Auricular acupuncture is a form of acupuncture, in which the surface of the ear (auricular) is stimulated to alleviate pathological conditions in other parts of the body (Oleson, 2003).
We can be forgiven for thinking this form of acupuncture comes from ancient china but it was a French doctor named Paul Nogier
who in the 1950’s was intrigued by some of his patients who had scars on the ears as a treatment for sciatica. The scars were from a cauterising procedure performed by a lay practitioner passed down from a Chinese practitioner. Dr. Nogier repeated the procedure using acupuncture needles with positive results and went on to develop a map of the ear which illustrates diseased areas of the body that correspond to areas of the ear. These maps were later developed further by the Nanjing Ear Acupuncture Research Team.
Today auricular acupuncture is perhaps best known for its use in detoxification programmes such as the NADA protocol, battlefield acupuncture for acute pain relief, and its use in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and weight loss.
Oleson, T (2003). Auricular therapy manual: Chinese and Western systems of ear acupuncture. 3rd ed. USA: Elsevier.