Chronic pain a challenge? Try Ear Reflexology for Relief.
If you deal with chronic pain, having tools to help you manage is a must. So, I’m sharing an ear reflex point to help tame that beast.
The reflex point is located on the antitragus, the little bump located just above the intertragic notch, or the dip at the bottom of the ear. Check the exact point on the ear photo. The point is named the thalamus or pain control reflex. It reduces chronic pain by activating the thalamic gate of the supra-spinal pain inhibitory system and also represents hypothalamic regulation of the autonomic nerves. Phew! That’s a lot of science-y terminology.
Here’s the explanation in laymen’s terms: Pain impulses are transmitted through the nervous system from the site of the pain to the brain. The process of pain transmission involves specialized nerve cells called nociceptors, which are located in various tissues throughout the body. When these nociceptors are activated by tissue damage or inflammation, they send signals along sensory nerve fibers called A-delta and C fibers to the spinal cord.
Once the pain signals reach the spinal cord, they are transmitted to higher centers in the brain, such as the thalamus and cortex, via a complex network of neurons. Along the way, the signals are modulated and amplified by various neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, which can either enhance or dampen the pain experience.
Ultimately, the brain interprets the incoming pain signals and generates a conscious experience of pain, which can be influenced by various factors such as emotions, expectations, and past experiences.
One theory behind the potential pain-relieving effects of reflexology is that the pressure applied to specific reflex points can stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers produced by the body. Endorphins can help to block the transmission of pain signals and produce a sense of relaxation and well-being.
Additionally, reflexology improves blood circulation and reduces tension in the muscles and tissues, which can also contribute to pain relief. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, reflexology helps to reduce the perception of pain.
About the Author: Deb Timmerman, RN, DAIS, CSME, HMCT is the Chief Resilience Officer of Deb Timmerman and Associates, a firm helping people prepare for, recover from, and adapt in the face of stress, challenge, or adversity. She specializes in burnout prevention and recovery and rapid stress relief. She holds multiple certifications in complementary therapies and is certified in face and ear reflexology.
This blog is intended for general education. While ear reflexology may provide benefits, it is not a substitute for conventional medical treatment. If you have a medical or mental health condition you should consult a medical professional.