Ear Acupuncture

The use of ear acupuncture points for the treatment of pain is centuries old, but it was in the 1950’s that French Physician, Paul Nogier, demonstrated that all organs of the body are represented as reflex zones on the outer ear (auricle).

He discovered that these sites on the ear showed an increased sensitivity to pressure if the corresponding region of the body was diseased. Nogier discovered that the points on the ear had therapeutic as well as diagnostic functions. Auricular (ear) acupuncture is now used around the world to treat a wide range of conditions including:

  • Acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Neuralgia
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Addictions

In clinic, ear points are typically stimulated using acupuncture needles (or an acupressure probe). The effects of ear acupuncture can be prolonged by the use of ear pellets (where a gold or silver pellet giving acupressure is attached to the ear by a small plaster) or semi-permanent ASP needles (like small ear piercing studs) which remain in the ear for a few days after treatment.

Contemporary applications of ear acupuncture include:

NADA Protocol for treating addiction – In the 1970s a Hong Kong based neurosurgeon discovered that ear acupuncture used to give pain relief to a surgical patient also reduced the patient’s opium withdrawal symptoms. Subsequently acupuncture was introduced for methadone withdrawal for heroin patients at a detoxification clinic in New York. The acupuncture treatment proved so effective that they stopped using methadone and expanded the acupuncture protocol. The NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association Protocol) was born. This simple and easy to administer treatment using only 5 ear needles has since been introduced at drug addiction recovery centres and addiction clinics across the USA. Today the NADA ear acupuncture protocol is widely recognised for the treatment of:
  • Smoking cessation
  • Alcoholism
  • Nervous drinking
  • Drug addiction
  • Weight control

Battlefield Acupuncture – This extraordinary and powerful therapy was developed by US military doctor, Colonel Richard Niemtzow in 2001 to help provide fast effective pain relief to soldiers in action (when use of narcotic analgesics could impair performance). Battlefield Acupuncture uses Auricular Semi Permanent (ASP) needles in specific acupuncture points of the outer ear. These small stud-like needles remain in the ear for 3-4 days before being naturally pushed out by the body. It is believed that the Battlefield Acupuncture protocol affects the body’s modulation of pain in the central nervous system. Today this protocol is used outside the military to treat severe pain and in cases where patients have not responded to traditional body acupuncture.

Click here to download a leaflet on Patient Ear Care with ASP Needles.

Paulus Protocol for IVF Support – In 2002, German doctor Wolfgang Paulus conducted a study among 160 women having embryo transfer as part of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) – IVF. Half the women had acupuncture before and after embryo transfer, the others had none. The acupuncture protocol involved the use of specific combinations of traditional body acupuncture and ear acupuncture points for the two treatments. Clinical pregnancy rates in the acupuncture group were 42.5% versus 26.3% in the control group.

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Private Health Insurers

Judy is a registered acupuncture provider for the following private medical insurers:
  • AVIVA
  • CS HEALTHCARE
  • PRUHEALTH
  • SIMPLY HEALTH
  • WPA
If you want to reclaim your acupuncture fees via your insurer, please check with them in advance.