Growing up, I thought ears were just flappy cartilage to pierce, put earrings in, and of course allow me to hear, until I learned about its connection to the entire body. Our ears are actually a combination of cartilage, muscle, ligaments and nerves, and has 3 parts: outer, middle and inner ear. When specific areas of the outer ear are massaged, it can relieve pain we may feeling in different parts of our body.
The outer ear is also called pinna which is a Latin word meaning a projecting body part. It is comprised of cartilage and 4 sensory nerve supplies called greater auricular nerve, lesser occipital nerve, auricular branch of the vagus nerve, and auriculotemporal nerve, which makes it surprisingly sensitive. For this reason, some clients enjoy having their ears massaged, whereas others are uncomfortable with it. The pinna also serves as a collector of sound vibrations around us and guides the vibrations into the ear canal. It helps us decide the direction and source of sound, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
The outer ear includes:
- Auricle (cartilage covered by skin placed on opposite sides of the head)
- Auditory canal (also called the ear canal)
- Eardrum outer layer (also called the tympanic membrane)
Outer Ear Pressure Points
Below are the 6 points
of the ear and their connection to pain and soreness in different parts of the body. By applying pressure to each spot, you can relieve the aches.
1. Top of Ear = Back and Shoulders
The top of your ear, very tip, is linked to your back and shoulders and can help cure soreness in these areas. Massage this area just a few minutes each day and it can help subdue any soreness you are feeling in your back and shoulders.
2. Right Below Tip of Ear = Organs
Minor internal pain can be resolved by massaging the area just below the tip of your ear, where the bridge of the ear meets the outside of the ear. Massaging this area can help resolve internal discomfort related to organs. A doctor should be consulted if the pain is severe.
3. Upper-Middle Part of Ear = Joints
The upper-middle part of the ear can be used to alleviate pain and stiffness in the joints. Of course if the pain is chronic and severe please go see a doctor, but you can test this simple method by applying pressure or massaging the area for a few minutes several times a day.
4. Lower- Middle Part of Ear = Sinuses and Throat
Cold and sinus infection are so stressful to deal with, but can be cured by just applying pressure to the lower-middle part of your ear. This pressure can help alleviate pain and soreness in your throat and sinuses.
5. Just Above Earlobe = Digestion
Minor stomach problems and digestive issues can be resolved by massaging the point just above your earlobe. This treatment can help relieve minor discomfort, bloating or gas. Relief should be felt after a few minutes of massaging the area.
6. Earlobe = Head and Heart
The earlobe, lowest part of your ear is connected to your head and heat. Massaging the earlobe can help promote a healthy heart and relieve tension in your head. Experiencing headaches? Firmly massaging this point a few minutes each day can help rid you of headaches.
I strongly believe the body can heal itself, and know minor changes to our routine like moving more, eating healthier, drinking more water and herbal teas, and massage, can help keep us away from the doctor. Personally, these practices have worked for me, and I don’t even remember the last time I had a cold/flu. So, before you head to the doctor’s office for minor aches and pains, try the above techniques first. However, if your symptoms are chronic or serious, a doctor should be consulted.
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Hutchens, Daniel J. “Ear Anesthesia.” Medscape. N.p., 31 Mar. 2016.
Image: Lazewski, Charlene. “Place a Clothespin on Your Ear for 5 Seconds. The Unexpected Effect Will Surprise You.” Shareably. N.p., 23 Jan. 2017.
Mutz, Phil. “This Incredible Pain Relief Method Is As Simple As Putting A Clothespin On Your Ear.” LittleThings.com. N.p., 22 Sept. 2015. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.
“Pinna.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web.
“The Outer Ear.” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. ASHA, n.d. Web.