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By Stephanie Edman
L.Ac., MTOM 

Auricular acupuncture


June 8, 2019

What is auricular acupuncture?

Auricular acupuncture is a system utilizing points on the ears that was developed in the 1950s by the French physician, Dr. Paul Nogier (Gori, Fiernzuoli, 2007). The method has been described as a combination of reflexology and acupuncture. Several schools of auricular acupuncture have been developed over the years. One of the most prominent systems is the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association; or NADA protocol. This protocol was developed in the 1970s for treatment of addiction and has since been utilized for treating trauma as well.

Who can benefit from auricular acupuncture?

Auricular therapy is a great starting place for people who have no experience with acupuncture. It can be used for everything from pain to trauma. The community-style clinic approach allows for a low-cost but effective treatment method.

What can you expect at the ear clinic?

For your first visit, there will be paperwork to fill out. We will go over your primary concerns and medical history in a private room. A Chinese Medical diagnosis will be made for your concern, a treatment plan will be developed and the treatment will be discussed.

We will then move into the community room. Your ears will be swabbed with an alcohol wipe. I will locate the most reactive points on your ears that correspond to your condition and insert the needles. These needles are extremely small (40 gauge).

The needles will be in place for approximately 20 minutes. During that time, you are encouraged to close your eyes, relax and breathe. Then needles will be removed.

That’s all there is to it, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Don’t come in on an empty stomach. This can result in light-headedness.

2. Once the needles are in, there is no getting up and moving around. Please use the restroom before treatment.

3. People who are on blood thinners are sometimes not good candidates for auricular therapy. I prefer patients consult with their cardiologist before beginning the ear clinic or scheduling a regular appointment.

4. People with a history of seizures need to book a private appointment where they can be properly monitored during treatment.

5. Consistency will get you the best results. Acupuncture has a cumulative effect.

6. A Chinese medical diagnosis involves observing the color of your tongue. Please: no beet juice or red candies, etc. before you come in.

7. If you are taking any medications or supplements, please bring your medication list with you.

It is important to track your signs and symptoms during the week and to communicate all progress and any setbacks (not just to me, but to any health care practitioner you are seeing). Auricular therapy can effectively deal with many issues, but sometimes a different approach is necessary.

Call (661) 282-0648 for more information.


Gori, L., Fiernzuoli, F., (2007). Ear Acupuncture in European Traditional Medicine. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 4(Suppl 1) 13-16.


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