Auriculotherapy in primary health care: A large-scale educational experience in Brazil.


Integrative Medicine and Acupuncture Service, University Hospital, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina 88036-800, Brazil; Florianópolis Municipality Health Office, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina 88036-800, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Auriculotherapy consists of physical stimuli applied to the outer ear and is commonly associated with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The authors present and discuss the development of a course that offers a semi-on-site auriculotherapy course for Brazilian primary health care (PHC) professionals. The course was funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and developed at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in 2015 by a team of experts in auriculotherapy. It consisted of 75 h of distance learning (five sequential modules) and 5 h of on-site learning. The modules included the following items: (1) introduction to integrative practices; (2) ear reflexology; (3) introduction to TCM; (4) biomedical view of auriculotherapy; and (5) auriculotherapy in PHC. The teaching material included a workbook for each module, 14 video lectures and an interactive ear (online resource) to study location and application to the main auricular points. The on-site lectures follow a structured script of ear palpation techniques, auricular seed insertion practice and clinical case discussions, under the supervision of trained instructors. The course was offered in 2016 and 2017 and on-site lectures took place in 25 cities, covering all Brazilian regions, in coordination with municipal or state boards of health. A total of 4273 health professionals concluded the training and their evaluation of the course was highly positive. The Brazilian experience of large-scale training shows the potential to disseminate auriculotherapy in the context of PHC, given that its practice is fast, easy to learn, safe, effective for different health problems and well accepted by the patients.


Auriculotherapy,Distance learning,Health education,Primary health care,Traditional Chinese medicine,