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Principles of Ear

Microsystem of the Auricle

Second Edition

Axel Rubach, MD
Private Practice
Munich, Germany

132 illustrations

Stuttgart · New York · Delhi · Rio de Janeiro
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In my foreword to the first edition, I expressed In physics, complex nonlinear systems and the
the wish that Axel Rubach’s Principles of Ear fractal phenomenon, as well as the view of the
Acupuncture would be widely distributed and universe as holographic (described by David
accepted. This wish has been realized. It is con- Bohm), have been recognized. From this, it is ob-
sidered the best textbook in this specialty area vious that not only the aspect of self-reflection,
and has also become a standard reference in the but also systemic correlations between the whole
English-speaking world. and its parts, play a role within microsystems.
Ear acupuncture has been established in Those practicing ear acupuncture must be well
Germany for over 50 years. This began in January acquainted with anatomy, point topography, and
1951 when the German medical society for acu- the particular indications for treatment. Axel
puncture DÄGfA (Deutsche Ärztegesellschaft für Rubach introduces these topics illustratively and
Akupunktur) invited the inaugurator of auriculo- with practical orientation to the anatomy and
therapy, Paul Nogier, to teach classes in Munich morphology of the ear, the acupuncture points
and thereafter included the method as a perma- and their locations, and the specific indications
nent feature of its training program. of this method. The easiest way has proved to be
Later, experiences from Chinese medicine the best: avoid complicated treatment procedures
were added and imparted through the DÄGfA burdened with a number of therapeutic obstacles,
lecturers Ingrid Wancura and Georg König. The but rather work out and communicate unambig-
coexistence of the two schools had a fruitful uous point constellations (pools), knowledge of
effect. Both systems have proved to be equally those points, and the resulting safety in their use.
feasible and complement each other, providing This newly revised edition contains additional
patients with great benefits. Ear acupuncture is therapeutic examples and improved artwork. For
still the most effective and, in daily practice, the many therapists, this second edition will pro-
most common form of Western acupuncture. vide helpful guidance in learning the method of
The complete system of ear points has not practice, as well as serving as a reference text for
only created new opportunities for diagnostics those who are more experienced.
and therapy, but also directed attention to the
phenomenon of microsystems in general, and Jochen Gleditsch, MD
to the existence of somatotopic representations Otorhinoloryngology, Dentist
of the entire organism in circumscribed areas. Honorary President of DÄGfA
Sufficient scientific studies exist to document Lecturer in Acupuncture,
the effectiveness of microsystemic acupuncture. University of Munich, Germany


This book resulted from an idea to create a fun- offers comprehensive and detailed insights into
damental work and textbook on the systematics the essential microsystems of acupuncture and
of ear acupuncture. With this in mind, I would joins the phenomena of the individual microsys-
like to offer my utmost respect to all those who, tems into one concept.
since Nogier’s ingenious insight, have paved the Thanks also to my friend Tom Ots for his input
way for this method with their work and publi- concerning the treatment of addictions and psy-
cations. They also laid the groundwork for this chiatric disorders.
book. Additionally, the condensed knowledge In this updated edition, our aim was to make
and experience of many lecturers from the the information as accessible as possible to read-
German medical society of acupuncture, DÄGfA ers and to allow them to secure a path to ex-
(Deutsche Ärztegesellschaft für Akupunktur), pertise by testing themselves with the provided
have contributed considerably to the success of templates. We have revised the entire text and
this work. the illustrations, adding many new therapeutic
I would like to express my gratitude to my examples and making it easier for readers to be-
teacher and friend, Dr. Jochen Gleditsch, to come familiar with the topic of ear acupuncture.
whom I owe my knowledge of this procedure We also improved the book’s potential as a refer-
and my enthusiasm for acupuncture in general. ence work.
He initiated the idea for this book and was al- Axel Rubach, MD
ways on hand with help and advice. His book Hans-Juergen Weise, DDS
Maps Mikroakupunktsysteme, published in 2002, Claus Schulte-Uebbing, MD


Axel Rubach, MD
Private Practice
Munich, Germany

Claus Schulte-Uebbing, MD
Physician in Private Practice
Munich, Germany

Hans-Juergen Weise, DDS

Dentist in Private Practice
Rheinfelden, Germany


Basics/Theory 1

1 Introduction 2 3.1.4 Antitragus 27

1.1 History 2 3.1.5 Postantitragal Fossa 29
1.2 The Term Microsystem 3 3.1.6 Lobule 31
1.3 Scientific Findings Concerning 3.1.7 Antihelix 35
Ear Acupuncture 4 3.1.8 Scapha 41
1.4 Ear and Body Acupuncture— 3.1.9 Helix and Helical Brim 49
A Comparison 6 3.1.10 Ascending Helix 52
1.5 Laterality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 3.1.11 Crus of Helix 54
1.6 Indications and Contraindications 9 3.1.12 Inferior Concha 55
1.7 Side Effects and Complications 10 3.1.13 Superior Concha 56
1.8 Nomenclature 10 3.2 Medial Surface of Auricle

2 Anatomy of the Outer Ear (Back of Ear) 59

(Auricle) 15 3.2.1 Overview 59

2.1 Anatomical Nomenclature 15 3.2.2 Systematics of Reflex Zones 61

2.2 Embryology and Innervation 20 4 Special Points and Treatment

2.3 Overview of Zones of Areas 65
Representation 21 4.1 Analgesic Points 65

3 Systematic Localization of 4.2 Vegetative Groove

Points on the Auricle 24 (According to Lange) 67

3.1 Lateral Surface of Auricle 4.3 Sensory Line 68

(Front of Ear) 24 4.4 Vertigo Line 68

3.1.1 Supratragic Notch 24 4.5 Vegetative Points 69

3.1.2 Tragus 24 4.6 Psychotropic Points 71

3.1.3 Intertragic Notch 27

Practice 75

5 Introduction 76 5.3.1 Visual Inspection 78

5.1 Patient History 76 5.3.2 Examination by Palpation 79
5.2 Therapeutic Obstacles and Special 6 Basic Tools and Procedures 80
Situations 77 6.1 Pressure Palpation of Points 80
5.3 Diagnostic Clues through Inspection 6.2 Electrical Detection of Points 80
and Palpation 78 6.3 “Very Point” Technique 82


6.4 Vascular Autonomic Signal, Réflexe 9.1.2 Optic Atrophy 107

Auriculocardiac, Nogier’s Reflex 83 9.2 Diseases of Ear, Nose, and Throat 108
6.5 Needling Technique and Choice 9.2.1 Globus Sensation 108
of Needles 84 9.2.2 Laryngitis 108
9.2.3 Meniere’s Disease 109
7 Methods of Stimulation 87
9.2.4 Pollinosis 110
7.1 Needling and Electrical
9.2.5 Forms of Rotary Vertigo 110
Stimulation 87
9.2.6 Tinnitus 113
7.2 Infiltration of Points and Zones 88
9.2.7 Sinusitis 113
7.3 Use of the Soft Laser 88
9.3 Diseases of the Respiratory
7.4 The Use of Laser in Ear
System 114
Acupuncture 89
9.3.1 Bronchial Asthma 114
7.4.1 Introduction 89
9.3.2 Chronic Bronchitis 116
7.4.2 Physical Principles 89
9.4 Diseases of the Cardiovascular
7.4.3 Biological Principles 90
System 117
7.4.4 Clinical Use 90
9.4.1 Hypertension, Hypotension 117
7.4.5 Treatment Examples 91
9.4.2 Paroxysmal Tachycardia 119
7.5 Auricular Massage 94
9.5 Diseases of the Gastrointestinal
7.6 Microphlebotomy 96
Tract 120
7.7 Methods of Continuous
9.5.1 Chronically Recurrent Gastritis 120
Stimulation 96
9.5.2 Acute Enterocolitis 122
8 Practical Approach 99
9.5.3 Chronic Obstipation 122
8.1 Preparation and Positioning of
9.5.4 Singultus Point (Hiccup Point) 123
the Patient 99
9.5.5 Cholecystitis, Cholelithiasis 123
8.2 Choice of Primary Therapeutic
9.6 Gynecological Disorders 124
Access 99
9.6.1 Menstruation Disorders 124
8.2.1 Segment Therapy or Choice of
9.6.2 Menopausal Syndrome 126
Correspondence Points 100
9.6.3 Insufficient Lactation 126
8.2.2 Choice of Analgesic or
9.6.4 Mastitis 127
Anti-inflammatory Points 100
9.6.5 Perinatal Pain Management,
8.2.3 Choice of Psychotropic and
Facilitation of Delivery 127
Vegetative Points 100
9.6.6 Ear Acupuncture in Obstetrics 127
8.3 Choice of Supplementary Points 100
9.6.7 Infertility 136
8.4 Choice of Stimulation Method 101
9.6.8 Loss of Libido 137
8.5 Strength of Stimulus, Treatment
9.7 Urinary Tract Disorders 137
Intervals, and Duration of Sessions 101
9.7.1 Nocturnal Enuresis 137
8.5.1 Drainage 102
9.7.2 Irritable Bladder 137
8.5.2 Supplementation 102
9.7.3 Urinary Incontinence 137
8.6 Combination with Other Methods
9.7.4 Urinary Retention 139
of Stimulation 103
9.7.5 Renal and Ureteral Colic 139
9 Established Indications 105 9.8 Diseases of the Locomotor
9.1 Diseases of the Eye 105 System 140
9.1.1 Allergic Conjunctivitis 106 9.8.1 Cervical Syndrome 140


9.8.2 Cervicobrachial Syndrome 142 10.5 Gastrointestinal Diseases 188

9.8.3 Lumbago, Lumbago–Sciatica 10.5.1 Hiccups 188
Syndrome 143 10.5.2 Gastroenteritis, Nausea, Vomiting,
9.8.4 Knee Pain 144 Diarrhea 190
9.8.5 Coxalgia 145 10.5.3 Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases
9.8.6 Distortion and Contusion of (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative
Joints 146 Colitis) 192
9.9 Neurological Disorders 147 10.5.4 Chronic Obstipation 194
9.9.1 Cephalalgia 147 10.6 Gynecological Diseases 196
9.9.2 Facial Neuralgia, Trigeminal 10.6.1 Infertility 196
Neuralgia 151 10.6.2 Loss of Libido/Erectile
9.9.3 Herpes Zoster Neuralgia 152 Dysfunction 198
9.10 Skin Diseases 153 10.6.3 Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) 200
9.10.1 Skin Allergy 153 10.7 Urological Diseases 202
9.10.2 Generalized Pruritus 155 10.7.1 Prostatitis (Abacterial, Chronically
9.10.3 Neurodermatitis 156 Recurrent) 202
9.11 Treatment of Addictions 156 10.7.2 Urinary Incontinence 204
9.11.1 Nicotine Addiction 158 10.7.3 Irritable Bladder 206
9.11.2 Bulimia, Obesity 159 10.8 Diseases of the Locomotor
9.11.3 Alcohol and Drug Addictions 161 System 208
10 Examples of Therapy for Use 10.8.1 Achillodynia 208
in Practice 164 10.8.2 Epicondylitis, Epicondylopathy
10.1 Diseases of the Eye 164 (Tennis Elbow) 210
10.1.1 Hordeolum (Stye)/Conjunctivitis 164 10.8.3 Shoulder–Arm Syndrome 212
10.1.2 Macular Degeneration (Dry)/ 10.8.4 Cervicobrachial Syndrome 214
Optic Atrophy 166 10.8.5 Lumbago–Sciatica Syndrome . 216
10.1.3 Glaucoma 168 10.8.6 Fibromyalgia 218
10.1.4 Myopia 170 10.9 Neurological Disorders 222
10.2 ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) 10.9.1 Tension Headache 222
Diseases 172 10.9.2 Migraine 224
10.2.1 Globus Sensation 172 10.9.3 Herpes Zoster Neuralgia 226
10.2.2 Vestibular Vertigo 174 10.9.4 Apoplexy, Postapoplexy 228
10.2.3 Meniere’s Disease 176 10.10 Skin Diseases 232
10.2.4 Tinnitus 178 10.10.1 Urticaria 232
10.2.5 Sudden Hearing Loss 180 10.11 Psychological Disorders 234
10.3 Respiratory Diseases 182 10.11.1 Sleep Disturbances 234
10.3.1 Pollinosis 182 10.11.2 Anxiety Syndrome (e.g., Examination
10.3.2 Allergic Bronchial Asthma 184 Anxiety, Fear of Flying) 236
10.4 Cardiovascular Diseases 186 10.11.3 Burnout Syndrome 238
10.4.1 Functional Heart Disorders 10.11.4 Depressive Episode 240
(Palpitations, Paroxysmal 10.11.5 Nicotine Addiction 242
Tachycardia) 186 10.11.6 Overweight, Bulimia 244


Appendix 247

11 Numerical Index of Points and 13 Figure Sources 259

Zones (Page, Figure, Location) 248 14 References 260
12 Alphabetical Index of Points and 15 Subject Index 265
Zones (Name, Page, Figure) 252 16 Overview of Zones and Points 277


1 Introduction 2 3 Systematic Localization of

1.1 History 2 Points on the Auricle 24
1.2 The Term Microsystem 3 3.1 Lateral Surface of Auricle
1.3 Scientific Findings Concerning (Front of Ear) 24
Ear Acupuncture 4 3.2 Medial Surface of Auricle
1.4 Ear and Body Acupuncture— (Back of Ear) 59
A Comparison 6
1.5 Laterality 8 4 Special Points and Treatment
1.6 Indications and Contraindications 9 Areas 65
1.7 Side Effects and Complications 10 4.1 Analgesic Points 65
1.8 Nomenclature 10 4.2 Vegetative Groove
(According to Lange) 67
4.3 Sensory Line 68
2 Anatomy of the Outer Ear
(Auricle) 15 4.4 Vertigo Line 68
2.1 Anatomical Nomenclature 15 4.5 Vegetative Points 69
2.2 Embryology and Innervation 20 4.6 Psychotropic Points 71
2.3 Overview of Zones of
Representation 21
1 Introduction
1.1 History not until the 1950s that the French physician Paul
Nogier—to whom we also owe the “rediscovery”
Origins. Contrary to common belief, ear acupunc- of the above-mentioned documents from medi-
ture is not a more recent form of therapy than cal history—developed the systematic fundamen-
body acupuncture. As early as the Huang Di Nei tals of ear acupuncture on the basis of incidental
Jing, the 2,100-year-old book of Chinese medi- observations during years of meticulous research.
cine, we find evidence of reflex relationships be- In some of his patients, he had noticed scars in
tween the outer ear and individual regions of the the upper part of the auricle stemming from ther-
body. Records show that these relationships were apeutic cauterization to relieve the symptoms of
also therapeutically being used in Persia, Egypt, the sciatic pain syndrome. All of these patients
and Greece about 2,000 years ago. It remains a had found relief—some in Africa, some through
mystery which culture these reflex relationships a lay healer in Marseilles—after Western medical
were first discovered in, mainly because we have art had proved to be unsuccessful. The lay healer
only a few medical records up to the 17th cen- had learned this form of healing from her father,
tury. As a result, certain elements of this method who had been a physician in Indochina for many
of treatment (e.g., cauterization in the upper au- years. Nogier first presented his work, under the
ricular region for the treatment of sciatic pain) title Auriculotherapy, at a conference on acu-
owe their survival predominantly to oral trans- puncture in Marseilles in 1956. Hence, he is the
mission from generation to generation in the undisputed founder of today’s ear acupuncture.
Middle East and parts of Africa. This very first lecture—translated into German
In the 17th century, there are indications both by Bachmann and subsequently published in the
in the arts and in medical treatises that the au- Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur (DZA, German
ricle’s reflex relationships were also well known Journal of Acupuncture; Nogier 1957)—prepared
in Europe. The first and foremost example is the the ground for this method of treatment.
famous painting by Hieronymus Bosch (1450– The Chinese School. Nogier’s knowledge also
1516) called The Garden of Earthly Delights. The reached China, where his publications caused a
right wing of this altar triptych shows a symbolic reconsideration of Chinese traditions that went
illustration of Hell and—among other things—an back thousands of years, thus stimulating exten-
auricle on which certain relationships between sive and intensive research. Chinese findings up
the ear and the rest of the body are depicted in to that date confirmed and complemented his
great detail. The area in the upper auricle, which work to a great extent but also produced some
is pierced by one of the two spears seen, is iden- contradictions. Nevertheless, Nogier is widely
tical to the zone of cauterization mentioned for acknowledged as the discoverer of today’s ear
sciatic pain. In a case description from the year acupuncture, even in China. The Chinese school
1637, the Portuguese physician Zaratus Lusita- of ear acupuncture gained international recogni-
nus reported on sciatic pain treatment by ear tion through the Austrian physicians Georg König
cauterization, and in 1717 Valsalva described in and Ingrid Wancura, and because of its good re-
his book De Aura Humana Tractatus an auricular sults with acupuncture-induced analgesia.
area that had been cauterized for toothache. Both forms—the so-called Chinese ear acu-
Also from the 19th century, interesting med- puncture and the auriculotherapy of Nogier—
ical records exist on auricular cauterization for have much in common, although on occasion the
sciatic pain syndrome, such as that of the physi- localization of points may differ. The sensible ob-
cian Luciano of Bastia, as well as the documented jective is to integrate any confirmed knowledge
observations by the surgeon Valette at the Charité from both schools under one roof and to use it to
in Paris in the year 1850. benefit patients.
The French/Western School. The different local- Competing research activities of various
izations of cauterization zones on the auricular schools and mutual verification of their findings
helix, which were described in these documents, guarantee some control and reliability of the
demonstrate that a systematic approach to ear studies and keep the discussion going. As early as
reflexology did not yet exist at that time. It was the 1970s, Russian researchers also contributed


Fig. 1.1 Example of organ projections on the ear

of a dog.

significantly to this field, with Durinjan, Portnov,

and Velchover the leading authors. Although
their research took place mainly in the area of Fig. 1.2 Example of organ projections on the ear
veterinary medicine, their results were com- of a rabbit (according to Portnov 1979).
parable to those described in human medicine
(Figs. 1.1 and 1.2).
Over the past 15 years, positive findings from blinded study on postoperative pain therapy
international research teams, e.g., in the area shows a reduction in pain intensity and use
of perioperative medicine and the treatment of of analgesics following outpatient surgery. A
addictions, have added to the insights into the double-blind study by Li and Wang (2006) in-
effectiveness of ear acupuncture and encouraged dicates a significant reduction in the use of opi-
further research. oids within the first 5 days after liver surgery
In perioperative medicine, for example, the when applying ear acupuncture. Usichenko et al
literature survey from Usichenko et al (2007) (2005a) examined the impact on the use of post-
shows that an increasing number of randomized, operative analgesics in patients who received a
controlled trials have contributed to the accep- hip replacement in combination with the appli-
tance of ear acupuncture in combination with cation of ear acupuncture to the “hip joint,” “shen
pharmacotherapy as being an effective mode of men,” “lung,” and “thalamus” points versus ear
treatment as part of integrative patient care. The acupuncture to the “sham” points. Usichenko’s
data from this survey reveal the most frequent randomized, controlled trial on preoperative
perioperative indications for ear acupuncture anxiolysis through ear acupuncture shows that
to be premedication, reduced use of anesthet- ear acupuncture has the same anxiolytic effect
ics during general anesthesia, and postoperative as 10 mg diazepam.
pain therapy.
According to this study, ear acupuncture seems
to be an effective complementary treatment for
1.2 The Term Microsystem
preoperative anxiolysis and to reduce the use of The term microsystem refers to the phenome-
postoperative analgesics. non of defined body areas that reflect the entire
Examples of recent research work by Usichenko organism in the form of functional interrela-
et al, Li and Wang, Vorobiev and Dymniko are de- tionships. Through these body areas, it is pos-
scribed below. Vorobiev and Dymnikov’s (2000) sible to utilize well-defined reflex relationships

1 Introduction

with external or internal regions of the body to is to be effective. They go beyond the hypothe-
provide diagnostic clues or enable therapeutic sis of “gate control” (Melzack and Wall 1965) by
measures. Synonyms are zones of representation postulating that the major pain-relieving mech-
and somatotopy (from Greek: soma, body; topos, anisms are located not only at the spinal cord
place); the latter term is mainly used in neurol- level, but also in the midbrain region. Here, par-
ogy and neuroanatomy, where it applies to those ticularly in the periaqueductal gray matter, an
cortical fields that correspond in terms of nerves increased secretion of the endorphin enkephalin
and function to certain motor or sensory areas of is triggered by the peripheral stimulus. This re-
the body. sults in an inhibition of pain conduction in the
The microsystems are not, as one might ex- descending spinal cord fibers that is mediated by
pect, microprojections of the body drawn to the neurotransmitter serotonin (descending in-
scale, but rather fields of representation, each hibition of pain).
primarily representing the characteristic reflex In addition to the sympatholytic effects of
relationships with the organism that match the needle stimulation, such as the increase in blood
corresponding area. There are different micro- flow, the segmental reference of acupuncture is
systems in the body that are interconnected, important. This can be verified at the neuroana-
each one representing an independently func- tomical level. For example, there is significant
tioning system of individual inherent laws with correspondence between the action character-
its own characteristics and special diagnostic and istics of individual acupuncture points and their
therapeutic possibilities. According to Gleditsch corresponding segmental references. Further
(2005), the overlapping of different microsystems neurophysiological connections are evident from
is reminiscent of several sports fields painted on the frequent correspondence of acupuncture
top of each other on a gymnasium floor: depend- points with the maximum points according to
ing on the markings, one sport or another will be Head (1893) and certain trigger points (Melzack
played. In this sense, the functional coexistence and Wall 1965), as well as from the fact that skin
and interaction of the reflex zones of the tongue, resistance is demonstrably lower at these points.
mouth, nose, hand, sole of the foot, or auricle can Ear acupuncture as an independent microsys-
be understood within the overall picture of the tem can be distinguished from body acupunc-
human body or the system of body acupuncture ture essentially by the fact that the reflex points
(Fig. 1.3). or zones are only demonstrable when irritated.
Of the above-mentioned synonyms, the Ear acupuncture points function like a cybernetic
term microsystem best describes the concen- binary system according to the yes/no principle:
trated form of whole-body projections within they are only reactive when the corresponding
the scope of their organized systematic reflex organ is disturbed or when the corresponding
relationships. body part is injured or diseased. By comparison,
body acupuncture points are part of an energy
system that exists in a “steady state,” which is
1.3 Scientific Findings why they can be identified at any time.
Concerning Ear Presumably, the major scientific theories
Acupuncture of interpretation available at present, namely,
the neurophysiological and the neurohumoral
During the 1980s and 1990s, two experimentally models, apply to both forms of acupuncture in
well-founded theories of acupuncture research the same way. On the neurophysiological level,
crystallized from the various explanatory mod- the points of the auricular microsystem exhibit
els. With their functional cross-linking and in- different interactions that can be neuroana-
teraction, these form the foundation of today’s tomically understood, i.e., their reflex arcs are
scientific knowledge on this subject: one theory connected to higher regions of the central ner-
represents the neurophysiological, or nervous vous system, such as brain stem and thalamus
plane, and the other theory the neurohumoral (Velchover 1967 and Durinjan 1983). This can
plane. be explained by the topically close embryolog-
However, the research results presuppose that ical development and by the unusually dense
the nervous system must be intact if acupuncture and differentiated innervation of the auricle. The

Scientific Findings Concerning Ear Acupuncture

Nose acupuncture Spinothalamic


Ear acupuncture formation

Visceral effect

Foot acupuncture

Somatic effect

Fig. 1.3 Known microsystems (adapted from Bossy 1981).

1 Introduction

quick onset of action in acute states of pain can organ, whereas body acupoints can be located at
probably be attributed to these relatively short any time.
reflex paths (Fig. 1.4). In body acupuncture, certain needle sensa-
tions, such as the de qi sensation or propagated
sensation along the channel (PSC), may often be
1.4 Ear and Body induced and can be interpreted as a sign that
Acupuncture— acupuncture treatment will be successful. Ear
A Comparison acupuncture does not show such reactions.
With both procedures, more active points or
Both ear acupuncture and body acupuncture zones can be identified on the body side affected
originated in ancient China. However, it only be- by symptoms than on the opposite side. This
came possible to take advantage of all the thera- stems from the twofold crossing of reflex paths
peutic possibilities of ear acupuncture as a result between auricle, brain, and target organ or body
of Nogier’s discoveries and systematic work. area, respectively.
Body acupuncture, on the other hand, has not In ear acupuncture, compared with body acu-
experienced major changes to its basic princi- puncture, it is relatively easy to obtain a diag-
ples since the first records were written more nostic orientation and to use it therapeutically.
than 2,000 years ago. It is based on a system of Orientation results from directly identifying
correspondence, yin and yang, and on a system the irritated reflex zones based on changes to
of 12 channels—six yang and six yin channels— the skin (such as scaling, reddening, or other in-
which run along anatomically identifiable lines flammatory symptoms) as well as sensitivity to
over the surface of the body as defined by acu- pressure and diminished skin resistance. This
puncture points. The system of five elements requires more involved diagnostic procedures in
with its five phases of transformation, used as a body acupuncture.
universal reference system, was added as an es- Needling, electrostimulation, and laser may be
sential ingredient to complement these funda- used in both procedures as a method of stimu-
mentals of acupuncture. lation. Cupping and moxibustion are, however,
In contrast, the auricle is endowed with a mi- reserved for body acupuncture in view of the dif-
crosystem that is independent of the modalities ferentiation and density of the ear points, which
of body acupuncture. This microsystem exhibits makes targeted application on the ear impossible.
a direct reflex relationship to the entire body. Ear A general statement regarding the effective-
acupuncture works with a number of systemati- ness of the two methods is not possible in view of
cally arranged reflex points that, when irritated, indication-dependent priorities. For example, the
can be identified in certain anatomically well- domain of ear acupuncture, and therefore its spe-
defined areas of the outer ear. The image of an in- cial effectiveness, lies mainly in the area of acutely
verted embryo described by Nogier (see Fig. 2.12) painful disorders, which, in terms of Chinese med-
may provide a rough orientation; with its dispro- icine, is the area of yang diseases. Here, body acu-
portionate representation of the head and hand, puncture may be effective too, but this seems to
it exhibits a distinct similarity to the somatotopic be more effective primarily in the area of chronic
representation on the cerebral cortex (according or chronically reoccurring diseases. In many cases,
to Penfield and Rasmussen; Fig. 1.5). a combination of both procedures is sensible.
In contrast to this, body acupuncture has no There are no differences with respect to the
direct, neurologically defined reflex relationship duration of treatment, which may take about
between a point or pathway and certain organs 20 to 45 minutes per session, and the treatment
or body regions, with the exception of the shu intervals or frequencies of treatment sessions,
and mu points. which depend on the patient’s constitution and
The points used in both body acupuncture and the type of disease.
ear acupuncture can be demonstrated through Ear acupuncture, compared with body acu-
their diminished skin resistance. As emphasized puncture, can be learned within a relatively short
above, we must bear in mind that ear acupoints time. The theoretical basis can be acquired within
can only be identified when irritated as a result of a few weeks, and intensive practical training last-
disturbed function or injury of the corresponding ing only several months is necessary to achieve

Ear and Body Acupuncture—A Comparison

Somatotopic acupuncture Body acupuncture

Referring to information Referring to energy
(concentration) (field of tension)

Referring to informative-binary system: Referring to energetic-endosomatic system:

Yes/no (either/or) principle Energy flow principle

Points can be identified only while irritated Points can be verified at any time



Fig. 1.4 Binary system vs. energetic system.

1 Introduction

Up Elbow












F in

F i b
b um
Ey Th ck
e Ne brow
se Ey
Lip Sex organs Toes Eye
Tee e
th Fac
Tongue Jaw

Intestin Swallo
Somatosensory Motor
cortex cortex

Fig. 1.5 Zones of representation (adapted from Penfield and Rasmussen).

meaningful treatment results. On the other hand, of their delicacy, dense arrangement, and state
several years of practical experience with body of irritation.
acupuncture are usually required to attain mas- For both acupuncture systems, the mechanism
tery of this technique. of action is via activation of the body’s own ho-
Ear acupuncture has distinct advantages re- meostasis and, ideally, will lead to healing rather
garding its practical application. Unlike body than just quick pain relief. It is assumed that the
acupuncture, it does not require the patient to body’s natural healing mechanisms themselves
undress either completely or partially for treat- are reactivated through the targeted position-
ment. Furthermore, those body areas that can- ing of a stimulus, thus restoring the original
not be treated locally with body acupuncture symptom-free interaction of body functions.
because of wounds, bandages, swellings, or ex- Adverse effects in terms of a treatment-induced
treme pain can be treated through the auricular interference with health are not known with
reflexes via remotely located ear points. either ear acupuncture or body acupuncture. The
In contrast, body acupuncture has the ad- only exception is a rather comfortable numbness
vantage of generally working without technical or tiredness immediately after treatment. How-
accessories. The experienced therapist finds ever, these effects regularly disappear within a
the points solely through exact localization few hours and should be taken as a positive sign,
and palpation. To find points on the auricle, namely, as a treatment-induced expression of the
however, at least pressure probes, styli, or the body’s ability to regulate itself.
acupuncture needle itself are required. Probing
with the acupuncture needle—the very point
technique of Gleditsch (Grüsser et al 2005)—is
1.5 Laterality
usually reserved for the experienced therapist. Laterality in the medical sense refers to the latero-
Simple electrical search instruments for find- dominant specialization of the human brain.
ing points and determining the diminished It can be recognized in certain body functions
skin resistance are further useful to safely that are also laterodominant, such as left- or
locate each of the irritated ear points because right-handedness as an expression of integrative

Indications and Contraindications

and coordinative performances of the brain. adjustment of rational and intuitive capacities in
Interesting insights into this topic have been the sense of ambidexterity.
provided by American scientists, such as In ear acupuncture, therefore, we often find
Deutsch and Ornstein, who verified empirical that the reactivity of zones of representation is
observations through systematic scientific in- distinctly contralateral (with respect to the dom-
vestigations. According to them, the left hemi- inant hemisphere) for many different symptom
sphere of the brain is more responsible for the complexes that can be characterized as psy-
rational, verbal, and mathematical capacities of chosomatic in the widest sense. In contrast, all
a right-handed person, whereas the right hemi- traumatically or nonpsychically characterized
sphere represents more the nonverbal (visual or diseases of the body are projected onto the ho-
intuitive) creative capacities of a person. Truly molateral auricle (with respect to the location
left-handed individuals—constituting approx- of the disease) and hence should be treated
imately 2 to 5% of the population—show an in- primarily from this side. Nevertheless, there
verted dominance of the cerebral hemispheres, are also additional irritated zones on the non-
although the results obtained in this respect are dominant auricle, and these can be included in
not uniform. the treatment.
The laterodominant specialization of the hu- In all cases of uncertain laterality that can-
man brain is related to individual speech devel- not be established unconsciously and intuitively
opment (Ornstein), and hence obviously also to as right- or left-handedness by means by the
different cultural environments. This explains hand-clapping test, treatment may be carried out
the widespread right-handedness in Western on both auricles without any problems.
civilizations, where rational thinking is expected For orientation purposes during daily prac-
and promoted almost exclusively, compared with tice, both auricles are usually examined in-
less developed civilizations and populations from dependently of laterality for the presence of
Asian region, where imaginative, intuitive think- reacting points, and needling is started on the
ing is prevalent and where, even today, picto- more informative side.
graphs are used for writing. Within the scope of its distinct specialization,
The almost opposite specializations of the two which employs magnetic fields, frequency modu-
cerebral hemispheres are obviously associated lation, and color filters, the French auriculo-
with endogenous self-regulating mechanisms therapy of Nogier places particular emphasis
that aim for some adjustment or harmonization on the phenomenon of laterality and on the
of both areas in order to ensure a more balanced way it may be influenced by a “laterality con-
expression of life. Exogenous influences on lat- trol point.” This emphasis should, however, be
erality, such as re-education of left-handedness met with reservations. Furthermore, it should
and the suppression or neglect of talents, may be considered that the patient may possibly
interfere with the body’s innate regulating pro- be manipulated when the holistic apprecia-
cesses that aim for adjustment and may lead to tion of his or her emotional/mental personality
pathological reactions within the organism. How is neglected in favor of high-tech diagnostics
interferences with laterality manifest themselves for which the objective scientific basis is still
on the auricle in the form of different positions of pending.
irritation at the corresponding zones of represen-
tation has not yet been investigated scientifically;
this question needs to be further studied in order 1.6 Indications and
to be settled.
Thus, laterality is of minor importance to ear
reflexology. Based on the knowledge put forward, Indications. It is well known that not all symp-
one might assume that the ear sending stronger toms can be treated equally well or successfully
informative signals is always assigned to the with a single therapeutic procedure. Like body
more inactive—and in Western culture usually acupuncture, ear acupuncture has its limitations
more intuitive—hemisphere of the brain. Again, with respect to treatment options. In order to
this must be understood as an expression of en- employ the procedure successfully, understand-
dogenous regulating mechanisms aiming for an ing these limitations is all the more important,

1 Introduction

the more differentiated and restricted the spec- within a few hours. On the one hand, this pri-
trum of a procedure. mary aggravation indicates that the therapeu-
We may assume that, based on a functioning tic approach was correct; on the other hand, it
microsystem in the widest therapeutic sense, demonstrates that the stimulus chosen by the
ear acupuncture has a supportive or alleviating therapist was too strong.
effect in almost all physical ailments or diseases, Complications. The rare but mostly avoidable
and that it can also be used in combination with complications that may occur in connection with
other methods. On this basis alone, however, ear acupuncture must be taken seriously.
the therapist would not do justice to the strong
points of ear acupuncture. On the one hand,
these relate mainly to the so-called yang diseases
! Caution
Vasovagal attack (increased risk when treat-
as described in Chinese medicine. On the other
ing in the area of the concha and antihelix).
hand, they relate to the so-called acute diseases
Local infection.
in the approach of Western medicine, such as
acutely painful symptoms of the motor system
(e.g., lumbago–sciatica syndrome, myalgia) as
Uncritical and careless needling of the most
well as acutely traumatic states, neuralgia, or
densely vagally innervated region around the
auditory canal carries the risk of a vasovagal at-
Furthermore, certain forms of addiction, such
tack that may lead to potentially fatal situations
as nicotine addiction and craving for food, seem
if the patient has an underlying primary disease.
to represent a popular topic for treatment. How-
This must be prevented by adequate positioning
ever, I would like to stress that ear acupuncture
of the patient and by diagnosing serious primary
has its limitations as an effective but solely sup-
heart diseases.
portive method of treatment.
A further complication associated with serious
Contraindications. It is absolutely necessary to
consequences is the risk of local infection, which
distinguish between relative and absolute con-
occurs particularly after unclean and traumatic
needling. Certain stimulation techniques for
which continued monitoring by the physician is
Relative Contraindications not possible (e.g., the use of permanent needles
Pain of unknown origin. or pellet plasters) and traumatic subcutaneous
Painful malignant diseases. puncture techniques (e.g., insertion of a “wet”
needle between the skin and the cartilage layer)
During Pregnancy may lead to local infections, including the rare
Ovary point (23). but ultimately harmful perichondritis.
Uterus point (58). As there are no compelling indications for
Genital areas. these high-risk needle techniques, the therapist
is under obligation to provide a particularly com-
Absolute Contraindications prehensive explanation for their use.
Life-threatening diseases.
Extraordinary sensitivity to local pressure, or
inflammation of reflex zones or points. 1.8 Nomenclature
Inflammation or injury of the entire auricle. Despite the relatively short period of the de-
velopment of and systematic approach to ear
acupuncture, different and partially conflicting
1.7 Side Effects and nomenclatures have been adopted. In the 1960s,
Nogier started to provide each point with a name,
Complications but then he turned to his own numbering sys-
Side effects. The only uncomfortable side effect tem in the 1980s, after König and Wancura had
known in ear acupuncture is so-called primary introduced the Chinese numbering of ear points
aggravation, which is rare and not of a serious to Europe through their publications in the early
nature. It represents a kind of progression of the 1970s (Lange 1985). The Chinese, too, had orig-
patient’s original symptoms and usually subsides inally used names for the points, as is evident


from ancient Chinese ear panels and their sym- position and size of each of these zones—which
bolic illustrations (see Fig. 1.6). Today, some of spread like a net over the auricle—are difficult to
these points or zones still have a number as well define with respect to their size, and hence were
as a name; e.g., the name of point 55 is the shen chosen arbitrarily. As with the reflex zones, they
men point (Divine Gate point). require a more precise anatomical description
The numerical nomenclature of Nogier did and definition.
not survive, and in practice, two systems stood We do not yet have the experience to decide
their ground: the predominantly numeri- whether this subdivision will prove successful
cal nomenclature of the Chinese school and and can be applied to the three-dimensional
the name-oriented nomenclature of Western structure of the auricle. Nevertheless, the UCLA
auriculotherapy, which can largely be traced back nomenclature seems to be much more practical
to Nogier. The points often have very promising and meaningful in terms of its logic and repro-
pseudoscientific names (e.g., interferon point) or ducibility than the WHO Code, especially with
names analogous to medications, and this gives respect to the international exchange of expe-
the impression that there are no therapeutic rience. It is hoped, therefore, that this idea will
limits to ear acupuncture. The effectiveness of be discussed and worked on further at one of the
these points, as proved in practice, does not cor- next meetings of the WHO Task Force for Stan-
respond to their naming and should be under- dardization of Acupuncture Nomenclature. For
stood merely as a clue pointing in the proper the benefit of internationalization, the present
direction. book includes a list of English terms or codes, as
A nomenclature for auriculotherapy agreed well as an overview of the UCLA subdivision into
upon in Seoul in 1987 by the World Health zones. We highly recommend that colleagues
Organization (WHO) describes—primarily in the who are interested in the international exchange
Chinese style—approximately 43 ear points or of experience familiarize themselves with the
zones following the so-called WHO Code. The English terms listed and/or the WHO or UCLA
WHO Conference on Nomenclature of Ear Points code of ear acupuncture.
in Lyon in 1970, at which Nogier was especially In practice, the coexistence of the more
acknowledged, did not yield definitive results. descriptive Western nomenclature and the
This step toward internationalization is certainly mainly numerical nomenclature of the Chinese
welcome and promotes the worldwide exchange school has so far proved successful. This kind
of research data. However, it is of little impor- of practice-oriented nomenclature should be
tance for practical work as this code is much too familiar to everyone practicing ear acupunc-
complicated. ture. In some cases, certain alphanumerical
A promising attempt at finding a nomencla- modifications of the nomenclature have devel-
ture came from the University of California, Los oped out of practical need. For example, Lange
Angeles (UCLA), United States of America. The (1985) carried out a sensible modification for the
leading author was Oleson (1990), who subdi- occiput point (29) and points 29a, 29b, and 29c,
vided the auricle into small zones (Table 1.1). which are located on the postantitragal line and
According to their anatomical positions, these were in part described by Chinese, and in part
zones are assigned to an alphanumerical code, by Western, ear acupuncturists. Here, a distinct
in which the letters reflect the initials of the process of integration can be seen in Western ear
Latin-derived anatomical names (Fig. 1.7). The acupuncture.

1 Introduction

Table 1.1 Comparison of the current internationally used nomenclatures, and division into zones

World Health University of California,

Body area Auricular area Organization code Los Angeles, zone
Ear center Helix MA-H1 H1
Chinese rectum Helix MA-H2 H2
Chinese urethra Helix MA-H3 H3
External genitals Helix MA-H4 H3
Anus Helix MA-H5 H2
Ear apex Helix MA-H6 H7
Chinese heel Antihelix MA-AH1 A17
Chinese ankle Antihelix MA-AH2 A17
Chinese knee Antihelix MA-AH3 A18
Chinese hip Antihelix MA-AH4 A19
Buttocks Antihelix MA-AH5 A6
Sciatic nerve Antihelix MA-AH6 A7
Chinese sympathetic nerve Antihelix MA-AH7 A9
Chinese cervical vertebrae Antihelix MA-AH8 A1, A2
Chinese thoracic vertebrae Antihelix MA-AH9 A3, A4
Neck Antihelix MA-AH10 A10, A11
Chest Antihelix MA-AH11 A12
Fingers Scapha MA-SF1 SF1
Wrist Scapha MA-SF2 SF2
Elbow Scapha MA-SF3 SF3
Shoulder Scapha MA-SF4 SF5
Chinese clavicle Scapha MA-SF5 SF6
Divine Gate Triangular fossa MA-TF1 TF1
Eye Lobule MA-L1 L5
Chinese external nose Tragus MA-T1 T3
Apex of tragus Tragus MA-T2 T1
Chinese larynx/pharynx Tragus MA-T3 ST2
Subcortex Antitragus MA-AT1 WT4
Lung Inferior concha MA-IC1 C15
Trachea Inferior concha MA-IC2 C17
Endocrine zone Inferior concha MA-IC3 WT5
Triple burner Inferior concha MA-IC4 C18
Mouth Inferior concha MA-IC5 C1
Esophagus Inferior concha MA-IC6 C2
Cardiac orifice Inferior concha MA-IC7 C3
Duodenum Superior concha MA-SC1 C5
Small intestine Superior concha MA-SC2 C6
Appendix Superior concha MA-SC3 C6
Large intestine Superior concha MA-SC4 C7
Liver Superior concha MA-SC5 C13
Pancreas/gallbladder Superior concha MA-SC6 C12
Chinese ureter Superior concha MA-SC7 C9
Bladder Superior concha MA-SC8 C9

Source: World Health Organization nomenclature, Seoul, 1987, adapted from Oleson (1990).


Fig. 1.6 Early Chinese ear topography with a symbolic illustration of the zones of representation.

1 Introduction

Fig. 1.7 Ear topography (adapted from Oleson).

2 Anatomy of the Outer Ear (Auricle)
2.1 Anatomical Lateral surface of auricle. This surface at the front
of the ear shows a constant structure, the anat-
Nomenclature omy of which is described as follows (Fig. 2.1).
General remarks. The auricle is an oval elas- A kind of brim, the helix, borders the ear. The
tic structure of subtemporal position between structure begins at the root of the helix, or crus
the mandibular joint and the mastoid. This oval of the helix. This is located in the middle of the
structure measures approximately 60 to 65 mm deepest plain of the auricle, the concha, and
along its vertical longitudinal axis, while its hor- subdivides the concha into an upper part, the
izontal diameter is approximately 30 to 35 mm. superior concha, and a lower part, the inferior
The basic structure is formed of elastic cartilage concha; the latter represents the region around
and is covered by perichondrium. The lobule of the acoustic meatus.
the auricle (earlobe) consists of soft, highly fatty The section following the crus of the helix is
connective tissue. called the ascending helix; this culminates at the
The anatomical structure (relief) of the auricle highest point of the convex ear margin in the
is complicated despite its constant features, mak- apex of the helix. The dorsal part of the helix,
ing it necessary to look in detail at the anatomical also called the descending helix, finally turns, in a
makeup of the auricle. Only by doing so can we soft transition via the helical tail, into the lobule.
gain enough experience to find and reliably de- In the upper part of the descending helix, there
scribe the reflex zones and points in relation to is often a visible and palpable protrusion, the
the anatomical structure. darwinian tubercle. This modification, which
Furthermore, it would be pointless to try to can be found as the tip of the ear in animals, is
learn ear acupuncture solely from the book and a developmental rudiment in humans. Neverthe-
its two-dimensional illustrations. Rather, it is less, it is important as a point of reference and a
important to put the theoretical foundations to reflex zone.
practical use as soon as possible and to do this A cartilaginous protrusion, the antihelix, runs
under the guidance of an experienced practi- parallel to the helix; as a quasi-vertical axis and
tioner, using either an ear model or an auricle counterpart to the helix, it contributes consid-
in vivo. It cannot be emphasized enough how erably to the characteristic image of the ear’s
difficult it is to be properly oriented so that im- relief. In its cranial part, the antihelix forks into
portant zones and points can be reliably located, two roots, the inferior antihelical crus and the
since the unchanging basic structure of the au- superior antihelical crus. Both roots together
ricle exhibits a surprisingly diverse variety of surround a concave depression, the triangular
shapes and reliefs (see color plates, Figs. 2.3– fossa, which is cranially bordered by the ascend-
2.10). Assuming that each person possesses an ing helix. The plain between antihelix and helix
unmistakable ear relief of their own, with ad- is called the scapha; this turns caudally into the
ditional differences between the left and right lobule.
ears, we can undoubtedly talk about an individ- Toward the face, above the acoustic meatus
ual ear physiognomy. and running vertically between the ascending
Some authors assign special importance to ear helix and the attachment of the lobule, we find
physiognomy with respect to a person’s individ- a cartilaginous protrusion, the tragus. This may
ual disposition (Markgraf 1982). Such far-reach- be unicuspid or bicuspid and has its counterpart
ing attempts to interpret auricular physiognomy in a cartilaginous conical protrusion, the antitra-
with respect to the disposition of a person’s char- gus, from which it is separated by the intertragic
acter are merely speculative and have nothing notch. Reaching over the acoustic meatus, the
to do with the microsystem of the auricle. It is a tragus represents the developmental rudiment
fact, however, that the auricle has an unusual ori- of a valve that originally served to close the en-
gin in terms of embryology and that its distinctly trance to the external auditory canal.
individual relief undergoes only minor changes The antitragus is demarcated from the end of
after birth. the antihelix by the small postantitragal fossa,
which represents an important area for ear

2 Anatomy of the Outer Ear (Auricle)

Ascending antihelical
helix crus
Superior antihelical
concha crus

notch Scapha

Crus of the


Inferior Postantitragal
concha fossa


Fig. 2.1 Lateral surface of the auricle—overview of anatomy.

acupuncture. The tragus is cranially demarcated surface (Fig. 2.2) shows the same structures as
from the helix by a small groove, the supratragic the lateral surface, with the exception of:
notch. Those portions of the superior and inferior
Medial surface of auricle. Because of the regions conchae that are close to the acoustic meatus.
attached to the cranial bone, the visually and pal- The ascending helix at the attachment of the
pably accessible portion at the back of the ear is ear to the facial skin.
much smaller. The negative relief of the medial The tragal portion of the intertragic notch.

Anatomical Nomenclature

Eminence of Sulcus of superior

scapha antihelical crus

Eminence of
triangular fossa

Sulcus of inferior
antihelical crus

Eminence of

Antihelical Central
sulcus posterior

Eminence of

Eminence of


Fig. 2.2 Medial surface of the auricle—overview of anatomy.

The depressions of the lateral surface present protrusion of the lobule at the front. Parallel to
themselves as eminences, the projections as the eminence of scapha runs a groove corre-
grooves. The scapha corresponds to a protrusion sponding to the antihelix at the front, the anti-
on the medial surface of the ear, the eminence helical sulcus. The antihelical bifurcation on the
of the scapha. This turns into a small concave lateral surface has its mirror image on the medial
depression in the lobule portion, the retrolobu- surface in the form of a groove-like apical con-
lar fossa, which again corresponds to the slight tinuation of the antihelical sulcus, the sulcus

2 Anatomy of the Outer Ear (Auricle)

Fig. 2.3 Ear of an infant. Fig. 2.4 Prominent superior antihelical crus.

Fig. 2.5 Prominent helical brim, large lobule. Fig. 2.6 Narrow helical brim, partially attached

Anatomical Nomenclature

Fig. 2.7 Fleshy auricle, contour interruption of Fig. 2.8 Rudimentary antitragus, crus of helix
inferior antihelical crus. missing.

Fig. 2.9 “Stress groove,” (arrow) antitragus poorly Fig. 2.10 Completely attached lobule; helical brim
developed, postantitragal fossa hardly visible. with two kinks, continuing until it almost reaches
the lobular transition to the facial skin.

2 Anatomy of the Outer Ear (Auricle)

Table 2.1 Corresponding areas on the outer ear

Medial surface of auricle Lateral surface of auricle

Eminence of scapha Scapha
Antihelical sulcus Antihelix
Sulcus of superior crus Superior antihelical crus
Eminence of triangular fossa Triangular fossa
Sulcus of inferior crus Inferior antihelical crus
Eminence of superior concha Superior concha
Central posterior sulcus Crus of helix
Eminence of inferior concha Inferior concha
Retrolobular fossa Auricular lobule

of the superior crus. The inferior antihelical Regions of innervation. According to the publica-
crus presents itself on the medial surface as the tions by Nogier P, (1976) expanded by the “loci
sulcus of the inferior crus, which demarcates auriculo medicinae” which are mainly based on
the eminence of the triangular fossa caudally. work of Bourdiol in the 1970s, there are three re-
Further down follow portions of the superior gions of innervation on the lateral surface of the
concha in the form of a slight protrusion, the auricle. The nerve supply of the auricle derives
eminence of the superior concha. Separated from:
by a groove-like depression corresponding to the The cervical plexus.
crus of the helix on the lateral surface, called A part of the third branch of the trigeminal
the central posterior sulcus, the eminence of nerve.
the inferior concha continues caudally, again The vagus nerve.
in the form of a slight protrusion (Table 2.1).
The anatomical structure of the medial surface The large auricular branch of the superficial cer-
of the auricle can be easily traced by guiding the vical plexus supplies sensory fibers to the lobule
thumb along the back of the ear and the index and to part of the brim of the helix up to the dar-
finger along the lateral surface of the auricle like winian tubercle. The superior concha and infe-
a pair of tongs. This comparison by palpation rior concha, along with the deepest part of the
illustrates the relationship between the con- crus of the helix, are innervated by the auricular
tours at the back and the familiar relief in front branch of the vagus nerve, with a particularly
of the ear. dense supply of nerve fibers around the acoustic
meatus. The remaining portion of the external
ear, i.e., the ascending helix, part of the crus of
2.2 Embryology and the helix, tragus and antitragus, triangular fossa,
Innervation and scapha, lies in the sensory region that is in-
nervated by the auriculotemporal branch of the
General remarks. The development and shaping
mandibular nerve (third branch of the trigeminal
of the external ear—the auricle, which serves as
an ear trumpet—begin during the 6th week of
The medial surface of the auricle is primarily
embryogenesis. The first branchial cleft remains
innervated by motor fibers from the large auricu-
open, while all other clefts are closing. The final
lar branch of the superficial cervical plexus.
shape of the auricle is gradually formed from the
These fields of innervation cannot be clearly
dorsal section of the first branchial cleft as well
demarcated from one another but merge to-
as from six mesenchymal condensations, three
gether in intermediate zones of more or less
of these appearing at each external auditory ca-
mixed nerve supplies. According to Durinjan,
nal. The fusion of these knobs is a complicated
three more major nerves and their branches
process; as a result, the auricular structure often
are thought to be involved in innervation of the
shows variations, and auricular anomalies are
auricle. The first German-language publication
also common.

