The latest in celebrity heath fads.
The swath of tiny studs in Penelope Cruz’s ear isn’t the latest piercing fashion – it’s auriculotherapy, a form of acupuncture used to fight stress, pain and infertility.
The gold beads were spotted Jan. 10 at the Madrid premiere of “Venuto Al Mondo,” sparking rumors about whether the 38-year-old actress and husband Javier Bardem were hoping to give their toddler son a sibling.
Auriculotherapy uses relexology points on the ear to tap into distant parts of the body…
Auriculotherapy involves needles inserted about a quarter inch into the outer ear. When the needles are removed, they are replaced with tiny gold or silver beads affixed with a sticky bandage that “potentiates the treatment.”
Those words “potentiates the treatment” are red flags warning of BS.
Let’s take a more critical look at auriculotherapy
Auriculotherapy is based on the notion that body structures and functions are somehow “mapped” on the outer surface of the ear. It can be defined as the stimulation of the skin of the ear for diagnosing and treating health problems in other parts of the body. The two main approaches have overlapping terminology and techniques but different theoretical foundations. The original approach —commonly called ear acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, or auriculoacupuncture—is said to date back to ancient China and involves insertion of acupuncture needles to stimulate points on the ear. It is based on traditional Chinese notions related to the flow of nonmaterial energy through hypothetical channels called meridians, but current versions of this approach postulate that it works through a system of reflexes that are organized on the outer surface of the ears. This version of auricular acupuncture relates “acupuncture points” to organ function and includes “master points” said to alleviate pain, activate glands, produce sedation, and “balance” the left and right halves of the brain.
There is no logical reason to believe that ear maps are valid. There are no known anatomical or physiological pathways through which points on the ear are connected to the rest of the body. Even if new pathways were discovered, they could not explain how organ dysfunctions could be detected or how the locations could rotate according to the stage of a disease. Auriculoacupuncture is also postulated to act through a reflex action related to specific points on the ear that become tender or painful to touch. One well-designed study found no relationships between patients’ reported musculoskeletal pain regions and tender zones shown on auriculoacupuncture maps. A few others have found relationships, but the basic claims are so preposterous that it is safe to assume that the map concept will never be substantiated.
Check out that link for more. Does it work? No. It’s fad medicine. Does it help with stress? Maybe. But so do a lot of other things that do not involve needles in your ear.
Tip: Todd Stonewall