Monday, October 19, 2009

Got Pain? Stick It In Your Ear!

The Auriculotherapy Appointment

“Do you mean to tell me that by sticking those little seeds on my ears, you’re going to get rid of my pain?” She asked, with an eyebrow raised.

“You’ll see.” I smirked; I was used to the skepticism. After explaining the procedure and introducing her to the tools I’d be using, I cleansed her ears with a soothing wash while observing the specific qualities of her ear, such as shape, tone and color.
“You said that the pain was in your lower back, are you also having trouble with your left knee?” I asked, knowing from the slight bulge on the upper portion of the anti-helix, that her knee was indeed having problems.
“Yes,” she answered cautiously, not certain that she had actually mentioned anything about her knee. “I had surgery on it about a year ago this January. I took a bad spill getting out of my car on the ice and tore ligaments. It was horrible. The surgery seemed to help for a little while, but lately it seems to be getting pretty achy and stiff. Did I tell you that on the phone?”

“No, but you didn’t have to. I can see it right here on your ear, plain as day. There’s a thickening of the cartilage exactly at the spot on your left ear that represents your knee. It says to me that there is stagnation at that site.” I replied, noting the posture she was holding and the frustrated look of concealed pain in her eyes.
“Oh.” She seemed uncertain. “Well, can you do anything about it?”

“I’ll do what I can.” I told her as I located the shen men point -the one used for pain- and adhered a small black seed to the position. I prepared the hemostats with a small silver sphere this time, located the point that represented her left knee and affixed the nearly invisible tiny dot on a small clear piece of tape to the site. I repeated the procedure with a couple of lower back points and her hip for good measure. I sat back and examined her ear more closely; there appeared to be a slight lump located at the wrist area of her ear. “Any issues with your wrists?”
“How could you know that? I have the beginnings of Carpal Tunnel, my doctor tells me. I wear a brace at work. I must have told you.” She eyed me suspiciously.
“It’s all right here.” I answered, “Come and look in the mirror. Feel this part of your ear. Do you feel that little bump?”

“Oh yeah, I never noticed that before.” She tugged at her ear and looked at the appearance of the tiny “seeds” in the mirror. “You can barely see them.” She said, as she admired her new “punk rock” look. “My kids will get a kick out of these!”

“Walk around a little” I said, wanting her to test out her knee and check in with her back pain. “How does it feel?”

“That’s weird. It doesn’t hurt. My back! It doesn’t hurt!! How did you do that?!” She was getting excited and I saw a tear beginning to well up in her eye.

“How’s the knee feel?” Sharing her joy, but wanting to get a tab on all the issues I’d worked on.

“The knee is fine. It feels…looser, like there’s more room in there…or something. I can’t explain it. My foot is feeling warmer too. I didn’t mention it, but that foot always kind of felt like it was falling asleep or something.”

“Excellent. We’re getting some blood flowing again. Now, sit back down for a minute and I’ll get some energy moving to your wrists too.” I finished up with the last of the seeds and enjoyed watching her roll her wrists around with a huge grin on her face.
“Unbelievable!” she said. “I can’t tell you the last time I wasn’t in pain. I’m going to send everyone to you for this! How long will they stay on?”

“The seeds will stay reliably adhesive for about a week; if people have very dry or very moist skin, it can be less. When they start to feel like they are not firmly adhered to the spot anymore, just find the edge of the tape and peel them off. Make sure that the little seed is on the tape and throw it away. Voila!” I gestured with a flourish.

She laughed. “This is amazing. I have to get up and walk around again. I just can’t get over it.” She began pacing the length of the room. “What about getting them wet?”

“Just leave them alone until they dry and they should be fine. Don’t fuss with them if they’re wet, but you can push on them to help get rid of the pain if it creeps back.” I assured her.

“You know, when my friend told me that you got rid of her migraines with this…what do you call it…Auriculotherapy? Well, I thought it was all in her head-so to speak, but she kept insisting I come to see you. I was curious, yeah, but I didn’t think it would help me. I mostly came here to shut her up.” She shook her head still laughing, whether from her amusement or from pure relief from her pain, I wasn’t sure.

“Well, I’m so glad that you came to prove her wrong!!” I laughed, “It makes me so glad to see people go from pain to no pain. That’s what makes my job the best in the world” I grinned back at her.

“How did you learn this? Where did you ever even hear about it?” she wanted to know.

“I learned about it when I was in school for Chinese Medicine. The tradition I learned is based on Chinese medical theories, but there is also a tradition of Auriculotherapy from France that has become pretty well known too. I actually teach a certification class that makes Auriculotherapy easy to learn for anyone, even without any kind of background in healing. I give my students maps, tools, seeds and a kit to carry it around in. They begin practicing on each other right away in class. It’s so great to see them getting such amazing results themselves. It’s like a lightbulb going on!” I didn’t try to hide my enthusiasm.
“I could learn to do this?” She asked, hopeful. “But I wouldn’t be able to work on myself though, right?” She sat back down, her initial excitement beginning to dull ever so slightly as I watched where her thoughts took her.

