Auricular Acupuncture

Strictly speaking, Auricular Acupuncture is not related to Dry Needling therapy. 

However, Dry Needling & Auricular Acupuncture rely on similar physiological processes. Whether one places a needle into myofascial trigger points or the cartilage & overlying skin of the ear, the body reacts in the same way.

Dr. Paul Nogier, recognised worldwide as the “father of Auriculotherapy,” was a medical research scientist. As physician, in particular he practiced acupuncture, psychotherapy, homeopathy and manipulative medicine. 

In 1951, his expertise in these techniques led to his discovery of Auricular therapy, then ten years later he developed Auricular medicine. 
The results of Paul Nogier’s work are now well known, and are taught and used in Europe, the United States and even in China, the birth place of acupuncture.

It was the sun shining across a patient’s ear and casting a shadow over the bumps that lie on the surface of the outer ear that apparently aroused Dr Nogier’s curiosity. He thought that the shape that the shadow made was similar to that of the appearance of the sacral spine.

This appearance led him to ponder on whether there might be a relationship between the surface of the ear and the rest of the body. He soon developed the theory that the outer ear represents the human body in the form of an inverted foetus.

There’s no scientific evidence of a relationship between the shape of the ear and various parts of the body. However, there still might be merit in Dr Nogier’s hypothesis.

The surface of the ear is innervated by the greater auricular nerve, auricular branch of the vagus nerve, the auriculotemporal & the glossophayngeal nerves

Stimulating areas of the auricle may then lead to effects on the central nervous system. One area that is commonly used to assist in promoting calmness, better sleep and reduced anxiety is Ear Shenmen.

This point is found at the bifurcation of the “Y” shape at the cephalic end of the auricle.

The way this might work is related to the possible effects on the CNS.


Dr Wayne W Mahmoud
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