Hello everyone!

Hope you had a good week and a wonderful "Labor" Day week-end! In case you missed last week's piece about the origins of Ear Acupuncture, here is the link to the newsletter. Click on the Archive sign below for provious newsletters covering a wide range of medical subjects.

Here is the second part of the series about ear acupuncture and some of the most important and well- known protocols. Thanks again to all those who left Google Reviewsyou help us heal more people in the area!

The Ear Projection Regions
There are multiple theories giving us an understanding of how auriculotherapy works and they range from traditional neuroanatomical approaches to less conventional energetic approaches. A theory that is particularly interesting in my opinion (and supported by the work of Dr. Nogier and other scholars) is the Embryological Theory where an inverted embryo on the surface of the ear provides us with zones of projections for each organ based on their original germ layers while the embryo was in the womb (ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm). 

Embryological Theory

  • Ectodermal Tissue (superficial) - In the embryo, the ectoderm becomes the skin, hair, sweat gland, cornea, eye lens, nose, teeth, peripheral nerves, spinal cord, sub cortex brain, pituitary gland, pineal gland and adrenal medulla. This region is innervated by the cerebral cervical plexus nerves.
  • Mesodermal Tissue (middle)  this tissue becomes the skeletal muscles, cardiac muscles, connective tissues, joints, bones, blood cells, bone marrow, blood vessels, lymphatic tissue, adrenal cortex, urogenital organs, kidneys, ureter and gonads. This region is innervated by the somatic trigeminal nerve.
  • Endodermal Tissue (deep) this becomes the GI track, the lungs and respiratory system and internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, thyroid, etc. This region is innervated by the autonomic vagus nerve.

Other Theories

  • Microsystems - There is a plethora of microsystems in acupuncture, where the whole body is reflected in one body part (much like reflexology): ear, foot, face, hands, scalp etc. They manifest neurological reflexes that are connected with parts of the body that are remote from that system.
  • TCM Energetic Theory In this system we are concerned with Qi, Yang and Yin energy and we aim to keep them in balance or restore balance when illness is present. Yang reactions on the ear would correspond to sympathetic activation while yin reactions would be parasympathetic activation.
  • Endorphin Theory - This theory is the same that applies to body acupuncture as they are both proven to raise serum and cerebral spinal fluid concentrations of endorphins and enkephalins thus leading to analgesic effects.
Conditions Treated
We can count more than 215 points on the ear! Have I used all of them? Maybe... One thing to remember is that I only treat "Active" points which means that they are points that will show a discoloration, be reactive to touch with a thin probe or even better, be electro reactive with my sensor pen. Although our Western medicine training pushes us to the use of "protocols" nothing is ever so black and white. One of the advantages of complementary medicine is that treatments are individualized. So usually for a given condition, we start with a "protocol" and adapt the point prescription to treat a specific ear and condition (did you know that ears are unique to each individual just like finger prints and since people have been wearing masks more often, facial recognition systems have increasing been using ear patterns to recognize people). The table below lists 20 main conditions we routinely treat with auriculotherapy and I will briefly illustrate two widespread protocols: NADA and BFA.
  • NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) - A main NADA protocol offers variations for addiction, smoking cessation, alcoholism and weight control. Those are some of the points:
  • BFA (Battlefield Acupuncture) Developed by the US Army, this protocol is used for pain and PTSD. Research also shows (as in my doctoral paper) that it is non-inferior to morphine for non life-threatening injuries analgesia in the emergency department. ASP Needles are used (created in France in collaboration with Dr. Paul Nogier). 

Next week: How to Incorporate Auriculotherapy in your Self Care Routine! Are ear seeds even working? 


  1. Auriculotherapy Manual: Chinese and Western Systems of Ear Acupuncture - Terry Oleson PhD - I SBN 10:  0962941557 / ISBN 13:  9780962941559 Published by Health Care Alternatives, 1996
  2. Ear Acupuncture - A Precise Pocket Atlas Based on the Works of Nogier/Bahr - Beate Strittmeyer MD - 2011

Special thanks to my friend and colleague Dr. Suzuki for proof reading these newsletters! 

Dr Arno Kroner

2001 South Barrington Suite 220
West LA CA 90025
Copyright © 2022 dr arno kroner, All rights reserved.

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