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Ear acupuncture


1. Auricular therapy  Nogier
Paul Nogier (French neurologist) was the first to define the ear as a microsystem, publishing his results in 1957 with Treatise of Auriculotherapy or Ear acupuncture. Microsystem theories state that the whole body is reflected in a small part. These developments were made using clinical trials based in a phrenological method of projection of a fetal Homunculus on the ear for reference of complaints and points for treatment. Dr. Nogier soon brought his discovery to the public, where members of the Chinese Army picked up the map and brought it back to the Barefoot Doctors. The ear map in China then was developed according to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, Nogier is still known in China as the “Father of Auriculotherapy”.
Nogier went on to discover the Vascular Autonomic Signal, a distinct change in the amplitude of the pulse, easily felt with the tip of the thumb at the radial artery. This mechanism, Nogier found, would only produce a signal upon the introduction of new information to the patient’s electromagnetic field. He was now working with the principle of matching resonance. He then found that he could use this signal to detect which points on the ear microsystem were active. This method is used in many applications of Auricular Medicine today.
2 . Nerve innervations ear


Techniques in Ear Acupuncture differ from needling at specific points. According to the ear chart used, indwelling needles are used, with a stay in period of 3 to 14 days. The patient is instructed to press or massage slightly the needle area during the residence period.


In Ear Acupuncture the most common use is the indwelling needle. A tiny, short intradermal needle on an adhesive tape, also called “press-tacks, press needles or studs”. The needle can stimulate the area for 3 up to 14 days.
Length range: 0,3-1,5mm
Diameter: 0,20mm

The needle contact test (NCT) to control acute migraine attack

The NCT is a specific diagnostic test to identify responders for ear acupuncture to control a migraine attack. (The test is described at the diagnostic needling page).


In a study performed at the Women’s Headache Centre in Turin Allais et al. found the patterns of tender points during a migraine attack responded to Nogier’s theory.


A semi-permanent needle (see above) is inserted in all the tender points that scored positive on the NCT.