, program 980 is used (hormonal regulation), shortened to 1 minute. Point 3 = hunger point is treated using program 980 for hormonal regulation. Point 4 is the hormonal command point. It is an important energetic point to activate hormonal energy. Once again, program 980 is used for this.
I find that points 6 and 7 react strongly in all patients and points 8 – 10 are essential for women who suffer from acute mood swings. Point 6 is the thyroid point. The thyroid gland controls our metabolism among other things. Point 7 is the liver point. According to Dr. Nils Kraack, this is also an important energetic point. He describes it as the “source of food energy” and as the liver point. The liver is also an important metabolic organ. Programs 530 (metabolic therapy) and 520 (improving lipometabolism) are used. The last three remaining points 8 – 10 serve to activate vitality with program 900 – what is known as a “caressing program” for the patient. I prefer to use point 10 here. It is known as the “divine serenity” point.
The problem is often that certain women don’t realise that they suffer from mood swings. They often simply express dissatisfaction with themselves and their environment, with children and spouses or partners. The word depression is all too quickly bandied about, but I believe that these women are far from being depressed. This is why points 8 – 10 often work wonders for these symptoms. After the third to fifth ear acupuncture session we see a huge improvement in this area too for most of the women treated. It is evident that all of them are sleeping better. Of course point 1 is always included in treatment and it is quite common for it to cause an excessive reaction. Point 1 is known as the “zero point” and corresponds to the navel and also around the solar plexus region. In general the energies remain balanced here.
I always apply the chip when treating menopause symptoms, which is also recommended for weight loss. It is reactivated each week via the output cup.
One beneficial effect is that patients who suffer from migraines also experience an appreciable improvement through this type of therapy. Headaches which developed periodically became much less painful and those that were the result of other factors or were weather-dependent no longer occurred. It is known that migraines can often be entirely attributed to the climacterium, but we also know that scientists are quite divided about the causes. There haven’t been any totally new findings for a number of years, only new forms of pain relief. In any case ear acupuncture is the better alternative to very strong painkillers – particularly for migraines – and the vicious circle of dependency it creates. Many patients don’t drink enough either. This is another point that needs to be addressed time and again for any kind of therapy offered.
Now we all know that there are a number of ways of achieving the same goal. For all previously mentioned symptoms it is also possible to use cupping. I am an advocate of cupping, but there are patients who don’t like it. They would rather have ear acupuncture, which is quicker and less expensive. This particularly applies to women during the summer, because of the cupping marks left on their backs. In such cases ear acupuncture offers a good option for treating and easing symptoms.
We all know that unfortunately it is not possible to limit the climacterium to a certain period of time. It is different for every women and may start earlier or later, between the ages of 45 and 60 before fading away slowly. Though it is possible these days to delay the menopause using hormone therapy, we women unfortunately will all have to go through it at some point. It is therefore good to know that there is a completely natural form of help available, whether through cupping therapy or BICOM® ear acupuncture.
At this point I would like to add that men also go through a period when they are no longer young but are not yet considered old. Perhaps there will come a time when men too can be persuaded to receive help through BICOM® ear acupuncture.
Thank you for listening.