Overview of Zones of Representation

of Umlauf’s work, in the Deutsche Zeitschrift für Representations of mesoderm-derived body

Akupunktur (DZA, German Journal of Acupunc- components, such as the skeleton, muscles,
ture; Umlauf 1988), states that five nerves inner- connective tissue, and also ureter and uterus,
vate the auricle: are located in the part of the auricle that is in-
One branch of the cervical plexus. nervated by the trigeminal nerve.
The trigeminal nerve. The ectoderm-derived structures, such as the
The intermediate nerve, which is part of the brain, nervous system, skin, and epithelia of
facial nerve. the sensory organs, are assigned to the area
The glossopharyngeal nerve. of lobule and helical rim up to the darwinian
The auricular branch of the vagus nerve. tubercle that is primarily innervated by the su-
perficial cervical plexus.
The areas innervated by the nerves involved
show extensive overlapping, with the result that
none of the areas is solely supplied by one nerve.
Peuker’s neuroanatomical study, published 2.3 Overview of Zones of
in the DZA (Peuker 2003), shows that the auri- Representation
cle is innervated by four nerves of branchiogenic
General remarks. We owe the description of the
as well as somatogenic origin. According to this
topography of the auricle to Nogier, who deduced
study, the auricular nerve (branch of the vagus
it from combined views of embryogenesis and
nerve), the great auricular nerve (branch of the
innervation of the auricle, as well as from germ
cervical plexus), and the auriculotemporal nerve
layer assignments and from the reflex relation-
(branch of the trigeminal nerve) are involved lat-
ships he had researched. The result is the familiar
erally and largely overlap, but at no point do all
image of the inverted embryo (Fig. 2.12), which
three of them overlap. Medially, in addition to
serves as an aid for orientation on the auricle.
the auricular branch of the vagus nerve and the
The embryolike somatotopic representation with
great auricular nerve, the lesser occipital nerve
its disproportions depending on receptor density
is involved, covering almost 50% of the area.
and innervation reminds us of the Penfield and
According to Peuker, the vagus nerve supplies
Rasmussen’s homunculus (see Fig. 1.5), which il-
not only the concha, but also almost the entire
lustrates the representation of the body’s organs
and their parts in the cerebral cortex.
This study brings into question the auricular in-
This image facilitates orientation on the auri-
nervation models that have so far been held valid.
cle. The two axes are roughly provided by the an-
Future research into the neuroanatomical and neu-
atomical structures: the antihelix (vertical axis)
rophysiological fundamentals of ear acupuncture
represents the projection of the spinal column,
may help to clarify this. The unusual representa-
while the crus of the helix (horizontal axis) rep-
tion of the vagus nerve in the auricle is common
resents the level of the diaphragm. With the aid
to all innervation models, as is its consideration in
of these two axes, a swift and reliable location of
everyday practice (see Chapter 1.7, Side Effects and
representation zones is made possible, and hence
Complications). Due to the pronounced presence
also the location of reactive points. The head
of the vagus nerve in these areas, they are con-
with the sensory organs is represented caudally,
sidered risk zones as there is an increased danger
the extremities by contrast cranially.
of inducing a vagovasal collapse through needle
Assignments. The representation zone of the
spinal column is projected onto the antihelix.
Representations. The parts of organs and tissues
Starting with the projection of the atlas of the
originating from the three embryonic germ lay-
cervical spine just above the postantitragal fossa,
ers—endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm—are
the zone is divided cranially into the thoracic
mainly represented according to the areas of in-
and lumbar parts of the spine and ends with the
nervation (Fig. 2.11):
sacral region at the end of the inferior antihelical
Representations of the endoderm-derived
crus. According to the Chinese school, however,
intestinal organs are located in the plain of
the cranial region ends at the bifurcation of the
the concha, which is innervated by the vagus
two antihelical crura.

2 Anatomy of the Outer Ear (Auricle)

Auriculotemporal branch of Mesodermal

the trigeminal nerve
Auricular branch of the vagus nerve Endodermal
Large auricular branch of the
cervical plexus

Fig. 2.11 With its areas of innervation, the auricle represents organs and portions of tissues that have
originated from the three embryonal germ layers.

The representation zones of the ligaments, we also find the reflex zone of the foot with its
muscles, and joints of the upper extremity are ankle joint, forefoot, and toes. The reflex zones of
projected onto the region of the scapha, between the toes border onto the ascending helix.
the antihelix and the helix. The hand and wrist Located in the inferior concha are the projec-
are represented at the level of the darwinian tu- tion points of the thoracic organs, such as the
bercle, and individual fingers and the thumb are lungs, trachea, esophagus, and heart (although in
represented close to the apex of the helix. The this context the heart is not to be viewed as an
lower arm, elbow joint, upper arm, and shoulder organ).
follow caudally. The reflex zones of the abdominal organs
The bent leg is projected onto the superior an- are located in the superior concha. Those of the
tihelical crus and into the triangular fossa, where intestinal organs are represented close to the

Overview of Zones of Representation

Fig. 2.12 Inverted embryo image. (Adapted from Nogier and Nogier 1987.)

crus of the helix at the floor of the concha. The The inner side of the intertragic notch con-
remaining organs of the abdomen, such as the tains several points with gland-specific effects.
liver, pancreas, gallbladder, urinary bladder, and According to Chinese nomenclature, this reflex
kidneys, are projected at the level of the superior area is also described as the endocrine zone (22).
concha close to the antihelix, in a caudal to cra-
nial direction in the sequence listed here.

3 Systematic Localization of Points
on the Auricle
Based on the anatomical structures and reference Indication. Psychological stress, susceptibility to
points described in the previous chapter, the reli- addictive forms of behavior.
able points and zones of representation are now
presented in detail. They are described with re-
gard to their location and range of indications in
3.1.2 Tragus
a didactically meaningful order. Apex of Tragus Point 12 (Fig. 3.3)
The overview on the opposite page (Fig. 3.1) Location. On the upper dorsal part of the tragal
will help with the topographical assignment of tip.
points. Indication.
Acts to relieve pain, especially in feverish inflam-
matory diseases, according to Chinese indica-
3.1 Lateral Surface of Auricle tions, also effective in strabismus.
(Front of Ear)
ACTH Point
3.1.1 Supratragic Notch (Adrenal Gland Point) 13 (Fig. 3.3)
External Ear Point 20 (Fig. 3.2) Location. Midway between the tragal tip (the
Location. In a depression of the upper ventral caudal tip in patients with a double-tipped tra-
part of the tragus, toward the face, just before the gus) and the lowest point of the intertragic notch,
ascending helix. on its crest.
Toward the face, approximately 3 to 4 mm Indication. Especially effective in inflammatory
further up the ascending helix, we find the frus- and degenerative diseases of the locomotor
tration point and, in the direction of the concha, system (e.g., rheumatoid diseases of the joints,
on the dorsal part of the tragus, we find the inter- arthrosis), including acute episodes. Allergic
feron point (Fig. 3.2). bronchial asthma, pollinosis, allergic skin dis-
Indication. External otitis, beginning perichon- eases, chronic fatigue.
dritis, othematoma.
External Nose Point 14 (Fig. 3.3)
Heart Point 21 (Fig. 3.2) Location. In the middle of the tragus, at the tran-
Location. Slightly below the external ear point sition toward the facial skin.
(20), a short distance from the transition of the Indication. According to Chinese experience,
tragus crest toward the face. effective in inflammations of the external nose
Indication. Functional heart problems, par- (e.g., furunculosis, acne vulgaris) (questionable
oxysmal tachycardia associated with psycho- effectiveness).
vegetative syndrome (see also Heart Zone [100],
p. 55). Larynx/Pharynx Point (Chinese) 15
(Fig. 3.3)
Interferon Point (Fig. 3.2) Location. On the upper part on the inside of the
Location. At the center of the supratragic notch. tragus, roughly opposite the apex of tragus point
Indication. Predisposition to chronic infection, (12).
chronic infection. Supportive in malignant dis- Indication. Pharyngitis, laryngitis (aphonia), ton-
eases, allergies. sillitis, aphthous stomatitis.

Frustration Point (Fig. 3.2) ! Caution

Location. Approximately 0.5 cm from the inter- Danger of patient collapsing (vicinity of the
tragic notch toward the face, along the skinfold external acoustic meatus).
between the helix and the face.


Ascending antihelical
helix crus
Superior antihelical
concha crus

notch Scapha
Crus of the

concha Postantitragal
notch Antitragus


Fig. 3.1 Lateral surface of auricle—anatomy with topographic page references for systematic localization
of points.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

point 12


Interferon 17
ACTH point

Fig. 3.2 Supratragic notch.

Inner Nose Point 16 (Fig. 3.3)
Location. On the underside of the tragus, i.e., in
Located on the inside, below the
the roof of the acoustic meatus, from the outside:
at the level of the centerpoint between the tragal
tip and the ATCH point. Direction of needle inser- Located on the inside, at the edge
tion: from the acoustic meatus. Direction of puncture
Indication. Allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, epistaxis,
Endocrine zone, located on the

Thirst Point 17 (Fig. 3.3) Fig. 3.3 Tragus.

Location. Below the tip of the tragus in the di-
rection of the transitional fold toward the facial
skin. Antihypertension Point 19 (Fig. 3.3)
Indication. Dryness of the mouth (questionable Location. In the lower third of the caudally slant-
effectiveness). ing part of the tragus, further toward the concha.
This is no longer listed in the more recent
Hunger Point 18 (Fig. 3.3) Chinese literature; it is probably identical to the
Location. In the lower part of the tragus in the adrenal gland point (13; same localization).
direction of the transitional fold toward the facial According to the French School (Nogier
skin. 1969), this is the location of the adrenal gland
Indication. Anorexia, bulimia following indi- point, named the “ACTH point” by Nogier’s
gestion or disturbed metabolism (e.g., diabetes followers.
mellitus, pancreatic disease) (questionable effec- Indication. Increased blood pressure.
tiveness). Assuming that acupuncture has a regulat-
ing and harmonizing effect in terms of the ac-
Practical Tip tivation of endogenous physiological control
This point is rarely found to be irritated in obe- mechanisms, this point may also be indicated
sity and is rarely used. in predisposition to hypotensive dysregulation
(questionable effectiveness).

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

3.1.3 Intertragic Notch indications listed include only general distur-

bances of endocrine function, such as the ones
ACTH Point (Adrenal Gland Point) 13 also described by the Chinese School: disorders
(Fig. 3.4) resulting from endocrine disturbances (e.g.,
(See p. 24.) menopause, dysmenorrhea); chronic inflamma-
tion of the skin, lungs, joints; and thyroid gland
Endocrine Zone 22 dysfunction.
Location. This zone (initially described by the
Chinese School) lies on the inside of the crest TSH Point (Thyroid Gland Point) (Fig. 3.4)
along the concave intertragic notch. It begins Location. The point defined by Nogier as the
with the ACTH point (see p. 24) and ends with thyroid-specific portion of the endocrine zone
the ovary point (23). occupies the more ventrocranial part of the en-
Nogier distinguished three points in this zone: docrine zone.
The parathyroid gland point on the floor of the Indication. Adjuvant therapy in thyroid-specific
inferior concha at the transition to the actual tri- disorders, such as thyroiditis, hypothyroidism,
ple burner zone of the Chinese School. and hyperthyroidism.
The pituitary gland point slightly dorsal to the
parathyroid gland point.
Ovary Point (Gonadotropin Point) 23
The thyroid gland point, or TSH point.
Location. This zone occupies the center of the
crest of the intertragic notch that ends toward
Indication. Apart from the TSH point, experi- the antitragus partially on the inside of the an-
ence shows that the above subdivisions cannot titragus, and partially slightly to the outside to-
be seen as having this specificity. Therefore, the ward the lobule.
Indication. Dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia and
metrorrhagia, menopausal complaints, men-
strual migraine, infertility and sexual neurosis in
men and women, impotence, frigidity.

ACTH point Eye Points 24 a and 24 b (Fig. 3.4)

(13/19) Location. Point 24 a: In the skinfold of the inter-
tragic notch, at the transition toward the face
(approximately midway between the ACTH and
24 a TSH points).
Point 24 b: In the skinfold/transition of the
notch toward the lobule, midway between the
TSH point TSH and ovary points.
Indication. Adjuvant in myopia, astigmatism, optic
atrophy, and macular degeneration.
24 b

3.1.4 Antitragus
Ovary point (23)
(gonadoptropin Points 26, 27, 28, and 32 have proved ineffective
point) and are therefore not discussed here.

Located on the inside, below the Thalamus Point 26 a (Fig. 3.5)

structure Location. On the inside of the antitragus, in the
Located on the inside, at the edge middle of the baseline at its transition to the con-
cha. Virtually opposite the sun point (35) on the
Direction of puncture outside of the antitragus (basally).
Endocrine zone, located on the inside Indication. Adjuvant in severe, acute, and chronic
states of pain (e.g., in the locomotor system, head,
Fig. 3.4 Intertragic notch. malignant diseases, phantom limb pain).

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34) 31 a

Sun 31
point 36
(35) Thalamus point
(26 a)
Sensory point

Located on the inside, below the structure

Located on the inside, at the edge
Direction of puncture

Fig. 3.5 Antitragus.

It also has a sedative effect. functional complaints. If applicable, also adju-

Also adjuvant in residual symptoms after vant while quitting smoking.
apoplexia, such as partial hemiparesis and
dyslalia. Cough-Relieving Point 31 a (Fig. 3.5)
Location. Between the parotid gland point (30)
Parotid Gland Point 30 (Fig. 3.5) and postantitragal notch, slightly below the con-
Location. At the tip of the antitragus. necting line between them, next to the brain-
Indication. Parotitis—also as a prophylactic in stem point.
combination with the shen men point (55)—sus- Indication. Acute and chronic dry cough of any
ceptibility to infections resulting from immuno- origin.
deficiency (if necessary, in combination with the The point has an antitussive (alleviating)
interferon point), and for symptomatic allevia- rather than a cough-relieving effect.
tion of pruritus.
Forehead Point 33 (Frontal Skull Point,
Asthma Point (Dyspnea Point) 31 according to Nogier) (Fig. 3.5)
(Fig. 3.5) Location. In the ventral portion of the antitragal
Location. Below the tip of the antitragus on the baseline (the “sensory line” according to Nogier),
outside of the antitragus, approximately halfway below the ovary point (23). Also located on this
between the tip and the base of the outside of the sensory line are sun point (35) and occiput
antitragus. point (29).
Indication. Adjuvant in bronchial asthma, dys- Indication. Frontal headache, sinusitis. Adjuvant
pnea, and thoracic oppression associated with in insomnia, vertigo.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Inside of antitragus
Thalamus point
(26 a)

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance point)

Fig. 3.6 Inside of antitragus.

Vegetative Point II (Subcortex Point, Gray Sensory Point (Fig. 3.5)

Substance Point) 34 (Fig. 3.6) Location. Below the sun point (35) and the fore-
Location. On the inside of the antitragus, in the head point (33), forming the lower angle of an al-
triangle of the ovary point (23), thalamus point most isosceles-shaped triangle with these points.
(26 a), and antitragal tip (parotis point). Indication. Adjuvant in neuralgiform complaints,
Indication. Acute and chronic inflammations as- such as cervico-occipital neuralgia, trigeminal
sociated with pain. Depressive mood, psychoveg- neuralgia, glossalgia.
etative syndrome.
Adjuvant in convulsive disorders. Roof Point (Crown of Head Point) 36
(Fig. 3.5)
▶ Harmonizing and sedative effect in situations of Location. Ventral and caudal to the occiput point
psychological stress. In the literature, vegetative (29). This point represents the lower tip of an-
point II and the subcortex or gray substance point other isosceles triangle, which it forms with
are sometimes listed as different points located next points 29 and 35.
to each other. However, experience shows that they Indication. Cephalalgia, drowsiness, cervico-
occupy the same area. ◀ occipital neuralgia, intercostal neuralgia. If neces-
sary, use in combination with the sensory point.
Sun Point 35 (Fig. 3.5)
Location. On the outside of the antitragus, in the 3.1.5 Postantitragal Fossa
center of its baseline, right opposite the thalamus
point (26 a).
Brainstem point 25 (Fig. 3.7)
Location. On the edge of the postantitragal fossa,
between the antitragus and antihelix.
▶ The sun point is the central point of the sensory
Indication. Cephalalgia, meningeal irritation,
line (29, 35, 33). ◀
concomitant symptoms of neurological and psy-
chological disorders (e.g., multiple sclerosis,
Indication. Acute and chronic cephalalgia, partic- cyclothymia).
ularly migraine; insomnia, vertigo.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

29 a

29 b

29 c

Postantitragal line

Fig. 3.7 Postantitragal fossa with postantitragal line.

Occiput Point (Pad Point) 29 (Fig. 3.7) Jerome Point (Relaxation Point) 29 b
Location. On or near (approximately 2 mm away (Fig. 3.7)
from) the postantitragal line. This is an imagi- Location. Located on the postantitragal line de-
nary line that runs to the dorsal edge of the helix, fined by the postantitragal fossa, brainstem point
which it crosses at a right angle (Fig. 3.7) below (25), and occiput point (29), at the intersection
the postantitragal fossa halfway between the with the scapha at the transition to the lobule.
notch and the intersection with the ending of the Indication. Relaxation of the striated muscles, re-
scapha; see also Jerome Point (29 b). flex muscle tension caused by emotions or pain,
Indication. Pain of all kinds, especially neuralgia e.g., in connection with diseases of the locomotor
and cephalalgia. Because of its sedative compo- system (e.g., spinal syndrome, lumbago–sciatica
nent, it is also used in bronchial asthma, inflam- syndrome). Harmonization and sedation in con-
matory diseases, psychovegetative exhaustion, ditions of emotional stress, disturbed sleep, or
tendency to collapse, and vertigo; also in dis- difficulty falling asleep, Possible use by alternat-
eases of the nervous system and convalescent ing every 1 or 2 days with the opposite point on
therapy. the medial surface of the ear, which is supposed
Representing the dorsal end point of the sen- to be effective in problems relating to sleeping
sory line (29, 35, 33), this important point has a through the night.
wide range of indications.
Practical Tip
Kinetosis Point (Nausea Point) 29 a The corresponding point on the medial surface
(Fig. 3.7) of the ear is indicated for difficulty with sleeping
Location. Located on the postantitragal line half- through the night (dysphylaxia).
way between brainstem point 25 at the postanti-
tragal fossa and occiput point 29.
Indication. Inner ear dizziness (the point is Craving Point 29 c (Fig. 3.7)
usually part of von Steinburg’s line of vertigo), Location. Directly on the intersection of the post-
therapy and prophylaxis of motion sickness or antitragal line at an approximate right angle to
kinetosis (e.g., while travelling by sea or air); if the dorsal helix–lobule rim.
necessary, use in combination with the relax-
ation point (Jerome point, 29 b) to treat fear of Practical Tip
flying. The needle is inserted from dorsal toward the
rim of the lobule, which is splinted between the
thumb and index finger.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Indication. Adjuvant in treatment for addiction Starting again from the central field (the eye
(e.g., nicotine addiction, obesity). We owe to point), the “tonsils field” can be found on a verti-
Lange (1985) the meaningful alphanumerical cal line caudally and the “mouth field” cranially.
naming of the points with the guiding number 4. On the level of the tonsils field, there are
29, all of which are located on the imaginary line additional fields ventrally and dorsally contain-
from the postantitragal fossa. His approach docu- ing corresponding points. The same applies to
ments the importance of these connected points the level of the mouth field. The size of the fields
as components of an imaginary line (see Chapter is chosen in relation to the size of the individual
4.4 vertigo line) as well as the importance of indi- lobule, and the fields should be roughly equal.
vidual acupuncture treatment for the head region. 5. The fields are numbered from I to IX, starting
with the facial field I (below the intertragic
notch), and moving dorsally and downward.
3.1.6 Lobule These fields serve as a basic orientation to
The lobule is subdivided into nine fields for the facilitate the localization of their respective
sake of easier orientation (Fig. 3.8, Fig. 3.9). The points. In practice, it has not proved successful
following approach has proved successful in to delineate these fields with the aid of pseudo-
practice: geometrical lines derived from variable ana-
1. An imaginary horizontal line is drawn from tomical structures.
PT1, located on the lobule, approximately 0.5 cm
ventrocaudally to the lowest concavity (inter- PT1 (Formerly Antiaggression Point) (Fig. 3.8)
tragic notch), and on to the dorsal rim of the Location. On the lobule, approximately 0.5 cm
lobule. This corresponds with the upper delinea- ventrocaudally to the lowest concavity of the
tion of the lobule. intertragic notch, in the upper nasal quarter of
2. Keeping this upper boundary in mind, the field I.
center of the lobule can be located. This is the Indication. As a psychotropic point (PT) in psy-
“eye point” (caution: piercing). One of the nine chological disorders, psychological strain, e.g.,
fields of the lobule is positioned around this eye irritability, aggressive and suppressed aggressive
point. behavior, addictive disorders.
3. This level can also be subdivided to give ad- Adjuvant in chronic disorders (e.g., chronic poly-
ditional fields ventrally and dorsally. The three arthritis), malignant diseases—relating to the as-
fields are of approximately the same size. pect of “Why me?”

Ovary point (23)

(gonadotropin point)

(antiaggression 29 c (craving point)
3 4
PT2 2
1 PT4
(anxiety/worry (sorrow/joy
point) point)

Fig. 3.8 Points on the lobule.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

6 (lower jaw point)
5 (upper jaw)
Eye (sorrow/joy
7 9 (inner ear point) point)

Fig. 3.9 Points on the lobule.

Note. In cases of possibly violent aggressive behav- Note. According to Nogier, lack of drive, diminished
ior, the corresponding area at the back of the ear interest in life, or disrupted enjoyment of life is sup-
should be investigated and, if irritated, included in posed to be treated in right-handed people primar-
the therapy. ily via the right ear, while sorrow is supposed to be
treated via the left ear as an adjuvant. In left-handed
In milder forms of aggressiveness, no sensitivity people, this should be done the other way around.
will be found here.
Tooth Point 1 (Fig. 3.8)
PT2 (Formerly Anxiety/Worry Point) Location. In field I of the lobule.
(Fig. 3.8) Indication. Analgesia during tooth extractions,
Location. The point is located approximately toothache.
0.5 cm below PT 1 in the lower nasal quarter of
field I. Practical Tip
Indication. Anxiety under concrete life-threaten- Needling of this point alone has little effect, but
ing circumstances, but also undefined anxiety, it has proved rather successful in combination
lack of drive (e.g., in depression). Fears about with the following points: upper jaw point (5),
something, worry over someone. lower jaw point (6), and the other tooth point
(7), as well as the occiput point (29) and shen
Note. In right-handed people, mainly the right ear men point (55). Furthermore, here in the
should be treated for anxiety, and the left ear for cartilage-free area of the lobule, any inunda-
worry. In left-handed people, this should be the tion of these areas with local anesthetic carries
other way around. only a low risk of infection and is allegedly more
effective than puncture alone.
PT4 (Formerly Sorrow/Joy Point) (Fig. 3.8)
Location. In the lower dorsocaudal quarter of
According to Russian studies (Portnov 1979),
field III, approximately at the same level as PT2.
needling of these points in combination with
Indication. Depressive mood, including lack of
electrostimulation is equally as effective as using
drive, diminished interest in life or disrupted en-
local anesthesia, but it seems to be more costly
joyment of life, sorrow.
and time-consuming.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Upper Palate Point 2 (Fig. 3.8) Indication. Pain in the jaw joint (temporoman-
Location. In the lower dorsal quarter of field II (on dibular neuralgia).
a vertical line above the eye field).
Indication. Aphthous stomatitis, trigeminal neu- Lower Jaw Point (Chinese) 6 (Fig. 3.9)
ralgia, periodontosis. Location. Slightly above and dorsal to the upper
jaw point 5, at the upper horizontal border of
Lower Palate Point 3 (Fig. 3.8) field III.
Location. In the upper ventral quarter of Field II. Indication. Toothache, also during tooth extrac-
Indication. Trigeminal neuralgia, periodontosis, tion, trigeminal neuralgia, parotitis.
aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis.
Lower Jaw Point (According to Nogier)
Tongue Point—4 (Fig. 3.8)
(Fig. 3.10)
Location. In the center of field II, lying together
Location. See Upper Jaw Point above.
with the upper palate point (2) and the lower
Indication. Pain and inflammation in the area of
palate point (3) roughly on a diagonal line run-
the mandibular joint.
ning through field II from the upper ventral to the
lower dorsal corner.
Indication. Glossalgia (caution: contraindicated PT3 (Formerly Antidepression Point)
in cases of pernicious anemia), disturbed sense of (Fig. 3.9 and Fig. 3.10)
taste, glossitis, stomatitis. Location. Ventral and caudal to the Jerome point
(29 b) at the ending of the scapha, at the intersec-
Upper Jaw Point (Chinese) 5 (Fig. 3.9) tion with the imaginary horizontal line between
Location. Approximately in the center of field III. PT1 and the craving point (29 c) or lower cranial
Indication. Arthralgia of the jaw joint (temporo- quarter of field III.
mandibular joint syndrome), toothache, also Indication. Depressive mood, reactive depres-
during tooth extraction, periodontosis, trigemi- sion, disturbed sleep.
nal neuralgia.
Tooth Point 7 (Fig. 3.9)
Upper Jaw Point (According to Nogier) Location. On the lobule, in the center of field IV
(Fig. 3.10) of the lobule.
Location. Located on the scapha (Fig. 3.10) be- Indication. Toothache. Has an alleviating effect in
tween the Jerome point and PT3 (antidepression). cases of tooth extraction.

Upper jaw point

Jerome point

Parotid gland point

Tonsil point
Lower jaw point


Fig. 3.10 Zones of representation according to Nogier.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Eye Point 8 (Fig. 3.9) points, is considered a memory aid for the
Location. In the center of the subdivided lobule omega points and is not suitable for locating
(see above), in the center of field V. these points.
Indication. Psychological/mental harmoniza-
▶ The eye point is often sacrificed to jewelry (pierc- tion in severe chronic illnesses (e.g., pain syn-
ing). However, this is not detrimental to the health dromes, malignant neoplasm). Helps to accept
of the eye or to the power of vision. ◀ the suffering.

Indication. Adjuvant in external diseases of the Analgesia Point (Fig. 3.11)

eye (e.g., conjunctivitis); supportive in cepha- Location. In the lower ventral quarter of field VII,
lalgia and neuralgia, particularly when localized at the caudal rim of the lobule. In cases of facially
around the eye socket and behind the eyeball. adnate lobules, the point is located in the skinfold
Abducens nerve palsy. toward the face.
Indication. Severe pain syndromes of all
kinds, particularly in the head region, prefer-
Inner Ear Point 9 (Fig. 3.9)
ably in combination with the thalamus point
Location. In the center of field VI.
(26 a).
Indication. Adjuvant in vertigo, tinnitus, impaired
Tonsil Point (Chinese) 10 (Fig. 3.11)
Practical Tip Location. In the center of field VIII (on a vertical
If necessary, use in combination with the sen- line below the eye field) on the lobule.
sory line. Indication. Acute and chronic diseases of the ton-
sils, pharyngitis.

Master Omega Point (Fig. 3.11) Practical Tip

Location. In the upper dorsal quarter of field If necessary, use in combination with the mouth
VII, above the analgesia point. The vertical line zone (84).
drawn in the figure, which connects the omega

10 Trigeminal zone

Master omega point Cheek zone (11)

Fig. 3.11 Points and zones on the lobule.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Tonsil Point (According to Nogier) projections take place from the bottom to the
(Fig. 3.10) top: Following the cervical spine in the caudal re-
Location. Located between the Jerome point gion of the antihelix and the thoracic spine in the
(29 b) and PT3 (formerly the antidepression middle region of the antihelix, we find the lumbar
point) at the ending of the scapha. spine and the sacral region extending onto the in-
Indication. The same as for the Chinese tonsil ferior antihelical crus up to the brim of the helix.
point above. The chain of points for the vertebrae (Fig. 3.12)
begins with the atlas point (C1), which is located
Cheek Zone 11 (Fig. 3.11) cranially just above the postantitragal fossa. Sub-
Location. The narrow oval zone covers the bor- sequent points for the cervical spine join in reg-
der between fields V and VI and also expands to ular sequence up to the C7 to T1 transition. This
a small extent into fields II and III as well as fields is located approximately at the level where a dor-
V and VIII. sally elongated line from the helical crus crosses
Indication. Trigeminal neuralgia, facial paresis, the middle portion of the antihelix.
myofascial facial pain. Then follows the chain of points for the tho-
racic spine, with T1 to T12 in the adjacent mid-
Practical Tip dle portion of the antihelix up to the beginning
If necessary, use in combination with the upper of the inferior antihelical crus. It ends there with
jaw point (5) and lower jaw point (6). the thoracolumbar T12 to L1 transition approxi-
mately at the level where a vertical line from the
tip of the triangular fossa crosses the inferior an-
Trigeminal Zone (According to Nogier) tihelical crus.
(Fig. 3.11) Next follows the region of the lumbar spine
Location. On the dorsal rim of the lobule, expand- with the projections of L1 to L5 on the inferior an-
ing over the dorsal borders of fields VI and IX. tihelical crus. The transition (L5 to S1) to the lum-
Indication. Trigeminal neuralgia, myofascial facial bosacral region is located approximately in the
pain. middle of the inferior antihelical crus. Finally, still
The needle is inserted from the dorsal direction on the inferior antihelical crus, the sacrum and
toward the rim (similar to the craving point). coccyx are projected toward the brim of the helix.

Practical Tip
This zone is needled by using the sieving method,
i.e., several needles being inserted in close prox- S1 L5
imity. Bleeding in the form of a microbloodlet-
ting may be allowed until it stops spontaneously
close to the time of needle removal.

3.1.7 Antihelix
Chinese acupuncture as well as Western auric-
ulotherapy views the antihelix as the projection
area of the spinal column and uses it accordingly
for diagnosis and treatment. The Chinese school
describes pointlike areas analogous to the indi-
vidual sections of the spinal column, whereas
French/Western ear acupuncture views the en- C1 Atlas
tire antihelix as a reactive reflex area. point
On the ridge of the antihelix, the bony
structures of the spinal column—the individ-
ual vertebrae—are projected as a continuous
chain. According to Nogier’s mnemonic aid, the Fig. 3.12 Projection area of the spine.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle



Fig. 3.13 Changes in the antihelical relief.

The threefold change in the antihelical relief special organs or regions of organs are assigned,
(Fig. 3.13) provides some guidance for demarcat- are only vaguely described with respect to their
ing the distinct sections of the projection of the location within the sections of the spinal column
spinal column. projections.
In the area of the cervical spine, the antihelix Furthermore, according to the Chinese school,
exhibits a sharper, yet still rounded, contour. At the projection of the spinal column covers a
the C7 to T1 transition, it is transformed into a shorter distance, namely, from the postantitragal
soft-curved relief that dominates the entire pro- fossa up to the antihelical bifurcation into crura.
jected region of the thoracic spine. At the T12 As a result, the individual sections of the spinal
to L1 transition, however, this shape transforms column are shifted: similar to the Western con-
into a sharp-edged ridge that ultimately ends be- cept, the cervical spine is projected onto the an-
low the brim of the helix. tihelix with the C7 to T1 transition at the level
of the crus of helix, whereas Nogier’s thoracic
stretch from T6 to T12 (close to the triangular
Antihelix—Zones of Representation fossa) is occupied, according to the Chinese con-
According to Chinese Specifications cept, by projections of the lumbar spine and the
Based on the aforementioned subdivision, Chi- sacral and coccygeal vertebrae.
nese ear acupuncture describes so-called max-
imum points within the individual sections for Cervical Spine Zone 37 (Fig. 3.14)
the spinal column, which are named after the Location. In agreement with the Western school
individual spinal segments and, again, are num- of ear acupuncture, this is in the caudal area of
bered. However, these maximum points, to which the antihelix.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

53 38





Fig. 3.14 Zones of representation and localization according to Chinese specifications.

Indication. Cervical syndrome, cervical spine Neck Point 41 (Fig. 3.14)

whiplash injury. Location. At the level of the point for C1, near the
Sacral Spine Zone (Coccyx Zone) 38 Indication. Cervical syndrome.
(Fig. 3.14)
Location. Close to the antihelical bifurcation into Thorax Point 42 (Fig. 3.14)
the two crura. Location. Approximately at the level of the cra-
Indication. Lumbago, intercostal neuralgia. nial end of the thoracic spine zone (39).
Indication. Thoracic oppression, intercostal neu-
Thoracic Spine Zone 39 (Fig. 3.14) ralgia, herpes zoster, mastitis, sternocostal syn-
Location. This zone occupies approximately the drome.
area designated T1 to T6 in the Western concept.
Indication. Intercostal neuralgia. Abdomen Point 43 (Fig. 3.14)
Location. Above of the upper portion of the lum-
Lumbar Spine Zone 40 (Fig.3.14) bar spine zone (40).
Location. Adjacent to the thoracic spine zone Indication. Abdominal complaints.
(39), passing without demarcation into the sacral
spine zone (38). Mammary Gland Point 44 (Fig. 3.14)
Indication. Lumbago. Location. Approximately at the level of the crus of
helix, but slightly dorsal to the antihelical ridge,
Located a little further dorsally, slightly below in the direction of the scapha.
the antihelical ridge in the direction of the sca- Indication. Pain in the breast as a result of root
pha and matching the segments, we find the irritation in the corresponding segment. Masto-
organ-related master points mentioned previ- dynia, insufficient lactation, mastitis.
ously. They are described as follows:

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Vegetative groove
(p. 67)

Zone of paravertebral
and ligaments
(p. 39)

Zone of vertebrae
Zone of
intervertebral disks
Zone of nervous Sensory tracts
control points of
endocrine glands Autonomous tracts
(p. 39)
Zone of
sympathetic trunk Motor tracts of
(p. 39) spinal cord (p. 59)

Fig. 3.15 French/Western zones of representation, horizontally outlined.

Thyroid Gland Point 45 (Fig. 3.14) antihelical areas for both diagnostics and therapy
Location. Approximately at the level of the first (Fig. 3.15). This interpretation arose from the
third of the cervical spine projection onto the an- finding that the neuromuscular functional com-
tihelix, near the scapha. ponents of the spinal column are projected not
Indication. According to Chinese experience, only onto the antihelix, but also, in a horizontal
dysfunction of the thyroid gland. According to arrangement, onto the remaining auricle.
Western experience, it is more effective as a According to this horizontal subdivision, nar-
segmental collective point in root irritation in row parallel zones of projections are located
the area of cervical segments C2, C3, and C4. in the region of the antihelix and remaining
auricle; these run longitudinally while taking
Buttocks Point 53 (Fig. 3.14) into account that the antihelical relief changes
Location. Slightly dorsal to the sciatica zone (52) vertically.
on the inferior antihelical crus, almost belonging It is conspicuous that the zones for control
to the sciatica zone. points and those for the chain of ganglia are de-
Indication. As for the sciatica zone (52); see page scribed in great detail, whereas the remaining
46 and Fig. 3.20. zones are not specified in a similar way. For di-
dactic reasons, we will first present an overview
of the individual zones on the entire auricle and
Antihelix—Zones of Representation then discuss them again in greater detail together
According to French/Western with the corresponding anatomical structures.
Specifications The following zones of representation are
found in the region of the antihelical wall:
In contrast to the isolated antihelical master
Zone of representation of vertebrae: On the
points of Chinese ear acupuncture, which have
ridge of the antihelix.
fixed indications, the French school arrived in the
1970s at a segment-oriented interpretation of the

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Zone of intervertebral disks: In the antihelical pregnancy, chronic renal insufficiency; in hypo-
wall (toward the concha), slightly below the parathyroid tetany, and parathyroid gland lesions
ridge. following strumectomy.
Zone of nervous control points of endocrine
glands (see also p. 40 and Fig. 3.16): Just below Thyroid Gland Point (Fig. 3.16)
the zone of intervertebral disks, in the antiheli- Location. Just before the C7 to T1 transition, at
cal wall dropping toward the concha. the level of C6 to C7.
Zone of sympathetic trunk/paravertebral chain Indication. Adjuvant in dysfunction of thyroid
of sympathetic ganglia (see p. 41): Still in the gland, especially in cases of residual complaints
antihelical wall, just before its transition to not eliminated by proper thyroid medication.
the plain of the concha (the projection area
of the inner organs). Practical Tip
Zone of paravertebral muscles and ligaments Can be combined with endocrine zone (22) or
(see scapha, p. 41): Begins slightly below the an- the TSH point.
tihelical ridge (toward the brim of the helix) and
expands dorsally as a plain area into the scapha
almost below the brim of the helix and up to the Thymus Gland Point (Fig. 3.16)
superior and inferior crus (see the shaded area Location. At the level of T1 to T2.
in Fig. 3.15). Indication. Disturbed immune system (e.g., aller-
“Vegetative groove” (zone of origin of sympa- gic diathesis, pollinosis), and also chronic predis-
thetic nuclei, according to Lange [1985]; see position to infections.
scapha, p. 49): Adjacent to the zone of paraver-
tebral muscles and ligaments, immediately be- Practical Tip
low the brim of the helix (see the dotted line in Depending on the indication, in combination
Fig. 3.22). with the following points: interferon point (see
Zone of spinal cord (see helix/helical Fig. 3.2), allergy point (78), ACTH point (adre-
brim, p. 49): Its motor tracts are projected nal gland point, 13) (see Fig. 3.3), shen men
on the medial surface of the helix and its sen- point (55).
sory tracts on the lateral surface of the heli-
cal brim. Between these are the autonomous
tracts (which are insignificant). On the vertical Mammary Gland Point (Fig. 3.16)
level, the zone begins at the level of the Location. Approximately at the level of T5.
postantitragal fossa and ends approximately Indication. Disturbed lactation, premenstrual
at the level of the projection of the carpus. mastodynia.

In analogy to the vertical segmentation of the ▶ Although the breast is not considered to be an
spinal column into its individual segments and endocrine gland, it is assigned to this reflex area. ◀
to its approximate assignment of vertebrae, the
position of the projection zones of the individual Endocrine Pancreas Point (Fig. 3.16)
intervertebral disks can be roughly determined. Location. Cranial and close to the mammary
Furthermore, the control points for the endo- gland point, at the level of T6.
crine glands and those for the ganglia of the sym- Indication. Adjuvant in type 2 diabetes mellitus,
pathetic trunk can also be located. paroxysmal hypoglycemia.

Antihelix—Zone of Nervous Control Adrenal Gland Point (Fig. 3.16)

Points of Endocrine Glands Location. Just before the antihelical change in re-
lief, i.e., before the T12 to L1 transition at the level
Parathyroid Gland Point (Fig. 3.16) of T11 to T12.
Location. Approximately at the level of C5 to C6. Indication. Chronic fatigue, tiredness, hypoten-
Indication. Adjuvant in secondary hyperpara- sion, paroxysmal hypoglycemia. See also the ad-
thyroidism in connection with malabsorption, renal gland ACTH point (13) (see Fig. 3.3).

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Zone of nervous
control points of
endocrine glands

Adrenal gland point

Endocrine pancreas point

Mammary gland point

Thymus gland point

Thyroid gland point

Parathyroid gland point

Located in the
antihelical wall

Fig. 3.16 Nervous control points of endocrine glands.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Cardiac Plexus Point (According to Nogier) Thyroid Plexus Point (Fig. 3.17)
(Wonder Point) (Fig. 3.17) Location. In the zone of sympathetic trunk, at the
Location. At the level of the C3 projection, in line level of the projection zone of T2.
with the inferior concha at the transition to the Indication. Adjuvant in thyroid gland dysfunction
antihelical wall. (questionable effectiveness).
Indication. See page 56 (Fig. 3.17, Fig. 3.26).
Thymic Plexus Point (Fig. 3.17)
Bronchopulmonary Plexus Point (According Location. In the zone of the sympathetic trunk,
to Nogier) (Fig. 3.17) approximately at the level of the projection of T2
Location. At the upper rim of the inferior con- to T3.
cha at the level of the end of the helix, between Indication. Predisposition to infection, allergies.
the projections of the heart (100) and cardia Supposedly, it harmonizes the sympathetic
(86). control of the arterial supply to the thymus
(questionable effectiveness).

Zone of Sympathetic Trunk/ Adrenal Plexus Point (Fig. 3.17)

Paravertebral Chain of Sympathetic Location. In the zone of sympathetic trunk, at the
Ganglia level of the projection of T12.
The zone of paravertebral sympathetic chain of Indication. The undefinable nerve and ganglion
sympathetic ganglia runs alongside the zone of plexus of the paravertebral chain of sympathetic
nervous control points of the endocrine glands, ganglia is represented within the zone of sym-
close to the concha and parallel to the antihelix, pathetic trunk, between the individually listed
just before its transition to the concha. Here, the plexus points in the projection area of T1 to L2/
projections of the three cervical ganglia are im- L3. Irritated points appear along this stretch (e.g.,
portant for ear acupuncture (Fig. 3.17, Fig. 3.18). in vasospastic diseases or neuralgia), and may be
included in the therapeutic approach (question-
able effectiveness).
Superior Cervical Ganglion Point (Fig. 3.17)
Location. Just before the transition of the anti-
helical wall to the concha, approximately at the 3.1.8 Scapha
level of the atlas point (C1).
As stated before, the area of the scapha is the zone
Indication. Has a regulating effect on the cervical
of paravertebral muscles and ligaments (Fig. 3.19).
sympathetic trunk, lacrimation, blood flow, and
According to experience with Chinese ear acu-
sweating of the face.
puncture, the joint points, or master points, of the
locomotor system are found in this region. For
Middle Cervical Ganglion Point (Fig. 3.17)
better orientation, we remind the reader again of
Location. Slightly cranial to the superior vertebral
the stylized concept of Nogier’s inverted embryo
ganglion at the level of the projection of C5 to C6.
and the disproportional projection onto the auri-
Indication. Disturbed regulation of blood pres-
cle. The resulting representation of the extremi-
sure, disturbed blood supply to the facial area.
ties in the cranial part of the auricle is remarkably
wide-ranging. Thus, the upper extremity with
Inferior Cervical Ganglion Point the shoulder, arm, and hand is projected onto the
(Cervicothoracic Ganglion Point, Stellate scapha, with the hand represented at the apical
Ganglion Point) (Fig. 3.17) part of the scapha and the shoulder at the level of
Location. In the zone of sympathetic trunk, ap- the helical crus in the middle portion of the sca-
proximately at the level of the projection zone of pha. By contrast, the lower extremity occupies
C7 to T1. mainly the region of the superior antihelical crus,
Indication. Has a regulating influence on the tho- triangular fossa, and inferior antihelical crus, as
racic portion of the sympathetic trunk; migraine, well as the origin of both crura.
unilateral cephalalgia, cervico-occipital neural- The joint points in the zone of paravertebral
gia, cervicobrachialgia, hyperemesis gravidarum, muscles and ligaments assigned to the locomo-
Sudeck’s atrophy. tor system have been largely established by the

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Zone of

Hypogastric plexus point
plexus Thymic
point plexus point
Solar plexus plexus point
Inferior cervical
Broncho- ganglion point
pulmonary (stellate ganglion)
plexus point
Middle cervical
Cardiac ganglion point
plexus point
Superior cervical
ganglion point

Fig. 3.17 Zone of sympathetic trunk/paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia and plexus points.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Sympaticus Parasympaticus

and salivary

Head Vagus nerve

C1 C1
Middle Bronchi

T1 T1
thetic Liver




L1 L1


mesenteric Rectum
S1 bladder S1

ganglion Genitals
Pelvic nerve

Inferior hypogastri

Fig. 3.18 Segmental relationship of ganglia.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

as a functional unit of the body as a whole, in-

cluding its neuromuscular and tendinous parts;
it stands to reason that potential diseases make
themselves known not only in a circumscribed
fashion via localized reflex zones. The neigh-
boring and participating structures of the mi-
crosystem react with it as well and, depending
on the severity of the disease, irritation will be
more or less dominant. Accordingly, treating
the maximally irritated point—either the Chi-
nese one or the French description, sometimes
even both—will guarantee the best therapeutic
success possible. The quarrel over different lo-
calizations of points or different zones of rep-
resentation for certain tissue parts in individual
organs is futile; only the therapeutic outcome is
The segmental diagnostic and therapeutic ap-
proach of the French school fits in well with these
considerations because it covers reflex zones,
not only according to their accurate localization,
but also with respect to their status of irritation,
so that areas defined inadequately or not at all
may be recognized as being affected and may be
treated. This approach is therefore very success-
ful, in particular, when the locomotor system is

Fig. 3.19 Zone of paravertebral muscles and

Points and Reflex Zones of the
ligaments. Locomotor System on the Scapha,
Antihelical Crura, and Triangular
Chinese school but, in part, also by the French/
To obtain a better idea of the locomotor system,
Western school of ear acupuncture. As a result,
it is treated here as a general structure under the
the localizations given for individual joints may
heading scapha (Fig. 3.20). With this in mind, the
differ. However, this is hardly important in prac-
projections of the anatomical structures in ques-
tice because, for maximal efficiency of the ther-
tion are once again listed. The osphyalgia point
apy, the point indicated in a given case may be
(54) and the clavicle point (63) are not discussed
found through the patient’s history, the clinical
here: the osphyalgia point is no longer listed in
findings, and the area of maximal irritation.
the most recent Chinese ear topographies, and the
The latter applies above all to purely local trau-
clavicle point is of no therapeutic importance.
mas and degenerative diseases of the locomotor
In general, however, it is recommended to
Toe Zone 46 (Fig.3.20)
Location. The big toe is located in the upper ven-
use primarily the segment-oriented diagnostics
tral corner of the superior antihelical crus. All
and therapy of the French school—synonyms are
the other toes, including the little toe, are located
segment therapy, ear geometry, and vegetative
along the upper ventral border of the triangular
groove according to Lange (1985)—and to search
fossa. The localization of the toe zone according
only secondarily for locally irritated points of
to the French school is identical, although per-
the affected zones of joints and bones. Each body
haps shifted slightly in a caudal direction.
part, and hence also each joint, must be viewed

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Knee point (49 b, Chinese)

Thumb point
Big toe point (62)
(46) Finger zone
Toes (62)
46 Wrist point
Knee point
(49 a, French) Hip point
Ankle point
(48) Pelvis point
55 (56)
Heel point (47)
zone (52) S1 L5 Elbow
(historic: zone L1 T1
2 point
of cauterization) (66)

C7 Shoulder

Atlas point

Fig. 3.20 Points and reflex zones of locomotor system.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

▶ Apart from the point for the big toe, the reflex Indication. Lumbago, lumbago–sciatica syn-
zones for individual toes cannot be demarcated drome, residual symptoms after intervertebral
from one another as individual points. ◀ disk surgery.

Indication. Pain in the toe region (e.g., in hallux Buttocks Point 53 (see Fig. 3.14)
valgus), hammer toe, podagra. Location. Slightly dorsal to the sciatica zone on
the inferior antihelical crus, almost belonging to
Knee Point 49 a and 49 b (Fig. 3.20) the sciatica zone.
Location. Point 49 a: According to the French Indication. See Sciatica Zone, page 46 (52).
school, this point is located exactly in the center
of the triangular fossa where it is deepest. Shen Men Point (“Divine Gate Point”) 55
Point 49 b: According to the Chinese school, the (Fig. 3.20)
reflex zone for the knee joint is found in the mid- Location. In the concavity of the triangular
dle of the superior antihelical crus, in terms of its fossa; locate the point by starting from the an-
length and width. tihelical bifurcation of the crura, the “tip of the
Indication. For points 49 a and 49 b: Pain in the fossa,” at the lower margin of the superior an-
knee joint resulting from trauma, inflammation, tihelical crus, slightly cranially and toward the
degenerative changes (arthrosis); adjuvant in concavity.
physiotherapeutic mobilization. Indication. The shen men point is one of the most
important analgesic points on the auricle.
Practical Tip Because of its antiphlogistic and analgesic/
The French knee point (49 a) is favoured as ef- sedative effect, it is particularly indicated for all
fective for symptoms originating from the sys- diseases of the locomotor system as well as in the
tem of capsules, ligaments, and muscles, while therapy of addiction (see the National Acupunc-
the Chinese knee point (49 b) is mainly effec- ture Detoxification Association concept).
tive in degenerative joint troubles referable pri- Adjuvant in allergic pruritus, bronchial
marily to bones and cartilage. asthma, insomnia.

Hip Point 57 (Hip Joint Point, was 50)

Calcaneus Point (Heel Point) 47 (Fig. 3.20)
(Fig. 3.20) Location. Both points are located at the areas of
This point is no longer described in recent Chi- bifurcation of the antihelical crura, ventral to the
nese ear topographies. tip of the fossa.
Location. According to the French school, this lies Indication. Pain in the region of hip or hip joint
in the lower ventral corner of the triangular fossa, (e.g., in coxarthrosis).
beneath the brim of the helix, approximately at
the level of the ankle joint projection. Pelvis Point 56 (Fig. 3.20)
Indication. Pain in the area of the heel bone as a Location. At the bifurcation of the two antihelical
result, for example, of periostitis or a heel spur. crura, close to the hip point (57).
Indication. Pain in the region of the pelvis and
Hip Joint Point 50 (Fig. 3.20) hip.
According to recent Chinese ear topographies,
this point corresponds to the hip point (57) (see ▶ This point is no longer listed in the most recent
below). Chinese ear topographies, but its localization is the
same as that of the French hip/pelvis point. ◀
Sciatica Zone 52 (Fig. 3.20)
Location. Approximately at the level of the lum- Finger Zone 62 (Fig. 3.20)
bar spine projection, in the flat part of the tran- Location. On the scapha under the helical brim,
sition from the inferior antihelical crus to the close to the intersection of the upper edge of the
triangular fossa. superior antihelical crus and the helical brim.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

The thumb is represented on the upper dorsal Additional Points on the Scapha,
corner of the superior antihelical crus, close to or
Triangular Fossa, and Antihelical
under the helical brim.
Indication. Pain in the region of fingers and Crura
thumb, as a result of trauma and inflammation. In the region of scapha, triangular fossa, and
antihelical crura there are additional zones and
Shoulder Joint Point 64 (Fig. 3.20) points that are not assigned to the locomotor sys-
Location. On the scapha at the level of the inter- tem (Fig. 3.21).
section of an imaginary almost horizontal line
(“diaphragm line”) through the zero point (see Lower Arm Point (Not Illustrated)
Notch, Root of the Helix see Fig. 3.1) of the lower Like the upper arm point, this projection area is
edge of the crus of helix. derived from the French topography.
Indication. Stiffness in the shoulder, distortion of Location. In the region between the wrist point
the shoulder joint, humeroscapular periarthritis. (67) and elbow point (66) (see Fig. 3.20).
Indication. Brachial syndrome, tendovaginitis.
Shoulder Point 65 (Fig. 3.20) Adjuvant in cervicobrachial syndrome, epicondy-
Location. On the scapha, within the area for the litis.
zone of paravertebral muscles and ligaments at
the level of the supratragic notch. Vegetative Point I 51 (Autonomic Point,
Indication. As above for the shoulder joint Sympathetic Point) (Fig. 3.21)
point (64). Location. On the inferior antihelical crus at the
intersection with the protruding helical brim of
Elbow Point 66 (Fig. 3.20) the ascending helix, usually slightly covered by
Location. On the scapha, at the level of the inter- the helical brim.
section of an imaginary horizontal line through Indication. Autonomic disorders, harmonizes the
the bifurcation of the two antihelical crura. autonomic nervous system.
Adjuvant in various kinds of colic and abdominal
! Caution pain (caution: ascertain the cause).
Do not be guided by the direction that the in-
ferior antihelical crus runs in, as in vivo it may
Uterus Point 58 (Fig. 3.21)
Location. In the upper ventral corner of the trian-
run obliquely.
gular fossa, hidden under the helical brim.
Indication. Adjuvant in dysmenorrhea, metro-
Indication. Epicondylitis, distortion, bursitis. rrhagia, tocolysis, impotence, psychosomatic
symptoms in the region of the locomotor system.
Upper Arm Point (Not Illustrated)
This projection area does not have a number and Blood Pressure Control Point 59
is derived from the French topography. (Fig. 3.21)
Location. Between the shoulder point (65) and Location. At the intersection of the superior an-
elbow point (66) (Fig. 3.20). tihelical crus and the edge of the helical brim,
Indication. Adjuvant in pain in shoulder or elbow slightly toward the fossa.
joint, cervicobrachial syndrome, upper arm com- Indication. Adjuvant in arterial hypertension.
Practical Tip
If necessary, use in combination with the anti-
Wrist Point 67 (Fig. 3.20)
Location. On the scapha, obliquely above the bi- hypertension point (19) or ACTH point (13), or
furcation of the antihelical crura. with the thalamus point (26 a).
Indication. Distortions and contusions of the
wrist, tendinitis.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Dyspnea point (60)

Blood pressure
point (59)

Uterus point Urticaria zone

(58) (71)
Hepatitis point (72)

point I (51)

Fig. 3.21 Points on the scapha, triangular fossa, and antihelical crura.

