ear acupressure point chart abroadincostarica.com Unless you just looked that up, I am enjoying a nanosecond knowing about something very few people do. I can't tell you how this pleases me. [Sad, I know, but we have to get our yayas where we can these days, eh?]

Here's the scoop: Auriculotherapy is ear acupuncture. Like reflexology, it's based on the premise that all body parts and organs have reciprocal points in the hands, feet, ears and, to some extent, the scalp. Due to stress, injury and/or over-use, these points get blocked with energy and bunched up connective tissue, resulting in discomfort at the referral body part. These blockages are released via touch: tapping, pressure, or needles and the pain disappears. For some reason, this makes sense to me.

All my mainstream friends, like the ones who never met a pharmaceutical they didn't like, are shaking their heads, wondering what I've gotten my self into now. I, on the other hand, have rarely met an alternative therapy I didn't think had merit: EFT, acupuncture, chiropractic (yep, still considered alternative), polarity, all massage, salt glows, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, homeopathic medicine… even diet and exercise.

Fat and asleep Judging from the looks of norteamericanos, not to mention an increasing number of ticos, healthy diet and exercise must be considered alternative and, therefore, suspect. Plenty of them have decided not to engage in such risky behavior. As Hal quipped the other day, "Ask your doctor if getting your fat ass off the sofa is right for you." (I'm feeling superior since I walked up my mountain this morning.)

Urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-1-medium2The rationale seems to be, "Why exercise, why cut out sugar and Mickey D's when there's chemotherapy and Lotril if things go wrong? Soon to be had for free! Why take Vitamin D3 and C when a vaccine is available for flu? Could you hand me that remote?"

Urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-3-medium4Alas, despite my healthy and superior lifestyle, my neck is a mess. Coincidentally, the mouse-hand side of my neck. Too much clicking. It's been going on for awhile now. A few weeks ago, after my massage course, I had a lovely, deep Connective Tissue massage from Robbie that really did it good. Urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-4-medium5Unfortunately, she lives too far away to get regular massage, so I've been engaging in pain-preventive practice: sleeping on a single, fairly flat pillow, doing yoga and stretching, including Urdhva Dhanurasana (back bends, which feel so good). That all helps, but I'm still mousing too much and preventing too little.

Gene mcdonald Enter Gene McDonald, local auricular therapy master. Gene was recommended to me by Vicki Skinner. Before I had a chance to call him, he called me. He wanted to see about getting a listing on my Costa Rica Blue Book. Then he offered me three auriculotherapy treatments, free. Hey, I like free stuff! I got myself over to his house and hopped on his table.

It was amazing: he takes a tool (you can see it in his hand) that has a tiny metal point. He finds the "hot spots" on your ear, then holds the point to it, applying pressure till you say, "Hold it right there, Eugene!" I think the tip vibrates but I'm not sure. He holds it there for about 10 seconds or so, then moves on. The whole session takes 20 to 30 minutes. It can hurt when he touches a particularly sensitive spot… there's no way around it. But, hey, it worked so beautifully, I went back three times. And I'm a wuss. Every time I left, my neck was pain-free with more mobility. Even now, a week after my last treatment.

After 20 minutes with Gene, I felt better every visit, like with massage or aspirin: pain-free. I appreciate that in a healing treatment. If you live here and have pain, go see Gene for $30. If you don't live here but have auricular therapy there, give it a shot. Remarkable stuff: all that healing from a teeny tiny point on your ear. I wonder how they figured this out.

(You can get all Gene's contact info by clicking this link!)

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