What is Auricular Acupuncture?
Auricular Acupuncture is a specialised complementary therapy based upon the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture. It is a Microsystem of Acupuncture which reflects the entire body on the ear, in a similar way to reflexology or iridology. Auricular Acupuncture was largely developed in Europe by French neurologist Dr. Paul Nogier. Nogier's development was made through clinical trials based on mapping brain areas with localised, specific functions and the projection of a foetus on the ear for reference of complaints and points for treatment. Physical, emotional and mental conditions could be treated by stimulating points on the ear, either through needling, electronic stimulation or massage. Nogier published his results in 1957 in The Treatise of Auriculotherapy.
Nogier is acknowledged by the Chinese as the Father of Auriculotherapy and highly regarded for his contribution to Auricular Medicine. The Chinese Army brought Nogier's map to the barefoot doctors in China and the map was further developed according to the theories of Chinese Medicine.
There are over 200 acupuncture points on each ear. The outer ear acts like a switchboard to the brain. Each acupuncture point being treated triggers electrical impulses from the ear via the brain, to the specific part of the body being treated. Functional MRI (fMRI) shows that Auricular Acupuncture triggers an effect in areas of the brain specific to the corresponding zone on the ear. Each point treated releases endorphins which block pain receptors, and elevates levels of adenosine, a natural local pain reliever, affecting change in the targeted anatomical area.
How is Auricular Acupuncture used?
Auricular Acupuncture is widely used and highly respected by medical doctors and other healthcare professionals as a therapy in its own right in France, Germany, Italy, Greece and the USA.
Although Auricular Acupuncture is most widely known within substance misuse in the UK, the WHO lists 150 conditions for which Auricular Acupuncture is appropriate. In 1990 the Director General of the World Health Organisation proclaimed to an international gathering that "Auricular Acupuncture is probably the most developed and best documented, scientifically, of all the Microsystems of acupuncture and is the most practical and widely used."