Introduction: Historically, auriculotherapy has been linked to efficient pain management, probably because it impacts both somatosensory and emotional components of pain. However, the emotional state of the patient is not always enough taken into account, an omission which may favor the development of chronic pain. An easy and affordable way to avoid this would be to systematically use auriculotherapy alone or in combination with analgesic agents or other relevant interventions.
Method: First, the mechanisms of action of auriculotherapy on pain will be reviewed, emphasizing the vagus nerve-mediated information processing. Then, focus will be put on Heart Rate Variability (HRV), a reflection of the vagal tone, and its connections to both endogenous pain modulation and resiliency.
Result: The optimization of body-brain communication by auriculotherapy can undoubtedly decrease pain and suffering.
Conclusion: Auriculotherapy can positively impact the evolution of mankind, according to Darwin’s Origin of Species, as pain is regarded as one of the most effective alarm signals. Indeed, “it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself”.
Gary Stanton, MD (Boston University School of Medicine, 1977) is a neurologist and auriculotherapist who has subspecialty interests and board certifications in sleep medicine, pain medicine, clinical neurophysiology, and medical acupuncture. He studied medical acupuncture in the Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine programs, as well as at the Institute for Traditional Chinese Energetics and Acupuncture(IEATC)in France. He subsequently completed the training program for the Inter-University Diploma(DIU)in Auriculotherapy at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris XIII in France, under Dr. David Alimi. He is a member of the Scientific Board for the Eleventh International Symposium of Auriculotherapy, to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2023. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA), and is treasurer of the New England Society of Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Stanton is a member of the AAMA Board of Directors and Membership Committee. He enjoys lecturing in auriculotherapy education in the USA and internationally. He works in private practice in Concord, Massachusetts, USA.