Dyspnea Point 60 (Fig. 3.21) Practical Tip

Location. In the triangular fossa, at almost the If necessary, use in combination with the liver
same level as the uterus point (58) and below the zone (97) in the inferior concha.
blood pressure control point (59).
Indication. Adjuvant in bronchial asthma, in
chronic obstructive bronchitis. Urticaria Zone 71 (Fig. 3.21)
Location. In the region of the cranial scapha, be-
Practical Tip tween the darwinian tubercle and the intersec-
If necessary, use in combination with the tion of the dorsal edge of the superior antihelical
asthma point (31), ACTH point (13), endocrine crus and the brim of the helix.
zone (22), vegetative point I (51), and broncho- Indication. Urticaria (caution: contraindicated in
Quincke’s edema), insect bites, pruritus.
pulmonary plexus point (in the inferior concha).
Practical Tip
If necessary, use in combination with parotid
This area is rarely found to be irritated and is
gland point (30) (see Fig. 3.5) and parotid
therefore little used (questionable effectiveness).
gland point (according to Nogier).

Hepatitis Point 61 (Fig. 3.21)

Location. In the triangular fossa, at roughly the Appendix Points I 68, II 69,
same level as the urticaria zone (71) and below III 70 (Not Illustrated)
the dyspnea point (60) but dorsal to the latter and Location. In Chinese ear topographies, these
closer to the edge of the superior antihelical crus. three additional points are listed on the scapha.
Indication. Adjuvant in hepatitis, cholecystitis Indication. Chronic and acute appendicitis, ac-
(questionable effectiveness). cording to Chinese ear acupuncture. (No reported

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Tonsil Points I 73, II 74, triangular fossa. The region represents mostly
III 75, Liver Points I 76, II 77 segment-oriented reflex zones of the paraverte-
(Not Illustrated) bral neuromuscular units and the corresponding
Location. Aligned on the brim of the helix. ligament portions. It includes the Chinese joint
Indication. Diseases of the tonsils or the liver, re- points, or master points, of the locomotor system
spectively, according to Chinese ear acupuncture. and is also an important component for building
(Rarely used in the West.) up a treatment line as defined by Nogier’s ear ge-
▶ The appendix points, tonsil points, and liver point Indication. Diseases of the locomotor system,
I/II are not viewed by the Western or French school segment-related conditions associated with pain,
such as neuralgia, functional abdominal or tho-
in the sense of fixed localizations but rather as sec-
racic complaints.
ondary points or pseudolocalizations. They may
also be summarized as lymphatically active points.
Hence, in the context of segment therapy, one or 3.1.9 Helix and Helical Brim
even several of these pseudolocalizations should
Helix Points 72 (Fig. 3.23)
sometimes be included, if indicated by the state of Location. The area of the helix includes six points
irritation (questionable effectiveness). ◀ that have no individual names. These are located
at regular intervals along the brim of the helix,
“Vegetative Groove” (Zone of Origin starting at the darwinian tubercle and continu-
of Sympathetic Nuclei, Zone of ing to the deepest point on the lower edge of the
Intermediolateral Nuclei, According to lobule.
Lange) Indication. According to the Chinese school, these
Location. This narrow band runs along the dorsal points were originally described for orientation
edge of the scapha just beneath the brim of the only. However, according to König and Wancura’s
helix, parallel to the zone of paravertebral mus- book on Chinese ear acupuncture (1998), they
cles and ligaments. Both zones merge without are indicated in the suppression of inflammation,
distinct demarcations approximately at the level fever, infection of the upper respiratory tract, and
of the brim of the helix. The groove beneath the other conditions.
helical brim, originally described by Nogier and The indications listed for the appendix points
Bourdiol as the zones of neurovegetative spinal and tonsil points on the scapha (see p. 48) apply
cord centers, starts at the level of the postantitra- to these points as well.
gal fossa and extends toward the darwinian tu-
bercle. The neurovegetative groove according to Tip of Ear Point (Allergy Point) 78
Lange continues toward the intersection of infe- (Fig. 3.23)
rior antihelical crus and ascending helix beneath Location. This point can be easily located by
the brim of the helix. folding the auricle in such a way that the dorsal
Indication. Segment-related symptoms, such as helical brim runs parallel to the tragus, and then
conditions associated with pain, neuralgia; initial flattening the resulting “cylinder” at the upper
orientation for building up the line of treatment end. The fine fold formed at the tip of the ear
with respect to ear geometry according to Nogier marks the area in question with reasonable ac-
(segment therapy). curacy.
Indication. Adjuvant in disorders of the im-
Zone of Paravertebral Muscles and mune system, such as allergies (e.g., pollinosis),
Ligaments (Fig. 3.22) bronchial asthma, urticaria, predisposition to
Location. This two-dimensional zone of repre- infection, and immunodeficiency. The sedative
sentation expands from the downward slope of component of this point certainly plays a role
the antihelix into the scapha, covering the sca- in the treatment of hypertension, while the an-
pha completely in the cranial and caudal direc- algesic and antifebrile effect prevails in febrile
tions, and also covering parts of the superior and illnesses.
inferior antihelical crura up to the edge of the

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Vegetative groove

Zone of paravertebral
muscles and ligaments

Vegetative groove

S1 L5
L1 T1



Fig. 3.22 Zone of paravertebral muscles and ligaments and vegetative groove.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Zone of
Sensory tracts
Autonomous tracts cord
Motor tracts

Allergy point (78)

Darwin’s point

Helix (72)

Zone of sensory
tracts of spinal

Fig. 3.23 Zones of spinal cord.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

▶ If bleeding occurs upon withdrawal of the nee- Zones of Representation According

dle, it makes sense to let the bleeding continue as
to Chinese Ear Acupuncture
a microbloodletting, thus enhancing the effect.
According to observations made in recent years in External Genitals Point 79 (Fig. 3.24)
the course of allergy treatment, puncturing this Location. On the ascending helix, slightly above
point from the inside of the helical brim is supposed the intersection of the inferior antihelical crus
and the ascending helix.
to be more effective. ◀
Indication. Inflammation of the genitals, impo-
tence (questionable effectiveness, as yet no per-
Darwin’s Point (Fig. 3.23)
sonal experience).
Location. On the darwinian tubercle, if present,
which is usually well visible and palpable.
Indication. Adjuvant in arthritic joint problems of
Urethra Point 80 (Fig. 3.24)
Location. Slightly below the intersection of the
the extremities (questionable effectiveness).
inferior antihelical crus (if it runs horizontally)
and the ascending helix.
Zone of Spinal Cord (Fig. 3.23)
Indication. Ischuria, urethritis, nocturnal enure-
Location. Spanning horizontally from the edge
sis (questionable effectiveness, as yet no personal
of the helical brim to the dorsolateral part of the
helix and vertically from the darwinian tubercle
to the postantitragal fossa.
Zones of Representation According
▶ This zone represents the somatosensory fibers to French/Western Ear Acupuncture
of the spinal cord corresponding to the individual (Auriculotherapy)
sections of the spinal column along the vertical seg-
mentation. Accordingly, the projections of the cer-
Genital Region Point (Bosch Point
vical nerves are found at the level of the projections
According to Nogier) (Fig. 3.24)
Location. Slightly above the supratragic notch on
of C1 to C7 on the lateral surface of the helix, while
the ascending helix, but at its lower edge, at the
those of the corresponding motor tracts are found
level of the weather point.
on the medial surface of the helix. ◀
Indication. Sexual neurosis, impotence, dyspa-
reunia, migraine.
Indication. Segment-related painful syndromes
(e.g., postherpetic neuralgia, intercostal neu- ▶ Nogier’s naming of this point refers to the paint-
ralgia). ing The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus
Bosch, which may be admired in the Prado in Madrid.
3.1.10 Ascending Helix A detail of this painting shows a little devil piercing
exactly this area with a lancet. ◀
French/Western auriculotherapy and Chinese
ear acupuncture differ significantly in their
Weather Point (Fig. 3.24)
specifications for this region of representation.
Location. Roughly in the middle on the ascend-
Since 1978, this area has been further catego-
ing helix. To be found exactly in in the middle
rized by the French school and has led to the dis-
of an imaginary vertical line connecting the in-
covery of additional reflex zones.
tersection point (on the rim of the ascending
Mutual examination of the research results
helical brim) which is formed by another imag-
has not resulted in a reconciliation of the vary-
inary, almost horizontal, line (caution: does not
ing points of view, let alone in concurring assess-
always run horizontal to the inferior crus). This
ments. Since insufficient information is available
line runs through the pelvis/hip representation
regarding the preferable specifications, localiza-
crossing the rim of the ascending helical brim
tions of points on the ascending helix are pre-
(see intersection point above). From there the
sented here in terms of both schools.
imaginary vertical line leads to the middle of the
supratragic notch and the point is to be found at
approximately half way along the line.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Omega point II

zone Weather point

Point R
prostate zone
Bosch point point I

Fig. 3.24 Points/zones on the ascending helix.

Indication. Vegetative point: Complaints triggered renal insufficiency at the stage of compensated
by hypersensitivity to changes in atmospheric retention).
conditions; disorders such as migraine, cephalal-
gia, insomnia, recurring posttraumatic pain. Omega Point I (Fig. 3.24)
Location. Inside the upper edge of the ascending
Testis/Ovary Point (According to Nogier) helix, approximately at the level of the weather
(Fig. 3.24) point, sometimes rather on the inside of the as-
Location. Inside the cranial wall of the ascend- cending helix.
ing helix, immediately at its emergence from the Indication. This point belongs to the group of
superior concha. vegetative, or autonomic, points. Disorders of the
Indication. Infertility, oligomenorrhea. autonomic nervous system resulting from met-
abolic diseases and environmental factors (e.g.,
Prostate/Uterus Point (According to amalgam fillings).
Nogier) (Fig. 3.24)
Location. At the level of the urethra point (80) Omega Point II (Fig. 3.24)
but on the inside of the ascending helix or helical Location. On the brim of the ascending helix, ven-
brim, above the testis/ovary point. tral to the allergy point (78) (see Fig. 3.23), slightly
Indication. Menstrual disorders, prostatitis, im- above the intersection of the lower edge of the
potence. superior antihelical crus and the rim of the helix.
Indication. The omega point II belongs to the
Renal Parenchyma Zone (According to group of psychotropic points. It acts in a har-
Nogier) (Fig. 3.24) monizing and balancing way in personality dis-
Location. On the inside of the ascending helix be- orders associated with disturbed relationships
tween the upper and lower demarcations of the to the surrounding environment. This includes
triangular fossa. false emotional behavior directed toward other
Indication. Adjuvant in diseases of the re- people, as well as objects (e.g., ruthlessness to-
nal parenchyma (e.g., glomerulonephritis, ward other people and destructive tendencies

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

toward objects). The range of indications in- between a perpendicular drawn from the tho-
cludes continuous aggression resulting from racolumbar transition (antihelix—inferior crus)
disturbed relationships and from other causes. and the helical crus.
Indication. According to the Chinese school:
Point R (According to Bourdiol; Bourdiol menstrual disorders, hemorrhagic diseases (he-
Point, Psychotherapeutic Point) (Fig. 3.24) mostatic effect), singultus (hiccups). According
Location. Right at the ventral edge of the ascend- to the French/Western school: abdominal pain
ing helix, at the transition to the facial skin, at the (spasmolytic effect), hiccups. Fear of examina-
level of the intersection of the inferior antihelical tions, stage fright, functional stomach disorders.
crus and ascending helix. According to the Western view, adjuvant in au-
Indication. As this belongs to the group of the so- tonomic imbalance resulting from severe chronic
called psychotropic points, it is used in psycho- or wasting diseases.
somatic syndromes, such as bronchial asthma,
ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, chronic recur- ▶ This zone is seen as the physiological and geomet-
rent gastrointestinal ulcer, neurodermatitis, pso- ric center of the auricle and is the starting point of
riasis. This area seems to act by harmonizing the Nogier’s lines of treatment (see also ear geometry,
interaction of the two cerebral hemispheres once segment therapy). ◀
a disturbed interaction of the hemispheres has
developed, for example as a result of emotional Furthermore, according to French/Western spec-
traumas, severe chronic diseases, or persistent ifications, the general sensitivity of the auri-
conflict situations. cle—i.e., any lack of reflexes (insensitivity) or any
exaggerated reflexes (hypersensitivity)—is sup-
▶ The name “psychotherapeutic point” comes from posed to be easily influenced here. Accordingly,
this point’s ability to uncover emotions. Bourdiol point zero (82) should be pricked with a silver
(1982) observed this during his research on ear needle in cases of hypersensitivity (a calming
geometry and pointed out that there should be a effect), but with a golden needle in cases of hy-
well-founded bond of trust between physician and posensitivity (a stimulating effect). After a short
patient in order to cushion possible emotional reac- waiting period, the auricle should be searched
tions or the resolution of emotional blocks during again for irritated points (questionable effective-
confidential conversations. ◀ ness).

Frustration Point (Fig. 3.2)

Location. Approximately 3 to 4 mm from the ex-
ternal ear point (20) (see Fig. 3.2) toward the face
on the rim of the ascending helix. Solar
Indication. Belongs to the group of so-called psy- plexus
chotropic points. Psychological strain, tendencies
toward addictive behavior. Point zero
3.1.11 Crus of Helix
Diaphragm Point 82 Point Zero
(According to Nogier) (Also Called Singultus Oppression
point (83)
Point, Start Point of Solar Plexus Zone)
(Fig. 3.25)
Location. Located in a palpable small notch in the
ascending helix just before the transition to the
helical crus. The notch can be best located with
the help of a stirrup-shaped exploring probe or
a spherical dental filler. If there is no notch, it
can be located approximately at the intersection Fig. 3.25 Solar plexus zone and its points.

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

Practical Tip
We do not recommend calibrating the point
detector at point zero, as is frequently postu-
lated. Neutral skin resistance in this area is not
expected because of possible different states of

Oppression Point 83 (Also Called Solar 82

Plexus End Point of Solar Plexus Zone, 85
Bifurcation Point) (Fig. 3.25) Broncho- 86
Location. On the crus of the helix, usually on top plexus point 98
of a small nodule, just before the transition to the 84
plain of the concha. 103 100
Indication. Enuresis, according to the Chinese Cardiac
view. Otherwise, irritable stomach, examination plexus point 101
anxiety, stage fright, functional stomach com-
plaints. 104

3.1.12 Inferior Concha

Based on the concept of the upside-down em-
bryo, it can be deduced that parts of the digestive Fig. 3.26 Inferior concha: zones and plexus points
tract (such as the mouth and esophagus), parts of the internal organs.
of the respiratory tract (including the plexus
points), as well as the autonomic reflex portions
of the heart will be projected on the inferior con- Esophagus Zone 85 (Fig. 3.26)
cha (the reflex zone of the heart, according to Location. This zone extends as a narrow band,
Nogier). starting from the mouth zone (84) along the
lower edge of the helical crus and ending at the
Mouth Zone 84 (Throat Zone) (Fig. 3.26) beginning of the lower third of the helical crus
Location. In the corner of the acoustic meatus at the transition to the cardiac orifice zone (86).
and the ascending helix, but on the plain of the Indication. Hyperemesis, reflux esophagitis, dys-
concha. phagia. (Caution: ascertain the cause.)
Indication. Adjuvant in addictions (e.g., nicotine
addiction), stomatitis (e.g., aphthous stomatitis), Cardiac Orifice Zone (Cardia Zone) 86
paresis of the facial nerve. (Fig. 3.26)
Location. Adjacent to the esophagus zone (85) at
Larynx Zone (Not Illustrated) the lower edge of the dorsal third of the crus of
Location. At the lower dorsal margin of the the helix.
acoustic meatus. Indication. Cardiospasm, functional epigastric
Indication. Aphonia, laryngitis, dysphagia. discomfort, nausea, bloating.

Trachea Zone 103 (Fig. 3.26) Heart Zone 100 (Vegetative Zone)
Location. This zone lies dorsal to the larynx zone (Fig. 3.26)
and mouth zone (84); it is located between the Location. In the center of the inferior concha at
center of the inferior concha and the dorsal edge its deepest point.
of the acoustic meatus. Indication. Autonomic lability, insomnia, depres-
Indication. Adjuvant in tracheobronchitis, asth- sive mood, vegetatively induced arrhythmia of
moid diseases of the respiratory system. the heart (e.g., tachycardia), paroxysmal palpita-
tions, angina pectoris; the point does not relate

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

to the heart as an organ: heart (see medial sur- Indication. In accordance with the meaning of
face of the auricle, p. 64). the triple burner zone in Chinese medicine, in-
dicated in chronic obstipation, predisposition
Cardiac Plexus Point (According to Nogier) to edema.
(Wonder Point) (Fig. 3.26) The definition of this area derives from the at-
Location. At the level of the C3 projection, on the tempt of the Chinese school to apply traditional
plain of the inferior concha at its transition to the Chinese concepts of body acupuncture to the
antihelical wall. auricular microsystem and, in this way, deduce
Indication. Hypersensitivity of the autonomic therapeutic approaches (see König and Wancura,
nervous system associated with symptoms such 1998).
as a tendency to collapse in response to fright
and anxiety. Hyperhidrosis. For further indica- So far, the author has been unable to obtain cor-
tions, see Heart Zone, page 55 (100). responding reproducible results from practical
experience (questionable effectiveness).
Practical Tip
The heart zone (100) and cardiac plexus point Spleen Zone 98 (Fig. 3.26)
have very similar ranges of indications and Location. According to the Chinese specification,
should be included in the treatment according on the dorsal edge of the inferior concha at the
to their state of irritation. level of the C1 to T5/T6 projection, but only on
the left auricle.
Indication. Meteorism (tympanites), urinary in-
Lung Zone 101 (Fig. 3.26) continence, dyspepsia (questionable effective-
Location. The specifications for this area have ness).
been corrected in view of earlier Chinese ear to-
pographies ( König and Wancura 1998). The main
part of this area is located below the heart zone
3.1.13 Superior Concha
(100), reaching toward the caudal transition of Stomach Zone 87 (Fig. 3.27)
the inferior concha to the antihelix; its dorsal de- Location. A relatively extensive area with a wide
marcation is the spleen zone (98). The spleen zone central part, surrounding the transition of the
(98) is represented mainly on the left auricle. helical crus to the concha like a collar. The zone
Indication. Adjuvant in bronchial asthma, chronic borders on the cardiac orifice zone (86) with a
obstructive lung disease, any kind of addiction, small part in the inferior concha, while the larger
bronchitis, and emphysema. According to the part lies in the superior concha.
Chinese school, also adjuvant in skin diseases, Indication. Acute and chronic recurring gastritis,
used as the main zone for anesthesia by ear acu- lack of appetite, eating disorders, nausea, obesity.
Practical Tip
Bronchopulmonary Plexus Point (According If applicable, adjuvant in headache and exces-
to Nogier) (Fig. 3.26) sive strain syndromes.
Location. At the upper margin of the inferior con-
cha at the level of the crus of helix, between the
heart zone (100) and cardiac orifice zone (86). Duodenum Zone 88 (Fig. 3.27)
Indication. Adjuvant in bronchospastic con- Location. This area borders the stomach zone
ditions (e.g., asthmoid bronchitis), bronchial (87) cranioventrally, running as a narrow zone in
asthma, hyperventilation syndrome, chronic ob- a ventral direction.
structive pulmonary disease. Indication. Adjuvant in duodenitis, duodenal ul-
cers, chronic cholecystitis.
Triple Burner Zone 104 (Fig. 3.26)
Location. A relatively wide area caudal to the Small Intestine Zone (Jejunum/Ileum Zone)
acoustic meatus, in the inferior concha between 89 (Fig. 3.27)
the lower part of the tragus and the antitragus. Location. A continuation of the projection of the
digestive tract in a ventral direction, adjacent to

Lateral Surface of Auricle (Front of Ear)

It should be remembered that, with any symp-

toms from the digestive organs, the corresponding
gut sections should be predominantly explored
93 92 for points of maximal irritation.
81 96
91 Urinary Bladder Zone 92 (Fig. 3.27)
89 Location. In the superior concha above the large
97 intestine zone (91) and bordering on the inferior
82 antihelical crus.
87 Indication. Urinary incontinence, cystitis, noc-
turnal enuresis, irritated bladder, lumbago (see
Hypo- segment therapy, p. 67).
point Prostate Zone 93 (According to the
Chinese School) (Fig. 3.27)
Location. Ventral to the urinary bladder zone
(92), in the angle between the ascending helix
and inferior antihelical crus, on the floor of the
superior concha.
Indication. Prostatitis, ischuria, urinary inconti-
nence (questionable effectiveness).

Fig. 3.27 Superior concha: zones and plexus Kidney Zone 95 (Fig. 3.27)
points of the internal organs. Location. This zone lies dorsal to the urinary
bladder zone (92) and parallel to the inferior an-
tihelical crus on the floor of the superior concha
the duodenum zone (88), bordering caudally on at its upper margin.
the middle third of the crus of the helix. Indication. Adjuvant in functional diseases of
Indication. Adjuvant in fermentative dyspepsia, the urogenital tract, including adrenal glands.
diarrhea, Crohn’s disease. Lumbago, dysmenorrhea, migraine. According to
Chinese medicine, also indicated in tinnitus, ear
Large Intestine Zone diseases, hair loss, fractures.
(Appendix Zone IV) 90
Sigmoid—Rectum 91 (Fig. 3.27) ▶ The Chinese school localizes the urethra point (94)
Location. An elongated area adjacent to the small right on the border between the urinary bladder
intestine zone (89) that runs parallel to the heli- zone (92) and kidney zone (95), However, this point
cal crus on the floor of the superior concha and should be viewed as part of the kidney zone and is of
reaches beneath the ascending helix at the inter- little practical importance. ◀
section of inferior antihelical crus and ascending
helix, the hemorrhoid zone (81). In certain conditions (e.g., urolithiasis), the entire
Indication. Chronic obstipation, colitis, hemor- kidney zone exhibits maximal irritation of the
rhoids (hemorrhoid zone), diarrhea. above-mentioned points (see Hypogastric Plexus
Adjuvant in ulcerous colitis. Point).

▶ The appendix zone IV (90), which is separately Hypogastric Plexus Point (Fig. 3.28)
listed by the Chinese school, is proportionately as- Location. In the ventral part of the superior con-
signed by Western ear acupuncture to the adjacent cha, at the border between the urinary bladder
areas of the small intestine zone (89) and large intes- zone (92), kidney zone (95), and large intestine
tine zone (91). ◀ zone (90, 91).
Indication. Ureteral colic, renal colic, colosig-
moidal diverticulitis, colonic colic.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

93 92
Hypogastric 95
plexus point 81 96
85 87
plexus point 98
103 100
plexus point 101


Fig. 3.28 Concha: complete overview of zones of the internal organs and plexus points.

▶ The localization corresponds to the projection Pancreas/Gallbladder Zone 96 (Fig. 3.27)

zone of the inferior mesenteric ganglion according Location. This relatively extensive reflex zone
to Bourdiol (1980); this supplies an identical area lies in the upper region of the superior concha,
(such as the descending colon and the organs of the parallel to the antihelix, just before its transi-
small pelvis) and consists of sympathetic and para- tion to the inferior antihelical crus, opposite the
sympathetic fibers. ◀ duodenum zone (88) and the small intestine

Medial Surface of Auricle (Back of Ear)

zone (89). The zone is demarcated ventrally by 3.2 Medial Surface of Auricle
the kidney zone (95) and dorsally by the liver
zone (97). (Back of Ear)
Here, too, interpretations from the Chinese Although the lateral surface of the auricle is more
and French/Western ear acupuncture differ. Ac- important with regard to diagnosis and therapy,
cording to the Chinese concept, the gallbladder and the reflex zones of the lateral surface apply
is represented only on the right auricle and the to the majority of diseases (provided they are
pancreas only on the left auricle, both under the deemed treatable by ear acupuncture), the pro-
same number (96). jection fields of the medial surface (see Fig. 2.2)
By contrast, French/Western auriculother- should be included in the therapeutic approach.
apy localizes only parts (such as the body and Orientation on the medial surface is more
tail) of the pancreas in the left superior concha, complicated for the physician, and treatment
while the head of the pancreas and the gallblad- less comfortable for the patient. However, the
der are assigned to the right superior concha use of a combination of reflex points on the lat-
(Bourdiol 1980), in agreement with the posi- eral and medial surfaces often results in decisive
tion of the organs in the body relative to sagittal therapeutic breakthroughs (e.g., in joint disease).
cross-sections. Corresponding to the positions on the lateral sur-
Indication. Digestive disorders, chronic recurrent face of the auricle, the projection zones are found
pancreatitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis. immediately opposite on the medial surface. In
view of the broad-based attachment of the au-
Liver Zone 97 (Fig. 3.27) ricle to the cranium, the negative reliefs of some
Location. Toward the antihelix, dorsal to the of the anatomical structures are missing on the
stomach zone (87) in the transition from the su- medial auricular surface. These include the in-
perior concha to the inferior concha. tertragic notch, the tragus, the supratragic notch,
The area varies in size depending on the organ’s and parts of the helical crus, as well as the ventral
position in the body; hence, it is larger on the portions of the triangular fossa and inferior an-
right auricle than on the left auricle, where it tihelical crus. For this reason, the corresponding
makes room for the neighboring pancreas/gall- reflex zones are not found on the medial surface
bladder zone (96) and spleen zone (98) (inferior of the auricle.
concha). While the sensory parts of individual reflex
Indication. Adjuvant in hematological diseases zones are projected on the lateral surface of
(e.g., anemia), hepatopathy, addictions (e.g., the auricle, the motor parts are primarily rep-
abuse of alcohol or medication), intercostal neu- resented in the corresponding reference zones
ralgia. of the medial surface. Consequently, the master
According to Chinese medicine, also indicated in points on the medial surface of the auricle can
eye diseases (questionable effectiveness). intensify the therapeutic stimuli already applied
to the corresponding positions on the lateral sur-
“Hemorrhoid” Zone 81 (Fig. 3.27) face. It is therefore obvious to include them in
Location. Beneath the helical brim, on the floor therapy, especially in diseases of the locomotor
of the superior concha in continuation with the system and the joints.
large intestine zone (91).
Indication. Hemorrhoidal complaints, anusitis,
3.2.1 Overview
anal fissure, obstipation.
General remarks. Usually found immediately op-
▶ The original localization of the rectum zone (81) posite their corresponding sensory projections on
according to the Chinese specification is on the the lateral surface of the auricle, the motor projec-
ascending helix; because of a lack of correlation, tions take the form of slightly smaller areas on the
medial surface. For example, the motor fibers of
it was abandoned in favor of the zone described
the spinal cord are projected on the dorsal rim of
above. ◀
the helical brim, while the sensory parts are repre-
sented on the lateral part of the helical brim.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

Wrist point
Knee joint point
Elbow joint point

Knee joint point

Hip joint point

Zone of

motor tracts

of spinal cord
Cervical spine zone Thora

Shoulder joint point

Retro-Jerome point

Fig. 3.29 Motor parts of the locomotor system on the medial surface of the auricle.

The motor parts of the upper extremities are the cranial end of the sulcus of the superior an-
projected on the eminence of the scapha. The tihelical crus. As is the case on the lateral surface
lower demarcation can be found approximately of the auricle, the zones of the fingers and hand
on a linear elongation of the central posterior are located in the cranial region, while those of
sulcus, while the upper demarcation is at the shoulder and shoulder joint are in the caudal re-
intersection of the eminence of the scapha and gion of this projection zone.

Medial Surface of Auricle (Back of Ear)

The motor parts of the lower extremities are Kidney Point 95 m (Fig. 3.30)
projected on the eminence of triangular fossa Location. At the lower edge of the eminence of
next to the cranial region of the eminence of the the inferior concha, at the transition to the lob-
scapha and partly also on the sulci of the inferior ule.
and superior antihelical crura. Differentiation Indication. Insomnia, vertigo, cephalalgia, dys-
in this zone of representation corresponds to menorrhea (questionable effectiveness).
the representation zone on the lateral surface of
the auricle. For example, the sensory part of the Liver Point 97 m (Fig. 3.30)
French/Western knee joint point (49 a) is found Location. On the eminence of inferior concha
on the lateral auricular surface in the center of close to the antihelical sulcus, opposite the liver
the triangular fossa, while its motor component zone (97) proper of the lateral surface of the
is in the center of the eminence of the triangular auricle.
fossa on the medial surface (Fig. 3.29). Indication. Lumbago, thoracic oppression, joint
problems (questionable effectiveness).
Practical Tip
Apply a pinch grip: using the index finger and Spleen Point 98 m (Fig. 3.30)
thumb—with their tips directly opposing one Location. At the same level as the liver point
another— tentatively pinch the auricle, so that (97 m), at the upper edge of the eminence of
points can be located on the medial surface by the inferior concha, close to the central posterior
using the lateral surface as a guide to orientation. sulcus.
Indication. Fermentative dyspepsia, abdominal
complaints referable to meteorism. Adjuvant in
The inner organs are projected on the lateral sur- diarrhea (questionable effectiveness).
face of the auricle with their zones of representa-
tion in the superior and inferior conchae, on the Lung Point 101 m (Fig. 3.30)
medial surface on the eminence of the superior Location. At the upper edge of the eminence of
and inferior conchae, respectively, and also on the inferior concha, at the same level as the liver
the central posterior sulcus—provided the cor- point (97 m) and the spleen point (98 m), close
responding zones exist on the medial surface to the attachment of the auricle and below the
in view of the broad-based attachment of the central posterior sulcus.
auricle, or at least are present in a reduced form Indication. Skin diseases as understood in Chi-
(see Fig. 3.30). nese medicine, bronchial asthma (questionable
3.2.2 Systematics of Reflex Zones
Heart Point (organ) 100 m (Fig. 3.30)
Chinese School Location. At the upper edge of the eminence of
The zones of representation described below are the triangular fossa, almost in the antihelical sul-
derived from the Chinese school. The letter “m” cus of the superior antihelical crus.
stands for “medial.” Indication. Adjuvant in sleeping disorders, ceph-
Here, the same considerations apply as dis- alalgia, glossitis as understood in Chinese medi-
cussed earlier; i.e., multiple areas identified for cine (questionable effectiveness).
one body area have been registered as master
points without being true reference points. Con- Antihypertension Groove 105 m
sequently, they qualify in practice only as sup- (Fig. 3.30)
portive or enhancing points that are not routinely Location. This groove-type area is located at the
detectable, even if clinical symptoms are present. beginning of the inferior groove of the crus.
In the most recent Chinese literature, the to- Indication. Adjuvant in hypertension.
pography of these areas is described in relatively
vague or fragmentary terms. Presumably, the Practical Tip
results are too unconvincing to allow precise This hypertension-lowering groove is most ef-
specifications. fectively needled as microbloodletting.

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle

100 m

105 m

113 m

106 m

112 m
98 m

Liver point 101 m

97 m

108 m

95 m

114 m

Fig. 3.30 Retro points according to the Chinese school.

Upper Back of Ear Point 106 m Lower Back of Ear Point 108 m
(Fig. 3.30) (Fig. 3.30)
Location. On top of a small cartilaginous tubercle Location. In the center of the eminence of the in-
at the upper edge of the eminence of the superior ferior concha.
concha. Indication. Pain in the back (e.g., thoracic verte-
Indication. Pain in the back, lumbago, skin dis- brae syndrome), pain in the shoulder.
eases as understood in Chinese medicine (ques-
tionable effectiveness).

Medial Surface of Auricle (Back of Ear)

Vagus Nerve Branch Point (Also Called and lower extremities, namely, the joint points
Retro-Point Zero) 112 m (Fig. 3.30) of the hand, elbow, and shoulder, and the joint
Location. In the central posterior sulcus, at the points of the knee and hip, All joint points are
level of the helical crus on the lateral surface of found opposite the corresponding projections
the auricle. on the lateral surface of the auricle. Again, the
Indication. Cephalalgia, swelling of the nasal mu- pinch grip (thumb and index finger) is applied
cosa in rhinitis (little effectiveness in my experi- for orientation.
ence; see also Retro-Point Zero). Furthermore, the somatomotor part of the spi-
Adjuvant in bronchial asthma. nal cord with its motor tracts is projected on the
dorsal rim of the helix at the transition to the em-
Upper Ear Attachment Point 113 m inence of the scapha, demarcated cranially by the
(Fig. 3.30) darwinian tubercle and caudally by the intersec-
Location. At the transition between the sulcus of tion of postantitragal fossa and the rim of helix
the superior antihelical crus and the attachment (according to Kropej 1977; see ear plate).
of the auricle.
Indication. Cephalalgia, abdominal pain. (Cau- Synthesis Point (According to Nogier) (Not
tion: ascertain the cause.) Illustrated)
Location. At the attachment of the ear, in a small
Adjuvant in bronchial asthma, paresis (see also groove formed below the central posterior sul-
Lower Ear Attachment Point 114 m) (question- cus; it is visible when pressing the lower half of
able effectiveness). the auricle slightly toward the face.
Indication. For strengthening the constitution
Lower Ear Attachment Point 114 m (e.g., in cases of cerebral palsy, toxic exposures,
(Fig. 3.30) predisposition to infections) (questionable effec-
Location. Close to the caudal curvature of the tiveness).
sulcus of the inferior concha, at the transition
between the lobule and the attachment of the Retro-Thalamus Point (Fig. 3.31)
auricle. Location. Opposite the thalamus point (26 a) of
Indication. Cephalalgia, abdominal pain. the lateral surface of the auricle.
Adjuvant in bronchial asthma, paresis (see also Indication. Adjuvant in severe pain syndromes
Upper Ear Attachment Point 113 m) (question- (e.g., malignant diseases, severe neuralgia, joint
able effectiveness). problems).

Retro-Antiaggression Point (Fig. 3.31)

French/Western School Location. Directly opposite the corresponding
The French/Western ear acupuncture (auric- point of the lateral surface of the auricle (see
ulotherapy) described by Nogier and Bourdiol pinch grip, p. 61).
(1980) is committed to a more precise topog- Indication. Adjuvant in conditions of psychologi-
raphy. As is the case with the lateral surface of cal strain, in conditions with suppressed aggres-
the auricle, orientation is provided by the rep- sion.
resentation zone of the spinal column, (see Fig.
3.29, Fig. 3.30) which is projected in the antihe- Retro-Jerome Point (Fig. 3.31)
lical sulcus. The zone that stretches from here Location. Directly opposite the Jerome point
to the attachment of the ear and includes the (29 b) of the lateral surface of the auricle, i.e., on
eminences of the inferior and superior conchae the back of the postantitragal fossa (see pinch
accommodates the sensorimotor representation grip, p. 61).
fields of the inner organs. Located on the emi- Indication. Adjuvant in insomnia, especially in
nence of the scapha, between the antihelical sul- difficulty with sleeping through (dysphylaxia).
cus and the rim of the helical brim, and on the
eminence of the triangular fossa and in the sul- Retro-Point Zero (Fig. 3.31)
cus of the superior antihelical crus, respectively, Location. In the central posterior sulcus oppo-
are the motor projection fields of the upper site point zero (82) (see Fig. 3.25) of the lateral

3 Systematic Localization of Points on the Auricle


Heart zone
Intestine zone

Retro-point zero

Retro-Jerome Stomach zone

Synthesis point
thalamus point

Lung zone

Fig. 3.31 Retro points and internal organs on the medial surface according to the French/Western school.

surface of the auricle. On account of its location, Indication. Spasmolytic effect in abdominal spas-
this point probably corresponds to the vagus modic conditions; effective in combination with
nerve branch point 112 m (see Fig. 3.30) (see point zero of the lateral surface of the auricle
pinch grip, p. 61). (e.g., acute gastroenteritis, functional abdominal

4 Special Points and Treatment Areas
The following is a summary of points and areas Occiput Point 29 (Fig. 4.1)
that are frequently combined in daily practice. This is located in the postantitragal fossa. It be-
For orientation, they are assigned particular di- longs to a special group of points (29 a, 29 b, and
rections of action and will be explained in detail 29 c) as well as to the sensory line. Apart from
beyond this classification. its analgesic effect, it has a calming and sedative
effect, and it harmonizes the mind.

4.1 Analgesic Points Practical Tip

These points first and foremost include those areas A special feature is its particular effectiveness in
that are distinguished by their varying analgesic headaches of various origins, including tension
effect. headaches, as well as neuralgiform pain syn-
dromes in the region of the face and head.
Shen Men Point 55 (Fig. 4.1)
This is located at the upper edge of the triangular
fossa. It is effective as a general pain point with Forehead Point 33 (Fig. 4.1)
additional antiphlogistic effect. It is used, in par- This is located at the ventral end of the sensory
ticular, when diseases of the locomotor system line (29, 35, 33) (see Fig. 4.3). It is effective for
have become inflammatory or are derived from headaches affecting the forehead (e.g., sinusitis,
trauma. Because of its analgesic action, this point concussion, neuralgia). It acts as an adjuvant in
is also effective in the treatment of addictions sleep disorders and nonsystemic vertigo.
(see Treatment of Addictions, Chapter 9.11).
Vegetative Point II 34 (Subcortex Point,
Practical Tip Gray Substance Point) (Fig. 4.1)
In Chinese ear acupuncture, this point is the This is located on the inside of the antitragus
only general pain point and is used in almost ventral to the thalamus point. This zone carries
all pain syndromes. Hence, it makes sense to a special status among the analgesic points. It is
include this point, depending on its state of ir- also very effective in conditions involving chronic
ritation, in the therapy of special disorders such pain, including rheumatoid arthritis and chronic
as migraine. neuralgia, as well as in systemic vertigo, tinnitus,
and hyperemesis gravidarum. It acts as an adju-
vant in diabetic polyneuropathy.
Thalamus Point 26 a (Fig. 4.1)
This point is located on the inside of the antitra- Sun Point 35 (Fig. 4.1)
gus at its base. It represents the corresponding The sun point is located on the outside of the
brain part and its function as the central portal antitragus in its base, as the central point of the
of entry and filter of all afferent pain signals. It sensory line. This point is extraordinarily ef-
is only important in serious conditions involving fective, particularly for parietal headaches and
generalized pain. Thus, its range of applications migraines; it is the point of first choice when
applies mainly to severe chronic pain syndromes, treating any one of this assortment of symptoms.
pain associated with malignant diseases, phan-
tom limb pain, and other severe pain conditions Practical Tip
(e.g., an acute migraine attack or acute sciatica). Because of its pronounced effectiveness, the
sun point (35) is the starting point in the treat-
▶ Irritation of this point is usually only detectable ment of acute migraine attacks, particularly in
in severe pain conditions related to the disorders re- combination with the occiput point (29) and
ferred to above. ◀ thalamus point (26 a).

4 Special Points and Treatment Areas

Shen men
point (55)

Occiput point (29)

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point,
Roof point (36)
gray substance point)
Thalamus point (26 a)
(inside of antitragus)
Forehead point
Sun point
(located on the inside)
Analgesia point

Inside of antitragus Thalamus point

(26 a)
Vegetative point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance point)

Fig. 4.1 Analgesic points.

Vegetative Groove (According to Lange)

Roof Point 36 (Fig. 4.1) on the helix, the representation zone of the spi-
Located below the occiput point (29), this point nal cord). Based on each disturbed or irritated
has a relatively narrow range of indications; its point in this zone, a modified segment therapy
analgesic effect relates to the parietal area of the can be developed. This is achieved by drawing an
skull. For this reason, it is only important as an imaginary line that connects the irritated point
auxiliary point in certain types of cephalgia. with point zero (diaphragm point, 82, according
to the Chinese school) (Fig. 4.2). This line serves
Retro-Thalamus Point (see Fig. 3.1) as a segmental line of treatment, along which, in
This is located opposite the thalamus point (26 a) analogy to Nogier’s ear geometry, several addi-
(identify it using a pinch grip) of the lateral sur- tional irritated points are often found up to the
face of the auricle. This point is used for the same helical brim and therefore may be included in the
spectrum of indications as the thalamus point. It therapy. The following take-home message ap-
can be applied effectively when alternated with plies to the vegetative groove:
the thalamus point in malignant diseases and
when short or daily treatment intervals are re- ▶ Embarking on diagnosis and therapy for a loco-
quired. motor system disease is simple and effective when
using the segmental approach. ◀
Analgesia Point (Fig. 4.1)
This point is located at the ventral edge of the
lobule at the level of the “ventral quadrant” of
the ear, slightly ventral and caudal to the mas-
ter omega point. The analgesia point, which is
derived from Nogier’s approach, is effective in
indications listed for the thalamus point (26 a).
In severe pain conditions, it is usually combined
with the thalamus point (26 a) and also with the
retro-thalamus point (see Fig. 3.31).

4.2 Vegetative Groove x

(According to Lange) Point zero (82)


The vegetative groove is located at the edge of

the scapha beneath the helical brim. This projec-
tion zone of the origin of sympathetic nuclei (or
intermediolateral nuclei, 31) was recognized by
Lange as an indicator zone for the segmental de-
marcation of diseases or pain syndromes as de-
fined by Nogier’s ear geometry, and was labeled
the vegetative groove. Our own practical experi-
ence confirms that the most sensitive points are
found more often in this zone rather than in the
corresponding region of the helix. Especially in
diseases of the locomotor system, this allows the
novice to produce impressive therapeutic results
using segment therapy (formerly ear geometry)
in this area. Nogier and Bourdiol defined this
groove as the zone of neurovegetative centers of
the spinal cord, without realizing that these can Fig. 4.2 Example of a segmental line of treatment
be regarded as diagnostic guide points (due to between the vegetative groove/point zero and
their higher sensitivity) and as vegetative con- reactive points (small crosses) in the zone of
trol points indicative of the diseased segment paravertebral muscles and ligaments of the spinal
(because they are more effective than the points cord.

4 Special Points and Treatment Areas

4.3 Sensory Line 4.4 Vertigo Line

The sensory line described by Nogier is located The identification of the so-called vertigo line
at the base of the antitragus at the transition to (Fig. 4.3) can be traced back to a publication, in
the lobule. Its course is defined by the following 1981, from the 12th World Congress of Ear, Nose,
three points: occiput point (29), sun point (35), and Throat (ENT) Specialists in Budapest. The pa-
and forehead point (33) (Fig. 4.3). per was presented by the Drs Pildner von Stein-
Nogier’s original specifications relate to a burg, ENT specialists from Munich, under the title
short, elongated zone around the sun point (35) “Central vestibular dysfunction—its treatment by
that runs parallel to the base of the antitragus. acupuncture as a selective reflex therapy.” The
He described this as being effective especially for vertigo line contains grouped points on the auri-
tinnitus. cle that can normalize the dysfunction of vestib-
Apart from this, treatment through the sen- ular neurons through reflexes. The points can be
sory line is also effective in cephalalgia. This line found on two lines that lie roughly perpendicular
of treatment is especially important in cases of to each other. One line runs almost horizontally
cephalalgia triggered by extraordinary irrita- on the inside of the antitragus, just below its up-
tion of the sensory nerve center, hence its name, per rim (the dotted line in Fig. 4.3). The other line
through either the eyes, the ears, or the nose (e.g., intersects the first line at the level of the post-
migraines triggered by odor or noise). antitragal fossa. It is identical to the postantitragal
Furthermore, the sensory line is used in com- line until it intersects with the scapha (Jerome
bination with segment therapy (formerly ear point, 29 b). The postantitragal line then contin-
geometry) in headaches originating from the ues in direction of the dorsal helix and crosses it
vertebrae. Here, it enables a simple and reliable at a right angle.
therapeutic approach when embarking on indi- On both of these imaginary lines, three or
vidualized headache therapy. four irritated points can be detected in certain

Occiput point (29)

Sun point (35)

Forehead point (33)

Sensory line

Vertigo line

Located on the inside

of the tragus
(part of the vertigo

Fig. 4.3 Sensory line and vertigo line.

Vegetative Points

diseases, particularly in vestibular vertigo (i.e., Vegetative Point II/Subcortex—34 (See Gray
systemic and directional forms of vertigo), but Substance Point) (Fig. 4.4)
often also with concomitant symptoms (such Located on the inside of the antitragus, this point
as cervical syndrome, conditions resulting from has similar indications for use. In addition, how-
craniocerebral trauma, and those arising after an ever, this point is of special importance in the
acute, sudden loss of hearing). Needle stimula- treatment of acute and chronic pain, as well as
tion at these irritated points quickly causes the chronic diseases in general, tinnitus, and condi-
vestibular dysfunction to subside. tions following stroke.
It is certainly no coincidence that the vertigo
line can be demonstrated within the areas of the Note. Both reflex zones—vegetative Points I and II—
inner antitragal surface and the postantitragal are major accompanying points in the treatment of
line, both of which are densely covered with re-
flex zones. The irritated areas are often identical
with defined points, such as the brainstem point
(25), kinetosis point (29 a), occiput point (29), or Heart Zone 100 (Fig. 4.4)
Jerome point (29 b). This is located in the center of the inferior
In all other types of vertigo, treatment via the concha. According to the assignments of ear
vertigo line is not effective. For example, with somatotopy, this point is not regarded as a rep-
conditions that belong to the spectrum of non- resentation zone of the heart as an organ per se,
systematic vertigo, the sensory line or other in- but instead represents its autonomic sensory
dividually applicable areas of ear somatotopy function. Therefore, this point is indicated in the
should be considered. treatment of autonomic lability in patients with
sleeping disorders and for intermittent states of
inadequate agitation, symptoms such as inad-
4.5 Vegetative Points equate fright and anxiety-induced tachyrhyth-
mias, collapse dispositions, hyperhidrosis, and
These points on the auricle are reflex zones that
paroxysmal tachycardia, as well as related organ
are effective in harmonizing the autonomic ner-
vous system (Fig. 4.4). They should be monitored
At this juncture, the following points should
for their state of irritation, especially when the
again be listed: occiput point (29) and Jerome
clinical picture includes, as is often the case, con-
point (29 b). Although their function in the field
comitant, individually pronounced vegetative–
of autonomic disorders is only adjuvant, they do
dystonic symptoms, irrespective of their primary
have a accompanying harmonizing effect on the
or secondary nature. The vegetative points are
vegetative system due to their principal specific
also detectable in autonomic disorders that can-
not be assigned to any specific syndrome, and
they are therefore therapeutically useful. Veg-
etative point I (51), vegetative point II (subcor- Occiput Point 29 (Fig. 4.4)
tex), and the heart zone (100) are particularly This point is located in the postantitragal fossa.
effective in harmonizing the autonomic nervous Due to its accompanying vegetative effect, it is
system. They are named accordingly and show included in the treatment approach for numer-
certain differences with regard to their specific ous (not just pain-dominated) diseases, includ-
effects. ing vertigo and circulatory instability (also listed
with Analgesic Points, see Chapter 4.1).
Vegetative Point I 51 (Fig. 4.4)
This is located on the inferior antihelical crus at Jerome Point 29 b (Fig. 4.4)
the intersection with the brim of the ascending This point is located at the intersection of the
helix. It is effective as an adjuvant point, mainly postantitragal line and scapha. Its main range of
in dysfunctions of the intestine and cardiovascu- indications includes sleeping disorders, as well as
lar system, as well as in pulmonary dysfunctions. feelings of tension (as it has a muscle-relaxing ef-
In addition, it is often used in dysmenorrhea, fect). It often turns out to be irritated in very dif-
fertility disorders in both sexes, and addictive ferent conditions. It is not a vegetative point, but
disorders. with its accompanying harmonizing effect on the

4 Special Points and Treatment Areas

Vegetative point I (51)

Omega point I

Cardiac plexus point

Heart zone (100)

Occiput point (29)

Vegetative point II (subcortex

point, gray substance point)

Jerome point (29 b)

Antiaggression point

Fig. 4.4 Points with impact on the vegetative system.

vegetative system, it often provides a supporting, Cardiac Plexus Point (According to Nogier)
vegetatively harmonizing impulse in painful clin- (Wonder Point) (Fig. 4.4)
ical conditions (e.g., lumbago–sciatica syndrome, The cardiac plexus point is located in the inferior
intercostal neuralgia, cervico-occipital neural- concha close to the wall of the antihelix, at the
gia), as well as in globus hystericus, hiccups, and level of the C3 projection. This vegetative point is
hyperhidrosis. used for the same indications as the heart zone

Psychotropic Points

(100) and can be combined with this point (see may include several psychotropic (PT) points.
p. 55). These points are numbered consecutively and,
irrespective of their suggestive original names
Omega Point I (Fig. 4.4) (the verification of which may be problematic),
Located inside the upper edge of the ascending may be included in the therapeutic concept.
helix, close to the weather point, this is not a The psychotropic zone on the ventral part of the
distinct vegetative point. However, it may be de- lobule, below the intertragic notch, includes the
tected in vegetative disorders of the autonomic following psychotropic points:
nervous system resulting from metabolic dis- – PT1 = (formerly antiaggression point).
eases and environmental factors. – PT2 = (formerly anxiety/worry point).
In the psychotropic zone on the dorsal part of
Weather Point (Fig. 3.24) the lobule, at approximately the same levels as
Located on the ascending helix, this is definitely PT1 and PT2, the following psychotropic points
a specific vegetative point in cases of hypersen- can be found:
sitivity to changes in atmospheric conditions. It – PT3 = (formerly antidepression point).
is used in all disorders triggered by this individ- – PT4 = (formerly sorrow/joy point).
ual sensitivity (e.g., postsurgical pain, phantom
pain, insomnia, cephalalgia, and particularly mi- PT1 (Fig. 4.5)
graine). From among a multitude of ear points, only PT1
is detectable in almost all patients with mental
and psychosomatic disorders. It is located slightly
4.6 Psychotropic Points inferior to the intertragic notch.
In connection with this subject, it is important Presumably, even the healthy-looking people
to also refer to the section “Laterality” (see p. 8). of our civilized world suffer from a disturbance
When using the psychotropic points, lateral dom- of this kind as a result of our lifestyle. Unfortu-
inance of the cerebral hemispheres and its repre- nately, the initial, even simplistic, name of the
sentation in auricular somatotopy is supposed to point does not do justice to its wide range of
play an important role (Fig. 4.5). Furthermore, it indications.
should be recalled that treatment of these points Certainly, the indications derived from the
supports the attempt of the two (dominant and symptom of “aggression” predominate, but the
nondominant) hemispheres to achieve harmoni- point is also extremely helpful as an adjuvant in
zation in life, i.e., a kind of inner satisfaction (cau- less spectacular symptoms or diseases (e.g., func-
tion: not self-satisfaction). tional heart problems, cephalalgia, concentration
In all mental disorders that compromise these and sleeping disorders, as well as dysfunction of
attempts, the psychotropic zones of the auricle temperature perception).
are found to be irritated and therefore provide a
therapeutic opportunity to intervene in a stabi- PT2 (Fig. 4.5)
lizing or harmonizing way. Depending on their PT2 is located below the antiaggression point
psychosomatic effects, they may also positively (PT1, in field I of the lobule). This point is mainly
affect organ function. indicated for the resolution of justifiable anxiety
General monitoring of all psychotropic points attacks. In right-handed individuals, this zone
for their state of irritation is reliable in mental or is on the right ear. In case of a vague, undefined
psychotropic disorders and allows for the proper form of anxiety (“angst”), a zone named the
choice of therapeutic points. Hence, the final selec- “worry point” is present at the same location on
tion usually corresponds to the patient’s psycho- the left ear (field I of the lobule, below the antiag-
genesis and medical history. This approach gression point). In left-handed individuals, these
avoids the difficult considerations and laborious correlations are suggested to be reversed. From
research necessary for selecting the proper reflex personal experience, however, this is a dubious
zones. Thus, it seems consistent and reasonable to differentiation.
speak in relatively neutral terms of “psychotropic When the symptoms are less prominent, this
zones,” which, in appropriate circumstances, zone may not be reactive at all.

