Ear Reflex Points
The oldest record of auriculotherapy dates back approximately 2500 to The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (ca. 100 BCE), though it has mostly been limited to bloodletting and cauterization. For instance, chapter 63 of Plain Questions of The Yellow Emperor’s Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing) refers to blowing air into the ear with a tube to save an unconscious patient. Chapter 20 of Miraculous Pivot of The Yellow Emperor’s Classic mentioned phlebotomy of distended vein in the ear to relieve tightness in the costal regions.
Auriculotherapy was introduced to Europe after 1957, when French neurologist Paul Nogier proposed a more systemic and standardized approach to auriculotherapy in the “Treatise of Auriculotherapy” (1957). Auriculotherapy has since then been introduced to the international scientific community as Nogier’s article has been read by Russian, Japanese, and Chinese acupuncturists, and been translated into Chinese in 1958.
The developments were made by clinical trials based upon a phrenological method of projection of a fetal Homunculus on the ear, for reference of physical complaints and points for medical treatment. Nogier soon presented his discovery to the public, where members of the Chinese Army picked up the map and took it to the barefoot doctors of China, farmers with minimal training in basic medical and in paramedical skills, and so provide medical services in rural China.
Moreover, Nogier then published what he called 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. That mechanism would only produce a signal upon the introduction of new information to the electromagnetic field of the patient. Nogier then was working with the principle of matching resonance, and said that he could use the vascular autonomic signal to detect the active points of the auricular microsystem.
Auricular acupuncture has progressed since then in China, and several national programmes are being developed.
More recent development of auriculotherapy includes the emergence of a new therapy developed by Dr. Richard Niemtzow in 2001, which he coined Battlefield Acupuncture. It involves placing gold aiguille semi-permanent needles at up to five sites in the ears. He developed the Battlefield Acupuncture system in an attempt to research more efficient relief for phantom limb pain and chronic pain for veterans. The United States Department of Defense, the Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management, and the Veterans Health Administration National Pain Management Program office recently completed a 3-year $5.4 million acupuncture education and training program, which trained over 2800 providers for Battlefield Acupuncture.
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