What Is Auricular
is one of the most important components of traditional
Chinese acupuncture. It is a specialized form where the
auricle (ear) is used to stimulate various organs and
meridians in the body. The ear represents a fetus in the
womb but in an inverted position. It is a microcosm of
the macrocosm: the ear represents the entire body.
How Does Auricular Therapy
Based on extensive clinical research, there are three
accepted theories which explain how auricular therapy
The Homuncular Reflex Theory (Anatomical Model) shows
that the map of the location of auricular points is
in the shape of an inverted fetus. Message transfer
between auricular points and related body parts has
been found to be bi-directional.The
Delta Reflex Theory (Lock & Key) shows that stimulation
of body parts causes a change in temperatre of the related
auricular point, and vice versa. In short, the 'key'
of auricular stimulation can open the 'lock' of somatic
'body' response in the corresponding body parts.
A deeper look
at Meridian Theory shows that energy travels
along a system of pathways, neither vessels nor nerves,
and converges at the ear. This is one of the most
important aspects of Chinese auricular therapy.
Why Is It Old?
Auricular therapy has
a long history in China. The earliest recorded mention of
the close relationship between the ear and the body is found
in the Silk Book Meridians, written around 500 B.C., which
states that the ear meridian originates in the back of the
hand and ascends to enter the ear. Auricular diagnostic
and therapeutic methods were first documented in Nei Jing,
The Classic of Medicine, written around 200 B.C., which
stated that the nature and location of various diseases
could be determined by inspection of the shape, color, moistness,
and collaterals of the ear. It recommended the use of blood-letting
puncturing of the collaterals of the ear to treat headache
and side pain.
Later practitioners continued to develop the practical application
of auricular diagnosis and to do research into the mechanisms
of auricular therapy. During the Jin dynasty (265-420 AD),
auricular massage was widely used to preserve health and
to diagnose and treat various diseases and disorders. The
use of auricular acupuncture and moxibustion was first recorded
during the Tang dynasty (608-907 AD). During the Ming dynasty
(1368-1644 AD), auricular medicinal coating came into use,
and auricular massage for children was popular. During the
Qing dynasty (1644-1911 AD), the use of auricular temperature
measurement as a means of prognosis was recorded. This led
to the creation of the first ear map and auricular massage
chart which showed a relationship between some areas of
the ear and body.
In 1946, an American
scientist reported that there was some kind of relationship
between congenital development of the kidney and the shape
of ears, but it didn't get people's attention. In 1957,
French practitioner Dr. Paul Nogier published his discovery
that the distribution pattern of auricular points was related
to the shape of an inverted fetus. After this information
was published in China, it spread very fast and people combined
Dr. Nogier's theory with traditional Chinese medicine to
develop Chinese Auricular Therapy. This new technique is
characterized by diagnosis and treatment according to Chinese
meridian theory. New points and treatment patterns have
been discovered, and the function of both new and old points
has been updated. In 1982, the World Health Organization
(WHO) asked the Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion Association
to formulate the International Standard of Auricular Points.
Why Is It New?
The development of modern science has led to the development
of new treatment methods and equipment. Instead of just
a couple of methods, there are now more than 15 ways to
perform auricular therapy, including massage, electric stimulation,
needles, moxa, seeds, magnets, laser etc. More methods give
us more choices, making this form of acupuncture ideal for
the young and old, and of course for those who are "shy"
of Points, the devices in Acupuncture.