4 Special Points and Treatment Areas

Omega point II

Point R

Omega point I


(antiaggression point) (antidepression point)

(anxiety/worry point) (sorrow/joy point)

Master omega
point Psychotropic

Fig. 4.5 Psychotropic points.

Psychotropic Points

▶ Therefore, this zone should only be included in regard to people as well as property (e.g., reck-
therapy when all other irritated reflex zones have lessness toward people, destructive tendencies
been exhausted. ◀ toward property). Prolonged aggression based on
this or other origins is part of the indications.

PT3 (Fig. 4.5) Master Omega Point (Fig. 4.5)

PT3 is located almost at the same level as the This is located in the upper dorsal quarter of field
antiaggression point, but in the area of the in- VII, above the analgesia point, and is definitely
tersection of the scaphal ending and the lobule, one of the psychotropic points. It can be detected
below the Jerome point (29 b). It is irritated in in personalities who are burdened by severe dis-
depressive states and depressions resulting from eases (e.g., malignoma, pain syndromes, chronic
stressful living conditions (e.g., following tragic polyarthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.), are un-
events). This point may be useful as an adjuvant able to cope, and cannot accept their suffering.
in so-called endogenous depression, possibly in The use of this point supports psychological and
combination with other psychotropic points. mental harmonization and acceptance of the suf-
fering (see Fig. 3.11).
Note. Treatment should preferably always be car-
ried out in collaboration with a competent psychi- Point R (According to Bourdiol)
atric colleague. (Psychotherapeutic Auxiliary Point)
(Fig. 4.5)
Located at the ventral edge of the ascending he-
PT4 (Fig. 4.5) lix, in the facial skinfold at the level of the inter-
PT4 is located at the same level as PT2 but on the section of the inferior and superior antihelical
dorsal part of the lobule, slightly more dorsally crura. This psychotropic point has a very particu-
than and below the antidepression point—a psy- lar characteristic. The name psychotherapeutic
chotropic reflex area. This area carries the alter- auxiliary point is based on the psychologically
native name of the “sorrow/joy” point, depending revealing nature of this point, which Bourdiol
on the individual’s handedness: in right-handed discovered during his research on ear geometry.
individuals, the point is supposedly assigned to He points out that the use of this point requires
the emotional state of joy, and in left-handed in- a sound bond of trust between physician and
dividuals to that of sorrow. patient in order to process possible psychological
This differentiation is dubious and from per- reactions, resolving psychological blockages
sonal experience inexplicable. It also needlessly during a confiding conversation.
complicates the selection of this point. Its range of indications includes its adjuvant
use in psychosomatic syndromes, such as bron-
Omega Point II (Q II) (Fig. 4.5) chial asthma, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease,
Located on the brim of the ascending helix, chronic recurrent gastrointestinal ulcer, neuro-
this lies ventral to the allergy point (78) (see dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Fig. 3.23). Needling of this point supposedly harmonizes
This point belongs to the group of psycho- the interaction between the two cerebral hemi-
tropic points and has a harmonizing and balanc- spheres when this has been disturbed (e.g., due
ing effect in personality disorders with disturbed to psychological trauma, severe chronic diseases,
relationships to the surrounding environment. or prolonged situations of conflict).
This includes psychological misconduct with


5 Introduction 76 8.5 Strength of Stimulus,

5.1 Patient History 76 Treatment Intervals, and
5.2 Therapeutic Obstacles and Duration of Sessions 101
Special Situations 77 8.6 Combination with Other
5.3 Diagnostic Clues through Methods of Stimulation 103
Inspection and Palpation 78
9 Established Indications 105
6 Basic Tools and Procedures 80 9.1 Diseases of the Eye 105
6.1 Pressure Palpation of Points 80 9.2 Diseases of Ear, Nose, and
6.2 Electrical Detection of Points 80 Throat 108
6.3 “Very Point” Technique 82 9.3 Diseases of the Respiratory
System 114
6.4 Vascular Autonomic Signal,
Réflexe Auriculocardiac, 9.4 Diseases of the Cardiovascular
Nogier’s Reflex 83 System 117
6.5 Needling Technique and 9.5 Diseases of the Gastro-
Choice of Needles 84 intestinal Tract 120
9.6 Gynecological Disorders 124
7 Methods of Stimulation 87 9.7 Urinary Tract Disorders 137
7.1 Needling and Electrical 9.8 Diseases of the Locomotor
Stimulation 87 System 140
7.2 Infiltration of Points and 9.9 Neurological Disorders 147
Zones 88 9.10 Skin Diseases 153
7.3 Use of the Soft Laser 88 9.11 Treatment of Addictions 156
7.4 The Use of Laser in Ear
Acupuncture 89 10 Examples of Therapy for Use
7.5 Auricular Massage 94 in Practice 164
7.6 Microphlebotomy 96 10.1 Diseases of the Eye 164
7.7 Methods of Continuous 10.2 ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat)
Stimulation 96 Diseases 169
10.3 Respiratory Diseases 177
8 Practical Approach 99 10.4 Cardiovascular Diseases 180
8.1 Preparation and Positioning of 10.5 Gastrointestinal Diseases 180
the Patient 99 10.6 Gynecological Diseases 188
8.2 Choice of Primary Therapeutic 10.7 Urological Diseases 191
Access 99 10.8 Diseases of the Locomotor
8.3 Choice of Supplementary System 197
Points 100 10.9 Neurological Disorders 207
8.4 Choice of Stimulation 10.10 Skin Diseases 215
Method 101 10.11 Psychological Disorders 217
5 Introduction
The success of any therapeutic approach largely Clarification and consideration of obstacles to
depends on the proper selection of indications, therapy:
and this principle—commonplace in medical – In acute inflammation, e.g., due to piercing in
practice—should be borne in mind for any ther- an area important to somatotopy.
apeutic procedure. It is especially important to – Presence of scars (interference field according
follow this principle in ear acupuncture; the to Huneke).
reflex zones of the auricle allow one to apply – Status following otoplasty.
therapeutic stimuli to any organ or body part – Blockages. ◀
without achieving the maximal effect that is
possible when proceeding strictly as indicated
by the diagnosis. It is exactly this possibility of 5.1 Patient History
always achieving a certain therapeutic effect
Some of the aforementioned criteria can only
that may tempt someone into treating a com-
be reliably established by a thorough analysis
plete range of diseases with ear acupuncture,
of the patient’s history. As in any field of medi-
more or less according to the “principle of a
cine, one of the most important building blocks
watering can.” The fact that the reflex relation-
in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches is the
ships of the auricular microsystem, while cer-
physician’s diagnostic skill in relation to a spe-
tainly surprisingly complex, are not uniformly
cific procedure. This applies also to acupunc-
formed for all illnesses or syndromes is often
ture and ear acupuncture, even when there is
disregarded, but this fact should always be kept
already a diagnosis in terms of Western med-
in mind during therapy.
icine or when the patient is presenting with
Hence, the most important step in achieving a
such a diagnosis.
therapeutic result is an accurate diagnosis or an
It is recommended that the practitioner review
identification of the appropriate syndrome.
the Western diagnosis, including the patient’s
If these basic considerations or criteria are ig-
history, according to the descriptive system of
nored, the outcome of the therapy will be mod-
Chinese medicine and also to interpret it as a
erate, or even so poor that the therapist will find
proper complex of symptoms, or syndrome. In
little encouragement and will most likely soon
this way, it is easier—especially for the novice—
give up the procedure.
to put together a defined combination of points
and, if necessary, to include meaningful body
▶ The diagnosis is arrived at according to the
following aspects:
In order to arrive at a detailed description of
Does the syndrome belong to the sphere of indi- a syndrome, Chinese diagnostics relies far more
cations defined for ear acupuncture? intensely than modern Western medicine on
– As the therapeutic method of first choice? the perception achieved by the five senses. This
– Only in combination with other therapies, is not without influence on the structure of the
e.g., body acupuncture? patient’s history.
– Only as a complementary therapy? As a first step, one should ask for the patient’s
Is the syndrome acute or chronic? subjective perception. Their state of well-being,
– The main areas of indications for ear acupunc- case history, personal feeling of being sick, stress
ture are acute and acutely recurring diseases. load, and stress tolerance should be recorded and
Does the patient’s constitution and/or sensitivity taken into consideration.
permit successful treatments? As a second step, the localization of the dis-
– If necessary, pretreat with medication and/or ease should be determined on the basis of the
body acupuncture. patient’s statements. As defined by Chinese med-
– If necessary, wait until a better time can be icine, one should clarify whether the superfi-
chosen. cial or deep layers (the biao–li relationship) are

Therapeutic Obstacles and Special Situations

affected and, if necessary, which channels are External pathogenic factors (in particular, so-
involved. In Chinese ear acupuncture, the reflex called foci and, above all, viral infections) often
zones of the auricle to be selected for therapy lead to stubborn neuralgia and paralytic symp-
are those corresponding to the affected channel toms. Other external factors include bioclimatic
or the related group of functions. For example, if influences (wind, cold), which play an import-
the large intestine channel is involved, the large ant role in the choice of points when looking at
intestine zone in the superior concha or the lung weather sensitivity or weather dependency.
zone in the inferior concha (which corresponds Internal pathogenic factors (especially situ-
to the linked lung channel) may be examined for ations involving psychological strain and con-
irritated points and needled accordingly. Fur- flict) have an effect when the ability to resolve
thermore, the stomach channel, which also be- conflicts is poor. In addition, emotional traumas
longs to this axis, or its reflex zone, the stomach from long ago may be very important for the clas-
zone in the region of the helical crus, can be ex- sification of symptoms, and hence for the choice
amined for irritated areas. of points.
These channel-based concepts of the Chinese Finally, one should also look into the patient’s
school do not correspond to the direct reflex re- history for food incompatibilities, including real
lationships between the auricular microsystem allergic reactions. In doing so, one should espe-
and the inner organs or body parts. Therefore, cially consider that food incompatibilities can
the unverified arbitrary transfer of traditional induce a multitude of symptoms affecting the en-
Chinese concepts to the auricular reflex system tire body, sometimes triggering symptoms only
must be critically examined. after a latency period of 3 days. Neglecting these
The third diagnostic question relates to the aspects will make any therapeutic attempt inef-
intensity of the complaints (how severe, and for fective and will promote the stigma of these pa-
how long?) and the accompanying symptoms. tients being “imaginary ” or “problem” patients.
The answers provide clues to the “energetic” sit- Systematic treatment of the cause is not part of
uation, i.e., vacuity (xu) or repletion (shi). In ear the range of indication of ear acupuncture.
acupuncture, the prevailing state leads to the
choice of a particular type of stimulus and appro-
priate treatment intervals, as well as of comple- 5.2 Therapeutic Obstacles
mentary treatment through body acupuncture if and Special Situations
necessary. Further clues to the classification of
As with body acupuncture, the phenomenon of
the syndrome as a sign of repletion or vacuity are
ineffective treatment can also be found with ear
derived, for example from the patient’s speak-
acupuncture. A possible reason for this may be that
ing in a full or low voice or from the breathing
one is dealing with a so-called nonresponder—a
rare occurrence. Another reason could be the
The fourth step of characterization describes
wrong diagnosis, which is more often the case.
the type of complaint (paroxysmal, continuing,
Apart from this, certain obstacles to therapy
inflammatory, traumatic?) and will influence the
might play a role, and these need to be identi-
choice of reflex zones or points. For example, the
fied in the patient’s history. As partially listed in
reflex zones to be examined in cases of inflam-
Patient’s History, Chapter 5.1, and also addressed
matory and painful symptoms are different from
under “Contraindications, Chapter 1.6,” these ob-
those for diseases caused by poor posture or in-
stacles include physical conditions such as:
creased tension.
Abuse of sleeping pills or analgesic drugs.
The fifth step, the search for the cause of com-
Chronic inflammatory processes.
plaints (why?), is of the utmost importance for
Status after otoplasty.
the patient’s history—as is also well known in
Condition after cerebral or spinal cord trauma,
Western medicine—otherwise any treatment
including surgical interventions.
will only try to cure the symptoms without
Chronic fatigue (e.g., in anemia, after radiation
achieving permanent results. In this regard, the
therapy, in radiation sickness, etc.).
essential and fundamental aspects must also be
worked out for ear acupuncture.

5 Introduction

In addition, French/Western ear acupuncture 5.3 Diagnostic Clues through

(auriculotherapy according to Nogier) describes
special types of obstacles to therapy.
Inspection and Palpation
For example, the so-called blockade of the first 5.3.1 Visual Inspection
rib, signifying a shift of the first rib resulting in
If possible, the auricle should be investigated in
pressure on the stellate ganglion beneath the
natural light when looking for color changes, scale
head of the rib, is thought to cause an imbalance
formation, and red dots; a simple magnifying
between sympathetic and parasympathetic in-
glass can be used if necessary. Thus, acute local
teractions, which interferes with the therapeutic
inflammations resembling blackheads can be
outcome. Such conditions can be diagnosed using
found which can be assigned to certain reflex
a simple manual technique. In this, pressure is
zones. The diagnostic interpretation of visible
evenly applied with both hands on the bend be-
changes on the auricle is based on the traditional
tween the neck and the shoulder, in the direction
knowledge of Chinese doctors on the reflex
of the sternum. The painful side corresponds to
relationships between the body’s surface and the
the blocking first rib. Among the possible causes
internal organs (the biao– li relationship). Thanks
are improper weight-bearing due to heavy lifting
to the English physician Head (1893), such reflex
or unilateral physical load or overload, including
relationships have also become known to modern
as a result of sports activities.
Western medicine—which makes good use of
One therapy consists of manual adjustment
them, e.g., in the trigger point therapy. Because
performed “lege artis,” but this requires special
of the special interactions of ear somatotopy,
chiropractic training. Another possible treatment
disease-related events of the internal organs
is segment therapy, as described by Nogier. Pref-
and other, more distant, body parts can express
erential treatment is applied to the ipsilateral ear
themselves as changes in the skin, blood vessels,
(with regard to the location of the illness).
or cartilage of the auricle.
Locate the point of maximal irritation in the
vegetative groove at the level of T1/ T2 and nee-
dle it. ! Caution
On the connecting line with point zero (82), also Do not under any circumstances needle such
treat the point of maximal irritation within the changed areas.
zone of paravertebral muscles and ligaments (on Until they subside, these hypersensitive
the scapha) as this is thought to correspond to areas should be considered for diagnosis only.
the first rib.
Furthermore, there may also be sensitivity of
the stellate ganglion point within the zone of Not all signs can be taken as reflex events. For
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia at example, there are sclerotic changes in the lob-
the level of C7/T1. ule that occur in direct connection with coronary
heart disease—first documented by Steinlieb
According to the concept of auriculotherapy, an- (1974) and more recently been confirmed by
other obstacle to therapy is instability of later- several studies. According to these studies, a
ality, as a result of which all reflex responses in high percentage of coronary patients, compared
the auricular microsystem are thought to be dis- with the healthy control group, show a sclerosed
turbed. For diagnosis and therapy, a so-called lat- groove on the lobule running in a craniodorsal di-
erality control point is presented that is located rection (a “stress groove”). However, this groove
in the facial skin approximately 4 cm ventral to does not result from a reflex relationship of this
the midpoint of the tragus. If this point is found area with the heart; rather, it can be traced back
by using Nogier’s reflex, it should be treated ei- to a correlating degenerative sclerotic process of
ther with gold or silver needles depending on connective tissue in the lobule and, similarly, in
whether the patient is right- or left-handed. the coronary vessels. Therefore, this phenome-
Objective studies on this topic are at present non—like other similar observations in the Chi-
unavailable, and therefore this procedure must nese literature—should be interpreted as defined
be critically examined. by the “relation pathology” described by Rieker.

Diagnostic Clues through Inspection and Palpation

Normal variations in the shape of the auricle Note. Conspicuous skin alterations in the area of the
as well as malformations, which have resulted in auricle must not be interpreted on their own as a
the questionable discipline of “ear physiognomy” diagnostic landmark without considering additional
and all its interpretations and characteristic con-
aspects of the patient’s history or clinical condition.
clusions, are completely ineligible as criteria in
ear acupuncture. These types of interpretation
should be consigned to the past. 5.3.2 Examination by Palpation
The Chinese school describes certain skin al-
As a general measure for orientation and, osten-
terations that are frequently observed in the
sibly, as an initial step in searching for pressure
stomach zone (87); these often correlate with
points (see p. 80), it makes sense first to palpate
stomach ulcers and acute or chronic gastri-
the auricle with the thumb and index finger and
tis. These observations have been confirmed in
examine it for conspicuously pressure-sensitive
my own practice, although not with the same
regions, nodules, etc. Using this approach, it is
specificity. In severe gastroduodenal affections,
possible to identify the first clues to the affected
dotlike, whitish changes with a fuzzy reddish
zones or segments, e.g., in the projection zone of
outline can be observed in the duodenum zone.
the spinal column on the antihelix and in the rep-
However, it is not possible to identify the type
resentation zones of the locomotor system. This
of gastrointestinal disease as postulated in the
is followed by a detailed examination using an
Chinese literature. Following precise testing with
acupuncture point detector, in order to demar-
the point-finder or pressure probe, an appropri-
cate the area of maximal irritation.
ate needle stimulus can then be applied at the
The patient finds this technique of preliminary
visually conspicuous area. According to Chinese
examination by palpation and gentle massage
observations, obvious skin alterations also oc-
very comfortable, usually even in anticipation
cur in the lung zone (101) during lung diseases
of subsequent treatment (see also Chapter 7.5
(e.g., chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial
Auricular Massage, p. 94).
asthma); these changes can be interpreted as di-
agnostic clues.

6 Basic Tools and Procedures
6.1 Pressure Palpation For daily use, however, it is recommended that
more sophisticated devices are employed for
of Points pressure palpation. The telescopic pressure
The accurate localization of points is really just probe (Figs. 6.1 and 6.3) features a spring-
the continuation of ear palpation in a more re- loaded tip and provides a relatively constant
fined manner, focusing on the point, by using an pressure during the examination, as long as the
auxiliary probing device with a fine, pointed tip tip is moved within the resilient range and is
that is rounded to avoid injuring the skin. The tip not completely pushed in. It is important, how-
should be roughly the size of the tip of a fine ball- ever, to find a tip that is not too clumsy to use,
point pen; the latter may actually be used as a as is often the case with these devices; the tip
pressure probe once it has been emptied by writ- should measure no more than 0.3 mm in diame-
ing. The spherical filler used by dentists (Fig. 6.2) ter. The telescopic pressure probe was originally
is more practical and, due to its angled shape, designed by Nogier to differentiate between the
is a very handy and inexpensive alternative. In postulated zones (or layers) of resonance in the
addition, the bridge between the crank and ball skin of the ear, depending on how hard the probe
may be used as a stirrup probe. was pressed against the skin (between 150 and
A variation of pressure palpation is the use of 250 pond).
a stirrup-shaped ear probe for examining edged
or convex cartilaginous structures of the auricle
for tenderness or notches. It is recommended 6.2 Electrical Detection
that the practitioner use the stirrup probe for
exploring areas such as the antihelix, the crus of
of Points
the helix, and the ascending helix. In this way, for Prerequisites. This neutral method of searching
example, the diaphragm point (82), or point zero, for points acts independently of the patient’s
can be detected as a small notch in the cartilage subjective cooperation and leads to much more
just in front of the helical crus. objective results. It is based on the fact that the
irritated reflex zones or points show a reduced
Practical Tip skin resistance (and therefore increased skin
The free end of a paper clip, when bent like a conductance), in addition to the tenderness dis-
stirrup, may be used as an improvised pressure cussed earlier. With the aid of a simple ohmme-
probe, as long as the end has been melted to ter or potentiometer adjusted to the electrical
form a ball. characteristics of the skin, this parameter can be
objectively assessed.

Fig. 6.1 Pressure

probes: the telescopic
pressure probe and the
spherical filler used in

Electrical Detection of Points

Fig. 6.2 Dental spherical filler applied at point 55. Fig. 6.3 Telescopic pressure probe applied
at point 55.

According to Chinese studies (König and or antihelix, or in deep parts of the auricle such
Wancura), the mean electrical skin resistance in as the inferior and superior concha. Again, this
healthy persons ranges from 40 to 400 kΩ. Hence, calls for individual adjustment. This addresses a
considerable individual differences exist, which major criterion that should be met by a device of
means that independent of the state of health, this type, otherwise it will be impossible to carry
each patient exhibits his or her own electrical out any meaningful measurement. Depending on
skin resistance. Consequently, the measuring the design of the device, individual calibration is
device needs to be adjusted to the patient’s in- done either automatically or manually.
dividual skin resistance prior to the examination While examining a suspicious skin area, an
proper. However, using fixed neutral points for acoustic or optical signal (or both, depending
this purpose, such as point zero of the French/ on the device) will indicate when the device has
Western school or the upper ear attachment zone detected a reduced skin resistance. When buying
according to the Chinese school, has proved un- such an electrical point-finder, one should make
successful in the past. sure that the individual calibration will be indi-
To calibrate the device, it makes more sense cated by an appropriate signal.
to refer to irrelevant areas of the ear, i.e., those Depending on the device, the required circuit
that do not show up as irritated zones, either with the patient can be established in different
clinically or in the patient’s history, and are not ways. With some devices, the patient must hold
known to be representation zones as defined by an electrode in his or her hand or place one hand
ear somatotopy. This is important because dif- on an integrated electrode plate. With Nogier’s
ferent degrees of skin moisture may yield differ- punctoscope, measurement takes place between
ent values of skin resistance, e.g., on the scapha a concentric electrode contained in the tip of the

6 Basic Tools and Procedures

exploring probe and a fine rod electrode in the identified as a pressure point by using light
center of the probe; the two electrodes are insu- pressure. When using a pressure probe, invol-
lated against each other and are telescopically untary grimacing reactions may be observed
cushioned. Modern exploring probes or rods are on the patient’s face, i.e., the patient senses the
simpler and easier to handle; the circuitry is in- touch at the irritated point and shows this sen-
tegrated into the handle, which itself serves as sation by twitching slightly or by pulling a face
the contact electrode because of its metal design. (watch the corner of the patient’s eye). In order
In order to close the circuit, the physician must to give the patient a chance to compare sensa-
touch the auricle with the free hand, which is re- tions, pressure palpation should be carried out
quired anyway during the examination. Hence, from the periphery to the center in the direc-
these small devices are very practical and usually tion of the suspected area of irritation, simi-
inexpensive. lar to the gradual advance toward the point of
In summary, the diagnostic device should maximum discomfort when palpating a pain-
meet at least the following criteria. They should: ful abdomen. Once the irritated zone has been
Be small and practical. found, the patient usually does not feel direct
Have an acoustic or optical indicator. pain but has perceptions (electrified feeling,
Have a fine, rounded exploring tip of approxi- increased sensitivity) that are different from
mately 0.3 mm in diameter (such as a the tip of those felt in surrounding areas.
a ballpoint pen). After pressure-marking, finding the point again
Allow manual adjustment to individual differ- by using a different localization technique, either
ences in normal skin resistance (via an adap- pressure palpation or electrical point detection,
tion button). will no longer be representative; pressure-
marking causes a temporary microtrauma, and
Examination procedure. Both pressure palpa- the reaction pattern of this trauma resembles
tion and electrical point detection are carried that of an irritated point.
out as follows: The auricle can be examined
while the patient is sitting or lying, although
sitting is preferred. The patient’s auricle should 6.3 “Very Point” Technique
be on a line with the eye level of the examining Another method of detecting points is the very
physician, who should also be sitting. The ex- point technique. In terms of the patient’s coopera-
aminer should rest the hand holding the point- tion and subjective confirmation of the results, it
finder, as well as the free hand, by placing the is of equal quality to pressure palpation, although
lower arm on the patient’s shoulder, with the superior to it when performed by skilled hands.
ring finger and little finger placed on the mas- The technique was developed by Gleditsch
toid or on the cheek in front of the tragus. This (2004) in connection with acupuncture of the
approach ensures that the hand is sufficiently mouth. Since an electrical search for points can-
stabilized for the pressure to be constant during not be undertaken in the moist environment of
the examination, and the elastic portions of the the mucosa, and simple pressure palpation is not
auricle to be supported. It is essential to ensure practical because of the lack of marking possibili-
that the free hand will not apply any tension ties in the mouth, Gleditsch examined suspicious
to the auricle, as this will distort its contours areas for sensitivity by delicate tapping with an
(as will become obvious when letting go of it) injection needle. At the proper point of irritation,
and lead to false localizations when searching the punctum verum or very point, he regularly
for points. found a point-focal reduction of turgor, as if the
The diagnostic probe is now placed perpen- needle would “fall” into the tissue. This percep-
dicular to the surface of the skin and moved tion of the examiner was usually confirmed by
slowly over the suspected zone of irritation, the patient grimacing or displaying an equivalent
while keeping the pressure as constant as pos- reaction. Gleditsch then applied the therapeutic
sible. When the tip comes across an irritated injection at this “very point.”
reflex point, this will be indicated by an acous- Gleditsch’s delicate tapping method can be
tic or optical signal. So that the point can be successfully used in the region of the auricle by
easily located again, it must immediately be directly using the acupuncture needle. Very fine

Vascular Autonomic Signal, Réflexe Auriculocardiac, Nogier’s Reflex

facial needles of 0.3 μm in diameter are used, 6.4 Vascular Autonomic

and the reflex zones in question are tapped or
stroked for sensitivity. Frequently, sensitivities Signal, Réflexe
can be distinguished by mere gentle tangential Auriculocardiac,
stroking of the suspected area with the tip of
the needle.
Nogier’s Reflex
When using the very point technique, it is also The “pulse reflex,” observed by Nogier in 1968,
important for the tapping hand and its free fin- was originally named the réflexe auriculocardiac
gers to be supported by the patient’s shoulder and was first known by this term. More recently,
and cheek, respectively. Tapping with the needle however, the term vascular autonomic signal
should be done so gently that it does not trau- (VAS) has come into use. Although disputed, this
matize the skin. Should microbleeding occur that phenomenon serves as the essential foundation
is not caused by a clumsy or vigorous approach, for further methods of localizing irritated reflex
this can be taken as a sign of local hyperemia. zones on the auricle. It is thought to be a cutane-
The affected area can no longer be used until it ous vascular reflex process triggered by a weak
has healed. cutaneous stimulus. A gently stroking touch
To avoid perforation, it is recommended that (e.g., with a needle) or a weak light stimulus
one practices the steady tapping technique, e.g., (e.g., with a Heine’s lamp) will lead to a mini-
on stretched plastic wrap. In skilled hands, this mal, yet palpable, shift of the pulse throughout
method is practical, precise, and quick. As it does the arterial system. If triggered via irritated
not require a change of instruments, the irritated points or reflex zones, this shift of the pulse is
zone or point can be needled at more or less at much more distinct, and thus is supposed to fa-
the same time as it is detected. Although it es- cilitate the accurate localization of the relevant
sential to obtain feedback from the patient, the active points.
subjectivity of the procedure diminishes with in- To detect this phenomenon, the radial artery
creased practice and experience of the examiner, proximal to the styloid process (radial apophy-
who will learn to interpret the local skin turgor sis) is palpated as described by Nogier (Fig. 6.4).
as an objective result. When doing this, the thumb should lie parallel

Examiner’s thumb
< 110º to surface of skin


Side of Side of thumb

elbow Bone VAS becomes positive VAS becomes negative
arm Patient’s hand
Shift in pulse wave in the direction
Slope of apophysis of the patient’s hand

Fig. 6.4 Palpation of the vascular autonomic signal (VAS; réflexe auriculocardiac), adapted from Mastalier.

6 Basic Tools and Procedures

to the patient’s lower arm, with the tip of the have been holding out for the prospect of ap-
thumb at an angle of about 110° to the plane of propriate studies. In any case, the interpretation
the skin. This position, outlined by Nogier, will of this reflex reaction is problematic because
help to create an optimal supporting surface of our incomplete understanding of the reflex
for the palpating hand. As soon as the pulse is process on the one hand, and the multitude of
clearly detected, the thumb pressure must be factors interfering with the test on the other.
reduced to a point where the throbbing pulse Additional speculative interpretations based on
is just barely palpable. If a “microstress” of the delicate subjective examination techniques do
described kind is applied—such as a weak light not contribute to the scientific explanation of
stimulus from a Heine’s lamp, or the gentle touch this postulated phenomenon. With this in mind,
of an irritated ear point with the tip of a nee- this method is not a serious alternative or addi-
dle—a slight shift of the pulse wave is noticed, tion to the established localization techniques.
which moves toward the tip of the thumb like a The results of future research are awaited with
“swelling” (showing the presence of a VAS), or as great interest.
a “subsiding” or even disappearance (indicating
the absence of a VAS).
Nogier’s hypothesis states that the body’s
6.5 Needling Technique and
vegetative reactions affect the vascular tone via Choice of Needles
sympathetically controlled vasoconstrictors. He Choice of needles. In ear acupuncture, it is a rule
suggests that this then leads to a change in he- to needle with as little trauma as possible in or-
modynamic resistance, which in turn causes der to prevent infections. Therefore, it is essential
a shift of a stationary pulse wave in the entire to consider certain aspects regarding the choice
vascular system. The latest studies (1996), using of needles as well as the needling technique.
highly sensitive digital subtraction angiometers Only the finest needles, with a maximum
and undertaken by experienced auriculothera- diameter of 0.3 μm, should be used; these cor-
pists, have, however, been unable to establish any respond to the facial needles used in body acu-
change in the pulse wave (Thalhammer, Haller, puncture (Fig. 6.5). The needle, including its
and Luft 1996). According to the conclusion of handle, should measure approximately 3 cm in
these authors, it is hard to believe that the palpat- total. The handle may be covered with plastic,
ing thumb of an experienced auriculotherapist, as with disposable needles, or have a good grip
although highly sensitive, would detect a min- provided by roughening or braiding, as with
imal change in the pulse wave if such a change steel needles that can be repeatedly sterilized
were not being detected by the devices referred (Fig. 6.6).
to above. In the case of steel needles, it should be kept
So far, there has been no well-founded study in mind that the tip of the needle will become
under controlled and standardized conditions blunt after multiple uses or may be bent like a
that objectifies the physical postulate of a re- hook by improper handling or sterilization, ren-
flex reaction—e.g., by using reproducible Dop- dering the needle useless because of an increased
pler sonography compared with measuring skin risk of traumatic needling. These disadvantages,
resistance. For years, advocates of this method including the risk of infection caused by germs

Fig. 6.5 Injection needle

(bottom) compared to a
facial needle used in body

Needling Technique and Choice of Needles

Fig. 6.6 Needles used in

ear acupuncture.

remaining after improper sterilization, do not oc- technique may be applied by individually nee-
cur with disposable needles. dling several points found in one projection
The use of steel needles is quite satisfactory, zone perpendicularly to the skin, e.g., in the sci-
and today steel needles are also exclusively used atic zone. These needled points are counted as
in China. Arguments in favor of using silver or one needle in terms of the limit of five or six
gold needles (originally introduced by the French needles per auricle.
acupuncturist George Soulié de Morant), espe- We advise against the use of permanent
cially for the ear, are usually derived from the needles of any kind. Here, too, effectiveness
school of auriculotherapy. They are essentially and risk are out of proportion to each other.
based on the postulate that the different electri- In cases of complications caused by infections
cal potentials of these precious metals with re- of the auricle (in extreme cases, perichondri-
spect to the tissue provide a more differentiated tis), such criteria will play a major role during
and effective application of the stimuli. However, forensic analysis.
there is no objective confirmation of this, and any Some authors prefer the tangential stab tech-
benefits are outweighed by the disadvantages: nique to avoid traumatizing the cartilage, with
the large needle diameter (up to 1 mm) results in its associated increase in the risk of infection. In
a wide stab wound, the increased needle weight this technique, the tip of the needle is supposed
requires a deeper stab to fix the needle, and the to be passed through the perichondrium toward
risk of oxidation calls for more elaborate steril- the cartilage, but without injuring the latter. It
ization techniques. should be countered that, even here, traumatiza-
Needling technique. The ear should be nee- tion of the cartilage is hardly avoidable, perhaps
dled perpendicularly to the skin and not too not so much as a result of direct traumatization,
deeply. After penetrating the membrane of the but rather through disturbing the trophism of
perichondrium, the tip of the needle should the corresponding cartilage area, in this case
find slight support in the cartilage. The tech- originating from the perichondrium. Consider-
nique of threading several points subcutane- ing the delicate nature of the ear points, a major
ously, favored by some authors, and penetration disadvantage of this technique lies in the relative
of cartilage are not recommended. There is inaccuracy of targeting the irritated zones. Thus,
considerable associated traumatization, which the approach is restricted to the inaccessible re-
increases the risk of infection and does not act gions of the auricle, e.g., beneath the brim of the
in proportion to the supposedly improved effec- ascending helix.
tiveness or practicability that these techniques There are no convincing arguments, let alone
provide. Alternatively, the so-called sieving test results, for the tonifying and sedating

6 Basic Tools and Procedures

techniques recommended by auriculotherapy, es- acupuncture are derived from body acupuncture
pecially for those using the selective application and transferred to the microsystem of the auricle.
of gold and silver needles and for the postulate There are no comprehensible arguments and far
that the classical rules underlying needle choice fewer verifiable studies that support such trans-
should be reversed for the auricle. The same fer onto the microsystem of the auricle. Particu-
holds true for reversing the energy-related rela- larly in light of the accompanying, considerable
tionships between the front and back of the ear traumatization of perichondrium and cartilage
and for the more detailed rules derived from this. on the one hand, and the lack of greater effective-
The corresponding supplying and drain- ness on the other, this needling technique cannot
ing techniques of the Chinese school of ear be recommended.

7 Methods of Stimulation
The literature is full of reports on stimulation Note. The following principle applies: the therapeu-
methods that are used in ear acupuncture, but tic result is determined by the targeted, precisely
not all of these can be recommended without localized needle stimulus and not by the number of
restrictions, or have proved effective. The pur- needles.
pose is always to emit, increase, and prolong
the therapeutic stimulus coming from the nee-
The needles are left in place for at least 20 min-
dle and to make this less painful. An objective
utes but no longer than 40 minutes while the pa-
assessment of the various methods of stimula-
tient reclines; they can then be easily removed.
tion is only partially possible, since comparative
With acute painful diseases (cephalalgia, neu-
studies and progress reports are scarce. It is
ralgia), longer periods of rest may prove prac-
relatively well documented that target-specific
tical. Experience has shown that the pain may
needle stimulation on the one hand and laser
take up to 45 minutes to subside. No additional
therapy on the other are equally effective. The
effect has been observed with longer treatment
remaining methods of stimulation have dif-
periods. Even when there is an immediate onset
ferent effects in different patients; therefore,
of relief (i.e., immediate freedom of pain, such as
they should be selected individually and, in
the elimination of pain within seconds, as seen in
certain circumstances, based on practical con-
neural therapy), the needles should nevertheless
siderations (needle phobias, a need to save
be left in place for at least 20 minutes.
time, etc.). The relatively diffuse stimulation
methods—such as infiltration techniques, per-
cutaneous stimulation according to Helmbolt,
or auricular massage—are discussed here for
the sake of completeness but must be critically

7.1 Needling and Electrical

Needle stimulus. For insertion of the needle, the
“very point” technique of guiding the needle
using tapping and support may be applied. This
method allows points to be located accurately
in a calm and safe manner. The precise localiza-
tion of the “active point” and the applied target-
specific stimulus are decisive in obtaining good
therapeutic results. It is obviously easier and at the
same time more precise to carry out localization
with a needle stimulus and, in some cases, by
means of a laser.
Fine facial needles or ear needles, which have
a maximal diameter of 0.3 mm, are inserted right
in the center of the successfully located irritated
point (Fig. 7.1). Only a few needles are used per
treatment session, i.e., only the major points are
needled to address the real cause of the illness.
Usually, three needles per auricle are inserted;
even if several irritated areas have been located,
the maximum number of needles per auricle Fig. 7.1 Inserted needle targeting the shen men
should not exceed five. point (55).

7 Methods of Stimulation

Removal of the needles is usually easy and 7.2 Infiltration of Points

painless. Prematurely lost needles may be re-
placed if the patient has been resting for only a and Zones
brief period; if this happens at a later time, it will As in neural therapy, irritated points or zones of
no longer be effective. Some authors interpret the auricle may be infiltrated, or wealed, by the
the early loss of a needle as a particularly quick targeted injection of a local anesthetic, such as
response to the respective needle, i.e., the needle licodaine or classically procaine (the so-called
is “set free” because of the precise targeting of “wet needle” technique). The flooding of a dis-
another reflex point. However, there is no clinical turbed ear zone frequently creates a large wheal
proof for this. immediately beneath the skin. The practitioner
The removal of needles may be carried out by must cautiously assess if this method is justified
an assistant. He or she should be advised that the when weighing the considerable traumatization
occasional minor bleeding may be stopped by (lifting of the perichondrium) against the un-
lightly pressing a pad against the bleeding spot— documented advantage of the allegedly quicker
something the patient can usually do themself. pain relief. From the author’s point of view, this
An exception to this are those points for which method of stimulation is not recommended.
bleeding acts as microphlebotomy, e.g. the al- Helmbold’s percutaneous regulation therapy
lergy point (78) at the tip of the ear, where bleed- of is based on a similar principle. In this, the ir-
ing may be allowed to continue until it stops ritated zones of the auricle are either swabbed
spontaneously. with a 2% tetracaine/glycerine solution or mas-
Electrical stimulation. In both body acupuncture saged with an ion-balancing ointment. This ap-
and ear acupuncture, the inserted needles may proach has the advantage that it is free of pain
be additionally stimulated by means of a low-fre- and complications, and that it can be combined
quency direct current in rectangular pulses. A with a targeted massage of points or zones. Its
frequency of 10 Hz is selected for the stimula- effectiveness is, however, questionable. The
tion, while the intensity of the current depends method may be tried in vegetatively sensitive
on the patient’s relative sensitivity. To determine patients, particularly in children, and may also
the patient’s tolerance, the current is gradually serve as the starting point for future treatment
increased until the patient indicates the sensa- with needles.
tion of a slightly stabbing, well-tolerated pulse.
During this process, the patient should be in-
structed that the sensation should not reach the 7.3 Use of the Soft Laser
pain threshold and that, due to adaptation, the In the microsystem of the auricle, soft laser ir-
slightly stabbing sensation will subside during radiation using a helium–neon laser or infrared
the period of rest without losing its effectiveness, laser as a method of stimulation has proved to be
which is why the current intensity should not be an effective alternative to conventional stimula-
readjusted. The positive and negative electrodes tion with needles, for several reasons. Especially
must be applied ispilaterally, i.e., both on the in pain-sensitive patients and in children, the la-
same ear, and the intensity-dependent pares- ser has proved advantageous as it can be applied
thesia seen during stimulation will occur at the without any pain or trauma. Particularly in such
positive electrode. Consequently, the negative patients, the threshold of anxiety or inhibition
electrode closing the circuit may be connected to toward acupuncture is difficult to overcome, no
a needle that does not need to be stimulated. matter whether ear acupuncture or body acu-
In ear acupuncture, electrical stimulation is puncture is to be applied; frequently, treatment
not as important as it is in body acupuncture. It is only tolerated when carried out with a laser.
is recommended only for chronically recurrent The disadvantages of laser treatment in body
pain conditions, and even then only at intervals. acupuncture—that working with a multitude of
This restriction applies because, during electrical points is very time-consuming, and that the laser
stimulation of the ear points, there is a risk that ray does not always penetrate deeply enough to
the applied stimulus will be too strong and will reach certain acupuncture points, not even with
not be able to self-regulate. As a result, the symp- powerful laser equipment—do not apply to ear
toms may get worse. acupuncture. The reflex zones of the auricle are

The Use of Laser in Ear Acupuncture

superficially located so that even soft lasers are

effective. Application of the laser stimulus to in-
dividual irritated points or zones, with the num-
ber of points ranging only between three and
five, is kept within reasonable limits and does
not require too much time. The procedure is sim-
ilar to the application of a needle stimulus: after
finding the irritated point, the laser is directed to
the center of the point in the form of a stroking
stimulus for a period of 20 to 30 seconds After
the treatment session, the patient should be al-
lowed to rest for about 20 minutes.
The use of soft laser involves a certain risk
that should not be underestimated—its potential
to cause damaging retinal flash burns. Although
such damage is only possible when radiation
from class 3b laser equipment is directed at the
eyes, both the therapist and the patient should
wear protective glasses. The entrance to the
treatment room must carry a warning sign. Apart
from this risk, the practitioner should make sure
when buying a soft laser unit that the device has
been tested by the safety standards authorities
and approved as defined by the regulations for
medical devices. Whether the purchase of a laser
unit is appropriate cannot be decided in terms of
its higher effectiveness compared to conventional
needle therapy or with specific syndromes. The
decision should depend on the specific demands
arising, e.g., when dealing with a large group of
particular patients or with many children.
Fig. 7.2 Modern laser devices.

7.4 The Use of Laser in Ear

of light emitted by a laser gave rise to a multi-
Acupuncture tude of possible uses in science and technology.
H.-J. Weise Apart from various applications in medicine (e.g.,
neurosurgery, endoscopy), lasers have also been
available for acupuncture (especially ear acu-
7.4.1 Introduction puncture) since the early 1970s. Since then, vari-
As early as 1917, Einstein predicted the principle ous devices with different technical designs have
of the laser as a stimulated emission of light, and been developed (Fig. 7.2).
Prokhorov and Basov completed the theoretical
and physical principles in 1954. The term LASER
(light amplification by stimulated [or induced]
7.4.2 Physical Principles
emission of radiation) was used for the first time The light from an electric lamp consists of in-
in 1958 by Schalow and Townes, but it was only dividual electromagnetic waves, each of which
in 1960 that Mainman succeeded in putting a ru- oscillates at a different wavelength (color) and
bin laser into operation. travels in a different direction. This erratic nature
The subsequent vigorous developments in this is explained by the way light originates, with
field produced different types of laser, depending photons being created independently of one an-
on the active material used: gas, semiconduc- other when electrons jump from a higher to a
tor, and solid-state lasers. The special properties lower level of energy.

7 Methods of Stimulation

Lasers, on the other hand, have the following probably a light-sensitive enzyme complex in
properties: the mitochondria that is affected by laser light.
Monochromatic light: The laser emits elec- However, the biostimulatory effect seems to
tromagnetic radiation of a single wavelength. occur only within a narrow range of emission
Thus, unlike natural light, the emerging laser parameters in terms of the wavelength, dose,
beam is very pure. and pulse rate of the laser. A prerequisite for
Coherence: The peaks and troughs of energy any effect to take place is absorption of the laser
distribution within the beam are perfectly light within the tissue. This absorption depends
in step with each other. Thus, a fixed spatial on the composition of the tissue (water content,
and temporal relationship exists between the pigment). In practical terms, absorption at wave-
phases, with all rays in the laser beam oscillat- lengths higher than 750 nm depends only on the
ing in the same cycle. presence of melanin, while scatter in the 600 to
Minor divergence: The resulting electromag- 750 nm range of the spectrum plays a bigger role.
netic radiation is characterized by almost per- This also determines the depth of penetration; it
fect parallelism and distinct bundling of the is approximately 2 mm for helium–neon lasers
emitted light, thus making the realization of and approximately 5 mm for infrared lasers
high-energy densities possible. (Birngruber 1984). It is important with both
laser types that enough therapeutically effective
The material of which the laser is made (gas, absorption takes place in the auricle.
semiconductor, solid) is present at the lowest A prerequisite for optimal biostimulation is a
energy level of atoms or molecules, or the ba- precise knowledge of the laser’s output capacity
sic state. Bombardment with light of a suitable (or diode’s pulse rate, respectively) and the expo-
wavelength (e.g., from a flashbulb) elevates the sure time used. The decisive factor is the product
atoms to a higher level of energy, or an excited of the laser output (in mW) and duration of ex-
state. This process is called optical pumping. posure (in seconds), representing the energy (in
Each atom then returns to the basic state while Joules) applied to the tissue. In ear acupuncture,
emitting a photon. The resulting electromagnetic the radiation dose (i.e., the energy applied per ear
waves oscillate exactly in the same phase. They point) should be 1 J/cm2.
are amplified between two mirrors, one of which
is semitranslucent. Due to this arrangement, only ▶ Formulas:
those waves which oscillate along the proper axis Energy = laser output × exposure time.
can emerge from the device. Radiation dose = energy/square unit. ◀

7.4.3 Biological Principles ▶ Measuring Units:

The soft lasers used in acupuncture are lasers Energy: Joule = Watt-second (Ws)
with a low-density output. They are helium– Output: Milliwatt (mW) = 0.001 W
neon lasers emitting red light with a wavelength Time: second (s)
of 632 nm, and semiconductor lasers (also called Square unit: square centimeter (cm2)
diode lasers) with a wavelength between 680 Radiation dose: Joule/cm2
and 904 nm in the infrared region. Soft lasers are Exposure time: second (s)/cm2 ◀
limited per definition to an output of no more
than 50 mW, and hence are atraumatic. The aim
of the weak radiation is to affect different biolog- 7.4.4 Clinical Use
ical phenomena. Using a soft laser in ear acupuncture (Fig. 7.3)
In the laboratory, specific laser effects has the following advantages over classical nee-
have been observed in cell cultures, such as dle acupuncture:
effects on the synthesis of DNA and adenosine 1. The laser beam is painless. Therefore, it is well
5′-triphosphate (ATP). The effect on ATP was suited to the treatment of children and sensi-
studied by Warnke (1987) in yeast, in which the tive patients.
rate of synthesis and the glucose turnover were 2. The laser beam has no traumatic side effects
optimal at a radiation dose of 10 mJ. There is and is aseptic.

The Use of Laser in Ear Acupuncture

3. Laser treatment saves time: approximately

100 seconds per point is equivalent to a total
treatment period of 4 to 6 minutes per patient.
4. The laser is easy to use, so the treatment pro-
cedure can be learned within a short period of

The following descriptions are examples of some

indications in the pediatric field.

7.4.5 Treatment Examples

In children, headaches and particularly migraines
are not yet characterized by the typical unilateral
manifestation, i.e. associated with the gallblad-
der, but rather by disturbed stomach functions.
Accordingly, the following points are selected
(Fig. 7.4):
Shen men point (55).
Jerome point (29 b).
Sensory line–occiput point (29).
Sun point (35) and forehead point (33).
Solar plexus zone.

Radiation is carried out with a 10 mW laser for

Fig. 7.3 Laser application in ear acupuncture. 100 seconds per point on both ears. Treatment

Table 7.1 Exposure time in seconds

Laser output in mW
10 20 25 30
Radiation dose 0.1 10 5
in J/cm2 0.2 20 10 8 7
0.3 30 15 12 10
0.5 50 25 20 17
0.8 80 40 32 27
1 100 50 40 33
1.5 150 75 60 50
2 200 100 80 67
3 300 150 120 100
4 400 200 160 133
5 500 250 200 167
6 600 300 240 200
7 700 350 280 233
8 800 400 320 267
9 900 450 360 300
10 1000 500 400 333
Example: To achieve a radiation dose of 1 J/cm2 with a soft laser output of 10 mW, the exposure time per
ear point should be 100 seconds.

7 Methods of Stimulation


Solar Plexus



Sun Point Point
(35) (26a)

Fig. 7.4 Laser application in headaches.

takes place twice a week over a period of 1 of food should be considered and the diet
month. If clinically indicated, another treat- changed accordingly.
ment series may follow after a break of 2 to 4
weeks. The therapeutic results should be re-
corded in a headache diary, which should be
Allergic Rhinitis
kept by the child, starting from the age of 7 As the incidence of allergic diseases is increas-
years. If the response is insufficient, intolerance ing, hay fever is often the first step toward the

The Use of Laser in Ear Acupuncture

development of a disease. Here, primarily in the ACTH point (13).

acute phase, a swift alleviation of symptoms can Occiput point (29).
be expected by means of laser acupuncture of the Forehead point (33).
auricle. The following points are preferentially
treated (Fig. 7.5): In the advanced phase, the vegetative points
Allergy point (78). should be included in the therapy. We know
Inner nose point (16). from experience that the treatment is particu-
Shen men point (55). larly effective when carried out as prophylaxis,



Inner nose
ACTH Point


Fig. 7.5 Laser application in allergic rhinitis.

7 Methods of Stimulation


92 95


Fig. 7.6 Laser application in enuresis.

i.e., prior to exposure to the allergens. A response 7.5 Auricular Massage

to the therapy often becomes clear after only 1
to 2 weeks. Similar to body acupuncture, the therapeutic
stimulation of irritated points or zones can
also be achieved in ear somatotopy by means
Enuresis of a targeted pulsating pressure or massage. In
In the case of children who do not spontaneously addition, the whole body can be given a soothing
become continent before the first day of school, harmonizing stimulus by stimulating the entire
it is recommended that, as well as the classical microsystem through systematic massage of the
body acupuncture (laser), the less common laser auricle. The latter is called auricular massage;
acupuncture of the auricle should be tried. The this should be distinguished, with regard to
following points are important here (Fig. 7.6): its direction of action as well as its handling,
Urinary bladder zone (92). from the direct stimulation of individual points
Kidney zone (95). through pressure massage.
Hypogastric plexus point. Auricular massage (according to Lange 1985)
(Fig. 7.7) is carried out without an auxiliary in-
The duration of treatment depends on the re- strument, i.e., just using thumb and index finger.
sponse and should not exceed 4 to 6 weeks, with Due to the patient’s active involvement, auricu-
one or two sessions per week being planned. lar massage has proved effective as a therapy-
If the condition is resistant to treatment, therapy supporting measure, particularly when treating
should include primarily psychological learning problems with concentration and sleeping disor-
strategies. ders. After appropriate instruction on the proper
regime, the massage may be carried out by the
Note. As we know from comparative clinical stud- patients themselves. When massaging the ear,
ies, the clinical effectiveness of the soft laser seems it is important to hold the auricle in a pinchlike
grip between the index finger and thumb so that
to be less distinct than that of needles. Yet, in the
the tip of the thumb lies behind the auricle and
case of children and also for appropriate indications,
the tip of the index finger is able to perform light
the soft laser complements the therapeutic reper-
massaging, circular movements on the front side
toire of ear acupuncture. Demarcation of the range
of the auricle. The pressure of the massage should
of indications depends on additional clinical studies.
not be painful but rather perceived as pleasant.

Auricular Massage

Fig. 7.7 Direction

of auricular massage
(according to Lange 1985).

