While learning Tai Chi Chuan, Dr. Bresler first saw acupuncture being performed in LA’s Chinatown in the late 60’s. One of the patients that his future teacher was treating was an elderly gentleman with advanced osteoarthritis that caused severe swelling, inflammation, and pain in his hands and feet. About 15 minutes following the insertion of tiny needles in various points on his body, the gentleman exclaimed that he was entirely free of pain for the first time in months. Dr. Bresler noticed that the swelling and inflammation in his hands and feet also appeared to be greatly reduced. He reports: “It’s like the old Groucho Marx line: What are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” He saw with his own eyes that acupuncture could relieve pain even when the medicines then available could not. As a result, he became determined to learn how to do it, and was fortunate to subsequently study with some of the greatest master acupuncturists of that time.
Getting his colleagues at UCLA to believe in acupuncture was another matter altogether. After 17 rejected submissions to the UCLA Human Subject Protection Committee, he was finally given permission to begin research on acupuncture in 1973. He also applied for and received the first NIH grant to study acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating bronchial asthma. In the following years, he and his UCLA colleagues published five scientific papers in AMA peer-review journals documenting the positive results of this double-blind, placebo controlled research which helped lead to acupuncture’s acceptance in the medical community.
With over 45 years of experience in researching, teaching, and practicing acupuncture, Dr. Bresler has become an international expert in the application of auriculotherapy, one of the most powerful and effective acupuncture techniques. Auriculotherapy or “ear acupuncture” is done by inserting tiny acupuncture needles into specific points on the external ear that affect specific organs, nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other structures throughout the entire body. Dr. Bresler has found it to be particularly effective in treating fibromyalgia, arthritis, neck and back pain, headaches, and various forms of neuralgia and neuritis.
In addition, American, French, and Chinese physicians have reported that it is possible to diagnose a variety of medical conditions simply by carefully examining the ear. When there is a pain problem in a particular region of the body, the corresponding ear point is “reactive,” meaning the there is greatly increased tenderness to palpation and electrical conductivity in comparison to surrounding areas of the ear. Dr. Bresler often uses this type of diagnosis when more traditional diagnostic techniques are unable to reveal the source of the problem.