This special form of acupuncture was developed in the 1950’s by the French physician, Dr. Paul Nogier. He discovered that the surface of the outer ear (auricle) is a reflex area on which all parts of the body are represented.
By examining individual reflex zones on the ear, it is possible to identify precisely where in the body the pain is located - or which of the organs are affected if the origin of the pain is unclear. Certain disturbances in the body which can delay, or even prevent, the healing process can also be located. At first glance, such a focus has nothing to do with the disease process itself and is often not even noticed by the patient. However, these foci can have such a negative effect on the body that it becomes prone to falling ill. In addition, they can prevent a pre-existing disease from responding to conventional therapies so that the body cannot get rid of it.
Examination is carried out by measuring voltage differences on the ear surface. Individual ear points that represent specific parts of the body are checked for electrical changes. Thus, the auricle can be regarded as the body’s own diagnostic center because an ear point corresponding to a body part can only be detected when the part in question is disturbed. For example, an electrical change at the Liver Point on the ear indicates a disturbance of the liver. Researchers at the University of Southern California are involved in testing Auricular Therapy's efficacy in diagnosing pain and illness.
Auricular Therapy is not an "unproven" or mystical treatment approach. There is a vast array of published medical research on the subject of Auricular Therapy, and acupuncture in general. Technology such as Functional MRI (fmri) proves that ear acupuncture indeed triggers an effect in areas of the brain specific to corresponding ear zones.
Acupuncturist, Barbara Bittinger is involved in ongoing training and research into this exciting field. At Princeton Acupuncture she has been using a treatment protocol called "Battlefield Acupuncture" developed by Dr Neimtzow of the US Air Force. The use of 24K gold, semi-permanent, ear needles has been successful in giving patients lasting pain relief and effective treatment of PSTD