Cycle 3

Cycle 1
Cycle 2

Cycle 4

Generally, focal massage of irritated ear points treatment, and cases of pre-examination anxiety
as defined by acupressure can only be performed or stage fright. In such instances, the patient is
with the help of rod- or probelike devices such as instructed to massage the respective zones in the
the ones used for detecting tenderness. This spe- region of the postantitragal fossa or crus of the
cific form of stimulation can be used when other helix as required during the intervals between
possibilities for stimulation are not available or are treatment. Self-treatment should be carried out
not tolerated by the patient. Focal self-treatment carefully and with changing pressure from the
by the patient is usually not practical, apart from fingernail.
two exceptions: kinetosis in order to support the

7 Methods of Stimulation

7.6 Microphlebotomy into the cartilaginous parts of the tissue. This

process starts with a mechanically induced, ini-
This type of therapeutic stimulation is included in tially localized, inflammatory reaction and is fol-
the discussion despite its rather limited scope of lowed by infection and tissue necrosis. The latter
indications. It has proved effective as an auxiliary facilitates the entrance of foreign objects, espe-
measure in allergic disorders such as pollinosis cially when the patient is advised to massage the
and urticaria, and is also used in neuralgia, e.g., permanent needle or pellet plaster with a small
trigeminal neuralgia. Microphlebotomy may be magnet or with the tip of a finger to stimulate the
used either alone in the directly indicated zone point. If such a course of complications is recog-
or as part of a combination therapy involving nized early enough, the foreign object can be re-
several points. One or several facial needles are moved without consequences. In more advanced
sufficient for the punctures. To avoid unnecessary states, however, when the adhesive band that
traumatization, cruder instruments (such as keeps the needle or pellet in place is removed,
lancets) are not recommended. In the region of the necrotic skin of the perichondrium, under-
the well-vascularized lobule, it is even possible mined by pus, will be seen to come away as it
to pierce the tissue like a sieve with several adheres to the plaster together with the needle
needles (e.g., in the trigeminal zone). After an or pellet. At this stage, there is a great risk that
appropriate period of time, the needles are perichondritis will develop. In addition, it can
simultaneously removed; the resulting bleeding be observed that after a prolonged, uncontrolled
is not stopped but allowed to drip onto a cotton period of applying the pellet pressure at one site,
swab. In the region of the ear cartilage (e.g., at the and as a result of the massage, the small pellet
tip of the ear: the allergy point), a quick stab with can be pushed through the pressure-damaged
the needle from the inside or outside is usually tissue between the perichondrium and the car-
sufficient to induce the appropriate bleeding. tilage, ending up underneath intact areas of skin
Microphlebotomy of the auricle should only be that are clearly distant from the original site of
used in connection with a pool of points appro- application.
priate for the particular syndrome. Its therapeu- The ear clamps predominantly used by the
tic stimulus is insufficient when used on its own Chinese school may lead to pressure-induced
and at any location. disturbances in local blood flow, with the danger
of skin necrosis, although this is relatively rare.
7.7 Methods of Continuous Patients must be informed accordingly of the risk
of such complications, as well as of their legal
Stimulation rights. Foreign objects applied to the ear must be
General remarks. When using permanent needles checked at short intervals (daily) for inflamma-
or ear clamps to provide continuous stimulation tory reactions. In view of the potential problems,
of the irritated reflex zone over a longer period the application of this continuous stimulation
of time, both the risks and the therapeutic method at the auricle is not recommended by the
advantages must be very carefully assessed. author.
As acupuncture, including ear acupuncture, Permanent needles (Fig. 7.8, Fig. 7.9). The popular
constitutes an “intervention of choice,” i.e., it is types of permanent needles currently available
not an essential therapeutic measure, possible on the market vary considerably in their shape
risks matter much more, especially when it is and mode of application. The most traumatizing,
not obvious that there will be additional specific and therefore least recommendable, permanent
therapeutic results. For the various methods needle has a hook at its tip, which anchors itself
aiming at continuous stimulation (such as in the cartilage after the needle has been pressed
permanent needles, pellet plasters, or ear clamps), in with the aid of a guiding probe (Fig. 7.11). A
there is no evidence, either from comparative small magnet inside the handle of the plastic
studies or from empirical observations, with probe is periodically used by the patient to
regard to achieving improved effectiveness that stimulate the needle (Fig. 7.12). Another type
would justify the disadvantages. of permanent needle is fixed to a small adhesive
The major risk of permanent needles and pellet plaster; it has a circular overlay surface with
plasters is their subperichondrial incorporation the tip of the needle protruding from its center.

Methods of Continuous Stimulation

Fig. 7.8 Commercially

available permanent needles.

Fig. 7.9 Applicators for

permanent needles.

Fig. 7.10 Pellet plasters.

The small adhesive plaster and the wide overlay Ear clamps. This method also serves for focal
surface are supposed to ensure a firm fit. Tissue pressure stimulation. The clamp is applied in
traumatization is much less severe; nevertheless, such a way that the tip of its overlay adheres
the above-mentioned possibility of complications to the reflex zone to be treated. Because they
still exists. are very conspicuous, such clamps are not well
Pellet plasters (Fig. 7.10). This method was accepted in the West and are therefore hardly
designed with the idea of exerting a constant ever used.
pressure on the irritated zone. The chromium- Magnetic plasters. Fixation of a small magnetic
plated small steel pellet, or seed, is fixed onto an plaster onto the irritated reflex zones aims
adhesive plaster and stuck onto the point to be to induce a continuous therapeutic stimulus.
treated. The patient must be advised to lightly There are no risks associated with this method;
and repeatedly press the pellet. Applying the however, we cannot confirm its effectiveness,
pellet to the specific point is not easy and also either through our own observations or on the
not precise. basis of available studies.

7 Methods of Stimulation

Fig. 7.11 Applied permanent needle with barb Fig. 7.12 Close-up view of a permanent needle
(Jerome, sun [35], shen men, and endocrine system in situ.

8 Practical Approach
It is important especially for the beginner that as sauna or strenuous sports, during the 2 to 3
the practical approach is structured in accor- hours following treatment.
dance with a certain basic scheme, whereby the Positioning the patient. Examination and nee-
sequence of individual steps may be designed dling of the auricle can be performed with the
according to the therapist’s own practical con- patient either sitting or lying. Unless clues in the
siderations. It is advisable that the beginner sets patient’s history or a state of vegetative instabil-
up separate appointments: one for the patient’s ity favor the lying position, sitting is generally
history and a physical examination, if necessary, preferred because it provides better access to
and another one for the actual ear acupunc- the ear points. If required by the treatment regi-
ture treatment. This will guarantee that there is men, laterality may be clarified at the beginning
enough time to draw conclusions, look up details, to identify which auricle should primarily be
and draw up a regimen of points to be treated. At treated.
the actual treatment appointment, the therapeu- Even after brief practical experience, the physi-
tically meaningful zones are then systematically cian will be familiar with all these steps. This will
searched for according to the chosen regimen. prevent him or her from making the patient feel
uneasy as a result of incomplete information or
improvised changes in the combination of points,
8.1 Preparation and which could disturb the course of treatment.
Positioning of the Patient Bedding. After treatment, the patient should be
left in a relaxed lying position for 20 to 45 min-
Preparation. Patient preparation involves in-
utes. The room should be sufficiently warm or
forming the patient about the possibility of expe-
the patient covered with a blanket to avoid even
riencing pain during needle insertion and about
the slightest hypothermia, as this would inter-
the kind and strength of the pain. Furthermore,
fere with complete relaxation. Unfortunately,
it is advisable to inform the patient of the dis-
these seemingly straightforward rules are often
posable needle material that will be used and to
not observed in practice, or they are neglected
explain the search for points in general terms.
due to insufficient engagement on the part of the
In addition, the patient must remove all ear or-
physician or nurse. This may lead to unfavorable
naments and, if necessary, clear interfering hair
accompanying symptoms and may cause the pa-
away from the ears. These preparatory measures
tient to abandon the treatment at a critical phase.
may be taken care of by the nurse, including the
necessary disinfection of the auricle.
The physician then briefly explains the proce- 8.2 Choice of Primary
dure in plain language to the patient and, most
importantly, points out that the symptoms tend
Therapeutic Access
to improve after four or five treatments. Other- From the patient’s history and the general physi-
wise the indication needs to be reviewed and cal examination, the attending physician will fre-
the patient must consent to continuation of the quently have already arrived at concrete ideas on
treatment. It is also helpful to get the patients’ which zones and points may be treated most suc-
cooperation in so far as they will inform the phy- cessfully. It is advisable to complement this ap-
sician at the next treatment session, preferably proach by a systematic examination process. This
without being asked, of any changes in their con- will include selecting the primary therapeutic
dition or symptoms so that therapeutic measures access according to the syndrome, i.e., searching
may be taken quickly and flexibly way by adjust- for the most irritated, and hence therapeutically
ing the combination of points. most favorable, zone of the auricle and giving it
For the whole of the treatment series, the preferential treatment. This is done best by re-
patient should avoid narcotics, such as sleeping peating the following steps each time:
pills and alcohol, in the 12 hours preceding the Step 1: Segment therapy.
treatment. It is advisable that the patient is not Step 2: Choice of analgesic or anti-inflammatory
exposed to situations of physical stress, such points.

8 Practical Approach

Step 3: Choice of psychotropic and vegetative 8.2.2 Choice of Analgesic

or Anti-inflammatory Points
Step 4: Choice of supplementary points.
In conditions of pain that are not organ-specific
(such as cephalalgia or nonspecific neuralgia), the
8.2.1 Segment Therapy or Choice primary therapeutic access lies in the selection of
of Correspondence Points sensitive analgesic or anti-inflammatory points.
In most cases (e.g., general headache syndrome),
Segment Therapy the clinician should selected analgesically acting
In diseases of the locomotor system and in points in the region of the sensory line, the shen
segmental neuralgia, segment therapy (ear ge- men point and, in extreme cases, also the thala-
ometry, according to Nogier) is the first choice, mus point.
complemented by a choice of suitable corre-
spondence points (e.g., joint points). First, the
vegetative groove (zone of origin of sympathetic 8.2.3 Choice of Psychotropic
nuclei) in the scapha beneath the helical brim is and Vegetative Points
examined to locate irritated points depending In case of mental illness or for treating addic-
on the clinically conspicuous segment; if appro- tions, the so-called psychotropic points and
priate, this is then needled. vegetative points are initially more important.
The imaginary line of treatment drawn by con- If there are more than three or four irritated
necting these points with point zero is then ex- points per auricle, preferences must again be
amined for more irritated points. established depending on clues in the patient’s
Needling of the irritated points in the region of history. The remaining points are recorded and
the zone of paravertebral muscles and ligaments marked with a felt-tip pen if they are sensitive,
should take priority. and then needled in a second session, making
In cases of neuralgia or causalgia, it is more ad- alternating treatment sessions at short intervals
vantageous to search for sensitive points in the necessary.
zone of the spinal cord, namely, in the region of Frequently, the “extinction phenomenon” oc-
its zone of sensory tracts. curs during such this approach, whereby after
In chronically recurrent diseases (e.g., activated needling the primarily preferred points, the sec-
arthrosis, chronically recurrent lumbago), it is ondarily preferred points are no longer found to
also highly advantageous to choose the latter be irritated.
zone as the primary therapeutic access.

! Caution
Choice of Suitable Points Remove felt-tip pen markings prior to needling
of Correspondence (as there is a risk of a tattooing effect)!
This applies to diseases of the locomotive system
as well as cases of, e.g., organic disease or allergies.
First, the irritated points corresponding to the 8.3 Choice of Supplementary
diseased organs and the points modulating the
immune system are located.
This does not mean that organ diseases, for ex- The choice of supplementary points is made after
ample, cannot be treated with segment therapy; needling the primary therapeutic access points.
however, the latter step is the second line of Depending on the syndrome, other points that
treatment. For example, when cholecystitis is could provide therapeutic support are examined
assumed, the irritated gallbladder zone of the for their state of irritation. For example, if there is
right ear must be needled first in combination gastritis as an organic disease, the organ points of
with point 55. If the symptoms are not suffi- the stomach and the solar plexus zone are chosen
ciently alleviated, the disturbed segment of the as the primary access points, but certain psycho-
upper abdomen may then be included in the tropic points and vegetative points will definitely
treatment. be included as supplementary points.

Strength of Stimulus, Treatment Intervals, and Duration of Sessions

After any acute organic symptoms have sub- In hypersensitive or extremely anxious pa-
sided, treatment preferences may be completely tients, the stimulation methods discussed earlier
reversed: previously supplementary points (in this are an alternative to needle treatment, albeit an
case, the mental and vegetative balancing points) imperfect one. Initially, the targeted pressure
may gain importance, while the correspondence massage of points (acupressure) is one possibil-
or organ points may become less important and ity for the less well-equipped physician; it may
finally will no longer be found to be irritated. be further developed by means of the pellet pres-
This procedure may of course also be followed sure method. However, for reasons already dis-
when treating diseases of the locomotor sys- cussed, the latter requires stringent control on
tem, e.g., lumbago–sciatica syndrome. As well the part of the physician.
as the psychotropically or vegetatively effective Point stimulation by means of a soft laser is
points mentioned above, the following supple- more costly and less effective than the needle
mentary points may also be considered: the method. In all cases where the patient is unable
muscle-relaxing Jerome point, and the shen men to keep appointments for treatment at suitable
and ACTH points because of their analgesic and intervals (e.g., because of prolonged travel),
anti-inflammatory effects. self-treatment by targeted auricular massage
In cases of arthritic pain in the region of the may be recommended, provided the projection
knee joint, the two knee points (in the region zones to be treated can be easily located.
of the triangular fossa and superior antihelical
crus) are most important. Supplementary points
are selected depending on whether the symptom 8.5 Strength of Stimulus,
complex can be assigned primarily to inflam- Treatment Intervals, and
mation, a pain process, or a radiation of pain.
Accordingly, supplementary points may be in-
Duration of Sessions
cluded individually or in combination. Strength of stimulus. The French/Western school
Frequently, only the selection of supplemen- of ear acupuncture (auriculotherapy) calls for
tary points and their interaction with the pri- the differential use of gold and silver needles
mary therapeutic access points (correspondence with regard to stimulus intensity: the drainage
point or segment therapy) will bring about the (= reducing) method requires strong stimulation,
decisive therapeutic breakthrough. whereas the supplying (= reinforcing) method
requires a weak stimulus.
The proponents of this school of thought use
8.4 Choice of Stimulation silver needles for drainage and gold needles for
Method supplying in body acupuncture as well. As al-
ready discussed in connection with the choice
Inserting a fine needle into the irritated point of needles, puncturing different points of the tis-
has certainly become the most popular method sue results in different electrical potentials, from
of auricular stimulation. So far, this type of stim- which the respective replenishing or draining
ulation has been unsurpassed in its practicabil- effect is inferred.
ity and effectiveness and has not been replaced Without any explicit reasoning, auriculother-
by any other method of ear stimulation. Hence, apy takes the view that the rules for choosing the
needling is the treatment method of choice. All needle type are reversed on the auricle, so that
other forms of stimulus must be viewed as ther- gold needles should be used for reducing and
apeutic supplements or less effective substitutes silver needles for reinforcing. Interestingly, only
whenever the needle-stimulation method can- the terms drainage and supplying are borrowed
not be applied. Generally, electrical stimulation from Chinese medicine and applied to particular
of the inserted needle has an enhancing effect, syndromes. In neither Chinese body acupuncture
especially in neuralgia and causalgia, as well as nor Chinese ear acupuncture does the choice of
in recurrent colicky pain conditions in the intes- metal have this meaning, let alone this range of
tinal region (diverticulosis, spastic colitis, etc.). applications. Furthermore, auriculotherapy talks
Microphlebotomy presents itself as a supplement about opposing “energetic relationships” on
to needle treatment, particularly for allergies and the front and back of the auricle. Consequently,

8 Practical Approach

on the back of the ear, gold needles are sup- i.e., primarily in chronic syndromes and condi-
posed to be used for “supplying” and silver nee- tions of pain (e.g., yin pain with the following
dles for “drainage,” again in analogy with body characteristics: pain at night and while resting
acupuncture. that improves with movement). Furthermore, it
According to the concept of auriculotherapy, is advisable to choose this strength of the stim-
mediation of the desired intensity of the stimu- ulus when warranted by the patient’s constitu-
lus depends on employing gold or silver as the tion, i.e., particularly in weak or chronically ill
material, whereas steel is neutral. Needles made patients, elderly individuals, and children.
of platinum or molybdenum are also in use, al- Hence, in Chinese ear acupuncture, the
though, once again, their postulated special ef- strength of the stimulus is chosen depending on
fect cannot be confirmed empirically. the syndrome, as defined by Traditional Chinese
In Chinese ear acupuncture, by contrast, the Medicine. For this purpose, patients and their ill-
strength of the stimulus is not determined by ness should be assessed according to the classical
the differential choice of needle types. Here, the eight guiding principles: vacuity/repletion, yin/
reinforcing and draining techniques used are the yang, heat/cold, interior/exterior.
same as in Chinese body acupuncture. The lat- The drainage and reinforcing techniques of
ter identifies three kinds of stimulus intensity, Chinese ear acupuncture require relevant training
which, in a modified form, are supposed also to and skills, especially the forms of nian zhuan fa
play a role in ear acupuncture. and ti dao fa. If handling are clumsy, the ear car-
The ti dao fa of ear acupuncture (the draining, tilage may be considerably traumatized or even
reducing measure) corresponds to the famous xie pierced, which will increase the risk of infection.
fa of body acupuncture (as a strong stimulus); the For this reason, it is up to the physician to assess
eao fa of ear acupuncture (the supplying, replen- the need for this technique in relation to its
ishing measure) corresponds to the bu fa of body effectiveness. As in the case with auriculotherapy,
acupuncture (as a weak stimulus). The nian zhuan critical reservation is advisable, because here too
fa in ear acupuncture (as a medium-strength there are still no convincing comparative studies
stimulus) corresponds to the third classical or empirical results with regard to improved
strength, i.e., the combination of xie fa and bu fa. effectiveness over simple needle stimulation.
If we assume that ear acupuncture is based on
a microsystem that reflects the entire body and
8.5.1 Drainage in which direct and fairly short reflex pathways
Drainage in ear acupuncture (ti dao fa) is achieved to the corresponding organ are clearly available,
by repeated minor lifting and lowering of the in- it is doubtful whether the laws of body acu-
serted needle for 1 to 2 minutes, while slightly puncture can be applied to ear acupuncture in
rotating the needle. This strength of the stimulus a meaningful way, particularly since the organ
is primarily indicated in states of yang or yang projections are not analogous to the functional
repletion, i.e., in acutely severe and painful diseases. pathways (channels) defined by Chinese medi-
For medium-strength stimulation, i.e., for com- cine. However, this does not exclude the consid-
bining drainage and replenishing (nian zhuan fa), eration of diagnostic clues obtained according to
the needle is moved by rotating it back and forth traditional rules when choosing ear points. Un-
for 1 to 2 minutes, emphasizing the clockwise di- fortunately, we have only recommendations by
rection. This strength of the stimulus is applied individual authors regarding the effectiveness of
particularly in chronic and chronically recurrent the three different stimulus intensities; we have
symptoms or syndromes. no insight into the original Chinese studies.

▶ Far more important than the choice of stimulus in-

8.5.2 Supplementation tensity is the choice of stimulus location. According to
Supplementation in ear acupuncture (eao fa) the current state of practical experience and in recog-
is achieved by merely inserting the needle and nition of the available information from both Chinese
leaving it without further manipulation. This ear acupuncture and French/Western auriculo-
type of stimulus is indicated in all states of yin therapy, the precise localization of the needle, rather
or yin vacuity as defined by Chinese medicine, than its manipulation, is the decisive factor. ◀

Combination with Other Methods of Stimulation

Treatment intervals. In Chinese ear acupuncture, 8.6 Combination with Other

the intervals between individual treatments de-
pend on processes of Chinese medicine on the Methods of Stimulation
one hand (e.g., on the patient’s constitution), There are numerous possibilities for using ear
and vary according to the type of syndrome on acupuncture in combination with other therapeu-
the other. Fairly short treatment intervals (twice tic methods. However, beware of polypragmasy:
a week or every 2 days) are indicated for yang the selection should be based on indication and
repletion conditions, while longer intervals (i.e., syndrome in the same way as when ear acupunc-
once per week or every 2 weeks) are indicated in ture is used as monotherapy.
states of yin vacuity. The use of ear acupuncture with its immedi-
In Western auriculotherapy, the treatment in- ate painkilling effect has been tried and tested in
tervals depend on the patient’s needs: the acute phases of recurrent chronic disorders
The patient is treated again when symptoms re- such as migraine, as has including body acupunc-
appear or have not subsided sufficiently. ture in more refractory cases, preferably during
The usual shortest interval is 1 to 2 days, but can the treatment intervals. The combination of
be less where points other than those used for ear and body acupuncture is recommended for
the previous or initial treatment are selected. the treatment of difficult chronic syndromes. In
The treatment intervals are gradually prolonged, chronic rheumatoid arthritis, for example, body
depending on the patient’s condition. The aim is acupuncture is used primarily and ear acupunc-
to have intervals of 7 to 10 days. ture is included as a supplementary measure,
After the patient is free of symptoms, treat- especially when acute symptoms appear. In such
ment is repeated once or twice, and the pa- cases, irritated zones are usually found in the
tient is advised to return for a new round corresponding area of the auricle, offering the
of treatment if the symptoms recur, even if opportunity for therapeutic support. Acute pain
this is weeks or months later. This is likely to can be alleviated in this way, even if the under-
happen repeatedly, particularly with chronic lying illness cannot be permanently controlled
illnesses. with ear acupuncture alone.
Because of the reflex connections, ear acu-
Chronically ill patients return after 3 to 6 months, puncture may also be used for follow-up. In
and a type of restorative treatment of about five syndromes not belonging to the primary range
sessions at intervals of 1 week apart will return of indications for ear acupuncture, a reduction
them to their desired freedom from symptoms. in initial irritation of the corresponding reflex
Duration of session. The needles are usually kept zones can be interpreted as a sign of successful
in place for 20 to 45 minutes. In old and very body acupuncture, independent of the course
weak patients, the needles may be removed and often even prior to the onset of any subjec-
during the initial sessions after 10 minutes. The tive improvement in symptoms.
period of time is then gradually increased during Treatment and follow-up take place during the
subsequent sessions, depending on the patient’s same session. First, the auricle is examined as
reaction. In severe pain conditions, the needles usual for irritated zones, which are then marked
may be kept in place for a longer period, in indi- with a water-soluble felt-tip pen. Optimal body
vidual cases perhaps for 45 to 60 minutes. acupuncture is then carried out. Subsequently,
the previously active zones are reassessed—they
Practical Tip are often found to be less irritated or even silent.
A series of basic treatments should generally This “extinction phenomenon” may occur only
include approximately 10 sessions, and the pa- after a series of treatments and is useful in that
tient must be informed that an alleviation of it indicates that the practitioner is proceeding
symptoms is frequently noticed after about five correctly. Neural therapy presents another good
or six treatments. If the patient fails to respond, opportunity for combination in acutely painful
it may make sense to continue the treatment diseases. Although both methods compete with
by mutual agreement, although the prospects each other as far as the indication is concerned,
are now less promising. their combination represents an improved ther-
apy for disturbed areas (scars, foci). In these

8 Practical Approach

cases, neural therapy should be used primarily, In addition, ear acupuncture has proved effec-
and persistently irritated zones of the auricles tive for the preparation or initiation of physical
should be considered for supplementary treat- treatment measures in chiropractic and kinesio-
ment. In acute neuralgia, such as headache syn- logical treatment. This approach has the advan-
dromes, the method of choice should depend on tage, among others, that the site of therapy lies
the patient’s preference or dislike—the decision outside the body areas involved in these mea-
will usually be in favor of ear acupuncture. Neu- sures, so that both treatments can be carried
ral therapy will still be a sensible supplementary out in parallel. Ear acupuncture has also proved
measure if there are residual symptoms. successful as a parallel treatment to conventional
medical therapies. For example, one can take ad-
Practical Tip vantage of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory
The therapist should always prefer the method effects of the corresponding ear points following
that has provided the best results for the indica- surgical interventions on the locomotor system.
tion in question, in order to be able to apply an- Through accompanying ear acupuncture, pos-
other supplementary method if the symptoms sible incompatibilities or allergic reactions can
remain or show insufficient improvement. be avoided and medications saved. This also ap-
plies to bronchial asthma, in which the dosage of
conventional medication can frequently be re-
For example, the cervicobrachial syndrome can be duced as a result of parallel treatment with ear
superbly treated by acupuncture of the mouth ac- acupuncture.
cording to Gleditsch and is the method of choice. These examples demonstrate that, although
In cases of needle phobia or patient hypersensi- the combination of ear acupuncture with other
tivity, it makes sense to stabilize the therapeutic procedures and indications has its limitations,
outcome by switching to ear acupuncture after multiple possibilities are open for exploration.
one or two sessions. This will not interfere with Its direct mechanism of action is so clear and de-
the success of mouth acupuncture, which may be fined that ear acupuncture has become an ideal
readily reapplied after such an interruption. component of combination treatment.

9 Established Indications
The indications presented in this chapter are the Chinese school. Monitoring and care by an
also dealt with in the corresponding chapters eye specialist is essential, especially when treat-
elsewhere in this book and can, with the aid of ing glaucoma.
ear or body acupuncture, be successfully treated Even in severe conditions such as optic atrophy
by a medical specialist or general practitioner. and macular degeneration, use of ear acupunc-
The detailed description of these indications ture at the eye points 24 a and 24 b has proved
facilitates familiarization with therapeutic pro- helpful. It must be noted, however, that ear acu-
cedures and, after giving the various aspects puncture may never result in healing or complete
proper and critical consideration, should help restoration—it can only achieve a distinct delay in
the practitioner to set up an individualized ther- the progression or persistence of the condition.
apy plan. From that point of view, the patient’s subjective
It should be pointed out however, that diseases description should not be taken exclusively into
must be checked by a medical specialist if nec- account, not least because improved findings are
essary, and the patient must be informed about frequently superimposed with a concomitant,
conventional medical options. objective improvement in the patient’s general
well-being; the specialist should also regularly
document the progress of the disease.
9.1 Diseases of the Eye After the primary selection of these specific
If there is any risk of acute loss of sight, the treat- eye points (corresponding points), supplemen-
ment of eye diseases with alternative methods tary treatment by means of segment therapy
is naturally out of the question. This certainly should be considered in chronic conditions. The
applies, for example, when retinal detachment vegetative groove (zone of origin of sympathetic
is suspected in cases of acute glaucoma or in nuclei, see Fig. 3.22) should be examined at the
temporal arteritis (giant cell arteritis). However, level of the upper cervical spine, as well as the
tentative recognition of such diseases of the eye zone of paravertebral chain of sympathetic gan-
lies within the medical scope of the ear acupunc- glia (see Fig. 3.17), namely, the superior and mid-
turist. Prior diagnosis by a specialist is, therefore, dle cervical ganglion points.
usually not required. If a specific disease is sus- With diseases of the inner eye, i.e., those af-
pected, the patient is referred to an ophthalmol- fecting the sensory organ, it is also advisable
ogist. Needless to say, in cases with a doubtful to examine the antitragus in the region of the
diagnosis, it is always advisable to seek a second sensory line (points 29, 35, 33) for irritations
opinion from a specialist prior to starting any (Fig. 9.1).
acupuncture treatment, because the responsibil- Supplementary points are inferred by the
ity always lies with the treating physician regard- findings. Depending on the condition, different
less of his or her specialty area. points should be considered, for example, the
Ear acupuncture is a beneficial approach in shen men point (55) and the ACTH point (13)
all acute and inflammatory diseases of the outer in eye diseases with inflammatory tendencies.
eye (e.g., hordeolum, conjunctivitis, blepharitis). If an allergic condition predominates, the al-
The Chinese school describes first of all the eye lergy point (78) at the tip of the ear must also
point (8) located in the center of the lobule as be searched for and needled from the inside, if
the primary therapeutic access; in addition to possible. In such cases, the thymus gland point
the above indications, it also lists glaucoma, op- (26 a), located in the antihelical wall at the level
tic atrophy, and retinitis. In practice, however, of C7/T1, will often also prove sensitive and may
the eye point (8) on the lobule has only proved be included in the therapy.
effective with inflammatory eye diseases. In dis- It is also possible to treat the above nonin-
eases of the inner eye, the eye points 24 a and flammatory eye diseases as defined by Chinese
24 b at the caudal edge of the intertragic notch medicine, which assigns them to the liver (LI).
are more important; they too are derived from Consequently, the liver zone (97) (see Fig. 3.28)

9 Established Indications

Allergy point (78)

Shen men point


point 82
gland point

Middle cervical
ganglion point
Superior cervical
ACTH point ganglion point
Eye point
(24 a) 35
Eye point
(24b) Line of treatment (segment therapy)

Sensory line
Eye point (8)

Fig. 9.1 Pool of points for diseases of the eye.

of the auricle may be examined for irritation and shows improvement only after prolonged, con-
included in the treatment. tinuous therapy.
The following two treatment examples are
intended to clarify the basic procedure and fa-
cilitate the first therapeutic steps. The first ex-
9.1.1 Allergic Conjunctivitis
ample shows a quick and fair response to ear In contrast to infectious conjunctivitis, which
acupuncture, while the second one usually must be treated with antibiotics, acute allergic

Diseases of the Eye

conjunctivitis can be treated well with ear acu- toward improvement is observed, continuation
puncture, which opens up a real alternative to of treatment makes sense and treatment in-
the therapies of conventional medicine. Obvi- tervals may be extended to 2 or 3 weeks. If the
ously, antiallergic agents and antihistamines are findings worsen after about 6 weeks, a return to
available. However, patients often prefer treat- weekly intervals is indicated.
ment by (ear) acupuncture, either because of To justify the continuation or repetition of a
drug intolerance or because of a general aversion series of ear acupuncture sessions, the findings
to allopathic drugs. obtained by the eye specialist after 3 months
One must here distinguish between acute should clearly show a tendency toward improve-
treatment, which is restricted to the selection of ment. If this is confirmed by the patient subjec-
a few points, and prophylactic treatment, which tively, a good prognosis may be expected.
lasts for approximately 4 weeks and is performed
in good time prior to the expected allergic expo- Practical Tip
sure. For prophylactic treatment, therapeutically Terminate the treatment if neither subjective
differing supplementary points are required nor objective improvements can be observed
during the course of treatment. after the first round of approximately 10 ses-
When treating acute conjunctivitis, the eye sions.
point (8) at the center of the lobule must be lo-
cated. In addition, the allergy point (78) must
be found and needled in such a way that it The following ear points may be considered for
causes microphlebotomy. This treatment can be the primary basic regimen and may be supple-
repeated daily. If sensitive, the interferon point mented individually, depending on the patient’s
in the supratragic notch can be added. In addi- response and condition. First, the eye points 24 a
tion, the shen men point (55) can be examined and 24 b on the lower cartilaginous edge of the
for sensitivity. As a rule, it is enough to select intertragic notch and, furthermore, the ACTH
the allergy point (78), shen men point (55), and point (13) at the start of the endocrine zone (22)
eye point (8). The sensation of a foreign object are searched for; the shen men point (55) is usu-
will subside within a few hours, whereas hy- ally sensitive, too. These areas should be found
peremia of the conjunctiva will take 1 to 2 days on both sides and then needled.
to subside. The primary therapeutic approach is supple-
mented by points located on the sensory line.
However, points in the zone of paravertebral
9.1.2 Optic Atrophy chain of sympathetic ganglia often prove sen-
This severe syndrome, occurring frequently in sitive, too, especially the superior and middle
connection with multiple sclerosis, is currently cervical ganglion points at the C2/C3 level, just
treated in conventional medicine over a relatively before the transition of the antitragal wall into
long period of time and with only moderate the plain of the concha (Fig. 9.1). Since patients
results. with this severe, dangerous syndrome are sub-
In those cases where corticoid therapy is not jected to considerable suffering accompanied by
tolerated or is rejected by the patient in the long emotional instability, the psychotropic points
term, auricular stimulation therapy can be rec- should also be examined for sensitivity and in-
ommended. A response to therapy is manifested cluded as supplementary points if the maximum
by delayed progression or stagnation of the dis- of four or five needles per auricle has not yet
ease compared with the pretreatment phase. been reached.
Initially, 5 to 10 treatments are set up, if possi- To stabilize the achieved delay or stagnation
ble at daily intervals. Later, when the symptoms in the course of the disease, a series of approx-
recede, treatment should take place weekly. Prior imately six treatments should be repeated every
to this, in order not to have to rely only on the 6, or even every 3, months.
patient’s subjective feelings, the attending eye A similar approach may be taken in case of
specialist should document the objective state of macular degeneration. The sensory line is em-
the eyes, carrying out an update approximately phasized in this syndrome. Once again, the shen
6 to 10 weeks into the treatment. If a tendency men point (55) as well as points in the zone of

9 Established Indications

paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia may (gan), the Chinese school often includes the cor-
be used as supplementary points. The sensitive responding points, the liver zone (97) and spleen
areas may be found within this zone but are zone (98) (see Fig. 3.28), of the auricle. Treat-
mostly found just next to the ganglion points ment takes place every 2 to 3 days. A therapeutic
proper. If verifiable, the area of the vegetative success should already be evident after five or
point II (34) is a beneficial addition. Various six treatments; as a rule, therapy may be termi-
points can be found here (sieving technique). nated after a cycle of approximately 10 sessions.

9.2 Diseases of Ear, Nose, 9.2.2 Laryngitis

and Throat Laryngitis requires different therapeutic ap-
proaches, depending on whether it is the acute,
9.2.1 Globus Sensation inflammatory type or the chronic type of man-
This syndrome is also called “globus hystericus.” ifestation.
The sensation of having a lump in the throat is In the acute type caused by infection or exces-
usually a typical psychosomatic disorder with sive strain, symptoms usually quickly subside.
vegetative symptoms and is frequently accompa- Here, ear acupuncture is only indicated when
nied by myogelosis in connection with cervical improvement is not as rapid as expected or if im-
syndrome. Therefore, it is recommended that provement is continuingly absent.
more be found out about such symptoms, both Among the acute types, the most frequent in-
in the patient’s history and during the clinical ex- dication is recurrent laryngitis due to excessive
amination. This will help in putting together an strain. This affects the patient time and again
individual set of points. because of stress at work; the suffering caused
In case of conspicuous findings concerning the is similar to that seen with the chronic type
cervical spine and a corresponding history sup- and may require treatment by ear acupuncture.
plied by the patient, the primary therapeutic ac- If speech therapy has already been initiated, al-
cess should be the segmental approach (formerly though not yet completed, it should be continued
ear geometry). For this purpose, the vegetative during the treatment series.
groove is first searched for irritated points, and In acute laryngitis, the following points are
the segment is narrowed down by connecting recommended as the primary basic regimen:
those points with point zero (diaphragm point) Larynx/pharynx point (15).
(82) to form an imaginary line of treatment. SHEN men point (55).
More irritated points are usually found along this Trachea zone (103).
line, e.g., in the zone of paravertebral muscles
and ligaments, which is located in the scapha and In cases of infection this should be supple-
antihelical wall. mented by the apex of tragus point (12) and, if
When searching for supplementary reflex appropriate, the interferon point (see Fig. 3.2).
zones, the following zones should be considered If there is an underlying allergic component,
if globus sensation is viewed as an organ-related the allergy point (78) and the ACTH point (13)
syndrome: the larynx/pharynx point (15) (see should be included. If caused by excessive strain
Fig. 3.3) and esophagus zone (85) (see Fig. 3.26). of the vocal cords as a result of faulty speech
They are projected as a narrow band in the infe- technique or prolonged strain, the following
rior concha bordering on the ascending helix. The psychotropic points should be considered as
solar plexus zone on the crus of helix should be well: frustration point, PT1 (formerly antiag-
examined too. gression point), PT3 (formerly antidepression
With respect to underlying vegetative distur- point). In most cases, vegetative point I (51) and
bances, of course, vegetative point I (51) on the vegetative point II (34) are also found to be quite
inferior antihelical crus and vegetative point II irritated.
(34) on the inside of the antitragus should be According to the concept of Chinese medicine,
considered. Based on the Chinese school’s inter- the voice is affected by the qi of the lungs. Hence,
pretation that generalized vegetative disorders the lung zone (101) can be searched for sensitive
result from vacuity (xu) of spleen (PI) and liver points (sieving technique).

Diseases of Ear, Nose, and Throat

Note. In cases of chronic laryngitis, one should con- point (29 a) and a point in the solar plexus zone
sider that this might initially be a warning sign for may also be irritated and should be included
laryngeal cancer. Hence, this possibility must definite- in the set of points. Inclusion of the latter two
points may be decisive because of their vegeta-
ly be excluded by laryngoscopy prior to the start of
tive harmonizing effect, and thus may contribute
ear acupuncture. Once again, treatment of the laryn-
to fundamental stabilization beyond the purely
gitis is carried out according to the primary basic reg-
symptomatic effect.
imen; for the chronic type, however, the apex of tra-
The supplementary points include the shen
gus point (12) is omitted in favor of the ACTH point.
men point (55), vegetative point II (34), and stel-
late ganglion point (in the zone of paravertebral
The individual supplementary points used de- chain of sympathetic ganglia).
pend on the possible causes and contributing The factors triggering the attacks of vertigo
factors, similar to acute laryngitis caused by need to be thoroughly established while taking
excessive strain. For chronic laryngitis, the differ- the patient’s history, because they play an im-
ence in treatment lies in the larger treatment in- portant role in the choice of points. The triggers
tervals (once per week) but, unfortunately, also are not always known to the patient; therefore,
in a slower improvement and lower chances of this essential aspect is often missing when con-
success. Therefore, combination with body acu- sidering the set of points to be treated. Common
puncture is absolutely recommended here. The triggers are (in the order of frequency): hyper-
symptoms are usually interpreted as a disease of sensitivity to changes in the weather, psychoso-
vacuity (xu); hence, the following body acupunc- cial overload, tension caused by faulty posture,
ture points should be considered: CV-22 and and hydrops of the inner ear. As an example,
CV-23 as well as ST-9. the following ear points may be searched for
Frequently, there is an underlying chronic sensitivity:
infection of the paranasal sinuses or bronchi. Weather point on the ascending helix.
This should be clarified prior to treatment and, Psychotropic points in the order of their most
if necessary, treated further by different thera- likely sensitivity, namely, PT1 (antiaggression
peutic methods. point) and PT3 (antidepression point).
PT2 (anxiety/worry point).
If sensitive, the oppression point (83) in the
9.2.3 Meniere’s Disease solar plexus zone (crus of helix) .
This syndrome is characterized by impaired Von Steinburg’s vertigo line.
hearing in the range of low-pitched sounds that
is associated with noise in the ear, paroxysmal ro- Because conditions of cervical tension often
tatory vertigo, and concomitant vegetative symp- develop in connection with a prolonged faulty
toms, such as nausea or vomiting. The cause of posture resulting from physical overload, the
the disease is unknown; it therefore constitutes therapeutic approach of segment therapy (for-
a considerable therapeutic problem in Western merly ear geometry) should be considered in
medicine as well. The therapeutic results ob- cases of vertigo. Accordingly, the point corre-
tained with ear acupuncture, as well as in combi- sponding to the affected segment is searched
nation with body acupuncture, are generally not for in the vegetative groove and needled if it is
very good. Nevertheless, very good results can sensitive. Obviously, the primary regimen should
occasionally achieved be, which justifies an at- also include the Jerome point (29 b). In cases of
tempt to treat the disease with ear acupuncture. hydrops of the inner ear, this treatment is sup-
Apart from the primary basic combination, the plemented by the inner ear point (9) and ACTH
selection of a set of therapeutic points is individ- point (13).
ualized to the patient, depending on the individ- Chinese medicine classifies Meniere’s dis-
ual triggers. The primary basic idea is to search ease with its attacks of rotatory vertigo as a
first for points in the area of the sensory line disease related to wind (feng). Accordingly,
(points 29, 35, 33). Next, it makes sense to exam- it is recommended that the liver zone (97) be
ine vegetative point I and vegetative point II for included in the treatment. Combination with
their sensitivity. In this syndrome, the kinetosis body acupuncture is possible, e.g., through the

9 Established Indications

lateral yang channels, triple burner (TB) and and lung zone (101). Needless to say, the sensiti-
gallbladder (GB). vity of these points varies from person to person
and is not always uniformly expressed. In case
Note. For all the possible sets of points presented of persistent sensitivity, these points should cer-
here, the maximum number of needles should not tainly be included in the prophylactic treatment.
exceed more than four or five per ear. During the prophylactic phase of treatment, it
is recommended that the interferon point on the
supratragic notch and the thymus gland point be
9.2.4 Pollinosis selected, according to their sensitivity. Further-
The sharp rise in allergic diseases (including pol- more, combination with body acupuncture is
linosis) in recent years is undoubtedly related to recommended. In Chinese medicine, weakness in
the increasing inability of the human immune the defense qi is assumed, and possibly weakness
system to cope with environmental pollution (air, of the kidney yang. This results in vacuity (xu),
food, water) and its inadequate reaction to natural which underlies hay fever and allergic bronchial
substances previously tolerated, depending on an asthma as a possible contributing factor. The
individual’s constitution. The harmonizing effect nose—interpreted according to Chinese school
of acupuncture can be put to good use, both in as the opener of the lung (fei)—provides clues to
acute cases and as a preventive measure. In the possible disturbances along the lung channel, so
treatment of acute cases, like that of allergic con- treatment points should be selected along the
junctivitis, depending on the main symptoms, the lung (LU) and large intestine (LI) channels. The
correspondence points of the eye (8) and inner following body acupoints have proved effective:
nose (16) are needled first, followed by the allergy LI-20, LI-4, and LU-11. Treatment takes place
point (78) on the tip of the ear, if necessary from twice a week during the first 4 to 6 weeks; there-
the inside. When removing the needle, the spon- after, it is switched to weekly treatment inter-
taneous bleeding is allowed to stop on its own vals. In total, 15 to 20 sessions are required per
(microphlebotomy). The allergy point may also be year; for prophylaxis, this treatment is repeated
punctured from above; this usually does not result for 2 to 3 subsequent years, depending on the in-
in spontaneous bleeding. The shen men point (55) tensity of the seasonal complaints.
should also be included because of its component Small children should be treated the same
of antiphlogistic action, as should the ACTH point way, but with laser rather than needles.
(13) if it is sensitive. If asthma is a contributing
factor, irritated points in the region of the lung
zone (101) should be considered. In the acute 9.2.5 Forms of Rotary Vertigo
phase, sessions take should place twice a week, Rotatory (systematic) vertigo and other condi-
or daily if required, and are continued weekly or tions of vertigo are among the most varied and
biweekly following stabilization. The selection of most frequent complaints in general practice.
points should be adjusted to the individual course In order to facilitate meaningful and successful
and symptoms. The individual set of points will treatment by means of ear acupuncture, thorough
become more and more distinct and should be ad- diagnostic clarification is a must, even more than
hered to during the subsequent treatment period, with other symptoms because of the multitude
starting with the fourth or fifth session. of possible organic and functional causes. Within
After the pollen season has come to an end, the bounds of the rather vague term vertigo, only
prophylactic treatment for the following year is those forms of vertigo may be considered for ear
worthwhile. The prophylactic approach for hay acupuncture treatment which have been clearly
fever treatment differs from the acute treatment diagnosed but cannot be treated by conventional
only with respect to the timing of the start and medical means and respond well to ear acupunc-
course of treatment. However, it should be con- ture. These include, e.g., sensations of dizziness
sidered that certain points, which are clearly re- classified as vestibular vertigo and vertebral ver-
active during the acute phase, cannot be detected tigo. According to recent findings, the latter may
during the pollen-free period. Hence, they cannot be interpreted as a myofascial syndrome. These
be included in the treatment at this point. These forms must be strictly distinguished from asys-
points are the eye point (8), inner nose point (16) tematic vertigo, i.e., diffuse cerebral dizziness. The

Diseases of Ear, Nose, and Throat

latter is characterized by a feeling of rotation or framework of a thoroughly conducted clinical

vacuity in the head that is associated with drows- study. Among the 100 patients whose data were
iness and things turning black in front of the eyes; recorded for analysis, a complete improvement
this is caused by insufficient cerebral blood flow. of symptoms was found in 74%, a good improve-
The Drs von Steinburg (ear, nose, and throat ment in 15%, relapse in 9%, and no effect in 2%.
specialists in Munich, Germany) have docu- The ear points used in this study were located on
mented significant therapeutic results within the the “vertigo line” discussed above (Fig. 9.2).

Allergy point (78)

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51)

Points in the
mouth/throat Solar plexus
zone (84) 85 T1 zone
Apex of tragus
point (12) Zone of
Larynx (15) 103 Trachea paravertebral chain
of sympathetic
Inner nose (16) ganglia
ACTH point Occiput point
(13/19) (29)
point II Sun point (35)
(subcortex Forehead point Segment treatment
point, gray
substance 3
point) (34) 2
Sensory line

Vertigo line
omega point Located on the inside
of the antitragus

Fig. 9.2 Pool of points for diseases of the ear, nose, and throat.

9 Established Indications

On the auricle, additional primary therapeutic by means of vegetative points I and II and also
access is provided when searching for points at by the (vegetative) heart zone (100) and cardiac
the C1/C2 level and in the zone of sympathetic plexus point.
trunk (zone of paravertebral chain of sympathetic Visual interaction of the three systems men-
nuclei, stellate ganglion point; see Fig. 3.17) and tioned is controlled by the cerebrum through di-
also in the vegetative groove according to Lange verse visual centers in the occiput, temples, and
(zone of origin of sympathetic nuclei). This set of forehead, as well as through vestibulocortical
points can possibly be expanded by applying ear pathways. This may explain the psychopatho-
geometry. logical relationships in the genesis of symptoms
To supplement this approach, points on the an- of vertigo, an example being vertigo caused by
titragus may be examined. These centrally acting heights.
points are often sensitive in conditions of vertigo Depending on their sensitivity, the psychotropic
and hence may be used therapeutically. Of signif- points offer the opportunity for ear acupuncture
icance is the sun point (35) on the outside of the to exert a harmonizing and stabilizing effect. These
antitragal base; this is listed primarily as an im- points include primarily PT1 (formerly the antiag-
portant point for headache. As the central point gression point), PT2 (formerly the anxiety/worry
on the sensory line, according to Nogier, it is also point), the frustration point (see Fig. 4.5) and if
very effective in vertigo, especially in combina- applicable the Jerome point (29 b) (see Fig. 4.4).
tion with forehead point (33) and occiput point According to the Chinese concept, attacks of
(29). Just above the occiput point (29) lies point rotatory vertigo are classified as wind (feng) dis-
29 a, which is indicated in kinetosis, i.e., vertigo eases and are treated as an outside (biao) disease
and nausea (motion sickness). Frequently, this via the lateral yang channels of the triple burner
point is also sensitive in other forms of vertigo. ([TB) and gallbladder (GB), as well as the liver
In addition, vegetative point II (34) should be channel (LI). When transferring this concept to
considered. the auricle, the liver zone (97), gallbladder zone
Further therapeutic access is provided by (96), and triple burner zone (104) should be
points or zones corresponding to the inner ear/ searched for sensitivities (see also 2nd step of
labyrinth. The “acoustic state point,” which the medical history.
Chinese school refers to as the apex of tragus One of the most important diseases involv-
point (12), is located slightly inside the tip of the ing the vestibular system is insufficiency of the
tragus and is primarily indicated in painful and basilar artery. This syndrome is also called ver-
feverish conditions caused by infections. How- tebrobasilar circulatory disorder, cervicovascu-
ever, it may also be sensitive in forms of vertigo lar vertigo, or postural vertigo. Depending on its
associated with symptoms resembling tinnitus severity, the dominant diagnostic sign is either
and hence in need of treatment. Furthermore, rotary vertigo lasting for seconds, rotatory ver-
the inner ear point (9) (see Fig. 3.9) is another tigo combined with disturbed vision (nephelo-
region that is supposed to be effective in vestib- pia), noise in the ear and hyperacusis, or, in mild
ular vertigo. cases, rotatory vertigo that depends on head pos-
In a simplistic way, vertigo may be understood ture and unsteadiness associated with pain in the
as a symptom resulting from a disturbance in shoulder and neck.
the relationship between body and space, which In these cases, primary therapy starts with the
depends on optimal interactions between the cervical spine segment; i.e., sensitive points on
vestibular, visual, and deep sensibility systems. the segmental treatment line are needled, start-
Hence, the eye points 24 a and 24 b (see Fig. 3.4) ing with the reflex points in the cervical spine
may be indicated as well. The system of deep zone and the corresponding points on the back
sensibility is functionally best represented in the of the auricle. In addition, all of the previously
thalamus point (26 a) (see Fig. 3.6). mentioned points have proved effective as sup-
Since the vestibular nuclei are closely related plementary points: the kinetosis point (29 a),
in space and function to switches in the auto- inner ear point (9), vegetative point I (51), and
nomic nervous system, the body–space rela- vegetative point II (34). (See the treatment exam-
tionship can be influenced in a stabilizing way ples for Vestibular Vertigo, p. 174.)

Diseases of Ear, Nose, and Throat

9.2.6 Tinnitus The first 10 treatments should be performed

twice weekly. The point selection should be re-
This very burdensome symptom is a more or less
considered after five or six treatments if there is
intense sensation of noise in the ears, which can
no improvement. If success is achieved, which of-
vary considerably in terms of its character and
ten already shows itself after the first treatment
time of appearance. Conventional medicine lists
even though it may be short-lived, the treatment
many different causes of this symptom, some of
may be repeated regularly every 2 to 3 weeks,
which (e.g., infections, foreign bodies, inflamma-
with similar results. As already mentioned, this
tion of the auditory meatus or middle ear) can be
will help the patient’s overall stabilization.
relatively easily eliminated. Acupuncture treat-
ment should only be started after an ear, nose,
and throat (ENT) specialist has excluded such 9.2.7 Sinusitis
causes by. Needless to say, it is a doctor’s respon-
Both the acute and chronic forms of this syn-
sibility to diagnose possible systemic diseases,
drome can be treated successfully. In the general
e.g., severe generalized infections or possible in-
practitioner’s ordinary everyday practice, pa-
tients with this condition usually come for treat-
In principle, ringing in the ears in its essential
ment with ear or body acupuncture only once
form is as difficult to treat with ear acupuncture
they are in the chronic or chronically recurrent
as it is with conventional medical methods. This
phase. As a rule, the patient has unsuccessfully
should be openly admitted to the patient, who
passed through several attempts of “established”
often has high hopes, especially with regard to
therapies by specialists (such as fenestration,
lasting success.
permanent drainage, adenotomy, and treatment
Experience has shown that this symptom will
with antibiotics, as well as physical therapy). Dis-
often cause considerable mental sequelae, if it
turbed bacterial flora in the intestine resulting
has not done so already. Treatment is therefore
from antibiotic treatment and common malnutri-
carried out either to bring about a temporary
tion, as well as the common chronic hyperplasia
alleviation or with the aim of making the ear
of the nasal mucosa that results from the contin-
noises disappear for several days. During these
uous use of decongestant nose drops, contribute
symptom-free periods, the patient is then able to
significantly to the chronicity of the process. In
recover physically and emotionally, if necessary.
view of this, exclusive treatment with ear or body
In this way, depressive or suicidal developments
acupuncture is often not enough, especially with
may be avoided.
chronic sinusitis. Therapeutic microbial support
The following reflex zones or points have
of the gut, in the sense of symbiotic management,
proved successful: the points of the sensory line,
is usually required and may be supplemented by
such as occiput point (29), sun point (35), fore-
local care of the nasal mucosa with panthenol,
head point (33) and shen men point (55).
0.9% NaCl spray or its equivalent.
In addition, the ganglia points of the zone
In both acute and chronic forms of sinusitis, a
of paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia
general therapeutic concept can prove successful
at the C2 to C7 level should be examined for
which, unlike with other syndromes, does not
really depend on the patient’s individual char-
According to the Chinese view, the phenom-
acteristics. This concept includes combination
enon of tinnitus is associated with disturbances
with certain body acupuncture points and/or,
along the liver (gan) or kidney (shen) channels. In
in the acute phase, supplementary treatment
case of repletion (shi), the liver zone (97) should
by selective mouth acupuncture (according to
be considered; in case of vacuity (xu), treatment
Gleditsch) combined with Adler’s selected pres-
of the kidney zone (95) is more important.
sure points on the neck at the level of C6/C7. The
In addition, it is recommended that vegeta-
primary therapeutic point combination for ear
tive zones (vegetative points I and II) and the
acupuncture consists of the following points,
psychotropic points on the lobule be examined
which should be needled on both ears: inner
for sensitivity. The master omega point in the
nose point (16), forehead point (33), ACTH point
ventral lower third of the lobule should also be
(13), and lung zone (101).

