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Auriculotherapy, also known as ear acupuncture is a method of alternative therapy placing ear to be the vital point of healing. As per this therapy, ear is like a microsystem representing complete anatomy of a human body. The various points are denoted on the auricle, the outer ear.

What Is Auriculotherapy?
Just like acupuncture, treatment for various physical, emotional and mental ailments are done by stimulating some prime points on the auricle. Auriculotherapy yields results, and many clinical observations concord with the results.

Auriculotherapy was developed in mid 1950s. The idea was first conceptualized Paul Nogier, a French neurologist. His initial recordings of the efficacy in the treatment were published post applying clinical trials via phrenological method. Ear was considered as a reference point for pains and complaints and mapping was done to correlate with different parts of human body. This map was later studied by the Chinese, who took it to the barefoot doctors and customized with traditional Chinese medical practices. Nogier continues to remain the Father of Auriculotherapy in China.

How Is Auriculotherapy Performed?

  • The whole process operates on the concept of ear mapping. Nogier discovered a vascular autonomic signal that can be easily felt at the radial artery with touched with the tip of a thumb.
  • These signals recorded any significant deviation in the amplitude of pulse.
  • Nogier concluded that shift occurs only when there is a new addition to the patient’s existing electromagnetic field.
  • Ear mapping is primarily done by compiling full map of the ear. These ear points have moved over the period of time with changing practices and may not be exactly like that of Nogier’s original plan.
  • A needle or a laser with particular frequency and magnitude is then used to stimulate the point representing that particular body part.

Benefits Of Auriculotherapy
The treatment gives same benefits as that of acupuncture. Managing chronic pains is proven to be significant with application of the therapy.

Studies/Research Related To Efficacy

  • Nogier’s publications were earlier met with lot of resistance by the medical world. Though the therapy proved effective in curing certain conditions, there were no confirmed scientific evidences concluded to that effect.
  • In the early 2000’s, Dr David Alimi tried researching using an MRI to substantiate the impact of maps projected on the ear.
  • The medical world did not fail to argue the effects. Maiken Nedergaand, a neuroscientist from University of Rochester Medical Center, stated that tissue on the ear that is treated with needles releases adenosine, a self-healing compound produced by human body to combat pain.
  • Various other theories debated that pricking of needles caused the release of endorphins that battled pain by blocking the pain receptors to the brain.
  • A recent study published in a medical journal, PAIN confirmed accuracy with ear mapping via diagnosis. 75 percent accuracy was met in a study of 40 pain patients with musculoskeletal pain issues.

It is recommended to consult an experienced auriculotherapy practitioner if you wish to try the method of alternative treatment for chronic pains.

1. Bernardo-Filho M, de Sá-Caputo Dda C, Marin PJ, Chang S. The Mechanism of Auriculotherapy: A Case Report Based on the Fractal Structure of meridian System. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014 Apr 3;11(3):30-7. eCollection 2014. PMID:25371561

2. Yang LH, Duan PB, Du SZ, Sun JF, Mei SJ, Wang XQ, Zhang YY. Efficacy of auriculotherapy for constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Aug;20(8):590-605. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0324. Epub 2014 Jul 14. PMID:25020089

3. Rabischong P, Terral C. Scientific Basis of Auriculotherapy: State of the Art.  Med Acupunct. 2014 Apr 1;26(2):84-96. PMID:24761188

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