Auriculotherapy is the utilization of the ear horn for therapeutic purposes.
It is based on validated scientific experimentation, recognized by the World Health Organization, and has been subjected to double blind clinical trials referred by the INSERM.
As well as posturology, auriculotherapy is now certified in France by an inter-University degree.
Thus its practice fit utterly into an approach of conventional medicine, although it has often been labelled as non conventional.
Its action is explained by the cutaneous neuroanatomical somatotopia of the body organs found on the ear horn, through the intermediary of the brain stem, which is the crossing point of all information going back and forth to the brain. It is therefore both a diagnostic and therapeutic approach remarkably efficient.
Contrary to what is often believed, auriculotherapy does not come from traditional Chinese acupuncture, which it does not consider its concepts of energy and meridians the traditional acupuncturists are based on, although its neurophysiological mechanism is certainly similar.
Auriculotherapy arose in Lyon in the 1950's after Dr Paul Nogier's research works, who noticed some striking connections between specific points of the ear horn and vertebrae. The stimulation of these ear points would prompt a remarkable pain relief. From that observation he succeeded in carrying out experimentally the first ear cartography.
Soon after, the first practitioners obtained some striking results in a vast range of afflictions: musculoskeletal pains, neuralgia, postural imbalances, addictions, children and adults neurological dysfunctions (such as tics, stuttering, dyslexia), depressive disorders, allergy, eczema, recurrent ear nose and throat infections, metabolic disorders, menstrual cycle and menopause-linked disorders, along with various functional disorders.
Such clinical effects could not be explained only by a simple action of reflexive connection. That is in part due to the fact that the ear horn has a specific and unique feature in the body, being supplied with five different nerves, including the vagus nerve, which is the main nerve of parasympathetic system, controlling most part of the viscera.
The ear is also supplied with specific blood vessels, it has neurovascular complexes whose stimulation produces intricate effects, neurosecretory and neurovascular. These last characteristics make the auriculotherapy a real medical technique whose efficiency lays on an in-depth knowledge of the implicated homeostasis mechanisms.
The ear points (several hundreds identified today) are detectable by several ways: Electric detection, pulse detection, pressure sensitivity.
These points are treated by pressure, puncture (sterile single use micro-needles), micro-currents or light stimulation. The choice depends on the quality of the point to treat, or may also sometimes be imposed by the regulation of the country where auriculotherapy is practiced concerning needles (MD, acupuncturists).
Auriculotherapy is a premium approach in functional disorders treatments, for main or secondary indication. When well mastered in its indications, it is often an irreplaceable medical tool, constantly evolving, dramatically efficient with few sessions, sometimes with one unique session.
Auriculotherapy and posturology:
It is worth to specially mention its applications in posturology, for which auriculotherapy is a choice indication, offering remarkable therapeutic options, that none of other techniques enable to obtain, with visible and immediate effects on body position and pain.
In no way auriculotherapy substitutes for conventional medicine, either in the diagnostical or therapeutic approach, but is an integral part of its methodological corpus.
Like any medical technique, it has its indications, non indications and limits.