Auriculotherapy is a form of reflexotherapy applied to the ear. It can be used to treat certain side effects of cancer treatments.
Auriculotherapy is an unconventional method that has nevertheless been recognized by the World Health Organization since 1987. By using needle pricks (or electrostimulation, massage, magnetic fields, laser, etc.) to stimulate various specific areas of the ear, practitioners can treat pain, insomnia, or other symptoms for their patient.
In oncology, this complementary therapeutic method is indicated to reduce not only the secondary pain associated with treatment (surgery, radiotherapy), but chemotherapy-induced nausea and dry mouth that can occur with ENT cancers.
Auriculotherapy appointments at Institut Curie
Available at the Saint-Cloud site since 2012, auriculotherapy is used primarily to treat patients with breast cancer to relieve:
- The hot flashes and joint pain associated with hormone therapy.
- Certain types of pain, particularly neuropathic, after breast surgery.
The analgesic effects of auriculotherapy are felt more quickly and effectively the earlier the patient is first seen. They are also long-lasting, which can allow for a gradual decrease in drug prescriptions that is often appreciated by people who have had breast surgery, explains Dr. Claude Boiron, a physician in the Interdisciplinary Department Responsible for Supportive Patient Care in Oncology (DISSPO)..
In 2015, Institut Curie offered 260 auriculotherapy sessions for nearly 200 female patients.