“That was my problem too,” I confessed. “This is why you need to have someone you spend a lot of time with take the class with you, then you can practice on each other…and get rid of each other’s pain.”
“Ah! I know just the man!” She brightened. “Does this work only for pain…and migraines?” she asked.

“No, I treat all kinds of things, anxiety, stomach issues, menstrual disorders, lung problems, colds, rashes, blood pressure, eye diseases, the list goes on…you can even lower a fever just like that!” I snapped my fingers.

“Now, I wish I had known that trick last week when my son had the flu! I was beside myself when his fever reached 103º and he had the chills!” The memory of her son’s illness left a note of distress in her voice, then her eyes cleared. “So, how often do I need to do this?”

“On the average, I like to have people come in about once a week. Having the therapy done regularly has a more profound healing effect; rather than just putting a band-aid on the pain, consistent treatment encourages the blood to heal the afflicted area and reminds the body of what balance feels like. Should we book your next appointment?”

“Yes, and sign me and my husband up for the next…Auriculotherapy class. I’m going to make him take it with me. So, what do I owe you for today?” She handed me her credit card.
“It’s just $55 for a pain-free week. Can you beat that?” I laughed. “Actually, you can. I can give you a discount for packs of treatments if you want to pay for them at once.” I handed her the price schedule:
3 sessions…..$150.00 ($50 @ session)

5 sessions…..$225.00 ($45 @ session)

10 sessions…$400.00 ($40 @ session)

“Wow, not bad. I’ll have to see how this does before I commit to paying for more than today’s session.” I understood completely; she was sensible to wait and objectively take in the whole experience before deciding to continue.
I shrugged. “Well, let me know; it’s a short appointment and I can usually squeeze it in, but I don’t want you to have to wait for very long when the pain begins to return.”

“The pain will return?” She suddenly looked let down.

“Well, you’ve only had one appointment. Usually the first time someone gets this done the relief lasts a good day or two after the seeds are removed…so about a week or ten days…then the pain may start to slowly come back.You don’t want to have to start from square one again, so it’s best to stay ahead of it and keep a good healing curve going.”
She nodded in understanding.
“Do people ever get completely better?” Her optimism was restored.
“Absolutely. It just depends on how long the problem has been going on, how well someone responds to healing and other factors that dictate overall health like diet, exercise, emotional health…” I explained.

“Okay, let’s set up another appointment now, and if I have to change it, I’ll give you a call a few days before.” She got out her calendar, set up the date for the following week and stood up. I walked her to the door and watched her stretching and testing her back and legs and she sauntered to the foyer. Spontaneously she turned and hugged me. “Thank you so much again, Lisl! I can’t believe how good it feels to not have pain!!”

“Believe it,” I said. “Your body wants to heal; the relief you feel in your body will have many far-reaching effects on other areas of your life. Watch and see.”

“I do believe it. I’m surprised, but I do. See you next week.” I watched as she practically skipped to her car and drove off. In fifteen minutes, I’d get to do it all over again with the next client; I felt very satisfied.

A few days later, I received a call from my new patient. “Lisl, my husband couldn’t believe the change in me! He’s agreed to sign up for the Auriculotherapy class with me. Can you take my card over the phone? Oh, and he wants to book a session with you too.”

“No problem. How are you feeling?” I asked her.
“I’m feeling great! My knee is a little stiff in the morning, but as soon as I’m up and moving around it feels fine. Next time I see you I want to know more about the herbs and essential oils you use to keep the healing going.” She sounded clear and upbeat, a big difference from the woman who had called a few weeks before to set up her initial appointment.

“Absolutely, I’m at your service!” My heart swelled for her happiness and I knew once again how fortunate it is to love your work, especially when that involves helping others.

Lisl Meredith Huebner, Dipl.CH (NCCAOM), RH (AHG) is a nationally board certified Chinese Herbalist, and a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild. Lisl is also a certified Medicinal Aromatherapist, a level II Reiki practitioner, an Acupressurist, an Auriculotherapist, a photographer, a renowned diagnostician, a teacher and a published writer in private practice for over a decade. She is available by appointment.

Please call 8 6 0 - 4 8 0 - 0 1 1 5 or email if you have any questions, would like to schedule an appointment, attend meditations, weed walks, or are interested in taking classes.


  1. wow lisl, i had missed this post when you first started your blog. i am mightily impressed:) how satisfying it must be to be able to help people in such a mellow, non invasive way! i am just in love with auriculotherapy now! thank you so much for sharing and you know if i were near you, you would see my face at your next certification class! would love to try this on a couple of friends i do energy healings on:)

  2. I can't say enough about how great this therapy is. It's pretty miraculous and that's a word I don't use very often.

  3. I'm in WA state. I'd love to hear more about your workshops. I wish you were here!!:-)

  4. Hi Sherry, I was invited to speak at the NW Herb Symposium in WA state!! I hope that we can connect. Are you on Facebook?

  5. Thank you for your article, and helping me with seed placement for my knee. Very best,len