Stefan Hafner Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
Toyohari Japanese Acupuncture - gentle and effective. Health fund registered.


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Ear acupuncture for addiction

The French physician Paul Nogier developed ear acupuncture or auriculotherapy in the 1950’s. He noticed that some of his patients had a little cauterisation scar in their ears which they claimed relieved sciatic pain. Over 15 years, Nogier investigated the connections between ear points and various organs and body regions and came up with a map of points that roughly resembled the shape of an inverted foetus. He realised that with applying acupuncture to the ear he could treat any area of the body, including the nervous system.

Once China found out of the new acupuncture system, they investigated it in large-scale trials, using the Nanjing army. Nogier’s system was confirmed and auriculotherapy was included in the curriculum of Traditional Chinese Medicine courses.

Today auriculotherapy is widely used throughout the world for many applications, one of them is the NADA protocol.

A simple ear acupuncture treatment to help people in withdrawal from narcotics, alcohol, nicotine and other addictions was discovered in the early 1970’s by Dr. Wen, a Hong Kong based neurosurgeon.

In the 1980’s the treatment spread to the USA and became known as the NADA protocol, an acronym for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, which promotes it around the world. The treatment is often done in group sessions in a safe, supportive environment in the USA.

The five ear acupoints used stimulate Lung, Liver and Kidneys and produce a calming effect of the sympathetic nervous system. So removing toxins from the body whilst keeping the emotions relaxed.

The treatment takes 30minutes and can be applied a number of times a week. A proficient therapist can modify the treatment to include acupoints for individual challenges that may arise during withdrawal such as depression, irritability etc.

The NADA protocol and its variations are also used to assist patients during smoking cessation.

Stefan Hafner
Moxibustion - a healing herb on fire

There is an old saying in China:" If you can't smell moxa when you enter an acupuncture clinic, you should turn around and leave". Moxibustion, the burning of mugwort, is used in combination with acupuncture, however the use of moxa predates acupuncture. Long before metallurgy evolved and metal needles could be made, the leaves of the common mugwort plant Artemisa Vulgaris where shredded and dried to form the woolly moxa punk that is used in moxibustion therapy. There are various grades of moxa for different applications. The finer the moxa, the smaller the portions that are applied to the body. The finest quality is gold grade moxa, which is used in rice- grain to thread size portions. These small portions are stuck on the skin and burned without causing pain. This is a treatment for inflammatory and painful conditions such as arthritis, insect bites and infections, but it is also used for boosting low immunity. The immune boosting effect is well documented and researched. One group of Toyohari practitioners form Great Britain formed an initiative named Moxafrica. Their work involves treating patients with antibiotic resistant tuberculosis in poorer African countries. These patients are extremely weak and often die from the illness unless they are treated with rice- grain size moxa on a number of acupuncture points. This has the effect of strongly stimulating the white blood cell production and boosting the immune system so much that it can overcome the bacterium that causes tuberculosis and help the patient recover.
I use moxa daily in my practice for many things like acute cold and flu, low energy and emotional problems. The smell of moxa smoke penetrating into the waiting room.

Stefan Hafner
Too much stimulation!

Yin and Yang, the ancient principle of Chinese medicine is all about balance. The Tai Ji (Greater ultimate) symbol of swirling fields of black and white denote two interdependent opposites. Once the yin (black) phase has reached its maximum expansion, it will turn into the opposite yang (white) phase and vice versa. The little dot with the opposite colour shows that when one phase is at it’s greatest, it already contains the seed of the opposite phase. Yin and yang can stand for any pair of opposites: hot- cold, dry- moist, thick- thin, loud- quiet, active- resting, expanding- contracting and so on. The aim of the Chinese medicine doctor is to bring yin and yang of the body into balance and restore it to homeostasis, a stable equilibrium of physiological processes.
Overstimulation is a common challenge to the balance of yin and yang. Constant exposure to external sensory input is considered an excess of yang. In our society it is easy to be connected to consumer electronics as a source of information, social interaction and entertainment during every waking hour. It is not unusual for someone to work on a computer for 8 hours to then come home and spend another three hour in front of the TV before finally going to sleep. Too much yang will eventually turn into it’s opposite and cause exhaustion, high stress levels, adrenal fatigue and low immunity. In terms of brain health this means loss of concentration, creativity and memory.

Meditation is a yin type activity that is suited perfectly for counteracting an excess of yang. Modern research tells us that regular meditation has many health benefits. It helps protect us from heart disease, cancer and dementia. It also improves sleep, concentration and the quality of our social interaction.

Meditation does not have to be connected to religion or spiritual practice and it does not require equipment or a difficult body posture.

All it takes is to simply sit in a comfortable position in a quiet space, indoors or outdoors. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, breath through your nose. Keep your lips closed and your teeth slightly ajar. Rest the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth. Let go of your thoughts.

Thoughts will inevitably arise. Treat them like passing clouds. Let them move by without adhering to them. One traditional technique to stop the mind chatter is to focus on the breath. To be exact, focus on the sensation you get from the air passing through your nostrils.
Start with 10 minutes per day and increase the time by 5 minutes every week. Soon you will feel the balance of yin and yang return to your life.