9 Established Indications

Supplementary points—second-choice reflex longer focused on healing but on an alleviation

points that are used alternately with the primary of symptoms or on a bearable life without
points with short treatment intervals (less than medication. From the medical point of view,
2 to 3 days), particularly in severe frontal pain— it must be emphasized that curing asthma by
comprise the following reflex zones: the shen means of acupuncture is achieved only in very
men point (55), occiput point (29), and vegetative rare cases; hence, exaggerated expectations
point II (34). In contrast to the primary points should not be encouraged.
mentioned above, these are not always found to Regarding the selection of points, it is helpful
be irritated. However, they should be included in to differentiate each clinical case of bronchial
the examination and documentation of points asthma according to its trigger mechanisms and
during the first treatment, even if they will not concomitant symptoms, as this will help to un-
be used right away. Depending on their recurrent cover decisive clues to the combination of points
sensitivity, these points may be used for assess- for treatment. The therapist should not be up-
ing the course of disease or as supplementary set when this approach leads to deviations from
points. the standard set of points. Specifications such as
As standard points for combination with body those outlined in this book are for orientation
acupuncture, the following body acupoints have only and should not tempt the practitioner into
proved successful: LI-4 and LI-20 as well as BL-2 treating the syndrome blindly according to a pre-
and BL-10. In children, they should be treated set combination of points.
with a laser. For primary therapeutic access, it is advisable
In ear acupuncture, the treatments for acute to search initially for irritated points by means
and chronic sinusitis differ not so much in terms of the disturbed segment (“segmental treatment
of the selection of points, but rather with respect line”). For this purpose, the vegetative groove
to the treatment intervals and choice of body (zone of origin of sympathetic nuclei) is exam-
acupoints that are suitable to be used in combi- ined at the level of the cervical/thoracic spine.
nation. In the chronic form of sinusitis, treatment The line of treatment is then established by
intervals of at least 1 week should be chosen. connecting the irritated points with point zero
Suitable body acupoints for combination are (diaphragm point) (82), which is usually not sen-
first of all local points, namely, LI-20 and BL-2. sitive and hence does not need to be treated. In
On the average, 10 to 20 treatments are required, most cases, more irritated points will be found
initially twice a week, and later at weekly inter- along this line of treatment in the region of the
vals. By contrast, acute sinusitis requires 5 to 10 lung zone (101), the zone of paravertebral chain
treatments that must be carried out daily in the of sympathetic ganglia, and the zone of paraver-
acute phase. The effectiveness of the method has tebral muscles and ligaments.
been convincingly documented in a dissertation The following supplementary points may be
by Wimmer (1984) at the ENT outpatient clinic in used, depending on the individual situation: the
Munich, Germany. shen men point (55), asthma point (31), and oc-
ciput point (29), as well as the lung zone (101)
and trachea zone (103). vegetative points I (51)
9.3 Diseases of the Respiratory and II (34) and the (vegetative) heart zone (100)
System (Fig. 9.3) should also be considered according to symp-
tomatic clues.
9.3.1 Bronchial Asthma Depending on the trigger mechanisms, such
Bronchial asthma is discussed here as as the weather, emotional stress, and allergic
representative of a series of diseases of the factors, the corresponding points should also
respiratory system that are characterized by be examined for possible irritation: the weather
dyspnea as the leading symptom. In most point (vegetative point), psychotropic points
cases, patients with this syndrome arrive for such as PT1 (formerly the antiaggression point),
acupuncture treatment only after the condition the frustration point or PT2 (formerly the anxi-
has become chronic and a concomitant intolerance ety/worry point), and PT3 (formerly the antide-
to conventional medication has developed. At pression point). If there is an underlying allergic
this stage, the patient’s expectations are no process, the following points are usually found to

Diseases of the Respiratory System

Allergy point (78)

Vegetative groove Zone of sensory

tracts of spinal

Shen men point


Vegetative point I

Frustration point 95

Weather point Point zero

Interferon point Thymus

gland point
Apex of tragus point 101 98
103 100

101 Occiput point

ACTH point
(13/19) (29)
Asthma point (31)
Vegetative point II
(subcortex point, gray
substance point) (34) PT3
PT1 (antiaggression (antidepression point)
PT2 (anxiety/worry

Mater omega point

Fig. 9.3 Pool of points for diseases of the respiratory system.

9 Established Indications

be sensitive to pressure: the allergy point (78), of any additional medication take place. During
ACTH point (13), and adrenal gland point located this phase, treatment may initially take place at
in the zone of nervous control points of endo- weekly intervals; depending on the individual
crine glands (in the ant-helical wall at the T12 course of the condition and after its stabilization,
level). In cases of recurrent infectious exacerba- treatment may proceed at longer intervals.
tions of a chronic asthmoid disease, which may With this kind of chronic disease, patients re-
be accompanied by high fever, it is preferable to turn of their own accord for further treatment
include the following points in the treatment: at intervals of 3 to 6 months, even after minor
the apex of tragus (12), interferon point, vegeta- changes in their symptoms, in order to be stabi-
tive point II (34), and shen men point (55). lized by a new series of about five sessions.
According to the Chinese concept, all lung dis-
eases, and therefore also asthmoid disease pro-
cesses, are caused by Yang Vacuity in the area of
9.3.2 Chronic Bronchitis
lung (fei) and spleen (pi). This illness may erupt Chronic bronchitis and chronically recurrent
under the influence of cold and dampness and bronchitis may have various underlying causes.
under excessive strain. Accordingly, Chinese ear These should clearly be identified within the
acupuncture recommends including the large scope of the patient’s history and the clinical
intestine zone (91), spleen zone (98), and kidney symptoms, in order to aim for an elimination
zone (95) in the treatment, depending on the state or at least reduction of these possible causes in
of their irritation, in order to strengthen the qi. collaboration with the patient. Without such
In very rare cases, asking their physician for a cause-oriented approach, ear acupuncture
acupuncture treatment is the asthma patient’s would be limited to the alleviation or subjective
first therapeutic choice. As they are usually al- improvement of symptoms and could not stop
ready undergoing drug therapy, treatment with the progression of the chronic process.
acupuncture is supposed to facilitate, among Possible causes include, for example, chronic
other things, a discontinuation or reduction of nicotine abuse. In this case, treatment of the ad-
medication. diction must come first. Chronically recurrent
bronchitis may also be caused by susceptibility
Note. Do not simply discontinue medication involv- to infections or by strain on the respiratory sys-
ing sympathomimetics or corticoids and replace tem as a result of today’s ubiquitous air pollution,
them with acupuncture. especially in population centers and industrial
belts. In these situations, it makes sense to strive
for a systematic strengthening of the immune
On the contrary, two, three, or even four system (e.g., by means of symbiotic management)
acupuncture sessions should be carried out prior to, or in parallel with, a series of ear acu-
under continuous medication according to puncture treatments. Total avoidance of expo-
the criteria described earlier, and objective sure may not be possible, but easing of exposure
tests of assessment should be included for (e.g., by a prolonged recreational vacation in an
follow-up, such as peak flow measurements area with clean air) will help in creating a fa-
and, at certain intervals, additional pulmonary vorable basis for reflex therapy by means of ear
function tests. In the initiation/discontinuation acupuncture.
phase, it has proved successful to carry out the If clues to a contributory allergic process sur-
acupuncture sessions twice a week at intervals face, these may call for important therapeutic
of about 3 days. Under the cover of acupuncture, measures introduced in parallel. In addition,
a slowly progressive reduction in medication allergy-related reflex zones on the auricle have to
can be attempted, beginning with the systemic be included in the set of points.
corticosteroid, while bronchiospasmolytics As a primary combination of points, irritated
(both local and systemic ones) are initially points in the lung zone (101) and bronchopul-
maintained at the usual dosage. Only after monary plexus point should be searched for. This
reaching low doses of corticosteroid medication also includes the anti-inflammatory shen men
(the Cushing’s threshold dose) or after complete point (55), as well as the ACTH point (13) and
discontinuation of the corticoid, can a reduction the adrenal gland point (nervous control point

Diseases of the Cardiovascular System

in the antihelical wall at the T12 level). In addi- levels. This explains why most of the points
tion, vegetative points I (51) and II (34) should considered for the treatment of hypertension
be considered. and hypotension are identical. Depending on the
The following points should be considered as cause and accompanying symptoms, different
supplementary points: the interferon point in supplementary points are included in each case.
the supratragic notch on the one hand, to utilize
its immune-enhancing effect, and on the other Note. It should be kept in mind that in cases of pro-
hand, the allergy point (78) on the tip of the nounced hypertension, which is difficult to treat by
ear in combination with the antiallergic thymus means of ear acupuncture, a precise diagnosis of the
gland point (antihelical wall). syndrome is compulsory, and the patient has to be
As defined by the Chinese school, chronic or informed about the primary required measures of
chronically recurrent bronchitis is assumed to
basic therapy that are available using conventional
be caused by vacuity resulting from a yin vacuity
(xu) of the lung; therefore, additional needling of
the spleen zone (98) and kidney zone (95) will
strengthen the qi. Important contributing factors (such as
As with bronchial asthma, chronic or chron- overweight, persistent emotional stress, lack of
ically recurrent bronchitis requires a prolonged exercise, and abuse of coffee, tea, cigarettes, etc.)
treatment period of approximately 6 months. should be taken into consideration when treating
In view of the continuing diathesis and risk of hypertension.
relapses, repeated treatment at longer inter- As primary therapeutic points, the follow-
vals (approximately every 6 to 9 months) is ing are available: the reflex zone of the adrenal
recommended. gland, i.e., the ACTH point (13) (formerly the anti-
hypertension point,19), heart zone (100), and
occiput point (29).
9.4 Diseases of the As supplementary points, the following points
Cardiovascular System should be examined for their state of irritation,
depending on the patient’s predominant symp-
(Fig. 9.4) toms: thalamus point (26 a), vegetative point II
9.4.1 Hypertension, Hypotension (34), and sun point (35). It also makes sense to
use vegetative point I (51) and omega point II.
With respect to circulatory regulation, it should be The antihypertension groove (105 m) on the
stated here that, in contrast to widely held views back of the auricle should also be mentioned
and corresponding references in the literature, as this is supposed to be effective according to
it is unfortunately impossible to raise or lower Chinese specifications. Furthermore, the psycho-
the blood pressure by selective ear acupuncture tropic points of PT1 (formerly antiaggression
independently of the prevailing blood pressure point) and the master omega point should be
conditions. Names such as “high blood pressure taken into consideration.
point” or “blood pressure lowering point” are, According to the Chinese concept, the symp-
therefore, misleading, and statements concerning toms of hypertension (such as dizziness, head-
the special effects of gold and silver needles aches, and reddening of the face) are interpreted
are also entirely unfounded, both practically as a sign of increased liver yang. Therefore,
and theoretically. It is assumed, however, that Chinese ear acupuncture attempts “drainage” by
an acupuncture stimulus applied to a specific needling the liver zone (97). Furthermore, acu-
reflex zone on the auricle triggers an entire puncture treatment should distinguish between
complex of regulatory actions at the nervous and vacuity (xu) and repletion (shi): in the state of
humoral levels that aims for restoration of the repletion, for example, needling of the shen men
respective disturbed functional system. Based on point (55) is preferred.
this assumption, the effect of ear acupuncture As in the case of bronchial asthma, it is also
on circulatory regulation may still be utilized, possible to combine treatment of hypertension
to the patient’s benefit, although it cannot by ear acupuncture with conventional drug
specifically aim at normalizing blood pressure therapy, or to needle with the aim of reducing

9 Established Indications

groove (105 m)
Blood pressure
control point
Heart point (100 m)

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51)
Omega point I

point II Liver zone (97)
point) (34) Heart zone

plexus point
ACTH point
point (26 a)
point) PT3
(Antidepression point)
PT2 Sun point
(anxiety/worry (35)

Omega master

Fig. 9.4 Pool of points for diseases of the cardiovascular system.

Diseases of the Cardiovascular System

medication. Here too, depending on the severity pressure to be raised or lowered the blood pres-
and course of the disease, the aim is to prescribe sure in a direct, calculated way when blood pres-
medication according to the effectiveness of the sure is normal. Similarly, existing high blood
ear acupuncture performed and to correspond- pressure cannot be raised further. Hence, there
ingly adjust the treatment intervals as well as the is no risk of inducing a hypertensive crisis by us-
sets of points. ing points that are not indicated; the worst-case
During the first treatment for hypertension, scenario would be an absence of the hoped-for
acupuncture is carried out twice a week; sus- effect. However, in the course of such ineffective
tained lowering of blood pressure can already be treatment, as in all cases of untreated hyper-
achieved after a series of about 10 sessions. If the tension, dysfunctional blood pressure regula-
treatment is effective, the accompanying general tion may result. Simple follow-up by means of
symptoms (such as dizziness, headache, and in- routinely documented results of blood pressure
somnia) already subside after one or, at the lat- measurements should always accompany the
est, five or six sessions. Repeated treatments are therapy.
usually required at intervals of about 6 months,
or continuous treatment at larger intervals of 2
to 3 weeks.
9.4.2 Paroxysmal Tachycardia
It goes without saying that prior to acupuncture
Practical Tip treatment of this symptom, any severe cardiac
The treatment of hypotension is less difficult irregularities must be ruled out by long-term
than that of hypertension. The reflex zones af- electrocardiogram (ECG) surveillance. Patients
fecting the circulatory system that are known usually seek out acupuncture when conven-
to be relevant in hypertension are also exam- tional medical measures—from recommending
ined here for sensitivity: the heart zone (100), drinking some water during the attack to
ACTH point (13), occiput point (29), and thal- administrating a low-dose β-blocker—have
amus point (26 a). The sympathicotonic points failed or are unacceptable to the patient. Primary
vegetative point I (51) and vegetative point II treatment by ear acupuncture relies on the
vegetative and heart-specific reflex zones already
(34) serve as individual supplementary points.
Most important is the heart zone (100) in com-
The Chinese school describes an additional bination with the cardiac plexus point (at the C2/
point in the middle of the ear, the oppression C3 level in the inferior concha at the transition to
point /“bifurcation point” (83), which is located the antihelical wall); vegetative points I (51) and
in the solar plexus zone defined by Nogier’s II (34) should be considered too. Furthermore,
auriculotherapy, and lies close to point zero (the the solar plexus zone, or the oppression point
diaphragm point) (82). To what extent these (bifurcation point) (83) according to the Chinese
points can be distinguished according to their school, should be examined for sensitivity. Ac-
location remains to be explored in more detail cording to the Chinese concept, these symptoms
in individual studies. Nevertheless, in case of develop with vacuity (xu), e.g., after a severe and
hypotonic dysregulation, it is sensible to search weakening illness. Furthermore, predisposition
for irritated points in the solar plexus zone. to paroxysmal tachycardia may develop in con-
Approximately three to six sessions are usually nection with mental disease, such as a depressed
enough for prolonged stabilization of low blood mood and depression. Therefore, the Chinese
pressure. In individual cases, a single follow-up school uses—apart from heart zone (100)—the
treatment is warranted after a long interval, i.e., following points to promote the circulation of qi
about 3 months. and blood (xue): small intestine zone (89) and, as
The Chinese school also describes a blood pres- a sedative component, occiput (29) and vegeta-
sure raising groove, located on the back of the ear, tive point II (34).
approximately in the middle third of the antihe- It has proved successful to possibly include
lical groove. the following psychotropic points: PT2 (formerly
Once again, it should be pointed out that the anxiety/worry point), PT3 (formerly antidepres-
specified reflex zones do not allow the blood sion point), and PT1 (formerly antiaggression

9 Established Indications

point). Before considering more extensive sets of paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia. Any
points, it is worth trying to needle—as the only points found in the vegetative groove (zone of
irritated reflex zone during an attack—the op- origin of sympathetic nuclei) are also needled,
pression point (bifurcation point) (83) in the so- in addition to point zero (diaphragm point) (82),
lar plexus zone, in order to achieve a lower pulse which in this case will certainly be irritated.
rate. This may be followed by further treatment When painful spastic symptoms associated
using additional combinations, e.g., heart zone with nausea or vomiting dominate the acute
(100) and cardiac plexus point, and also by in- phase, it is advisable to include retro-point zero
cluding the solar plexus zone. (112 m) in the central posterior sulcus. The shen
The treatment interval is 2 to 3 days and is men point (55) can be included if it is sensitive,
extended to weekly intervals once the situation because of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory
has stabilized. Usually, five to 10 sessions are effects.
sufficient. However, it should be remembered that no
more than four or five needles per ear should be
9.5 Diseases of the If more than five active points are present, a
Gastrointestinal Tract selection is made according to the patient’s ac-
(Fig. 9.5) tual condition, while the remaining points are
documented and used in alternating second
9.5.1 Chronically Recurrent treatments arranged at short intervals. The ther-
Gastritis apist should not become confused if some of
these points are no longer sensitive by the sec-
When selecting the primary points for treating ond session. This may signal a therapeutic effect
acute and chronically recurrent gastritis, identical that often appears in parallel to a subjective im-
reflex zones may be found to be irritated. In the provement in the patient’s condition or may even
case of acute gastritis, symptoms experienced precede it. Hence, these normalized points are of
during the spontaneous course of this disease no further use.
can be clearly alleviated or even eliminated using As supplementary points, vegetative points
these points. As a result, burdensome medication I (51) and II (34) may be included in the treat-
can be avoided. This fact is only of marginal ment. Especially in chronically recurrent gastritis
interest, however, since patients rarely turn to accompanied by repeatedly occurring duodenal
acupuncture treatment at the beginning of their or stomach ulcers, all of the following psycho-
illness. tropic points should be examined for sensitivity:
The physician is far more often confronted frustration point, PT1, PT2, and PT3. In contrast
with chronically recurrent gastritis and a request to the points of primary therapy, these points
for acupuncture treatment as a substitute for re- play a major role during symptom-free periods.
peated and more or less successful drug therapy. If necessary, the occiput point (29) and Jerome
Also in this situation, the patient may be sub- point (29 b) are included as well.
jected to ear acupuncture with good prospects According to Chinese specifications, the spleen
for success, provided a diagnosis (esophageal dia- zone (98) and lung zone (101) may also be sen-
phragmatic hernia, Helicobacter pylori) has been sitive. In severe cases, omega point I and omega
established. point II are often useful.
The primary set of points, which is also very By necessity, treatment intervals are shorter:
effective in acute gastritis, is found within the 2 to 3 days, depending on the state of the acute
reflex zones of stomach and duodenum, which phase. They are then increased, particularly with
should be examined for irritated points. It will repeated treatments. Treatment intervals of 7 to
help first to find a line of treatment according to 10 days have proved successful.
the tried and tested principle of segment therapy We know from experience that stabilization
(formerly ear geometry). Along this line, sensi- has taken place once the familiar relapses occur
tive points can then be identified specifically in a weakened form, if at all. After four or five
within the region of the stomach zone (87) and sessions beyond this stage, treatment can be re-
duodenum zone (88), as well as in the zone of garded as complete. When new, although mostly

Diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Omega point II

Stomach zone
Shen men Retro-point
point (55) zero (112 m)

point I (51)
Omega point I
point 90
88 97
Point zero (82)
Solar plexus
87 zone

Vegetative point II Oppression
(subcortex point, point (83)
gray substance
point) (34)

(antiaggression PT3
point) (antidepression point)


Fig. 9.5 Pool of points for diseases of the gastrointestinal system.

weakened, relapses occur after a long period of Note. With this syndrome, it is important to cope
time, they can be quickly controlled in two or with the underlying psychosomatic process in a
three sessions. competent way; otherwise relapses are unavoidable.

9 Established Indications

9.5.2 Acute Enterocolitis have already passed prior to starting the treat-
ment, a microbiological examination of the stools
This syndrome, which usually appears swiftly
should be arranged.
and takes a dramatic course, is relatively easy to
In patients who have just returned from tropi-
manage by ear acupuncture, so that the otherwise
cal countries, the possibility of parasitic diseases
obligatory drug therapy can be avoided.
should be considered to ensure that a more seri-
However, especially in the most frequent type
ous condition is be overlooked due to the mask-
(enterocolitis caused by infection), it is essential
ing of symptoms as a result of acupuncture.
to take temporary nutritional measures and to
ensure that liquid and electrolytes are sufficiently
replenished. The excruciating, spastic abdominal 9.5.3 Chronic Obstipation
pain and the increased stool frequency, which
Chronic obstipation has many different causes
usually make the spontaneous course of this
and, without doubt, represents a medical
illness very hard for the patient to endure, are
puzzle. Patients frequently treat their problem
quickly alleviated by means of ear needling.
as a taboo subject or are left on their own after
For primary therapy, the following reflex zones
extensive diagnostic clarification; this often
are systematically searched for irritated points:
leads to the abuse of laxatives and progression
large intestine zone–small intestine zone (sig-
of the problem. Nevertheless, these patients can
moid) (91, 90), jejunum (89), and also the rectum
often be helped by ear and/or body acupuncture.
zone (81). Next, point zero (diaphragm point)
In addition to clarifying the symptoms with
(82) is examined. This is part of the primary
respect to underlying organic changes (polyps,
therapeutic set of points because of its excel-
malignancies), it is important to exclude a
lent spasmolytic effect on the smooth muscles
relatively rare form of obstipation, called delayed
of the intestine. To enhance the spasmolytic ef-
transit, in which acupuncture treatment will
fect, retro-point zero (112 m) should definitely
not be successful. Apart from this special case,
be included in the treatment. If the stomach
attempts at treatment using ear acupuncture are
is involved as well, which is often the case, the
always promising.
stomach zone (87) and solar plexus zone should
As in cases of enterocolitis, the following pri-
certainly also be included. Corresponding to the
mary therapeutic reflex zones of the intestine
most affected section of the intestine, a cluster
should be examined for irritated points: large
of irritated points will be found in the respective
intestine zone, small intestine zone (90, 91), and
reflex zone. In that case, several needles per re-
rectum zone (81). Vegetative point I (51) may in
flex zone are inserted next to one another (the
addition be needled. It also makes sense to in-
sieving technique)—these count as one needle.
clude the following sedative and relaxing points
We advise against the often-promoted thread-
in the treatment too: Jerome point (29 b) and
ing technique in view of the considerable trau-
occiput point (29), but also PT1 and the master
matization discussed earlier and the associated
omega point, if they are sensitive.
risk of infection. Additional alleviation of pain is
As an accompanying measure, the patients
achieved through the shen men point (55).
are encouraged to reassess their dietary hab-
The following supplementary points have
its, namely by integrating a high-fiber diet and
proved helpful: vegetative point I (51), Jerome
plenty of fluids into their food consumption
point (29 b), and sometimes also vegetative
patterns. The aim should also be use the pro-
point II (34).
tective effects of acupuncture to free the patient
The Chinese school recommends needling the
from the often compulsive scheduling of bowel
spleen zone (98) and lung zone (101) due to va-
cuity (xu) of the spleen (pi). In the region of the
Initially, treatment is carried out twice a week;
lung zone (101), two or three irritated points are
after four sessions, an attempt is made to reduce
often found next to one another, in particular
this to weekly intervals.
close to the antitragus.
After a series of 10 sessions, patients usually
As a rule, one or two sessions over 2 to 3 days
have regular bowel movements. Booster treat-
are enough for treating this condition. When
ment after 6 to 12 months is necessary in some
symptoms recur or 2 days of persistent diarrhea

Diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract

patients, although this usually involves only two in chronically recurring hiccups. Here, too, longer
or three sessions. In persistent cases, especially periods of treatment must be anticipated, and se-
following the abuse of laxatives, longer treat- lection of the points described should be based
ment periods are required, and it also makes on each patient’s clinical symptoms and medical
sense to combine ear acupuncture with body history.
acupuncture. In this context, the established
point combination according to Kampik should
be mentioned. Using the shu/mu technique, body
9.5.5 Cholecystitis, Cholelithiasis
acupoints BL-25 and ST-25 are bilaterally needled In cases of cholecystitis and cholelithiasis,
and electrically stimulated. In cases of delayed patients come for acupuncture because they
transit as a form of constipation, a comparative want to delay impending surgery or because of
study carried out at the Chirurgische Universitäts- mounting intolerance to that which have so far
klinik Innenstadt in Munich, Germany, has, been helpful in mitigating their symptoms. Rarely
however, reported that this technique does not is a physician asked for ear or body acupuncture
produce the desired results. treatment because of an acute biliary colic.
Nevertheless, an established selection of
points should be mentioned for such a case:
9.5.4 Singultus Point (Hiccup Point) First of all, the thalamus point (26 a) and shen
Patients with singultus will come for men point (55) are needled for immediate pain
acupuncture treatment only when the hiccup relief. The spasmolytic effect of point zero (di-
persists, when it occurs against the backdrop of aphragm point) (82) and retro-point zero (112
painful injuries, if it appears following surgery on m) is also utilized. The affected segment is de-
the thoracoabdominal region, or if it is recurrent. termined through the vegetative groove. Along
It is even possible to eliminate singultus by ear the imaginary line of treatment between point
acupuncture when it suddenly occurs during zero (82) and the irritated point in the vegeta-
surgery. tive groove, further irritated zones are usually
It is usually sufficient to needle, on both ears, encountered on the antihelix, corresponding to
point zero (diaphragm point, singultus point) the abdomen point (43) of the Chinese school,
(82) in the solar plexus zone—the hiccup will and also in the pancreas/gallbladder zone (96)
stop within a few minutes. In persistent cases, it and liver zone (97). In chronic cholecystitis,
is recommended that the effect be enhanced by which is most often caused by cholelithiasis,
including retro-point zero (bifurcation point of this set of points is combined with supplemen-
the vagus nerve,112 m) in the central posterior tary points, such as the ACTH point (13), adre-
sulcus at the back of the ear. nal gland point (nervous control point in the
In chronically recurrent singultus, further ir- antihelical wall, at the T12 level), and vegetative
ritated points should be searched for in the solar point I (51).
plexus zone, the vegetative groove (zone of origin Patients are treated over a period of 6 to 8
of sympathetic nuclei), and also the zone of para- weeks. During this time, sessions are arranged
vertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia, along the initially at intervals of 2 to 3 days until the com-
imaginary line of treatment according to Nogier’s plaint has been eliminated. Thereafter, treatment
ear geometry. is carried out weekly. The combination of points
For supplementary treatment, it makes sense varies during the subsequent course of treat-
to utilize vegetative points I (51) and II (34) ment, depending on individual conditions.
during symptom-free periods.
During surgery, singultus can usually be in- Note. Be sure to inform the patient about the surgi-
terrupted by a single stimulation of point zero cal measures that might become necessary, and also
(diaphragm point) (82). In persistent chronic about the possibility of the less stressful approaches
forms of hiccup, this result is usually achieved of endoscopic cholecystectomy and lithotripsy.
with two or three treatments. However, experi-
ence shows that four or five sessions at weekly
intervals may be required for stabilization and to This information should be given prior to starting
guarantee a lasting effect. The regimen is similar therapy, but it makes sense to come back to this

9 Established Indications

topic during the treatment series. In this way, be sensitive, depending on the patient’s individ-
no time will be lost, and the patient can still ual situation, such as her life circumstances, her
continue with ear acupuncture treatment. emotional state, the symptom characteristics,
prodromes, etc.
In addition, segment therapy should be con-
9.6 Gynecological Disorders sidered. Therefore, with the help of the vegeta-
(Fig. 9.6) tive groove and the often irritated point zero,
additional albeit less well-defined points will be
9.6.1 Menstruation Disorders found on this corresponding treatment line.
Menstruation disorders appear in various forms According to Chinese considerations, treat-
and should be treated accordingly with different ment of the symptoms of dysmenorrhea should
sets of points. differ depending on whether there is repletion
(shi) or vacuity (xu). In cases of repletion, the
Practical Tip symptoms of which are usually caused by emo-
The most frequent syndrome, dysmenorrhea, tional excitement (e.g., depression, anger) or ex-
can be influenced fairly well by ear acupuncture. ogenous influences (e.g., hypothermia, cold), the
Yet it also applies here that a preset combina- treatment includes the liver zone (97) and kidney
tion of points will bring only moderate success. zone (95).
Therefore, the selection of points should be In case of vacuity, which develops from va-
based on individual factors. cuity in either the blood (xue) or qi and/or from
disturbance of the conception vessel (CV, ren
mai), combination with body acupuncture is rec-
The primary choice of points forms the ommended (e.g., SP-6 and CV-6). In addition, the
foundation for treatment. It includes first the spleen zone (98) and stomach zone (87) should
uterus point (58) in the triangular fossa beneath be examined for sensitivity.
the ascending helix, the ovary point (23) of the
endocrine zone (22) in the intertragic notch, and Practical Tip
the hypogastric/urogenital plexus point in the In cases of amenorrhea, only secondary amen-
superior concha. orrhea responds well to treatment with ear
In severe conditions of pain, retro-point zero acupuncture. Primarily, the following points are
(112 m) and possibly the thalamus point (26 a) treated: uterus point (58), ovary point (23), and
should be considered as supplementary points; vegetative point II (34). The reflex zone of vege-
they are used predominantly in the acute phase. tative point I (51) has also proved successful. If
Individual reflex zones selected according the patient’s history provides clues to psycho-
to the patient’s medical history and clinical genic components, irritations are often found
condition play a role in both prophylaxis and among the psychotropic points, such as the
treatment between the menstrual periods. Ap- frustration point, PT1, and PT3.
proximately 3 weeks prior to the expected onset
of menstruation, treatment is started with two
sessions per week. Depending on the irritated re- Treatment takes place at weekly intervals. After
flex zones, different sets of points may be appro- 8 to 10 sessions, menstruation can be expected
priate for individual sessions. In the week prior to commence.
to the expected onset of menstruation, returning In Chinese medicine, treatment is based either
to the basic set of points has proved successful. on symptoms of vacuity resulting from qi vacu-
During prophylaxis or treatment between the ity and kidney (shen) vacuity, in which case the
periods, the following points are examined for kidney zone (95) is included in the treatment, or
irritation: vegetative points I (51) and II (34) as on circulatory disturbance resulting from dys-
well as the psychotropic points—the frustration function of the liver (gan), in which case inclu-
point and PT1 to PT4. It goes without saying sion of the liver zone (97) and spleen zone (98) is
that only some of these points may be found to recommended.

Gynecological Disorders

Uterus point zero
(58) (112 m)
plexus point
point I (51)
Uterus point
Thorax point
Omega (42)
point I
Frustration Mammary gland
point point (44)
Testis/ovary point 97
Urogenital 82
plexus point

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point, 98
gray substance
point) (34) Thalamus
point (26 a)
Endocrine zone
(22) Jerome point
(29 b)
point) PT3 (antidepression point)

PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Ovary point (23)

(gonadotropin point)

Fig. 9.6 Pool of points for gynecological disorders.

9 Established Indications

Practical Tip (according to Nogier), and on the shen men point

The syndrome of metrorrhagia, a form of dys- (55). Also important are vegetative points I (51)
menorrhea, is primarily approached using the and II (34), as well as the vegetative/functional
same selection of points that are applicable heart zone (100). With the heart zone (100) in
to dysmenorrhea. During the course of treat- mind it is helpful to also examine the cardiac
ment, however, a distinct set of points will plexus point for sensitivity.
predominate, depending on the sensitivity of The following points may be sensitive and can be
various points. The most important points are used for supplementary treatment: occiput point
(29), PT1, the frustration point, and vegetative point
the uterus point (58), uterus zone (according
II (34). Initially treating this syndrome at intervals
to Nogier), ACTH point (13), and testicle/ovary
of 2 days in a series of 10 sessions has proved suc-
point (23) in the endocrine zone (22), and also
cessful. Different sets of points will be indicated
the adrenal gland point (nervous control point
from session to session, depending on the sensi-
in the antihelical wall) and point zero (82).
tivity of the points and the result of the follow-up.
Once improvement has been achieved, treatments
at weekly intervals should be aspired to.
As a rule, acupuncture is carried out for
According to the Chinese medicine concept,
prophylaxis or between the periods. Treatment
which assigns the activity of female hormones
may start immediately at the end of a prolonged
primarily to the liver (gan) and kidney (shen), the
or profuse menstruation. After initial treatment
liver zone (97) and kidney zone (95) are included
of two sessions per week, treatment changes
in the treatment as well.
to weekly intervals. After 5 to 10 sessions,
When certain presenting symptoms predomi-
menstruation will begin to normalize. Treatment
nate in the syndrome, establishing priorities with
should continue for five additional sessions,
respect to the reflex zones to be selected becomes
provided the reflex zones continue to be sensitive.
important. In cases of insomnia associated with
According to experiences in Chinese medicine,
irritability and functional heart complaint, this
the following reflex zones are also used in treat-
applies to the following points: heart zone (100),
ing metrorrhagia: the spleen zone (98), vegeta-
Jerome point (29 b), occiput point (29), and also
tive point II (34), and liver zone (97).
the TSH point in the endocrine zone (22).

9.6.2 Menopausal Syndrome

9.6.3 Insufficient Lactation
Because this syndrome is accompanied by a
This disorder of the female mammary gland can
multitude of symptoms, it is important to focus
be treated quite well in most cases with a few ear
on the predominant symptoms described by the
needles in only two or three sessions.
patient. These include hot flashes, intermittent
For primary therapy, the prolactin point (ac-
profuse sweating, insomnia, increased emotional
cording to Nogier) takes precedence. According
sensitivity, defined vertigo, and functional heart
to the Chinese school, this is located close to the
complaints. These agonizing, rather vegetative
acoustic meatus in the lower part of the inferior
disturbances often do not subside despite
concha, almost as part of the endocrine zone (22).
conventional hormone replacement therapy
The mammary gland point (44) at the level of T5
(HRT). If the woman also has osteoporosis that
(in the zone of nervous control points of endo-
needs to be treated, hormonal substitution
crine glands) has also proved successful. It is of-
should if possible continue during acupuncture,
ten found along the line of treatment established
or be modified only in consultation with a
by ear geometry according to Nogier. Other sen-
gynecologist. In other cases, discontinuation of
sitive points found in the region of vegetative
hormone treatment during ear acupuncture is
groove, scapha, and antihelix, e.g., thorax point
optional, depending on the course of treatment;
(42) or mammary gland point (44), are points
discontinuation should take place in agreement
derived from the Chinese school. They can be re-
with the patient and her gynecologist.
liably found by means of the segmental approach.
The selection of points for primary therapy fo-
As supplementary points, vegetative points I
cuses on the sex-specific points, such as testicle/
(51) and II (34) may be included in the treatment
ovary point (23), uterus point (58), or uterus zone

Gynecological Disorders

if they are sensitive. Sessions may take place Additional irritated points may be found in the
daily and with alternating sets of points. lumbar spine zone (40) and sciatica zone (52). In
most cases, the hypogastric plexus point (in the
superior concha) is also found to be sensitive and
9.6.4 Mastitis may be used for relaxation during delivery.
This syndrome results from congestion in the milk
ducts of the mammary gland and usually occurs Practical Tip
at the beginning of the breast-feeding period, but The same approach is possible in combination
also later during this stage. Usually, the major- with the induction of labor; if induction becomes
ity of mothers strictly refuse to take medication necessary, primarily the uterus point (58) and
during this period, which frequently leads to the uterus zone (according to Nogier) are included.
application of ear acupuncture. Using this ther- According to Chinese school, both the urinary
apy, severe pain and inflammatory processes can bladder zone (92) and vegetative point II (34)
be quickly alleviated or even eliminated. In case have also proved successful during induction of
of a feverish general reaction accompanied by the labor. It should be pointed out that, depending
onset of putrid processes and a risk of abscess for-
on their sensitivity, no more than three or four
mation, it is inevitable to combine ear acupunc-
of the possible points listed should be needled.
ture with antibiotics. However, we cannot report
such a course of events from personal experience.
For quick relief of pain, the following points Needling takes place on both ears and possibly
serve as primary therapeutic access: the shen already when the contractions are still weak but
men point (55), occiput point (29), and thalamus regular. The needles remain in place during de-
point (26 a). The segmental approach has proved livery and may be stimulated by repeated gentle
successful as well. The following points derived rotation.
from the Chinese school can be easily found
along the line of treatment established between
point zero (82) and the sensitive point found 9.6.6 Ear Acupuncture
in the vegetative groove: the thorax point (42), in Obstetrics
mammary gland point (44), and liver zone (97).
C. Schulte-Uebbing
In the same way, the mammary gland point (ac-
cording to Nogier) can be searched for sensitivity
Pschyrembel’s motto—that one “must know as
at the Th5 level in the zone of nervous control
much as possible in order to do as little as pos-
points of endocrine glands.
sible”—also applies to obstetric acupuncture
If vegetative point II (34) and ACTH point
Besides, there are no “forbidden ear points” but
(13) in the endocrine zone (22) are found to be
only false indications. Under no circumstances
irritated, they may be used for supplementary
should first experience with ear acupuncture be
gained by treating pregnant women.
The other commonly used practical measures,
such as emptying the ducts by intensive pump-
ing (only, of course, after alleviation of the pain) Note. As a rule, as few points as possible should be
and alcohol dressings, are not affected by ear needled in pregnant women.
acupuncture. Ear zones densely innervated by the vagus nerve are
to be avoided.

9.6.5 Perinatal Pain Management,

Neither powerful techniques nor techniques
Facilitation of Delivery inducing pain sensation should be used during
For perinatal pain relief and ease of delivery, the pregnancy. Everything that might be perceived
following points may be needled at the onset as uncomfortable by the pregnant woman must
of delivery between uterine contractions: the be avoided; with premature contractions, for
thalamus point (26 a), point zero (diaphragm example, only gentle needling should be car-
point) (82), shen men point (55), vegetative point ried out. Only those individuals who have
I (51), and Jerome point (29 b). completed basic courses in acupuncture and

9 Established Indications

subsequently have been able to acquire the nec- Condition Following Recurrent Miscarriage
essary knowledge and skills—and, in particular, In conditions following recurrent miscarriage,
dexterity—are suitable to meet the require- immunostimulating and psychotropic points
ments of acupuncture for pregnant patients. are found to be irritated, namely:
Ideally, acupuncture on pregnant women – Interferon point.
should initially always take place under the – ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
guidance of a specialist. – Thymus gland point.
– Vegetative point I (51).
Obstetric Indications for Adjuvant – Vegetative point II (34).
– The psychotropic points: frustration point,
Ear Acupuncture PT1 to PT4.
Bleeding during early and late pregnancy.
Diseases related to pregnancy: emesis, hyper- Bleeding in the Second and Third
emesis, EPH (edema, proteinuria, hypertension) Trimesters
gestosis. These are complications of pregnancy that must
Diseases unrelated to pregnancy. always be taken seriously as they may become a
General infections during pregnancy. threat to both mother and child. Possible causes
Imminent premature birth: premature rupture should be immediately clarified by differential
of membranes, preterm labor, cervical insuffi- diagnosis. The conventional therapy then de-
ciency, placental insufficiency. pends on the particular cause.
Preparation for labor and delivery. In cases of mild bleeding prior to week 37 of
Induction of labor—with a mature cervix or im- pregnancy (e.g., a deep position of the placenta,
mature cervix. partial placenta previa, indications for tocoly-
Pain relief in labor and delivery. sis and cerclage) and in cases of heavy bleeding
Dystocia: reduced, increased, or irregular uter- (e.g., the onset of cervical opening), compression
ine contractions. treatment is indicated.
Postpartum: bleeding due to laceration, atony, This is supplemented by needling of the follow-
placental retention. ing points:
Puerperium: disturbed involution, puerperal – Uterus point (58).
mastitis, problems with breastfeeding. – Uterus point according to Nogier.
Mental problems during pregnancy, delivery, – ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
and puerperium. – Ovary point (gonadotropin point) (23).
– Vegetative point II (34).
Bleeding During Pregnancy – Endocrine zone (22).

Bleeding in the First Trimester If fetal (umbilical) bleeding is suspected, further

This must be clarified using a proper list of differ- therapy depends on the extent of the blood loss;
ential diagnoses. cesarean section is indicated in most cases.

Imminent Abortion Practical Tip

In cases of imminent abortion, adjuvant ear acu- From the point of view of Chinese medicine,
puncture (in addition to immobilization and, heavy fetal (umbilical) bleeding leads to mater-
if necessary, progesterone medication) proves
nal and fetal symptoms of vacuity with vacuity
helpful, using the following:
in the qi of the kidney and spleen and concur-
– Uterus point (58).
rent liver dysfunction. Therefore, the following
– Uterus point according to Nogier.
points should be needled: the kidney zone (95),
– Vegetative point II (34).
liver zone (97), and spleen zone (98).
– ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
– Ovary point (23). To enhance the effect on these, some Chinese
– And, if necessary, adrenal gland point (in schools suggest needling the following reflex
the antihelical wall) and points on the back of the ear: the kidney point
– Point zero (82). (95 m), liver point (97 m), and spleen point (98 m).

Gynecological Disorders

Imminent Premature Birth admission to the hospital and intervention with

infusion therapy is required.
It goes without saying that the conventional ther-
The following ear points are suitable in all cases
apy in line with well-known criteria has priority.
of hyperemesis:
Needling of the following ear points is recom-
– Point zero (82).
mended as an accompanying measure:
– Jerome point (29 b).
– Uterus point (58).
If the patient’s history reveals anxiety, worry, and
– Uterus point according to Nogier.
ambivalence, the following ear points should be
– ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
needled, depending on their irritation:
– Ovary point (23).
– PT1 to PT4.
Practical Tip
Practical Tip
As premature birth results from rising liver yang
In order to compensate for the repletion in
in connection with QI weakness in the kidney
the stomach and liver channels, some Chinese
and spleen, the following reflex zones should be
schools (e.g., in Tianjin) also use the stomach
examined using the “very point technique” (see
zone (87), liver zone (97), and spleen zone (98).
p. 82): the kidney zone (95), liver zone (97), and
spleen zone (98).
EPH-gestosis (Fig. 9.7)
Vegetative problems such as anxiety, worry, agi- This syndrome is per definition associated with
tation, and nervousness are often found in these edema, proteinuria, and hypertension; it requires
patients, not least because of hospitalization and stress management and, if necessary, sedation,
intensive care. hypotensive medication, and possibly admission
We recommend the use of the following ear to the hospital.
points: The following points are needled if hypertension
– Vegetative point I (51). is present:
– Vegetative point II (34). – Blood pressure control point (59).
– Frustration point. – Points in the antihypertension groove
– Heart zone (100). (105 m).
– Jerome point (29 b). – For treatment of proteinuria, good results
If there is pain: were achieved in the TCM clinic in Tianjin
– Sciatica zone (52)—using the sieving by needling the following points: kidney
technique. zone (95), triple burner zone (104).
– Thalamus point (26 a). In cases of mental problems—which, as we
– Analgesia point according to Nogier. know from experience, are associated with most
– Shen men point (55). cases of EPH-gestosis—the autonomic system is
– Master omega point. imbalanced:
– Omega II. – Vegetative point I (51).
– Vegetative point II (34).
– PT1 to PT4.
Complications of Pregnancy In cases of pain during EPH-gestosis, the follow-
In cases of relatively mild hyperemesis grav- ing points are used:
idarum, the metabolism is eased by changing the – Sciatica zone (52) (using the sieving
diet: frequent and small meals, food that is low in technique).
protein and salt, and vitamin supplementation, – Thalamus point (26 a).
particularly with vitamin B. – Analgesia point .
In case of more serious hyperemesis grav- – Shen men point (55).
idarum, which is associated with insufficient
intake of food and liquid, acidosis, vitamin B de- With pre-existing systemic diseases, see the cor-
ficiency, polyneuropathy, muscle weakness, ris- responding indications.
ing bilirubin values, and increasing dehydration,

9 Established Indications

Addiction during Pregnancy – Ovary point (23).

– Hypogastric plexus point.
If the pregnant woman is addicted to alcohol,
If the indications listed are associated with men-
nicotine, or other drugs, needling is carried
tal symptoms (nervousness, anxiety, worry, de-
out according to the National Acupuncture De-
pressive mood, aggressiveness), psychotropic
toxification Association (NADA) protocol (see
points are needled and, if necessary, also vege-
Fig. 9.16), among others:
tative points:
– Vegetative point I (51) (in the United States
– Vegetative point I (51).
of America: sympathetic point).
– Vegetative point II (34).
– Kidney zone (95).
– Heart zone (100).
– Liver zone (97).
– Jerome point (29 b) for muscle relaxation.
– Lung zone (101).
– Frustration point, PT1 to PT4.
– Shen men point (55).

See also Treatment of Addictions, page 156. Pain

Pain Prior to Week 36 of Pregnancy
Infections during Pregnancy As well as using causal conventional therapy, the
corresponding and analgesic points may be nee-
To support passive or active immunization, the
dled as an accompanying measure:
following immunomodulatory points are very
– Sciatica zone (52) (using the sieving
– Thymus gland point.
– Thalamus point (26 a).
– Interferon point.
– Analgesia point according to Nogier.
– Allergy point (78).
– Shen men point (55).
– ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
– Occiput (29).
– Jerome point (29 b).
Practical Tip
The School of Chinese Medicine in Tianjin rec-
ommends using the following points in case
Severe Attacks of Pain
The following points may be included:
of vacuity of defense qi and kidney yang: the
– Omega point I.
spleen zone (98), liver zone (97), and kidney
– Master omega point.
zone (95).
– PT1 to PT4.
Most infections during pregnancy are associated
with mental and vegetative symptoms; hence, Colicky Pain
it makes sense to needle the following points if In cases of dystocia, as well as in renal colic
they are sensitive: during pregnancy, it makes sense to include the
– Vegetative point I (51). following points because of their spasmolytic
– Vegetative point II (34). effect:
– Psychotropic points: frustration point and – Point zero (82).
PT1 to PT4. – Retro-point zero (112 m).

Premature Rupture of Membranes, Preparation for Labor and Delivery,

Habitual Forms after Week 36 of Pregnancy
The prevention of renewed premature rupture of According to “Straubinger’s scheme”, the follow-
membranes may be supported by ear acupuncture. ing points are recommended:
After late abortions and early deliveries, and in – Uterus point (58).
cervical insufficiency, premature labor, multiple – ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
pregnancies, colpitis, and cervicitis, the follow- – Kidney zone (95).
ing points may be used: – Liver zone (97).
– Uterus point (58). – Spleen (98).
– Uterus point according to Nogier.

Gynecological Disorders

Shen men point (55)

Omega point II

Blood pressure
control point (59) 105 h
Uterus (58)

Sciatica zone
(historic zone
of cauterization)
Vegetative point
Uterus point 95
Frustration point
Kidney zone
Point zero (82) 97
Interferon point Liver
Vegetative point II 98
(subcortex point, Spleen
gray substance 100
point) (34)

Jerome point
ACTH point 104 (29 b)

Triple burner zone

PT3 (antidepression point)
PT1 (antiagression
point) PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Analgesia point

Ovary point (23) Thalamus point (26a)


Fig. 9.7 Pool of points for EPH-gestosis.

9 Established Indications

The following points prove helpful in case of placental detachment, postpartum hemorrhage,
anxiety, worry, agitation, and nervousness: atony, etc.:
– Vegetative point I (51). – Uterus point (58).
– Vegetative point II (34). – Uterus point according to Nogier.
– Jerome point (29 b). – ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
– Frustration point, PT1 to PT4. – Ovary point (23).
– Kidney zone (95).
Induction of Labor – Liver zone (97).
– Spleen zone (98).
When further waiting is contraindicated or
when the body’s natural mechanisms of induc-
Note. Particularly in cases of bleeding due to lacera-
ing labor do not start on their own, the following
ear points are needled in support of conven- tion, surgical intervention can be effectively support-
tional measures (Fig. 9.8): ed by ear acupuncture if needling takes place during or
– Uterus point (58). immediately after complete emptying of the uterus.
– Uterus point according to Nogier. Experience has shown that the above-mentioned
– ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13). points are also effective in preventing abnormal
– Ovary point (23). placental detachment, e.g., in detachment anom-
– Hypogastric plexus point. alies resulting from previous deliveries. It has been
The corresponding vegetatively relaxing psycho- observed time and again in the delivery room that
tropic points have a harmonizing effect on the the conventional medical therapy for a retained pla-
induction of labor (the “very point” technique): centa can be rendered much more effective by ear
– Vegetative point I (51). acupuncture applied in advance.
– Vegetative point II (34). If manual placental detachment is considered, it
– Frustration point, PT1 to PT4. should be preceded by needling of the following
– Heart zone (100). ear points:
– Jerome point (29 b). – Uterus point (58).
– Uterus point according to Nogier.
Analgesia in Labor and Delivery – Ovary point (23).
The following points prove helpful (Fig. 9.9): – ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
– Sciatica zone (52) (using the sieving
– Thalamus point (26 a).
Puerperium (Fig. 9.10)
– Analgesia point according to Nogier. Adjuvant or preventively, two childbed condi-
– Shen men point (55). tions, puerperal mastitis and postpartum de-
– Master omega point. pression, can be successfully treated with ear
– Omega point II. acupuncture.
To compensate for qi vacuity in the kidney and
spleen: Puerperal mastitis
– Kidney zone (95). Acupuncture should be carried out as soon as
– Liver zone (97). possible for prophylactic treatment in multipara
– Spleen zone (98). with previous mastitis and as a therapeutic mea-
sure in the puerperium for women with an onset
Dystocia of mastitis.
The following ear points are also suitable to alle-
Difficult childbirth may be treated with ear acu-
viate the inflammation:
puncture once a precise differential diagnosis has
– Mammary gland point (44).
been carried out.
– Mammary gland point according to Nogier
(see Fig. 3.16).
Postpartum Period – Thorax point (42).
The following points have proved helpful in – Liver zone (97).
case of bleeding due to laceration, abnormal

Gynecological Disorders

Uterus point (58)

Shen men point (55)

Vegetative point I (51)

Uterus point

point II
point) (34)
100 Heart

ACTH point (13/19)

(29 b)

Ovary point (23)

(gonadotropin point)

Fig. 9.8 Pool of points for induction of labor: primary/secondary uterine inertia.

9 Established Indications

Uterus point (58)

Shen men point

Kidney zone

Liver zone

Spleen zone

Occiput point
ACTH point (13/19) (29)

Jerome point
(29 b)

point (26 a)

Master omega
Analgesia point

Fig. 9.9 Pool of points for analgesia in labor and delivery.

Gynecological Disorders

Zone of control points

of endocrine glands

Shen men point


Vegetative point I

Frustration Thorax
point point (42)

Mammary gland
point (Nogier) Mammary
gland point

Vegetative point II Liver zone

(subcortex point, gray (97)
substance point) (34)

ACTH point Occiput point

(13/19) (29)

PT1 (antiaggression
point) PT3 (antidepression point)

PT2 (anxiety/worry PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Ovary point (23) Thalamus point
(gonadotropin point) (26 a) Located in the antihelical

Fig. 9.10 Pool of points for puerperium.

