The origins of ear acupuncture can be traced back to the 4th century BC. The basic idea of ear acupuncture is that every part of the body has a corresponding reflex point in the ear, which can be used both for diagnosis and treatment. If something is out of balance in the body, this will be reflected in the particular part of the ear. The reflex point can be sore or change in color. If exactly that point in the ear is treated, the responding part of the body reacts in a positive fashion. The ear's active points may be linked to form the figure of a tiny human
being turned upside down. The theory was launched by the French doctor Paul Naugier in the 1950s.
He discovered in some of his patient's certain scars at a specific site on the ear. The patients told him that they had been treated for back pain by applying
a red-hot needle to this site of the ear with the result that the pain disappeared.
In a recent study representative of many scientific investigations, David Alimi at the University of Paris. demonstrated by functional MRI that auricular reflex zones are directly connected to the corresponding brain areas. This connection is impressive proof of the neurobiological effect of ear acupuncture.
Ear acupuncture is a concept that embraces both diagnosis - examination of the ear to find 'active points', and treatment - the stimulation of these active points with acupuncture needles, semi-permanent needles, or laser pressure massage. Ear acupuncture can be used in combination with body acupuncture, or as a separate treatment.