The use of ear acupuncture points for the treatment of pain is centuries old, but it was in the 1950’s that French Physician, Paul Nogier, demonstrated that all organs of the body are represented as reflex zones on the outer ear (auricle).
He discovered that these sites on the ear showed an increased sensitivity to pressure if the corresponding region of the body was diseased. Nogier discovered that the points on the ear had therapeutic as well as diagnostic functions. Auricular (ear) acupuncture is now used around the world to treat a wide range of conditions including:
- Acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain
- Headaches and migraines
In clinic, ear points are typically stimulated using acupuncture needles (or an acupressure probe). The effects of ear acupuncture can be prolonged by the use of ear pellets (where a gold or silver pellet giving acupressure is attached to the ear by a small plaster) or semi-permanent ASP needles (like small ear piercing studs) which remain in the ear for a few days after treatment.
Contemporary applications of ear acupuncture include:
- Smoking cessation
- Nervous drinking
- Drug addiction
- Weight control
Battlefield Acupuncture – This extraordinary and powerful therapy was developed by US military doctor, Colonel Richard Niemtzow in 2001 to help provide fast effective pain relief to soldiers in action (when use of narcotic analgesics could impair performance). Battlefield Acupuncture uses Auricular Semi Permanent (ASP) needles in specific acupuncture points of the outer ear. These small stud-like needles remain in the ear for 3-4 days before being naturally pushed out by the body. It is believed that the Battlefield Acupuncture protocol affects the body’s modulation of pain in the central nervous system. Today this protocol is used outside the military to treat severe pain and in cases where patients have not responded to traditional body acupuncture.
Click here to download a leaflet on Patient Ear Care with ASP Needles.