9 Established Indications

In cases of severe pain associated with extensive – ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13).
mastitis, we recommend the following points: – TSH point (thyroid gland point).
– Thalamus point (26 a).
– Analgesia point. 9.6.7 Infertility
– Occiput point (29).
We know from experience that the causes of
– Shen men point (55).
male and female infertility are complex and that
many aspects are still unexplained by science.
Practical Tip
As a result, most patients seek out acupuncture
The segmental approach has also proved success-
treatment only after a thorough diagnostic clari-
ful in the treatment of puerperal mastitis. The
fication and exhaustion of all conventional ther-
line of treatment runs between the point zero
apies. Possible causes have often been found in
(82) and the sensitive point found in the vegeta-
men, e.g., insufficient mobility and vitality of the
tive groove. The points indicated by the Chinese spermatozoa, or low serum levels of luteinizing
school are found here as well: the mammary hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and tes-
point (44), thorax point (42), and liver zone (97). tosterone. Distinct causes are far less often found
Nogier’s mammary gland point in the zone of in women, and in many cases acupuncture treat-
nervous control points of endocrine glands can ment can be carried out successfully even if infer-
be detected without difficulty using the seg- tility seems to result from hormonal imbalance.
mental approach. It is usually sufficient to treat patients by either
ear or body acupuncture. Only in difficult cases
(e.g., verified severe hormonal imbalance) does it
The following points have proved helpful, if make sense to combine ear and body acupuncture.
irritated: As primary therapeutic access in cases of in-
– ACTH point (adrenal gland point) (13). fertility, ear acupuncture has a range of points to
– Ovary point (23). choose from. All of these must be selected accord-
– Vegetative point II (34). ing to individual parameters, depending on the
patient, and should be needled only if they are
Postpartum depression sensitive. First, the uterus point (58) and uterus
The hormonal changes during puerperium can zone (according to Nogier) should be mentioned,
lead to serious mental problems, which are usu- but also the ovary/testis point (according to No-
ally of a depressive nature and may manifest gier) and ovary point (gonadotropin point) (23).
themselves in a variety of symptoms. About 50% Furthermore, it makes sense to search for less de-
of all puerpera suffer from a depressive mood fined points in the endocrine zone (22), starting
(“the blues”), 15% fall ill with “postpartum neu- from the TSH point and proceeding in the direc-
rosis,” and 0.1 to 0.3% fall ill with the extremely tion of the concha. Frequently, the ACTH point
problematic “postpartum psychosis.” (13) at the ventral end of the endocrine zone
The following vegetative and psychotropic (22) and the adrenal gland point (nervous con-
points are primarily used for the prophylactic trol point in the antihelical wall) may be included
treatment of postpartum depression: in the set of points. The hypogastric plexus point
– Vegetative point I (51). (in the superior concha) should be especially
– Vegetative point II (subcortex point, gray emphasized among the points of first choice, be-
substance point) (34). cause it is sensitive in most cases.
– Frustration point. Vegetative points I (51) and II (34), as well as
– Occiput point (29). the psychotropic points of the frustration point
– PT1 to PT4. and antiaggression point (PT1) may be helpful
– omega point II, master omega point, point R for supplementary treatment, provided they are
(according to Bourdiol). indicated by the patient’s history.
As mental problems in puerperium are usu- According to Chinese medicine, hormonal ac-
ally the result of hormonal changes, endocrine tivity in the human body is assigned to the kid-
points are also indicated: ney (shen) and liver (gan); therefore, the liver
– Ovary point (gonadotropin point) (23). zone (97) and kidney zone (95) are included in
– Endocrine zone (22). the treatment, depending on their sensitivity.

Urinary Tract Disorders

Initially, a series of 10 treatments is carried out Occasionally, it is recommended that the treat-
daily or every second day, if possible. Depending ment be accompanied by psychotherapy. The
on their sensitivity, two or three points per ear following reflex zones are treated primarily: the
are selected and needled alternately with other urinary bladder zone (92) as well as hypogastric
points found to be similarly sensitive. plexus point, thalamus point (26 a), and occiput
Based on the idea that kidney vacuity may be point (29). Furthermore, the urethra point (80)
the root of the problem, combination with the and kidney zone (95) should be considered.
following body acupuncture points should be The following points should be taken into con-
considered in order to strengthen the kidney: KI-3, sideration as supplementary points: vegetative
BL-23 and, if necessary ST-26. point I (51), vegetative point II (34), and the psy-
chotropic points.
Two or three points are treated initially every 2
9.6.8 Loss of Libido days, and the maximum number of points should
Sexual problems such as loss of libido and impo- not be greater than five. After 3 to 4 days of treat-
tence result from complex psychovegetative pro- ment, the frequency is changed to two sessions
cesses. It goes without saying that they cannot per week. If therapy is successful, it can be termi-
be approached simply by ear or body acupunc- nated after 10 sessions; in severe cases, it should
ture. These therapies have a purely supportive, be extended. If the results are less than optimal, a
but sometimes also initiating, effect, which pre- second treatment series may become necessary.
pares the patient to willingly undergo the re-
quired treatment through psychotherapy or sex
9.7.2 Irritable Bladder
As the primary set of points, the most import- Irritable bladder is rarely caused by pathological
ant libido points are the Bosch point on the as- changes of the bladder itself. However, there is
cending helix (external genitals point according no reason why it should be described as purely
to Nogier), ovary/testis point (according to No- psychogenic. It is conceivable that it results from
gier), and hypogastric plexus point. For supple- hyperactive dysfunction of the terminal section
mentary treatment, the zone of paravertebral of the urinary tract. Experience shows that, in
chain of sympathetic ganglia at the lumbosacral cases of irritable bladder, only the organ-related
level should be searched for irritated points. reflex zones, such as the urinary bladder zone
Again, these may possibly be combined with (92), urethra point (80), and hypogastric plexus
vegetative points I (51) and II (34), as well as the point, and possibly complementing vegetative or
psychotropic reflex zones PT1 to PT4 and the psychotropic points, are found to be irritated.
frustration point. According to the concept of Chinese medi-
Treatment is initially carried out twice a week cine, this condition is due to vacuity of kidney qi
and then once a week; five or six sessions will (shen); therefore, strengthening of the kidney qi
be required before any improvement is noticed. is achieved through the kidney zone (95). Once
A total of approximately 10 to 15 treatments again, vegetative point II (34) and vegetative
should be carried out. point I (34) may be needled.
It is recommended that treatment initially be
carried out every day or every second day, chang-
9.7 Urinary Tract Disorders ing to two sessions per week upon improvement.
(Fig. 9.11) As a rule, treatment can be successfully termi-
nated after a series of 10 to 12 sessions.
9.7.1 Nocturnal Enuresis
This condition mainly affects children and, in 9.7.3 Urinary Incontinence
rarer cases, also adolescents or adults. It usually
has a psychosomatic background. Nevertheless, This condition, which is fairly common and does
successful therapy can often be achieved by ear not only occur in old people, usually becomes a
acupuncture alone. Younger patients should be reason for treatment by body or ear acupuncture
exclusively treated with a laser stimulus rather only after extensive urological diagnostic clar-
than by needling. ification and ineffective drug therapy. Urinary

9 Established Indications

Uterus (58) zero
(112 m)

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51) 80 92 95
Testis/ovary 82
plexus point
Point zero

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point, 29 b
gray substance
point) (34)
point (26 a)

Analgesia point

Fig. 9.11 Pool of points for urological disorders.

Urinary Tract Disorders

incontinence is frequently associated with rectal extreme case of acute urinary retention, what-
incontinence, thus leading to considerable social ever the cause may be, is indicated only in an
restrictions. Patients are subject to extensive suf- emergency when it is impossible to relieve the
fering, as they cannot help losing some urine or bladder by catheterization or bladder puncture
stool when coughing, sneezing, or experiencing within a reasonable time. With this in mind, the
other involuntary abdominal pressure. description below deals only with non-acute uri-
The primary therapeutic access in ear acu- nary retention, e.g., in postoperative or posttrau-
puncture lies predominantly in the organ-related matic situations, although the same reflex zones
reflex zones, such as the urinary bladder zone are indicated for acute cases.
(92), urethra point (80), and hypogastric plexus For primary treatment, the hypogastric plexus
point. In most cases, the point zero (diaphragm point and point zero (82) with its spasmolytic ef-
point) (82) is also sensitive. Its tonifying effect fect are selected. The corresponding areas of the
on the intestinal smooth muscles is relevant in urinary bladder zone (92), kidney zone (95), and
this case and may be enhanced by including ret- urethra point (80) may be added. Furthermore, it
ro-point zero (112 m) on the back of the ear. has proved helpful to enhance the effect of point
According to the concept of Chinese medicine, zero (82) by including retro-point zero (112 m).
the disorder is caused by vacuity of kidney qi, Experience has shown that it is also helpful to
particularly in older people. Therefore, it is im- make use of the relaxing properties of the occiput
portant to strengthen this qi by including the point (29) and Jerome point (29 b). Two or three
kidney zone (95). The following points are in- points are needled bilaterally and stimulated at
cluded as supplementary points: the liver zone intervals of 15 minutes by rotating the needle.
(97), spleen zone (98), and uterus point (58), if This means that the needles remain in place lon-
they are sensitive. In our own experience, it in- ger than usual, i.e., up to 60 minutes. The effect
cluding vegetative points I (51) and II (34) in the usually takes place within 1 hour after termina-
treatment has proved successful. tion of acupuncture; if not, the procedure may be
Treatment begins with intervals of 2 days and repeated with a different set of points. It is, how-
then changes to two sessions per week once the ever, advisable to also treat or combine alternately
symptoms start to improve. Only two or three with the established points of body acupuncture:
points per session are needled, alternating with BL-32, SP-9, and also CV-4 and CV-6.
other points from session to session. Improve- This alternating approach can especially be
ment of symptoms may be expected after a se- used in recurrent urinary retention. Different sets
ries of six to eight sessions. Although complete of points may be used for ear acupuncture, as
freedom from symptoms is achieved only in rare long as the points are found to be irritated. The
cases, a tolerable situation can be brought about method is very effective especially in the postop-
through repeated treatments planned over a long erative state; it is recommended that the patient
period of time. By extending the treatment inter- already be informed prior to surgery about the
vals step by step, the question of how to achieve possibility of acupuncture treatment to avoid
long-term, treatment-independent freedom urinary retention, so that preventive ear acu-
from symptoms should be explored. Pointing this puncture may be started in the recovery room.
out is important because many patients return During recovery, only two or three sensitive
for treatment too early, even before any further points are usually found, namely, in the region
deterioration of their condition. of the organ-related reflex zones, such as urinary
bladder zone (92) or hypogastric plexus point,
as well as vegetative points such as vegetative
9.7.4 Urinary Retention points I (51) and II (34).
Treatment of urinary retention by ear acupunc-
ture competes with conventional medical mea-
sures, ranging from spasmolytic medication
9.7.5 Renal and Ureteral Colic
to emergency catheterization and suprapubic As a rule, colic of the kidney and ureter have to be
bladder puncture. Treatment with ear acupunc- treated with drugs according to standard medi-
ture is usually taken into consideration only in cal principles. Nevertheless, the possibility of ef-
the initial phase. The use of acupuncture in the ficient treatment by ear acupuncture should be

9 Established Indications

introduced here. Apart from the fact that a causal be pointed out that a focal process or area dis-
therapy, such as lithiasis or infection, is abso- turbance can interfere with the effect of acu-
lutely essential, it is possible to reduce the fre- puncture. Such foci and area disturbances can
quency of colics by acupuncture and to keep the repeatedly or persistently lead to functional dis-
pain of the colic itself tolerable for the patient. turbances in all regulatory systems, not just the
auricular system. These systems then become
Note. On principle, in such conditions of pain (not unstable, and reactions to minor stimuli become
just with colics), the needles must remain in place abnormal, i.e., exaggerated. For the locomotor
longer than usual, even up to several hours. If the system, this means unnecessary hyperactivity of
pain increases, the needle stimulus should be inten- the neuromuscular system in the form of pseu-
sified by gentle rotation of the needle. doradicular myospasms and pain syndromes,
which are far more intense in a body unburdened
with toxins.
In the acute phase, the following primary points In such cases, both ear and body acupuncture—
are important: the kidney zone (95) and urinary when used strictly in the symptom-oriented way
bladder zone (92), and also the spasmolytic point as part of a point regimen—will achieve at best
zero (diaphragm point) (82) and its counterpart only temporary relief of the symptoms. Even lo-
retro-point zero or bifurcation point (112 m). cal or minor general stimuli may lead to a reap-
Particularly worth mentioning for this phase are pearance of symptoms because the therapy does
the anesthetic points of the thalamus point (26 not address the underlying cause of the regula-
a), analgesia point, hypogastric plexus point, and tory disturbance. Hence, it is a very important
vegetative point II (34). aspect of ear acupuncture treatment to consider
These supplementary points may also be con- also the possibility of focal processes and to ar-
sidered: vegetative point I (51), the shen men range for a removal of septic foci (if this is pos-
point (55), and the ACTH point (13). They play sible), or at least to treat the disturbed area with
an important role particularly in preventive and neural therapy.
intermediate treatment. Information on a possible area disturbance is
Another route of therapeutic access is pro- usually found in the patient’s history but also as
vided by segment therapy. In cases of kidney or hyperactive reflex zones on the auricle, which
ureteral colic, an irritated reflex zone is often may be considered as diagnostic clues.
found in the cranial part of the vegetative groove,
approximately at the level of the darwinian tu-
bercle. Although this zone by itself is in need of 9.8.1 Cervical Syndrome
treatment, it also forms a line of treatment to- The cervical syndrome is characterized by vari-
gether with point zero (82). On this line, other ous pain conditions that share a common local-
less well-defined but very effective points may ization, predominantly in the neck region and
be found. Needling of these points may also be radiating into the shoulder, arm, and suboccip-
helpful during the acute treatment, especially if ital-occipital region. It can have many different
there is referred pain. causes, most of them of a functional nature (e.g.,
With this method, in place of or complement- the result of chronically bad posture). They range
ing spasmolytic medication, it is also possible to from degenerative changes in the spinal column
promote the spontaneous passage of stones by to the classic whiplash injury and acute muscu-
treating regularly every 2 days and using alter- lar torticollis. Accordingly, relatively uniform sets
nating sets of points. of points are selected for the relief of acute pain,
whereas individually different points are selected
for prophylaxis and intermediate treatment. Pro-
9.8 Diseases of the Locomotor vided the appropriate preconditions and oppor-
System (Fig. 9.12) tunities exist, manual therapy may be preferred
Diseases of the locomotor system (and also the or used in combination with ear acupuncture.
conditions listed in the chapter on neurological Within the framework of ear acupuncture,
disorders) can effectively be treated by ear acu- segment therapy as part of Nogier’s ear geometry
puncture. However, here it should especially has proved to be an elegant and very successful

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Knee point (Chinese) (49 b)

point (62)
Big toe point
(46) Finger
Toe points (62)
points Wrist point
Knee point
(French) (49 a) Hip
point (57)

Ankle point (48) Shen men point (55) Pelvis

Calcaneus point (56)
point (47)
S1 L5
Sciatica L1
T12 Elbow
zone (52) point (66)
zone of X
cauterization) Shoulder
Point zero (Nogier) point (65)

C1 Shoulder
joint point
Cervical spine
zone (37)

C1 Neck point (41)

Occiput point (29)

Thalamus Jerome point

point (26 a) (29 b)

Zone of
tracts of
Analgesia spinal cord

Fig. 9.12 Pool of points for diseases of the locomotor system.

9 Established Indications

approach for painful conditions in the cervical shown that, in the case of cervical syndrome, the
region. The vegetative groove is first searched for segmental approach is most successful, as symp-
irritated points at the C1 to C7 level. While doing toms subside quickly within 2 to 3 days.
this, the Jerome point (29 b) will also be found to If necessary, acute treatment can be per-
be sensitive. Its muscle-relaxing, and hence anal- formed daily or every 2 days. It is recommended
gesic, effect turns it into a standard point for dis- that the needles be left in place beyond the usual
eases of the locomotor system. By connecting one 30 minutes, as needed. After four or five sessions,
or two irritated points in the vegetative groove a tolerable condition will be achieved, and treat-
with point zero (82) (which is not irritated), dif- ments can be reduced to once a week until the
ferent segmental assignments corresponding to the symptoms have finally subsided.
symptoms can be made. The neck point (41) and
cervical spine zone (37) described by the Chinese Practical Tip
school, both located in the zone of paravertebral Two sessions per week have proved success-
muscles and ligaments, are frequently found ful in chronically recurrent processes; this can
along the imaginary segmental line of treatment. be reduced to one treatment per week if the
Furthermore, the shen men point (55) and, response is good. Repeated treatment series
especially with suboccipital symptoms, also the of 10 to 15 sessions each are required; these
occiput point (29) are usually sensitive. In severe should be carried out in combination with
conditions of pain in this area (e.g., after whip- specific kinesitherapy for correcting, e.g.,
lash or in acute torticollis), the thalamus point bad posture (e.g., the Rolfing, Feldenkrais, or
(26 a) should definitely be included. When ex- similar methods). Experience has shown that
amining the line of segmental treatment, special ear acupuncture can actually help make kine-
attention should also be paid to the zone of para-
sitherapies or conventional physiotherapeutic
vertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia (at the
exercises possible in the first place because it
transition of the antihelix to the inferior concha).
is so effective.
Here, irritations may be detected that cannot
always be assigned to the familiar localizations,
such as the superior, middle, and inferior cervi-
Combination with body acupuncture has proved
cal ganglion points (the latter also called stellate
helpful in cases of severe chronicity. If the tai
ganglion point). In addition, sensitive points are
yang axis, the pair of the bladder/small intestine
frequently found in the projection zone of the
channels (BL/SI), is affected, treatment includes
sensory part of the zone of spinal cord (on the
the body acupoints BL-2, BL-10, and BL-60, as
helical brim). In view of a possible vegetative and
well as SI-3. If the shao yang axis, the pair of the
psychosomatic component, vegetative points I
gallbladder/triple burner channels (GB/TB), is af-
(51) and II (34) and psychotropic areas PT2 and
fected, the following acupoints may be treated:
PT1 and the frustration point are recommended
GB-20, GB-42, and TB-15.
as supplementary points. Last but not least is the
projection zone of the neck muscles on the back
of the ear antihelical sulcus. 9.8.2 Cervicobrachial Syndrome
According to the concept of Chinese medicine, The cervicobrachial syndrome may have many
treatment depends on which of the channels is causes; in cases of severe chronicity, these lead
affected. Increasing pain while inclining or re- to lasting changes in the muscles and ligament
clining the head corresponds to tai yang, the system, possibly with participation of the joints
pair of the bladder/small intestine channels (BL/ in the area of the shoulder girdle. The primary
SI); hence, bladder zone (92) and small intestine causes are cervical pseudoradicular irritation,
zone (89) should be needled as well. cervical disk prolapse, and posttraumatic and
If pain increases while turning the head to the postoperative irritation. Such syndromes may
right or left, the condition is assigned to shao also result from humeroscapular periarthritis.
yang, the pair of the gallbladder/triple burner Differentiation of this syndrome according to
channels (GB/TB). In this case, treatment includes ventral, lateral, or dorsal pain in the shoulder (as
the gallbladder zone (96) and liver zone (97) we know it from body acupuncture) does not play
depending on their sensitivity. Experience has a role in choosing the points for ear acupuncture.

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Once again, the primary approach takes ad- as well as spleen zone (98) should be examined
vantage of the established segment therapy. for sensitivity. With lateral pain in the shoulder,
Here, one or two sensitive points are found in the pairs of the stomach/large intestine channels
the vegetative groove, at approximately the C6 to (ST/ LI) and of the gallbladder/triple burner chan-
T8 level. Along the segmental line of treatment nels (GB/TB) predominate according to the clas-
established through the connection with point sic understanding. Therefore, the stomach zone
zero (82), irritated points are usually found in the (87) and large intestine zone (90) as well as the
zone of paravertebral muscles and ligaments, and pancreas/gallbladder zone (96) are supposed to
these may correspond to the master points of the exhibit sensitive points.
Chinese school, such as the shoulder point (65) In cases of dorsal pain in the shoulder, the pair
and shoulder joint point (64). Naturally, with of the bladder/small intestine channels (BL/SI) is
certain identified causes (e.g., cervical disk pro- affected. Hence, the bladder zone (92) and small
lapse), the zone of intervertebral disks (located intestine zone (89) should be included according
beneath the antihelical edge toward the concha) to the Chinese school.
should also be considered. Additional essential In addition to these assignments, treatment
points can be found in the zone of spinal cord of the above conditions is also combined with
(with its sensory parts on the helix) and further body acupuncture, especially if they run diffi-
points in the projection zone of the shoulder cult or chronic courses; the corresponding points
muscles on the back of the auricle. are selected according to the affected channels.
Important points in this connection are also Depending on the acute or chronic state of the
the occiput point (29) and Jerome point (29 b) symptoms, treatment distinguishes between
and, with its analgesic and anti-inflammatory distal points and local points. For example, with
effect, as well the shen men point (55). With re- ventral pain in the shoulder, one should consider
spect to acute traumatic processes (e.g., shoulder including body acupoint LU-2 as a local point,
joint dislocation), one should recall the strong, whereas LU-5 or SP-9, as well as ST-38, may be in-
general anesthetic effect of the thalamus point cluded as distal points. In combination treatment
(26 a) in combination with the analgesia point. In of lateral pain in the shoulder, acupoints LI-15
such acute situations, it is possible to bring about and TB-14 are available as local points, while ST-
sufficient pain relief during repositioning by nee- 36 and ST-38, as well as GB-34, are distal points.
dling the shen men point (55), occiput point (29), Finally, for dorsal pain in the shoulder, the acu-
and Jerome point (29 b), as well as the thalamus points SI-9, SI-11, and SI-12 are local points, and
point (26 a) and analgesia point. After successful BL-60, SI-3, and ST-38 are distal points.
repositioning, acupuncture may be continued Treatment intervals are 1 to 2 days in the acute
during the follow-up treatment using the seg- phase, and approximately five sessions should be
mental approach described above. planned. After the symptoms have improved, this
The same procedure is carried out following may be reduced to two sessions per week and fi-
relief from acute pain in the shoulder. During fol- nally to one session per week. Depending on the se-
low-up treatment and during the intermediate verity, a total of 10 to 14 sessions may be required.
treatment of chronic shoulder–hand syndrome, In chronic processes, treatment starts with
the recommendation is to use individual sets of two sessions per week, and this may be reduced
points including the segmental approach, depend- to one session per week, depending on the course
ing on the response. The thalamus point (26 a) and of the condition. Two series of 10 sessions each
analgesia point are usually no longer detectable, are usually required, with a treatment-free inter-
while in the combined point selection the ACTH val of 1 to 2 weeks.
point/adrenal gland point (13) remains relevant.
According to the concept of Chinese medicine,
it is important to consider—as discussed above
9.8.3 Lumbago, Lumbago–Sciatica
under Cervical Syndrome—the main localization Syndrome
of pain together with the resulting channel pair. Considering that ear acupuncture was rediscov-
In case of ventral pain in the shoulder, for exam- ered due to the observation of scars derived from
ple, mainly the pair of the lung/spleen channels cauterization in the sciatica zone (52) in Alge-
(LU/SP) is affected, and hence the lung zone (101) rian immigrants, lumbago and lumbago–sciatica

9 Established Indications

syndrome are the classical indications of this carried out by the “sieving” technique rather
therapy. These syndromes may have many differ- than by subcutaneous threading of L1 to L5, as
ent causes, which should prompt the physician recommended by the Chinese school. Experience
to establish a detailed diagnosis. The possible has shown that needling only the sciatica zone
causes include gynecological, urological, and in- (52), as suggested by the Chinese school, has not
testinal diseases, which may affect the lumbar re- proved successful.
gion through reflexes. It goes without saying that, In the acute phase, the following analgesic
apart from these, degenerative diseases of the spi- points are treated first: the shen men point (55),
nal column, bad posture, arthrodesis, and psycho- thalamus point (26 a), and analgesia point (at
somatic processes should be considered as well. the ventral edge of the lobule, at the level of the
The lumbago–sciatica syndrome is often as- master omega point), and the muscle-relaxing
sociated with the protrusion or prolapse of an Jerome point (29 b).
intervertebral disk. Accordingly, it may exist During the phase of subsiding symptoms or
with or without loss of neurological function. during chronic processes, the following supple-
Conventional measures usually predominate mentary points are included: the ACTH point
so that, even in severe cases, patient, if they so (13) and adrenal gland point (the nervous con-
desire, can be treated with ear acupuncture or a trol point in the antihelical wall), as well as veg-
combination of ear and body acupuncture, after etative points I (51) and II (34). In this phase,
giving them proper information on possible con- the thalamus point (26 a) is usually no longer
ventional therapeutic measures, such as surgical detectable. Frequently, the following psycho-
interventions if the symptoms get worse. tropic points are sensitive: PT1 (antiaggression
With regard to the choice of points, ear acu- point), PT2 (anxiety/worry point), PT3 (antide-
puncture does not distinguish between lumbago pression point), and PT4 (sorrow/ joy point).
and lumbago–sciatica syndrome. Selection from In addition, both the master omega point and
the points available is made according to their omega point II may play a vital role during this
sensitivity. However, it is important to compile phase.
a number of points first, depending on the pa- First, the ipsilateral auricle with regard to the
tient’s history and clinical symptoms, before ex- site of symptoms is searched for sensitivities and
amining them systematically for sensitivity. needled. Only afterwards can the contralateral
Following the repeatedly described approach side be treated. After treatment on the ipsilateral
of segment therapy, the practitioner may try the auricle, the irritated points are found to be less
segmental assignment of symptoms with this distinct on the contralateral auricle and do not
syndrome, first clinically and then through the always correspond to the ipsilateral points. This
corresponding reflex zones on the auricle. How- is normal and, in terms of an extinction phenom-
ever, the latter is not done primarily through the enon, may suggest a choice of points.
vegetative groove, for experience has shown that Once the acute symptoms have subsided,
this zone is not representative enough in the re- physical exercise should be introduced in the
gion past the thoracolumbar transition. Instead, form of specific physiotherapy and backstroke
first the sensitive points in the zone of paraver- swimming in order to strengthen the paraverte-
tebral muscles and ligaments close to the infe- bral muscles.
rior antihelical crus are located to establish the
segmental line of treatment. Here, the sciatica
zone (52) and also the area beyond the L5 to S1
9.8.4 Knee Pain
transition must be considered. These points are This nonspecific symptom may have many dif-
then connected to the point zero (82) (which are ferent causes and requires thorough diagnostic
not irritated) to form the line of treatment. Addi- clarification. If caused by underlying structural
tional useful points may be found also along this alterations in the knee joint that are definitely in
line in the triangular fossa, on the superior anti- need of surgical therapy, ear acupuncture may
helical crus, possibly in the vegetative groove and only make sense as an adjuvant to analgesic and
in the area of the helical brim. antiphlogistic therapy. This applies especially to
If several sensitive points in the sciatica zone the postoperative phase of mobilization so that
(52) require needling, this should preferably be analgesic and antiphlogistic drugs can be spared

Diseases of the Locomotor System

and the possible side effects associated with selection of points, body acupuncture—unlike
them avoided. ear acupuncture—distinguishes between lateral,
Ear acupuncture has turned out to be very dorsal, and medial knee pain. For example, body
successful in chronically recurrent gonarthrosis acupoints ST-35 and ST-36 as well as GB-34 are
during both acute episodes and symptom-free considered for lateral knee pain, whereas acu-
periods. points SP-9 and LI-8 are for medial knee pain.
The primary points for treatment of acute These are exclusively local points that can be
knee pain are initially selected independently of combined well with ear acupuncture, especially
the cause, no matter whether the cause is ar- in chronic cases.
throsis, trauma, or the postoperative situation. In cases of response to the therapy, it is recom-
The following points predominate: the two mended that the patient be encouraged to do spe-
knee points (49 a, 49 b), shen men point (55), cific nonstraining body exercises, e.g., bicycling.
and Jerome point (29 b). Frequently, the ACTH Until such time that the atrophic quadriceps
point (13) is also found to be sensitive during muscle of the thigh is sufficiently strengthened,
this phase. the thigh point (on the superior antihelical crus)
With the objective of alleviating pain as soon will be be easily detected; hence, it should be
as possible, three or four of the points listed are needled on both ears.
selected for the first treatment. The thalamus
point (26 a) and analgesia point are rarely sen-
sitive. Whenever possible, treatment is carried
9.8.5 Coxalgia
out daily with alternating sets of points selected Criteria similar to those described for knee pain
from the points listed above until the pain sub- also apply to coxalgia. Particularly in cases of
stantially subsides. During follow-up treatment pain in the hip, diagnostic clarification requires
and intermediate treatment, the ACTH point (13) special attention as there is an increased risk that
and one of the two knee points (depending on severe, albeit rare, causes may be masked or not
the underlying cause of the pain) become more treated properly because of the anesthetic effect
important. One knee point (49 a) is usually found of ear or body acupuncture. Such causes of cox-
to be sensitive in cases of arthrosis, while the algia include, e.g., adolescent coxa vara (slipped
other knee point (49 b) is more often detected in upper femoral epiphysis) and coxitis.
case involving distortion of the joint and postop- Following a thorough diagnostic clarification,
erative conditions in which only the capsule and coxalgia can be successfully treated by means of
ligaments are affected. the auricular microsystem, using different sets of
Practical Tip Two approaches should be considered as the
In the acute phase of a painful disorder of the knee primary therapeutic access: the segmental ther-
joint, both knee points are detectable; hence, apeutic approach and the use of reflex zones.
both are needled independent of the cause. Segmental diagnosis and therapy have proved
successful in cases when none of the correspond-
ing reflex zones is responsive. This does not
During follow-up and intermediate treatment, necessarily apply to coxalgia because the reflex
the zone of paravertebral muscles and ligaments zones hip point (hip joint point) (57) and lumbar
should definitely be examined for sensitive re- spine zone (40) are well defined and easy to find.
flex zones of the lower extremity (e.g., the Thigh The area of the vegetative groove almost cranial
POINT in the area of scapha or superior antihe- to the thoracolumbar transition is possibly not
lical crus). Treatment begins primarily on the sufficiently reliable for finding the corresponding
ipsilateral auricle; depending on the sensitivity line of treatment by means of an irritated point.
of the supplementary points, it may then be con- It is possible to proceed by means of the cor-
tinued on the contralateral auricle. relating hip point (hip joint point) (57), as well
In cases of chronic knee pain, combination as possibly irritated points found in the area of
with body acupuncture should be considered the thigh point (at the beginning of the superior
from the outset as much better results can be antihelical crus) and in the sciatica zone (52) (on
obtained this way. Note that, with regard to the the inferior antihelical crus). If irritated points

9 Established Indications

are detected in these reflex zones, treatment 9.8.6 Distortion and Contusion
can be carried out in combination with segment
of Joints
therapy independently of the vegetative groove.
By using point zero and an irritated point in the With these forms of injury, it is essential to es-
area of hip point (57) or sciatica zone (52), the tablish a proper diagnosis to exclude, above all,
line of treatment is established. Here, too this fractures or severe ligament injuries that re-
approach has turned out to be successful as ad- quire the appropriate conventional care. Here,
ditional points—although not well defined, but in acupuncture may only be used as an accompa-
need of treatment—can be found along this line nying measure, e.g., for anesthesia or to reduce
(e.g., on the superior antihelical crus or the cor- swelling. In the acute phase of joint distortions
responding part of the cranial scapha). and contusions, it is always sensible not to econ-
Apart from the primary approach, the sup- omize on established accompanying measures,
plementary points play an important role in the such as immobilization of the joint or applica-
treatment of coxalgia: first of all, analgesic and tion of cold compresses. In the initial phase, ear
antiphlogistic points, such as the shen men point acupuncture is performed once or twice a day,
(55) and ACTH point (13), but also the prosta- followed by twice a week once the pain and
glandin point (on the dorsal part of the lobule), swelling have subsided. Under the cover of the
thalamus point (26 a), and muscle-relaxing Je- treatment—with the needles in place—body ex-
rome point (29 b). In acute processes, the anal- ercises may be started, although carefully and
gesia point should be considered in addition to not beyond the limits of pain tolerance. In total,
thalamus point (26 a). It should be searched for a series of approximately 10 sessions is usually
on the ventral edge of the lobule and, in condi- sufficient.
tions of severe pain, needled in combination with The primary treatment is started by using the
the thalamus point (26 a). reflex zone (corresponding point) of the affected
In all symptoms of the locomotor system, joint. For the knee joint, both knee points (49 a,
the groups of muscles located close to the cen- 49 b) should be examined. The shen men point
ter of pain and affected by reflexes are a major (55) and Jerome point (29 b) will also be found
component of the pain syndrome. Therefore, the to be sensitive. When the joints of the upper ex-
muscle groups assigned to the symptom should tremity are affected, initially applying segment
be treated as well, not just through the Jerome therapy has proved successful. Starting from the
point (29 b) and its counterpart on the back of vegetative groove (zone of origin of sympathetic
the ear (retro-Jerome point), but also through the nuclei) and connecting it to point zero (82), a line
motor reflex zones on the back of the ear. With of treatment is established in the area of scapha
of coxalgia, the motor area of the lumbar and hip and helical brim for the detection of unnamed
regions, as well as the thigh muscles, should be irritated points related to the affected joint. The
considered. For this purpose, the sulci of the su- zone of paravertebral chain of sympathetic gan-
perior and inferior antihelical crus on the back of glia (located in the antihelical wall) sometimes
the ear are searched for irritated points. also contains sensitive points.
The vegetative groove can no longer be used
Practical Tip for segment therapy because of limited diag-
With chronically recurrent processes and the nostic potential superior to the thoracolumbar
associated emotional burdens they carry, both transition. Nevertheless, even when the lower
omega point II and the master omega point extremity is affected, a line of treatment may be
should be taken into consideration as sup- established only through the corresponding joint
plementary points if they are irritated. Fur- points; along this line, injury-related yet unde-
thermore, a possible combination with body fined points can be found.
The ACTH point (13) is often sensitive on the
acupuncture can be considered, for which the
second or third day after injury—and plays a role
local acupoints BL-29 and BL-30 are available. In
as supplementary point similar to the prosta-
cases of acute, singularly occurring symptoms,
glandin point.
ear acupuncture is usually entirely sufficient to
achieve a quick and lasting improvement.

Neurological Disorders

Note. If the complaint is persistent, one should diagnosed by the pain therapist, neurological
arrange for further radiological clarification, even clarification should precede treatment, or at least
if radiographs have initially been diagnostic, and be carried out in parallel. This is vitally import-
ant as a malignant process may be the underlying
after initial success by ear acupuncture. In particular,
cause of cephalalgia; fortunately, however, this is
physicians who rarely deal with orthopedics or sur-
seldom the case.
gery should be reminded of this, which is of special
Another important step toward ear acupunc-
importance with injuries of the wrist or carpus.
ture is classification of the headache by means
of the patient’s history and clinical findings, not
just in the Western sense (e.g., as cluster head-
9.9 Neurological Disorders ache or Horton’s syndrome), but also to grasp it
(Fig. 9.13) as a syndrome: the challenge is to determine and
differentiate the trigger mechanisms (e.g., bright
Of the neurological syndromes, acute and chron-
light), accompanying symptoms (e.g., nausea),
ically recurring pain conditions are among the
patterns of distribution (cervicooccipital), time
best established indications for ear acupuncture.
course, duration, and similar criteria, in order to
However, with other neurological syndromes
draw conclusions concerning the affected reflex
of a similar chronic nature that are associated
zone to be treated according to its irritation. Very
with paresis and paresthesia (such as the posta-
distinct sets of points can be determined in this
poplexy state), treatment by ear acupuncture
way; these are essentially based on the selection
is feasible, although only in combination with
of standard points listed below.
other therapeutic procedures and, if necessary,
Using the inverted embryo as a mnemonic aid,
also with body acupuncture or scalp acupunc-
it is easy to grasp why the most important points
ture. For these indications, spectacular healing
for treating headaches are found in the caudal
results should not be expected, but rather alle-
part of the auricle. The following anatomical
viation or partial reversion at best, depending on
structures should be considered in the first place:
the destroyed area and the accompanying func-
antitragus, postantitragal fossa, and lobule.
tional disturbances. The promising case study by
During the acute phase of a headache, the fol-
Faltz (1996) on multiple sclerosis should be men-
lowing corresponding points along the sensory
tioned in this context. This demonstrated that,
line are available as primary points: occiput point
even in a chronic syndrome with periodic attacks
(29), sun point (35), and forehead point (33). In
and an unfavorable prognosis, the combined use
addition, the thalamus point (26 a) is very effec-
of ear and body acupuncture was able to bring
tive during this phase when combined with the
about an impressive and relatively constant relief
analgesia point (at the ventral edge of the lobule).
of symptoms.
Furthermore, vegetative points I (51) and II (34)
Favorable results can usually be expected from
should also be considered.
treatment by ear acupuncture for the following
From these “acute” points, different combina-
neurological conditions involving pain, both the
tions are to be selected according to sensitivity
acute and chronically recurrent types.
and individual circumstances. It should be kept
in mind that the limit is set at three to five nee-
9.9.1 Cephalalgia dles per auricle. According to Chinese specifi-
Headache, with all its different variants, includ- cations, the shen men point (55) and the actual
ing migraine, is one of the most frequent of all allergy point (78) (at the tip of the ear) are very
symptoms. In most cases, only the chronically re- effective in headache attacks, the latter point be-
current form of cephalalgia will be treated by ear ing stimulated during the acute phase by means
acupuncture, either in the symptom-free period of microphlebotomy.
or in the acute phase. It is only when the patient Cephalalgia is expected to subside at the end
is motivated by certain feelings—such as an in- of the session; a relatively stable and pain-free
tolerance of, or aversion to, drugs combined with condition can be brought about in three or four
a deep confidence in the body’s power to heal sessions at intervals of 2 days.
itself—that the opportunity for ear acupuncture This is followed by treatment in the symp-
presents itself. Independently of the syndrome tom-free phase or interval. Here, mainly the

9 Established Indications

Allergy point (78)

Vegetative groove
Omega point II

Zone of sensory
Uterus tracts of spinal
point (58) cord

Shen men
point (55)
point I (51)
Interferon 82
point Inferior cervical
ganglion point
point I
ganglion point)
ACTH point Middle cervical
(13/19) ganglion point
Vegetative Superior cervical
point II ganglion point

(subcortex 29 a
point, gray 35 29

substance 29 b
point) (34) 33

PT1 (antidepression
(antiaggression point)
PT2 point (26 a)
omega point
Analgesia Sensory Line
Vertigo Line
Ovary point (23)
(gonadotropin point) Located on the inside

Fig. 9.13 Pool of points for neurological disorders.

Neurological Disorders

supplementary points need to be selected, in- headache has been assigned to repletion (shi) or
cluding those reflex zones which relate to the to vacuity (xu).
trigger mechanisms or accompanying circum- Headaches assigned more to the vacuity (xu)
stances of the individual case at hand. These type are caused, according to the classical ex-
reflex zones include the psychotropic points on pression, by relative dominance of yang with
the lobule, such as PT1 (antiaggression point), general weakness of yin, but on the other hand
PT2 (anxiety/worry), PT4 (sorrow/joy point) and also by weakness in qi. Unlike headaches of the
PT3 (antidepression point), and also the mas- repletion (shi) type, they can be less well treated
ter omega point and omega point I. It should be by ear acupuncture; combination with body
kept in mind that often only a few or just one of acupuncture is recommended here. In case of
these recommended points may be sensitive. In cervicooccipital headache, for example, in which
case of symptoms originating from the cervical the pair of the small intestine/bladder channels
spine region and caused by a bad posture, the (tai yang) is predominantly affected, the local
segmental approach may be considered. Here, body acupoints BL-2 and BL-10—and perhaps
the vegetative groove at the cervical spine level, the extra point EX-HN 3 (yin tang) at the nasal
C1 to C7, is of great help when starting the search root—should be included. Accordingly, when the
for additional sensitive points. Depending on the headache radiates into the temple area, i.e., into
symptoms, the muscle-relaxing Jerome point the pair of the triple burner/gallbladder channels
(29 b) may be treated too. (shao yang), the local points of this channel pair,
In cases of tension headache, the search for e.g., GB-14 and GB-20, are added.
points is extended to the thoracic spine level.
While searching along the line of treatment, ▶ Particularly promising is the treatment of classi-
starting from the vegetative groove, one will of- cal migraine with ear acupuncture. Its typical triad
ten encounter the shoulder point (65) in the zone of symptoms demarcates this syndrome easily from
of paravertebral muscles and ligaments. other headaches. The symptoms include strict hemi-
crania (albeit alternating between sides), nausea
Practical Tip
(sometimes with vomiting), and extreme sensitivity
In chronic headache (e.g., the common case
to light. In extreme cases, ear acupuncture will have
of permanent cephalalgia in which temporarily
to attack two disorders simultaneously: on the one
occurring phases of aggravation predominate),
hand, a considerable addiction to painkillers, which
vegetative point II (gray substance point, 34) is
can no longer be fed because of drug intolerance
usually found also to be irritated; in this case,
and, on the other hand, the syndrome of migraine
it is one of the most effective supplementary
itself. ◀
If patients arrive for their first treatment during
an acute attack of migraine, the predominant
With respect to trigger mechanisms (which play
symptoms are nausea and vomiting in addition
a major role especially in migraine; see below),
to the headache itself. For the primary choice
the following points need to be considered: the
of points, information will initially derive from
weather point, uterus point (58), and ovary
these symptoms as the practitioner will search
point (23).
for irritated points in the corresponding areas of
According to the concept of Chinese medi-
the solar plexus zone and stomach zone. While
cine, headache is caused by a disturbance in the
doing this, an irritated zone will usually be found
qi of the blood (xui) in three pairs of channels
between point zero (82)—the start point of the
(small intestine/bladder, triple burner/gallblad-
solar plexus zone—and the bordering stomach
der, and large intestine/stomach channels), by
zone (87), as well as right at the beginning of the
either external or internal disease factors. The
stomach zone (87) itself. During the acute phase,
corresponding areas on the auricle are treated
vegetative points I (51) and II (34) belong to the
depending on the channel pair involved, and the
points of first choice and should be included
needling technique is carried out to sedate (xie
in the treatment accordingly. Predominant
fa) or tonify (bu fa), depending on whether the
among the analgesic points in the region of the

9 Established Indications

antitragus, lobule, and postantitragal fossa is the Practical Tip

sun point (35) in combination with the thalamus Migraine attacks triggered by changes in the
point (26 a) and analgesia point. weather are primarily treated by including the
The occiput point (29) and forehead point (33), weather point on the ascending helix.
as well as the shen men point (55), may be con- In cases of migraine associated with menstrua-
sidered as supplementary points. tion, the ovary point (23) and uterus point (58)
In each individual case, a different combina- may be included in the treatment, although not
tion of points may be established, depending on only hormonal factors, but also psychogenic
individual circumstances and sensitivities. Espe- factors contribute to the syndrome. In this case,
cially in migraine, however, treatment must be
the previously listed psychotropic points will of-
started on the ipsilateral auricle with respect to
ten be irritated as well.
the site of the complaints.
Once the symptoms have subsided or if the
patient is seen during the symptom-free period, If there are clues in the patient’s history or clini-
the thalamus point (26 a) and analgesia point cal findings that specific foods or other allergens
are usually no longer found to be irritated, and might trigger a migraine, experience shows that
this solar plexus zone and stomach zone are also ear acupuncture can only compensate the acute
found to be normal. The preferred points of treat- attack or lower the frequency of attacks in the
ment during this phase are the sun point (35), intervals if the exposure to allergens is undi-
occiput point (29), and forehead point (33), as minished. Treatment that focuses on the cause
well as vegetative points I (51) and II (34) and oc- by incorporating a rotation diet or avoidance of
casionally the shen men point (55). On the other allergens is essential. During the accompanying
hand, a point at the cervical level of the zone of treatment by ear acupuncture, the following
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia may points should be considered: the allergy point
be found to be sensitive; and it is recommended (78), thymus point in the antihelical wall (zone
that the practitioner search specifically for the of nervous control points of endocrine glands),
inferior cervical ganglion point as well. Depend- and omega point I.
ing on their sensitivity, the master omega point If trigger factors are present, leading to symp-
and omega point II will also be available as treat- toms ranging from myospasms in the region of
ment points. the thoracic-cervical muscles to cervical mi-
One important aspect in selecting points for graine, the attempt is made to identify an ef-
the preventive treatment of migraine, i.e., during fective set of points primarily derived from the
attack-free intervals, is the consideration of pos- segmental approach as defined by ear geometry.
sible trigger mechanisms. This will often bring Most important are the vegetative groove, for
the decisive breakthrough. example, and the zone of paravertebral muscles
and ligaments, as well as the retroauricular reflex
Note. Caution is advised in case of noticeable psy- zones of the involved muscle groups in the neck
chogenic causes. Here, it is far too readily assumed and shoulder. The underlying causes, such as a
that lasting results can be achieved by means of bad posture or continuing emotional stress, can
the following psychotropic points: the frustration be influenced only to a certain extent by ear acu-
point, PT1 to PT4, and point R (psychotherapeutic puncture. In such cases, therefore, it is essential
point). to initiate an appropriate concomitant therapy,
compensation through regular physical exercise
(e.g., sports activities), and training in mental
This is not, however, feasible. If there are last-
and physical relaxation techniques.
ing psychogenic problems, accompanying psy-
The approach outlined by Chinese medicine
chotherapy should be initiated. In fact, the
essentially corresponds to the one recommended
willingness to undergo such therapy is definitely
for cephalalgia. This may be supplemented by
promoted by ear acupuncture treatment.
combination with body acupuncture if spe-
cific points related to trigger mechanisms are
available, e.g., the acupoint KI-6 if migraine is

Neurological Disorders

associated with menstruation, or acupoint CV-17 In the acute phase, the following analgesic
in case of psychogenic factors. points predominate: the thalamus point (26 a),
sun point (35), forehead point (33), and analgesia
point (at the ventral edge of the lobule).
9.9.2 Facial Neuralgia, Trigeminal Similarly to the situation of pain syndromes of
Neuralgia the head (such as cephalalgia), an attack may be
Neuralgia in the region of the face and head, stopped by microphlebotomy of the allergy point
as well as trigeminal neuralgia, is among those (78) at the tip of the ear, as long as this point is
syndromes which are most difficult to treat. The sensitive.
treatment is very difficult with ear acupuncture The trigeminal zone at the dorsal edge of the
as well, especially when the disorder has been lobule usually exhibits several sensitive points
chronic over many years. The prognosis depends that should be needled using the sieving tech-
very much on the cause. Trigeminal neuralgia nique. With respect to the maximum number
due to trauma (i.e., caused by an accident) or of needles per session (four or five needles per
postoperative trigeminal neuralgia has a better ear), sieving counts as one needle. If the number
prognosis than the essential form. Nevertheless, of reflex zones found to be sensitive exceeds the
a therapeutic attempt is justified even in the maximum number of needles permissible per
latter case, as considerable alleviation may be auricle, the extra points should be documented
achieved here too. for further treatment, possibly the next day.
For continued or intermediate treatment, suit-
Practical Tip able supplementary points should be searched
In cases of persistent pain with temporary ag- for in the vegetative groove at the level of the
gravation, the initial treatment may be carried cervical spine zone, primarily C1 to C3. Along the
out daily, or at intervals of 2 to 3 days depend- established line of treatment, special attention
ing on the course, until a distinct alleviation should be paid to the zone of paravertebral chain
is noticed. In case of pain attacks, treatment of sympathetic ganglia, in particular, to the supe-
takes place twice a week during the symp- rior and middle cervical ganglion points. On the
other hand, the following points may play an im-
tom-free period and may be reduced to weekly
portant role: the weather point (as weather may
intervals once the attacks fail to recur. Such a
be a trigger factor), ACTH point (13), and vegeta-
therapeutic attempt involves approximately 10
tive point II (34), as well as the occiput point (29)
sessions; if these are successful, up to five more
and Jerome point (29 b).
treatments should be added for stabilization,
According to the concept of Chinese medicine,
depending on the sensitivity of the affected re- the syndrome of trigeminal neuralgia is primarily
flex zones. caused by the effect of wind and cold in the head
area or by emotions such as rage, fury, and anger.
Consequently, treatment should include the liver
According to the image of the inverted embryo,
zone (97) and gallbladder zone (96). On the other
the head and sensory organs are projected pri-
hand, the following projection zones may also be
marily in the area of lobule, antitragus, and end
examined, depending on the affected channel (or
of the scapha. Consequently, this is the main area
channel pair): the stomach zone (87), large intes-
to search for sensitive reflex zones in cases of tri-
tine zone (91), and urinary bladder zone (92).
geminal neuralgia. Depending on the localization
Taking into consideration the rather intricate
of the pain and the predominant involvement of
course of the disease, one should immediately
one of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve
consider combination with body acupuncture.
(ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular), one
The selection of points depends on the pain cen-
can expect different sensitivities of the following
ter and phase of the disease, which may be acute
points: the forehead point (33), cheek zone (11),
or chronic. For example, for chronic pain symp-
upper jaw point (Chinese) (5), lower jaw point
toms in the region of the first trigeminal branch,
(Chinese) (6), and perhaps eye point (8) and tri-
the local acupoints BL-3, TB-23, ST-8 as well as
geminal zone.
GB-3 and GB-15 should be considered. If the sec-
ond trigeminal branch is predominantly involved,

9 Established Indications

acupoints along the stomach (ST), small intestine in the zone of paravertebral chain of sympathetic
(SI), and large intestine (LI) channels, such as ganglia (in the antihelical wall).
ST-3 and ST-6, LI-20, and SI-18, should primar- It goes without saying that, in this phase of the
ily be chosen. If the disease process involves the disease, the analgesic points play a major role in
third trigeminal branch, the local points TW-17 the selection of points: the shen men point (55)
as well as ST-5 to ST-7 should be considered. and thalamus point (26 a), as well as the analge-
Body acupuncture is usually added after ear sia point (on the ventral edge of the lobule).
acupuncture treatment has been successful but If skin eruptions have already appeared, the
has no long-lasting effect. This is mainly true for urticaria zone (71) on the cranial scapha as well
the chronic long-term forms of trigeminal neu- as the allergy point (78) are also used.
ralgia. Regular repeat treatments (i.e., series of In addition, it has proved helpful to use body
five to six sessions) have proved necessary here, acupuncture and needle the area around the ve-
even after periods of 6 to 9 months. sicular skin eruptions at a distance of 3 to 4 cm by
using the superficial needle technique. This may
be supplemented by including the appropriate
9.9.3 Herpes Zoster Neuralgia distal points on the channel(s) corresponding to
The cause of the shingles syndrome is usually a this area.
temporary weakness in the body’s defense sys- Once a successful response is observed after
tem or, if occurring repeatedly, a manifest immu- the first two or three treatments carried out at
nodeficiency. The possibility of malignancy or intervals of 1 to 2 days, the following points may
HIV infection must also be considered here. be preferred: the ACTH point (13), interferon
In the wake of the latently developing disease point with its immunostimulating effect, and
process, the herpes virus present in the body thymus gland point.
becomes active and attacks the corresponding
spinal ganglia. The vesicular skin eruption associ- Practical Tip
ated with the inflammation of the nerve appears Especially in the chronically recurrent course of
only after prodromal pain and uncharacteristic the disease, combination with body acupunc-
concomitant symptoms. Against this backdrop, ture may be considered; the body acupoints
it is often possible to apply ear acupuncture as SP-6, SP-10, LI-11, and GV-14 may be used.
an adjuvant measure as early as in the prodromal
phase. Apart from a relatively swift relief from
pain, ear acupuncture makes it possible to alle- While acute herpes zoster neuralgia can be well
viate the acute course of the disease, or avoid it controlled with ear acupuncture alone, chronic
altogether, and to prevent chronicity of the pos- herpes zoster neuralgia is more difficult to treat.
therpetic neuralgia. In this case, freedom from pain is achieved only
Especially in view of the possible complica- with great effort, i.e., frequent treatments, even
tions of herpes zoster in the facial area, the pa- if ear acupuncture is combined with body acu-
tient must be informed about the available types puncture. However, a therapeutic attempt with
of conventional medical drug therapies. Further- ear acupuncture is still justified, because it at
more, it is possible to combine both therapies. In least alleviates the pain in many cases. In view of
this case, ear acupuncture is primarily used for the chronicity of the illness, the above selection
pain relief. of points is expanded as necessary by including
In the acute phase, the primary therapeutic ac- irritated psychotropic points, among which the
cess will be achieved via of the affected segment. master omega point is usually also found to be
For this purpose, the vegetative groove is exam- sensitive.
ined at the level of the corresponding section of Treatment of acute herpes zoster initially takes
the spinal column zone. In connection with point place at intervals of 1 to 2 days (with approxi-
zero (82), one or possibly two lines of treatment mately three or four sessions), then twice a week,
are established that refer to the affected segment. and finally, when only minor symptoms remain,
Along these lines, special attention should be once a week. A total of 10 to 15 sessions are likely
paid to sensitive points in the sensory portion of to be necessary, provided that the symptoms are
the zone of spinal cord (on the helical brim) and not due to an underlying severe chronic disease.

