Stop-Smoking Technique is Based on Stimulation of the Outer Ear

By: Amy Bertrand

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2/27/2006

Q: I read about a woman in one of your stories who used auriculotherapy to stop smoking. Exactly what is auriculotherapy, and where can I get it done? – S.H., University City

A: Auriculotherapy is a technique to help people stop smoking, using stimulation to the exterior of the ear to help take the patient past the withdrawal stage. It works sort of like acupuncture.

“That way they don’t experience typical withdrawal symptoms,” said Cathy DeVille, director of the Leslie-CamĀ® Smoking Cessation Center in Chesterfield. DeVille says her center has treated about 40,000 people over a 14-year period, with an 85 percent success rate.

Not all auriculotherapy is the same, says DeVille. The type she offers uses electrical pulses and limits those pulses to the area of the ear where the nerve endings correspond to pressure points.

“It feels like a slight heat or pressure sensation,” says DeVille. “And all it takes is one treatment for most people.”

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