What is Auricular Therapy/Acupuncture
Although Traditional Chinese body acupuncture has a long history dating back more than 3000 years, the acupuncture points around the ears belong to the major body acupuncture channels or meridians. It was in early 1950 that ear acupuncture was developed by Dr Paul Nogier in Lyon, France. He observed that some of his patients had cauterisation at certain position on the ear. On questioning, they informed him that this was performed by a lay healer, Madam Barrin to cure their lower back pain or sciatica. Subsequently, he treated some of his patients using this point which was found to be very effective in relieving lumbar pain of many of his patients. Through decades of investigations, Paul Nogier was able to map the reflex points on the auricle which resembles an inverted foetus, see Figure 1.
In February 1956 at the Congress of the Societiete Mediterraneene Paul Nogier reported his early research findings which was published by Dr Gerard Bachmann in the German acupuncture journal – Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Akupunctur.
The Chinese acupuncturists learnt of this discovery via the Japanese who obtained this information from the above German publication. The Chinese acupuncture experts then enlisted the Nanjing Army in their researches and through thousands of observations which led to them to construct their own ear reflex chart, see Figure 2.Paul Nogiers contribution to ear acupuncture was acknowledged in 1959 by the Chinese as- Father of Auricular Acupuncture.
How Auricular Acupuncture works
Auricular Acupuncture is a unique micro-acupuncture system in that it works through a different pathway as compared to that of body acupuncture. Auricular (or Ear) acupuncture points are detectable only when there is a pathology in an organ or part of an anatomy, whereas body acupuncture points (which have lower electric conductance than the surrounding skin area) are fixed, arranged in a precise pattern and always detectable with an electrical detector.
Auricular Therapy or Auricular Acupuncture is a physical reflex therapy that is able to detect physical (somatic), physiological and psycho-emotional disturbances in the body which are then projected onto the external auricle. The treatment of ear points will then stimulate the brain which in turn will alleviate physical, physiological or psycho-emotional problems in the body. The rich network of nerve innervations allows energetic organ information to be conveyed through the nervous system between the corresponding parts of the brain and the specific anatomical area of the body.
For auricular treatment, the Auricular Acupuncture points on the external ear are stimulated using various modalities; including micro current stimulator, electro acupunctoscope, low level laser therapy (LLLT) or needles ( sterile, single use, stainless, disposable), to alleviate allergy, pain, musculo-skeletal disorders and a broad range of medical conditions.
Auricular Phase Dynamics
According to Paul Nogier functional illness or pain of an organ or tissue would present itself in different ear zones depending on the stage of the disease. Phase 1 auricular zones correspond to normal physiology or acute state of a disease in the inverted foetus presentation. In Phase 2, where there is tissue damage or deformation, the inverted foetus is transformed to an upright position. Phase 3 ear zones correspond to transitional, chronic and non-degenerative conditions. These are projected in transverse position with the head in the centre of concha. Thus, Phase 1 mesodermal tissues occupy the upper region of the ear, followed by Phase 2 in the concha and finally in the lobule in Phase 3, see Figure 3.
It is now well established that as the disease progresses, the ear reflex zone will shift from Phase 1 to 3 to 2 and that recovery will follow the path from phase 2 to 3 to 1.
PHASE 2 -> PHASE 3 -> PHASE 1.