Auricular Acupuncture (or Ear Acupuncture) is a micro-system of acupuncture, a specialised therapy where acupuncture points on the ear are treated. The outer ear acts like a switchboard to the brain and can treat every type a range of conditions.
The earliest use of ear acupuncture, like body acupuncture, dates back to ancient China. Auricular acupuncture as we know it today however is largely the outgrowth of work begun by Dr. Paul Nogier, a neurologist trained in acupuncture. He found that the ear holds all of the acupuncture points of the body plus more detailed physiological and anatomical correspondences. He also found that stimulation of these points were very effective in alleviating pain and other symptoms.
When an auricular acupuncture point on the ear is “active” it expresses as increased tenderness on stimulation and a higher electrical conductivity. This indicates pathology in the corresponding body tissue or function and makes auricular acupuncture a useful form of assessment of ailments. The texture, colour, skin changes, veins, etc., in different areas of the ear can be indicators of the state of health.
Treatment is performed by needling the respective points on the ear and, if necessary, also on the body. Disposable surgical stainless steel, or gold or silver plated, needles are used. They are inserted only millimetres under the skin.