Skin Diseases

Treatment of chronic postherpetic neuralgia medicine, this differentiation must be taken into
starts with two sessions per week until relief consideration when the choice of points for
from the pain is clearly noticed, and is then con- the following conditions is mainly based on
tinued at weekly intervals. The series of initial symptoms.
treatment may require 10 to 20 sessions; with
improvement, after 4 to 8 months, repeat treat-
ments in series of five or six sessions each are
9.10.1 Skin Allergy
indicated. The longer the chronic postherpetic Skin allergies are known to have various manifes-
neuralgia has already existed, the lengthier will tations. In generalized forms (e.g., urticaria, gen-
be its treatment, i.e., more sessions and more eralized eczema), systemic immune mechanisms
frequent series of repeat treatments are to be react inadequately throughout the skin or in the
expected. skin and mucosa; in localized forms (e.g., contact
Because the symptoms appear unilaterally, the dermatitis), isolated pathological skin reactions
ipsilateral auricle with regard to the site of symp- occur.
toms is treated first. With acute herpes zoster, When selecting the points for ear acupunc-
a relatively swift alleviation of pain within the ture, this differentiation is relevant in so far as
first 12 hours following acupuncture treatment very few projection zones on the auricle are ex-
indicates favorable prospects for the therapy, pected to be sensitive in localized allergic skin
whereas such tendencies appearing only after reactions.
three or four treatments predict a more difficult
course. Note. The life-threatening form of acute urticaria is
In cases of postherpetic neuralgia, the first an indication for ear acupuncture only in exception-
signs of improvement are not expected until after al cases. Preventive treatment is started during the
five or six treatments; the pain will decrease to a symptom-free period and has favorable prospects
tolerable level only after 10 to 12 treatments. At comparable to those in pollinosis.
this point, treatment may be interrupted; how-
ever, the patient must be advised to return for
repeat treatment as soon as possible if the con- The primary therapeutic access is the urticaria
dition gets worse. zone (71), which usually exhibits several sensi-
According to the concept of Chinese medi- tive points. These should be needled using the
cine, the pair of lung and large intestine chan- sieving technique. Furthermore, the allergy point
nels is involved. Consequently, the lung zone (78) may be needled—also in the sense of micro-
(101)—if found sensitive—should be stimulated phlebotomy—from the inside or outside depend-
with several needles (the sieving technique). ing on its sensitivity. Next, the zone of nervous
Furthermore, the stomach and liver channels are control points of endocrine glands in the antihe-
considered to be affected as well; hence, the cor- lical wall is examined for sensitivity of the thy-
responding areas of the stomach zone (87) and mus gland point and adrenal gland point. Within
liver zone (97) should also be needled. How the the endocrine zone (22), the ACTH point (13) is
latter Chinese point selection has come about re- usually found to be sensitive.
mains open; in cases of herpes zoster, irritated Primarily, the omega point I as well as vegeta-
points are indeed often found in both the liver tive points I (51) and II (34) are available as sup-
zone (97) and stomach zone (87) when using the plementary points.
segmental lines of treatment. According to Chinese medicine, the skin is as-
signed to the lung and large intestine channels.
Considering the involvement of this channel pair,
9.10 Skin Diseases (Fig. 9.14) the lung zone (101) and large intestine zone (91)
should be included in the treatment.
It is important to differentiate between primary
In cases of a localized disease process (e.g.,
and secondary afflictions when treating diseases
allergic eczema), the general choice of points
of the skin. The secondary ones usually repre-
described above is expanded by the representa-
sent concomitant symptoms of underlying inter-
tion zone corresponding to the affected part of
nal illnesses. Frequently, they are also associated
the body. For example, with eczema of the hand,
with psychogenic factors. In terms of holistic

9 Established Indications

Allergy point (78)

zone (71)
point (58)
Shen men
point (55)
Zone of nervous
control points
of endocrine glands
Zone of paravertebral
point I (51) chain of sympathetic
point I Adrenal
gland point
Interferon 97
Point zero Thymus
(Nogier) (82) gland point
101 98
Middle cervical
ganglion point
101 Superior cervical
ACTH point ganglion point
(13/19) Occiput
point (29)
Endocrine Parotid gland
zone (22) point (30)

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance point) (34)

Located beneath the structure on
omega point
the inside
Located at the inside of the edge
Direction of needle
Ovary point (23)
(gonadotropin point) Endocrine zone on the inside

Fig. 9.14 Pool of points for skin diseases.

Skin Diseases

the representation zone of the hand/carpus will If the change is connected to the use of certain
present one or more sensitive points. In contrast, stimulants or spices, it may be helpful to include
both the thymus gland point and adrenal gland omega point I or the allergy point (78) in the
point, as well as the urticaria point (71), usually treatment.
prove insensitive in localized processes. According to the concept of Chinese medicine,
Particularly in systemic, chronically recurrent the lung zone (101) plays a major role here, as it
skin allergies, it makes sense to combine ear acu- does in all skin diseases.
puncture with body acupuncture. The following With secondary pruritus, supplementary
immunomodulatory body acupoints are avail- points may be found in certain reference zones
able: LI-11, ST-36, SP-6, and GV-14. related to the disease, depending on the under-
lying basic disorder. For example, in cases of liver
Practical Tip disease (jaundice), the liver zone (97) and pan-
According to the functional correspondence creas/gallbladder zone (96) may exhibit sensitive
of the skin and intestine in body acupuncture, points.
it makes sense to stabilize the patient’s prob- Different factors are thought to be responsible
ably disturbed intestinal flora (e.g., by means for the appearance of systemic pruritus of old age.
of symbiotic management) in parallel with the On the one hand, the skin is usually extremely
ongoing acupuncture treatment. dry and, during the natural process of aging,
has lost its capacity to compensate for excessive
oil-removing washing procedures. On the other
hand, a hormonal deficiency due to old age may
9.10.2 Generalized Pruritus be involved. In addition to the usual skin care
This condition usually occurs in connection with measures, ear acupuncture may be useful in this
certain internal diseases, such as hematological situation. The following supplementary points
anomalies, diseases of the liver (jaundice), and may prove sensitive: the ovary/gonadotropin
diabetes mellitus. The underlying basic disorder point (23) and uterus point (58), and also points
is taken into consideration when selecting sup- in the endocrine zone (22).
plementary points. If pruritus appears in connection with diseases
In most cases, however, the physician is con- of the hemopoietic system, it is possible (accord-
fronted with the condition of essential pruritus, ing to Chinese considerations) to include further
and the patient has already experienced some fu- supplementary points in the treatment: point
tile therapeutic attempts during several medical zero (82), the liver zone (97), and the spleen zone
consultations. (98).
In such cases, the primary therapeutic access In difficult conditions, combination with body
will be found in the ACTH point (adrenal gland acupuncture is recommended. According to the
point) (13) and shen men point (55), as well as pa- Chinese school, weakness in the defense qi is as-
rotid gland point (30) on the tip of the antitragus. sumed. Consequently, it makes sense to use the
In uncertain cases, it is also worth examining following body acupoints: SP-6 and SP-10, LI-11,
the urticaria zone (71) for sensitivity. The vege- and GV-14.
tative point II (34) on the inside of the antitra- Approximately five or six treatments are re-
gus should also be kept in mind; if irritated, the quired before a distinct alleviation of symptoms
calming and harmonizing effect of this point on is perceived. An additional five to 10 sessions are
the body’s autonomic system is utilized. recommended thereafter to achieve complete
For the selection of supplementary points, it is freedom from symptoms, or at least stabiliza-
helpful to pay attention to characteristic indica- tion to produce a tolerable condition. Initially,
tions of the disease in the patient’s history and treatment may take place twice a week and later,
to find representation zones that may be consid- when improvement is noticed, one session per
ered in the individual case and can be expected week will suffice. In case of chronicity of the
to be sensitive. Thus, any change for the worse symptoms, long-term therapy or repeat treat-
when under emotional stress is a reason for ex- ments will be required.
amining the psychotropic points for sensitivity.

9 Established Indications

9.10.3 Neurodermatitis The primary therapeutic set of points consists

of the ACTH point (13) and other irritated points
Neurodermatitis is a general medical puzzle and
of the endocrine zone (22), as well as the adre-
therefore not treated here as a proven indica-
nal gland point (in the antihelical wall at the T-12
tion for ear acupuncture. Rather, it is discussed
level). In addition, the shen men point (55) and
because the naturopath is relatively often con-
allergy point (78) may be found to be sensitive.
fronted with these desperate patients, and some
The psychotropic points must definitely be
of them may actually be helped by ear acupunc-
considered when choosing the primary points. It
ture. The results are also modest in combination
is known from experience that the master omega
with body acupuncture, although encouraging
point, PT1, and PT2 usually prove to be sensitive;
results may be achieved depending on the indi-
the other omega points and psychotropic points
vidual circumstances. As with other intractable
may, of course, also be found to be sensitive. A
syndromes (e.g., bronchial asthma, optic atro-
specific selection of these points is not possible
phy), the patient is additionally burdened with
against the backdrop of the individual patient’s
the side effects of conventional medication,
emotional state; the decisive criterion is sensitiv-
particularly those of corticosteroids in both sys-
ity of the points.
temic and topical applications. Hence, the aim
Vegetative points I (51) and II (34), as well as
of the ear acupuncturist is to reduce medication
calming and harmonizing points, such as the
dosages to below the threshold of side effects or,
occiput point (29), and the points correspond-
in case of especially good results, to do entirely
ing to the primarily affected body parts, serve as
without it. In contrast to optic atrophy, optimal
supplementary points.
monitoring of the results by both physician and
According to considerations of Chinese medi-
patient is possible in neurodermatitis.
cine, which assign the organ that is the skin to
The primary therapeutic approach takes place
the pair of lung/large intestine channels, the lung
independently of the ongoing conventional med-
zone (101) and large intestine zone (91) should
ication, which should not initially be changed.
be examined for sensitive points. Likewise, to
Furthermore, the patient must be informed that
strengthen the defense qi in the superficial skin
a reduction of medication below the threshold
layer, the following body acupoints may be in-
dosage could result in freedom from annoying
cluded: LU-9, LU-7, LI-4, LI-11, and also SP-6 and
side effects, but that a hasty reduction in med-
SP-10, and GV-14.
ication rather worsens the prospects. Unfortu-
Neurodermatitis frequently requires com-
nately, exaggerated expectations on the part of
bined treatments right from the start, in order
the patient are the rule and must be put into per-
to overcome the unknown multifactorial causes
spective by the physician, especially in cases of
of this syndrome. It may also make sense to use,
step by step and in parallel with ear acupuncture,
Invariably, a treatment series of approximately
other established naturopathic healing methods,
10 sessions will be required. In my own expe-
such as homeopathy, special diets, or probiotic
rience, one should treat patients twice a week
therapy. The aim is to eliminate in this way—but
so that the response to ear acupuncture can be
without succumbing to polypragmasy—further
accurately assessed. Once results emerge, ap-
factors contributing to the disease.
proximately 10 more sessions are required to
achieve lasting success. Repeat treatments of 5
to 10 sessions each may or may not be necessary 9.11 Treatment of Addictions
within 3 to 6 months. After the first signs of im-
provement, which are usually visible after six to
(Fig. 9.15)
10 treatments, the current medication may be Unlike diseases of the locomotor system, addic-
gradually reduced and then maintained at a low tion is not one of the best indications for ear acu-
dosage level for the time being. After stabiliza- puncture, even though it is a relatively good one.
tion following the second series of approximately Ear acupuncture must be viewed in comparison
10 sessions, a first attempt to discontinue medi- to many other therapies that are as good or as
cation may be undertaken. bad when it comes to effectiveness. Unless the
optimal therapy is known, ear acupuncture may

Treatment of Addictions

Omega point II

Shen men
point (55)
point I (51)

point I 97
Bulimia point
85 87
84 point II
100 (subcortex
gray substance
ACTH point point) (34)
Occiput point (29)

PT1 PT3 (antidepression point)

(antiaggression Craving point
point) (29 c)
PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)

Master omega point Thalamus point

(26 a)

Fig. 9.15 Pool of points for the treatment of addictions.

be equal to other methods of treatment of addic- rise to criticism, no matter whether the results
tion, although within certain limits. are positive or negative. In studies carried out at
So far, all scientific studies on addiction treat- institutions or universities as projects for disser-
ment by means of ear or body acupuncture give tations, the therapists have been inexperienced,

9 Established Indications

briefly trained graduate students or research a back seat against this genuine somatic effect.
associates who were trying to treat this difficult The craving remains reduced beyond the first 4
syndrome by following a preset combination of to 5 days—although no longer with the initial im-
points. On the other hand, when carried out by pact, according to patient reports—but reappears
established practitioners, i.e., by physicians with with undiminished intensity after renewed ex-
many years of experience in the particularities posure. If patients are likely to relapse during this
of acupuncture, the studies have lacked the re- phase, they should be promised the opportunity
quired design of a scholarly study because the of a second treatment at short notice. Even after
numerous preconditions could hardly be fulfilled weeks and months, such phases carrying the risk
in the setting of an established practice. Never- of relapse may occur, with a strange increase be-
theless, for the sake of objectivity, the discussion ing observed after 3 weeks and after 3 months.
of individual types of addictions should refer to The potential second treatment is rarely used by
studies of current interest. patients, although its availability provides a re-
In principle, every addiction therapy requires assuring sense of security. In principle, the effect
that patients are motivated to grapple with their of just one ear acupuncture treatment is suffi-
addiction on their own initiative. This is true cient. In difficult cases, further treatments may
for all forms of addiction, whether it is nico- be carried out, if needed, at weekly intervals. In
tine addiction, bulimia, or alcoholism. As this connection with withdrawal from nicotine, many
motivation is decisive in the success or failure publications recommend permanent needles.
of ear acupuncture treatment, its role must be We ourselves do not use permanent needling,
recognized or inspired by an experienced and not even in this case, for reasons previously de-
competent physician. If this essential criterion scribed in more detail (see Chapter 6.5 and p. 85).
is handled too permissively because of financial If the physician realizes during the first visit
interests, failure is certain and can have serious that the patient has never seriously tried to quit
consequences in case of severe addictions, such smoking on their own, it is a good idea to moti-
as alcoholism. Furthermore, failures are consid- vate the patient to take this step, and to offer help
erably damaging to a physician’s good reputation, by ear acupuncture should failure occur.
e.g., in cases of nicotine addiction. The actual ear needling for addiction therapy
The physician must make it quite clear to the should, if possible, take place during a subse-
patient which requirements need to be fulfilled quent visit, having agreed during the first visit
by the patient and to what extent help may be that the patient will abstain from smoking for the
expected from ear acupuncture. last 24 hours prior to treatment and will also pre-
pares everything in their environment to avoid
renewed exposure.
9.11.1 Nicotine Addiction The 24-hour waiting period has two
When a patient approaches the physician with advantages:
the desire for nicotine withdrawal, two points 1. The patient is actively integrated into the
must be clarified: withdrawal process and already gets to know
1. How motivated is the patient? the withdrawal symptoms, including the con-
How many attempts have already been made trast and relief that follows ear acupuncture
to quit smoking and what were the motives in treatment.
each case? 2. Furthermore, the search for sensitive points,
2. What can the patient expect from ear particularly that for the craving point (29 c), is
acupuncture? made easier and safer.

Ear acupuncture alleviates the withdrawal symp- There are many different recommendations or
toms and can entirely prevent irritability, ner- “recipes” regarding the choice of points that are
vousness, anxiety, and concentration problems thought to be especially effective. Unfortunately,
during the first 4 to 5 days. The craving for cig- such standard procedures tempt the therapist into
arettes is considerably reduced, even converted neglecting the patient’s personal situation. Indi-
into dislike. The psychological effect of ear acu- vidually combined treatment regimens certainly
puncture, which certainly also plays a role, takes agree with each other to a great extent, but they

Treatment of Addictions

leave enough room for locating individual points optimistic, but certainly too high, success rate of
that might be decisive for the particular patient. 80%; another report describes the poor results
Thus, the craving point (29 c) may play a pre- obtained in a 6-month follow-up study (at the
dominant role in one smoker, whereas it may Clinic for Anesthesia in Vienna, Austria) in which
be more important for another smoker for the only one out of 33 patients actually quit smok-
psychotropic points and vegetative points to be ing. In this study, however, acupuncture was
included in the treatment regimen, while the carried out like a recipe in a cookbook, using the
craving point (29 c) takes a back seat. frequently proclaimed addiction triangles: frus-
The following points have proved successful tration point/antiaggression point (PT1)/craving
as primary points: first, the well-known points, point (29 c), or one of the sensitive points in the
such as the craving point (29 c), PT1, vegetative lung zone (101), respectively.
point I (51) and/or vegetative point II (34), shen
men point (55), and ACTH point (13); the latter ▶ These two extreme examples clearly demonstrate
point is also called “stress control point” and is that, on the one hand, it is very difficult to establish
located in the endocrine zone (22). Furthermore, an objective study design because it is absolutely
sensitive points are found at various locations necessary to use individual sets of points. On the
within the lung zone (101). These points play other hand, reservations against exaggerated re-
a major role, particularly in long-term smokers ports of success seem in order. ◀
with manifest chronic bronchitis. The broncho-
pulmonary plexus point (101) may be found
to be sensitive, as may other, less well-defined 9.11.2 Bulimia, Obesity
points in the caudal area of the lung zone. Simi- Bulimia is much more difficult to treat than nic-
larly, the mouth zone (84) may play an important otine abuse, including when using ear acupunc-
role when selecting the primary points, e.g., in ture. Overweight and obesity may have many
the typical smoker who smokes for pleasure and different causes and certainly do not simply
who in all probability shows primarily a sensitive result from overeating. The increase in weight,
craving point (29 c). If smoking is primarily in- which is frequently observed after successful
duced by problems, the frustration point should nicotine withdrawal, should be viewed as a shift
be considered as the main psychotropic point in addiction with the underlying psychosocial
and should be needled in combination with the problems remaining unchanged. To this end, in
previously listed PT1 as well as ACTH point (13). cases of obesity or bulimia, ear and body acu-
The following points may play a role as supple- puncture provide effective help as a bridge or
mentary points: the occiput point (29) and the guidance toward dealing with the underlying
psychotropic points PT2 and PT3, When selecting personal problems, even more so than in the
the individual set of points, the following projec- treatment of nicotine withdrawal. The patient
tion zones should be kept in mind: the oppres- must realize that, with the temporary help of ear
sion point (83) in the solar plexus zone (“anxiety acupuncture, weight loss is possible by changing
point”), master omega point, and omega point II. eating habits and embarking on a well-balanced
In long-term chain smokers who have repeatedly psychosocial lifestyle. The introduction of further
relapsed or in patients who need to quit smok- therapeutic measures, including in cases of obe-
ing for health reasons (e.g., because of peripheral sity or bulimia the patient’s active cooperation,
circulatory disturbances), withdrawal often turns are required for reinforcement.
out to be difficult and hard to treat. Two, three, or Furthermore, it is important to keep patients
even more sessions may be required in such cases, from focusing on short-term weight loss. Instead,
and different sets of points may become apparent, they should concentrate primarily on a normaliza-
depending on changes in symptoms during the tion of eating habits. This is especially true in light
course of treatment and on the associated sensi- of the experience that rapid weight loss cannot last;
tivities. In this situation, body acupuncture may be weight is controlled centrally in the diencephalon
included by using, for example, the following body via a form of feedback regulation, in which one’s
acupoints: GV-20, CV-17, ST-36, LU-9, or HT-7. actual weight is almost identical under normal
There are conflicting reports concerning suc- circumstances to the centrally stored ideal weight.
cess rates. One study in the literature reports an Consequently, the effect of rapid weight loss is

9 Established Indications

that another weight gain is going to take place for (51) and II (34), PT1, and a point in the liver zone
sure because the centrally stored ideal weight has (97) that is regularly found to be sensitive. The
not yet changed. Herein lies the problem for most latter point, which is located close to the antihe-
overweight patients in terms of sustaining the re- lix and not defined in more detail, is also called
duced weight, as adjustment of the ideal weight to the “bulimia point.” Nearby, on the helical crus
the changed actual weight takes place only after a and within the stomach zone (87), another sen-
delay, i.e., within about 2 months. sitive point may often be found. Aside from PT1,
As with nicotine addiction, certain aspects the frustration point plays a major role. In view
must, therefore, be checked and clarified prior to of the considerable psychosomatic component,
treatment: especially in cases of overweight with a match-
1. The possible causes of obesity should be de- ing medical history, the remaining psychotropic
termined both clinically and from the patient’s points should be examined as supplementary
history, and unsuccessful earlier attempts to points, in particular PT3 and PT4.
reduce weight should be discussed. Beyond this, the shen men point (55) and oc-
2. It is important to check the patient’s state of ciput point (29) have proved successful. Further-
health, to consider existing underlying diseas- more, the three omega points must be listed:
es if applicable, and to assess the indication for omega point I can usually be detected, followed
targeted weight loss. by omega point II and then by the master omega
3. The patient’s motivation should be explored. point. The mouth zone (84), esophagus zone (85),
In this connection, one should discuss the and cardia zone (86) may be found to be sensitive
changes that patients must achieve on their as well.
own, in particular any changes in eating hab- Depending on their sensitivity and the pa-
its, lifestyle, etc. tient’s history, only a maximum of four or five
4. The patient’s expectations usually must be individual points from those listed above are se-
corrected. lected and needled. The remaining points found
during the first examination and considered in
Ear acupuncture does not induce weight loss, need of treatment are documented and, after
but it does reduce appetite. The patient feels full rechecking their sensitivity, used in subsequent
rather more quickly and, as a result, will reduce sessions as further sets of points. This applies, for
the usual amount of food eaten. This effect lasts example, when the points used initially—such as
for approximately 5 to 7 days, at which time an- the craving point (29 c), psychotropic points, and
other treatment is required. After two to four shen men point (55)—are no longer found to be
sessions, the intervals may be extended to 2 to 3 sensitive during the further course of treatment.
weeks, depending on the patient’s need in terms This happens fairly often.
of maintaining appetite control. Under the cover Experience has shown that using the following
of ear acupuncture, the patient is supposed to points as a basic combination provides success:
normalize their eating habits and come to terms craving point (29 c) and PT1, a point in the stom-
with the underlying psychosocial problems. Con- ach zone (87) close to the solar plexus zone, as
trary to widespread belief, one cannot get rid of well as the “bulimia point.” Depending on sensi-
these problems just by needling the psychotropic tivity and medical history, one of the psychotro-
(PT) points. pic points, such as PT3, or one of the omega or
A series of 10 to 15 sessions will be sufficient vegetative points is recommended.
to initiate physiological weight loss. After cessa- It is interesting to note that patients relatively
tion of treatment for 3 to 6 months, repeat treat- often report unintentional beneficial side effects
ments may be carried out with a series of five of ear acupuncture. For example, cephalalgia, in-
sessions each. somnia, chronically recurrent gastritis, or high
If no effect is observed after the second ses- blood pressure often improve or are eliminated
sion, at the latest, it is not wise to continue with completely. The latter effect must not be over-
the treatment. looked, as medication may need to be reduced
In part, the primary choice of points empha- accordingly.
sizes those already described for nicotine addic- Nutritional instructions in connection with
tion: the craving point (29 c), vegetative points I the treatment for bulimia and obesity have

Treatment of Addictions

proved unsuccessful, whereas it is a good idea to approximately 30 days and often lasts for more
introduce the general basics of a balanced and than 6 months. During this period, ear acupunc-
suitable diet and advise the patient to engage in ture is carried out two or three times per week.
regular physical exercise. In the subsequent third phase of withdrawal,
which deals mainly with social reintegration, ear
acupuncture takes a back seat and is performed
9.11.3 Alcohol and Drug Addictions just once or twice a week for relaxation.
Treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction re- During the course of these three phases, ear
quires a comprehensive therapeutic approach. acupuncture is only part of a complex therapeu-
Ear acupuncture is used here as one of several tic concept consisting of daily urine and breath
supportive measure. The therapy of both types monitoring as well as the principle of noninter-
of addiction requires practical experience as well ference on the part of caregivers and therapists
as comprehensive psychiatric and psychothera- (i.e., the social worker, the physician in charge,
peutic knowledge. Hence, treatment should be the drug team, and the psychotherapist). This
carried out in a hospital endowed with such pro- approach creates a kind of substitute for the ac-
visions, at least during the detoxification phase. tual social net, because the various institutions
collaborate closely with one another. The huge
Note. We strongly advise against any attempt at success of the NADA model lies, above all, in the
undertaking the detoxification of an outpatient by synergistic nature of the therapeutic concept de-
ear acupuncture alone. scribed above. A publication by Raben (2004) in
the Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur offers a
good overview. Additional work concerning the
Even when the patient seems to meet the high-
topic of addictions can be found predominantly
est prerequisites and vehemently pushes for
in international publications such as Avants et al
outpatient “detoxification,” a physician lacking
(2000), Bullock et al (2002), and Margolin et al
an expert background in this area must not be
tempted into making this risky step simply by re-
The following recommendation for the choice
lying on the alleviating effect of acupuncture on
of points should be understood as a basis for
the withdrawal symptoms. Such an arrangement
supportive ear acupuncture in combination with
may result in serious complications, including
multidisciplinary treatment in a hospital or out-
the life-threatening delirium tremens.
patient department; a more comprehensive trea-
At this point, it is referred to the work of
tise would go beyond the introductory character
Kossovski and Marx, which is based on many
of this book.
years of practical experience in treating alcoholic
When choosing the points for withdrawal
individuals with the aid of ear acupuncture in a
treatment, it is recommended that the detoxifica-
hospital setting.
tion phase and weaning phase are differentiated.
Especially in the United States (NADA founded
in 1985 [Smith 1984]), but also in Germany
Detoxification Phase
(German NADA, founded in 1993), ear acupunc-
The following points predominate in the detoxi-
ture has been used more and more in recent
fication phase: the thalamus point (26 a), vege-
years. In addiction centers both in hospitals and
tative points I (51) and II (34), and the shen men
increasingly also in outpatient departments, the
point (55).
use of acupuncture has been very successful as a
Consideration should also be given to the
supportive measure for drug addicts.
liver zone (97), kidney zone (95), and lung zone
The necessary follow-up as well as continu-
(101), as well as the occiput point (29). Further-
ous care are guaranteed by daily ear acupuncture
more, the practitioner should search for sensitive
during the first 30 days after withdrawal. Accord-
points in the solar plexus zone and stomach zone
ing to NADA’s therapeutic concept, treatment
(87), such as the oppression point (83). In addi-
takes place in group sessions during all phases of
tion, the craving point (29 c) and vegetative point
the therapy.
II (34) are usually found to be sensitive.
The second phase, in which emotional and psy-
Up to five needles per auricle are inserted
chological complaints predominate, begins after
during each of the daily treatments. Depending

9 Established Indications

on the sensitivities of the individual points, dif- and burning of the palms and soles. Similar ad-
ferent combinations of points may be treated ditional characteristic symptoms are found in
from day to day. kidney yin vacuity and liver yin vacuity, see also
Maciocia (1977).
Weaning Phase From this, an indication to involve the kidney
Once the detoxification phase has been com- zone (95) and liver zone (97) can be deduced. The
pleted (after approximately 1 week), the follow- shen men point (55), with its analgesic effect, is
ing psychotropic points may predominantly be thought to affect heart yin vacuity with its symp-
included in the treatments involved in the wean- toms of emotional overexcitability, palpitations,
ing phase, depending on their sensitivity: PT1 etc. in terms of a soft termination of the rising
and the frustration point, PT2, PT3, and PT4. Fur- fire of repletion (yang repletion of the heart).
thermore, of special significance are the master The setting of the five points lies at the heart
omega point and omega point II, both of which of the established NADA protocol. Components
are often neglected. Points found to be sensitive of the protocol are group therapy, low-threshold
during the detoxification phase—i.e., vegetative access, non-verbal communication during group
point II (34), the thalamus point (26 a), and the treatment, and a special, respectful approach to
craving point (29 c)—usually lose their sensitivity the patient/client. Experience has shown that the
during the weaning phase and therefore become other elements of the NADA protocol, especially
therapeutically less important. group therapy, are on a par with ear acupunc-
Irritated points are occasionally also found in ture of the five points. This applies especially to
the liver zone (97) and spleen zone (98), as well individuals with addiction. NADA cannot allevi-
as in the endocrine zone (22), and are used as ate all the discomfort of withdrawal, nor does it
supplementary points. completely suppress the craving. In this situation,
Within the framework of long-term therapy, trust in other group members who have perse-
repeated treatments are carried out at long in- vered for a longer period of time is immensely
tervals as dictated by need, e.g., in case of “drug important. These psychological aspects of the
dreams.” Here too, vegetative points I (51) and NADA protocol should not be underestimated. It
II (34), the heart zone (100), the psychotropic should be mentioned that the NADA protocol is
zones, and sometimes also the omega points are being increasingly applied in general psychiatric
most likely to be found sensitive. practice and recently also in the therapy treat-
A standardized set of points is recommended ment of posttraumatic stress disorders.
by NADA for the treatment of any kind of Ear acupuncture according to the “NADA pro-
addiction—drugs, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, or tocol” is mainly performed by specially trained,
nicotine. When applied daily, it has proved suc- nonmedical staff. However, the physician should
cessful in tens of thousands of patients within not turn down the opportunity to benefit from
the framework of NADA’s therapeutic concept. using a points concept tailored to suit individual
This “setting” consists of the following points: patients displaying varying individual symptoms.
the shen men point (55), vegetative point I (51) The choice of points given here can be used
(this is called sympathetic point in the United for treating alcoholism as well as drug addiction.
States of America), kidney zone (95), liver zone From these points, individual combination of
(97), and lung zone (101) (Fig. 9.16). points, or even general ones, may be established.
Drug addicts exhibit symptoms of yin vacu-
ity and, as a result, symptoms of yang repletion. Note. It should be emphasized yet again that treat-
The general symptoms of yin vacuity are anx- ment by ear acupuncture can only serve as a support
iety, irritability, chronic dryness of the mouth, during withdrawal treatment.

Treatment of Addictions

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51)
Kidney zone

Liver zone

Lung zone 101


Fig. 9.16 “NADA setting” for the treatment of addictions.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice
The following condensed examples of therapy 10.1 Diseases of the Eye
represent the common range, as well as the par-
ticularities, of syndromes frequently in need of 10.1.1 Hordeolum (Stye)/
treatment in general practice that are usually Conjunctivitis
successfully treated by means of ear or body acu-
puncture. They also serve as compact practical Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.1)
instructions for a therapeutic approach, as well Eye point (8).
as a source of quick reference. Allergy point (78) (microphlebotomy).
Apart from certain painful diseases of the Shen men point (55).
locomotor system where good results may be Apex of tragus point (12).
achieved with a fixed set of points, the decisive ACTH point.
factor is usually the selection of points tailored Thymus gland point.
to the individual patient. Consequently, the fol- Interferon point.
lowing practical examples of therapy should be
understood as aids rather than “point recipes.” Pool of Feasible Points in Body Acupuncture
We would like to emphasize once again that ST-1, ST-2, ST-41, BL-1, BL-2, TB-3, GB-1, GB-14,
disorders may need to be evaluated by a special- GB-20, LR-2, LR-3, LI-4, LI-11, KI-6, GB-20, LU-5.
ist and that patients must be informed about the
options provided by conventional medicine. Acute: Ipsilateral Ear
First Session
Eye point (8).
Allergy point (78) (microphlebotomy).
Shen men point (55).
Apex of tragus point (12).

Second Session
ACTH point.
Thymus gland point.
Interferon point.

Third Session
The same as the first session.

Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free

Thymus gland point.
Interferon point.
Allergy point (78).

Combination with Body Acupuncture

BL-1, BL-2, BL-6, LI-4, LI-11, TB-23, GB-1, GB-14,
GB-20, GB-37, LR-2, LR-3, LU-5, ST-1, ST-2, ST-41,

Diseases of the Eye

Allergy point (78)

Shen men point


Apex of tragus point
point (12)

ACTH point

Eye point

Fig. 10.1 Pool for hordeolum (stye)/conjunctivitis.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.1.2 Macular Degeneration The initial series of treatments spans 15 sessions.

Treatment takes place daily or every other day. Once
(Dry)/Optic Atrophy
the condition has stabilized, treatment changes to
Points are chosen from the same pool for both a preventive approach. Treatment is initially once
disorders. The selection of points differs accord- a week; if there is no progression of the disorder,
ing to their degree of irritation. maintenance treatment of one session every 2 to 4
weeks depending on the condition may take place
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.2) under the supervision of an eye specialist.
Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
Segmental treatment line: vegetative groove—
Optic Atrophy
cervical spine.
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point. First Session
Shen men point (55). Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
ACTH point. Segmental treatment line: vegetative groove—
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique). cervical spine.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33). Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4). PT2.
Master omega point.
Liver zone (97) (according to Chinese indications). Second Session
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Shen men point (55).
Macular Degeneration Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free
Period Third Session
Primary Selection of Points The same as the first session, if necessary
Eye points 24 a and 24 b. including the master omega point.
Segmental treatment line: vegetative groove—
cervical spine.
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.

Supplementary Points
Shen men point (55).
ACTH point.
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique).
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4).
Master omega point.
Liver zone (97) (according to Chinese indications).

Diseases of the Eye

Shen men
point (55)



ACTH point
Middle cervical
Vegetative ganglion point
point II
Superior cervical
(subcortex point,
ganglion point
gray substance

29 a Occiput
point) (34)
35 point (29)

24a 29 b

PT1 24b
(antiaggression PT3 (antidepression point)

(anxiety/worry PT4 (sorrow/joy point)

Sensory line

Vertigo line

Located on the inside

of the antitragus

Fig. 10.2 Pool for macular degeneration (dry)/optic atrophy.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.1.3 Glaucoma Example

First Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.3)
Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Forehead point (33).
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique).
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
ACTH point.
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique),
Second Session
vegetative point I.
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT-1–PT4).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depending
ACTH point.
on sensitivity.
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique).
Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free
Forehead point (33).
Primary Point Selection Third Session
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Eye points 24 and 24 b.
Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Forehead point (33).
ACTH point.
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion
Vegetative point I.

Supplementary Points
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique),
vegetative point I.
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4).
ACTH point.

Combination with Body Acupuncture

BL-6, GB-37.

Diseases of the Eye

ACTH point
(13/19) Middle cervical
ganglion point
Superior cervical
ganglion point
Vegetative point II 35
(subcortex point,
gray substance 33
point) (34) 24a

Sensory line

Fig. 10.3 Pool for glaucoma.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.1.4 Myopia Example

First Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.4)
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
Kidney zone (95).
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Liver zone (97).
Liver zone (97).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Kidney zone (95).
ing on sensitivity.
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique),
vegetative point I. Second Session
Sensory line (29, 35, 33). Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4). Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique).
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Period ing on sensitivity.
Primary Point Selection
Eye points 24 a and 24 b. Third Session
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point. Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Liver zone (97). Eye points 24 a and 24 b.
Kidney zone (95). Vegetative point I.
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Supplementary Points ing on sensitivity.
Vegetative point II (34) (sieving technique),
vegetative point I.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4).

Combination with Body Acupuncture

ST-1, GB-1, GB-20, GB-37.

Diseases of the Eye



Vegetative Middle cervical

point II ganglion point
Superior cervical
ganglion point
gray substance

point) (34)

29 b Line of treatment
24a 33
PT1 (segmental treatment)
(antiaggression 24b PT3 (antidepression point)
PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)

Sensory line

Fig. 10.4 Pool for myopia.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.2 ENT (Ear, Nose, and Example

First Session
Throat) Diseases Larynx/pharynx zone (15).
10.2.1 Globus Sensation Esophagus zone (85), cardia zone (86).
Solar plexus point.
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.5) Vegetative point I.
Segmental treatment line: cervical spine—
vegetative groove.
Second Session
Larynx/pharynx point (15).
Segmental treatment line: cervical spine—
Esophagus zone (85), cardia zone (86).
vegetative groove.
Solar plexus point.
Vegetative point II.
Vegetative point I and II.
Liver zone (97).
Liver zone (97).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4).
ing on sensitivity.
Primary Point Selection
Segmental treatment line: cervical spine—
Third Session
Solar plexus point.
vegetative groove.
Vegetative point II.
Larynx/pharynx point (15).
Larynx/pharynx zone (15).
Esophagus zone (85), cardia zone (86).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Solar plexus point.
ing on sensitivity.
Supplementary Points
Vegetative point I and II.
Liver zone (97).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4).

Combination with Body Acupuncture

CV-17, PC- 6, LR-2.

ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Diseases

point I (51)

Solar plexus zone


84 85

Larynx point (15)

Vegetative point II

(subcortex point,
gray substance
Line of treatment

point) (34)
(segmental treatment)
(antiaggression PT3 (antidepression point)
PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)

Fig. 10.5 Pool for globus sensation.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.2.2 Vestibular Vertigo Initially, treatment takes place every 2 to 3 days

with changing point sets.
Note. It is important to differentiate between sys-
tematic types of vertigo and nonsystematic types, First Session
for which ear acupuncture is of little help. Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Inner ear point (9).
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.6) Vegetative point I (51) or vegetative point II
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo, including the (34).
nausea point (29a), occiput point (29), Jerome
point (29 b), and additional points on the me- Second Session
dial aspect of the antitragus, depending on Segment therapy with ganglion points and the
sensitivity. vegetative groove.
Segment therapy—cervical spine section, in-
cluding the superior cervical ganglion point, Third Session
medial cervical ganglion point, and points The same as the first session.
along the vegetative groove.
Inner ear point (9). After approximately four sessions, treatment may
If necessary, vegetative points I (51) and II (34). take place once a week without changing point sets.
Treatment may be successful immediately
after the first session, but may not appear until
the fifth or sixth session. A total of approximately
10 sessions is required.

Combination with Body Acupuncture

GB-24, GB-40, GB-34, GV-20, LR3, LR-14, GV-20,

ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Diseases

point I (51)


Middle cervical
ganglion point
Superior cervical
ganglion point

Vegetative 29 a

point II
(subcortex 29 b

gray substance
point) (34)

Inner ear point


Vertigo line

Fig. 10.6 Pool for vertigo.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.2.3 Meniere’s Disease Example

First Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.7)
Kinetosis point (29 a).
Segmental treatment line of the vegetative
Von Steinberg’s line of vertigo.
Weather point (= vegetative point)
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion
PT1 to PT4.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Second Session
Kinetosis point (nausea point) (29 a).
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Jerome point (29 b).
Vegetative points I and II.
Liver zone (97).
Inferior cervical ganglion point (stellate
PT1 to PT4.
PT1 to PT4.
Third Session
Jerome point (29 b).
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Weather point (= vegetative point).
Vegetative point II.
Liver zone (97).
Weather point (= vegetative point).
Primary Point Selection Fourth Session
Segmental treatment line of vegetative The same as the first session.
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Kinetosis point (nausea point) (29 a).
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.

Supplementary Points
Vegetative points I and II.
Inferior cervical ganglion point (stellate
PT1 to PT4.
Jerome point (29 b).
Weather point (= vegetative point).

Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free

Primary Point Selection
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Kinetosis point (nausea point) (29 a).
Weather point (vegetative point).
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.

Supplementary Points
Vegetative points I and II.
PT1 to PT3.
Jerome point (29 b).
Liver zone (97).

ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Diseases

point I (51)


82 97 Inferior cervical
ganglion point
ganglion point)

Middle cervical
Vegetative Kinetosis point (29 a) ganglion point
point II Superior cervical
(subcortex point, ganglion point
gray substance

point) (34) Occiput point (29)

29 b Line of treatment

PT1 35
(segmental treatment)
(antiaggression 33

Von Steinburg’s
vertigo line
(anxiety/worry PT3 (antidepression point)

PT4 (sorrow/joy point)

Sensory line

Vertigo line

Located on the
inside of the antitragus

Fig. 10.7 Pool for Meniere’s disease.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.2.4 Tinnitus Example

First Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.8)
Ganglion points of segments C2 to C7.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Vegetative point II (sieving technique).
Segment therapy C2 to C7 with ganglion
Kidney zone (95).
PT1 to PT4.
Vegetative points I and II.
PT1 to PT4.
Second Session
Kidney zone (95).
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Liver zone (97).
Vegetative point I.
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Liver zone (97).
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Primary Point Selection
PT1 to PT4.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Ganglion points of segments C2 to C7.
Third Session
Vegetative point I and II.
The same as the first session. If necessary,
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
replace the kidney point (95) with von Stein-
berg’s line of vertigo.
Supplementary Points
PT1 to PT4.
Kidney zone (95).
Liver zone (97).

Combination with Body Acupuncture

CV-17, GV-20, LR-3, GB-2, GB-8, GB-43, HT-7, P
C-6, KI-3, KI-7, SI 19.

ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Diseases

point I

97 Inferior cervical
ganglion point
ganglion point)
ACTH point
Line of treatment
(13/19) Middle cervical
(segmental treatment)
ganglion point
Superior cervical
ganglion point
29 a
Vegetative 35 29
point II

gray substance
point) (34)

Von Steinburg’s
vertigo line

Sensory line

Vertigo line

Located on the
inside of the antitragus

Fig. 10.8 Pool for tinnitus.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.2.5 Sudden Hearing Loss Example

First Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.9)
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion.
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Vegetative point II (34), vegetative point I.
ing on sensitivity.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Jerome point (29 b).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4)..
Vegetative point II (34).
Jerome point (29 b).
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Second Session
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion
Primary Point Selection
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point.
Vegetative point I.
Vegetative point II (34), vegetative point I.
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
ing on sensitivity.
Supplementary Points
Third Session
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4).
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Jerome point (29 b).
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion
Combination with Body Acupuncture Jerome point (29 b).
TB-9, TB-16, TB-17, SI-3, CV-17, LR-3, GV-20, ST-36.
Vegetative point I.

Fourth Session
The same as the first session.

ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Diseases

Middle cervical
Vegetative ganglion point
point II
Superior cervical
(subcortex point,
ganglion point
gray substance
29 a
point) (34)
35 29
PT1 29 b
(antiaggression 33
point) PT3 (antidepression point)
PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)

Sensory line

Vertigo line

Located on the inside

of the antitragus

Fig. 10.9 Pool for sudden hearing loss.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.3 Respiratory Diseases Combination with Body Acupuncture

Local points: LI-20, BL-1, BL-2, LI-20, TB 23,
10.3.1 Pollinosis GB-1; EX-HN3 (yin tang), EX-HN5 (tai yang).
Treatment during the Attack (Fig. 10.10) Distal points: SP-6, SP-10, LI-3, LI-4, LI-11,
Allergy point (78) followed by GB-20, GB-37.
Thymus gland point. Example: Prevention
Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion point. First Session
ACTH point or shen men point (55). Inner nose point (16).
Eye point (8). Eye point (8).
Inner nose point (16). Superior and/or middle cervical ganglion
Interferon point. point.
Vegetative point I (51) or vegetative point II Allergy point (78).
Master omega or omega point I. Second Session
Occiput point (29). Interferon point.
Lung zone (101). Thymus gland point.
Kidney zone (95). Vegetative point I (51).
PT1. PT1.

Treatment is carried out every 2 to 3 days. Once the Third Session

individual’s condition improves, prophylactic treat- Allergy point (78).
ment follows with one or two sessions per week. Interferon point.
Thymus gland point.
Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free Lung zone (101).
Period (Fig. 10.10) Occiput point (29).
The treatment series involves 10 to 15 sessions,
starting with four to six sessions twice a week Fourth Session
and then once a week after about 8 to 12 weeks, The same as the second session.
depending on results.
The first treatment should be initiated approx-
imately 5 to 6 weeks prior to the start of the pol-
len season.

Primary Point Selection

Allergy point (78) without microphlebotomy.
Thymus gland point.
Interferon point.
Inner nose point (16).
ACTH point (in cases of “hay fever”).

Supplementary Points
Depending on the patient’s history and load fac-
Vegetative point I (51) or vegetative point II (34).
Master omega or omega point I.
Occiput point (29).
Lung zone (101).
Kidney zone (95).

Respiratory Diseases

Allergy point (78)

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51)

point I

point Thymus
gland point

Middle cervical
Inner nose ganglion point
point (16)
Superior cervical
ACTH point Occiput point ganglion point
(13/19) (29)
point II
gray substance
point) (34)
Eye point

Master omega point

Fig. 10.10 Pool for pollinosis.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.3.2 Allergic Bronchial Asthma Example: Prevention

First Session
Treatment during the Attack (Fig. 10.11)
Lung point (101), sieving technique.
Allergy point (78) in combination with
Bronchopulmonary plexus point.
Allergy point (78).
Thymus gland point.
ACTH point.
Stellate ganglion point (= inferior cervical gan-
Interferon point.
glion point); if necessary segment therapy.
Bronchopulmonary plexus point.
Second Session
Occiput point (29).
Lung zone (101).
ACTH point (13) and/or shen men point (55).
Thymus gland point.
Asthma point (31).
Interferon point.
Interferon point.
Kidney zone (95).
Kidney zone (95).
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
Master omega point, omega point I, and omega
point II.
Vegetative point I (51).
Antiaggression point, anxiety point.
Vegetative point I (51) or vegetative point II (34).
Third Session
Lung zone (191).
Lung point (101), sieving technique.
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4.
Bronchopulmonary plexus point.
Allergy point (78).
Combination with Body Acupuncture Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
Distal points: LU-5, GV-20, GV-5, GV-7, GV-9,
SP-6, SP-10, LI-4, LI-11.
Vegetative point II (34).
Master omega point.
Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free
Period (Fig. 10.11) Fourth Session
Primary Point Selection The same as the second session + omega
Allergy point (78) without microphlebotomy. point II.
Thymus gland point.
Sensitive points in the lung zone (101) by us-
ing the sieving technique, including the bron-
chopulmonary plexus point.
Interferon point.
Kidney zone (95).
ACTH point.

Supplementary Points
Mast omega point, omega point I, and omega
point II.
Vegetative point I (51) or vegetative point II (34).
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4.

Combination with Body Acupuncture

Local points: LU-1, CV-17, BL-12, BL-13, BL-17,
TB-15, ST-12 to ST-15, KI-27, GV-14, GV-20.

Respiratory Diseases

Allergy point (78)

Omega point II

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51)

point Thymus
gland point
Bronchopulmonary ganglion
plexus point 101
ACTH point
101 Occiput point (29)

Vegetative point II
Asthma point (31)
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34)
PT1 PT3 (antidepression point)
point) PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Master omega point

Fig. 10.11 Pool for allergic bronchial asthma.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.4 Cardiovascular Diseases Example

First Session
10.4.1 Functional Heart Disorders Cardiac plexus point.
(Palpitations, Paroxysmal Vegetative point I.
Tachycardia) Heart point (100).
PT1 to PT4.
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.12)
Heart point (100). Second Session
Cardiac plexus point. Inferior cervical ganglion (stellate ganglion).
Vegetative point I (51). Vegetative point II (34).
PT1 to PT4. Occiput point (29).
Inferior cervical ganglion point (stellate Small intestine point (89).
Vegetative point II (34). Third Session
Occiput point (29). Cardiac plexus point.
Small intestine point (89). Heart point (100).
Inferior cervical ganglion (stellate ganglion).
Primary Point Selection Vegetative point I (51) and vegetative point II
Heart point (100). (34).
Cardiac plexus point.
Vegetative point I (51). Fourth Session
PT1 to PT4. The same as the third session, depending on
Supplementary Points
Inferior cervical ganglion (stellate ganglion).
Vegetative point II (34).
Occiput point (29).
Small intestine point (89).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4).

Treatment takes place every 2 to 3 days. Depend-

ing on the stabilization of the condition, this is
extended to weekly intervals, 5 to 10 treatments

Cardiovascular Diseases

point I


Liver zone
Heart zone
point II
(subcortex Cardiac
point, plexus
gray substance point
point) (34)
point) PT3 (antidepression point)

PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Fig. 10.12 Pool for functional heart disorders.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.5 Gastrointestinal Diseases Example

First Session
10.5.1 Hiccups Solar plexus points.
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.13) Point zero.
Point zero (82, diaphragm point). Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Vagus nerve branch point (112). ing on sensitivity.
Solar plexus points (several points). Vegetative point II (34).
Vegetative point I (51).
Vegetative point II (34). Second Session
Vagus nerve branch point (112).
Primary Point Selection Point zero.
Point zero (82, diaphragm point). Vegetative point I (51).
Vagus nerve branch point (112). Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Solar plexus points (several points). ing on sensitivity.

Supplementary Points Third Session

Vegetative point I (51). Solar plexus points.
Vegetative point II (34). Vagus nerve branch point (112).
PT1 to PT4. Vegetative point II (34).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
In persisting cases of singultus, two or three ing on sensitivity.
treatments produce a positive result. In order to
achieve stabilization and lasting effects in chronic
conditions, 5 to 10 treatments at weekly inter-
vals are known to be required. The procedure in
chronically recurrent types is similar: long-term
treatment must be expected and a customized
selection of points is required depending on the
findings and the patient’s history.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

point I

Point zero
Solar plexus

point (83)

point II
gray substance
point) (34)

Fig. 10.13 Pool for hiccups.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.5.2 Gastroenteritis, Nausea, Example

Vomiting, Diarrhea First Session
Solar plexus points.
Supporting treatment is possible as follows, Point zero.
after largely emptying the gastrointestinal sys- Stomach point (87).
tem, replacing fluids, and being under consid- Vegetative point II (34).
eration for the necessary conventional medical
measures. Second Session
Retro-point zero.
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.14) Duodenum zone (88).
Point zero (82)—solar plexus points. Ileum—jejunum zone (89).
Retro-point zero. Colon—sigmoid zone (90, 91).
Stomach point (87).
Duodenum point (88).
Ileum—jejunum point (89).
Colon—sigmoid point (90, 91).
Vegetative points I and II.
Jerome point (29 b).

Primary Point Selection

Point zero (82)—solar plexus points.
Retro-point zero.
Stomach point (87).
Duodenum point (88).
Ileum—jejunum point (89).
Colon—sigmoid point (90, 91).

If several points within one area are sensitive, the

sieving technique must be applied.

Supplementary Points
Vegetative points I and II.
Jerome point (29 b).

Depending on the stage of the acute phase, the

treatment intervals should be shorter. If pos-
sible, treatment should take place twice a day;
stabilization is known to set in after one or two
treatments, and treatment can be continued as

Gastrointestinal Diseases

(112 m)

point I

Point zero
(82) Solar plexus
87 zone


Vegetative 29 b
point II
gray substance
point) (34)

Fig. 10.14 Pool for gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.5.3 Inflammatory Intestinal Preventive Treatment in the

Diseases (Crohn’s Disease, Symptom-free Period of Ulcerative
Ulcerative Colitis) Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.15) Example
Ileum—jejunum zone (89). First Session
Colon. sigmoid zone (90, 91). Colon—sigmoid zone (90, 91) or ileum—jejunum
Point zero (82)—solar plexus zone. zone (89) (each with the sieving technique).
Retro-point zero. Vegetative point II (34) (1–2 points).
Shen men point (55). PT1 and PT3.
Urogenital plexus zone. Interferon point.
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4, master Allergy point.
omega point).
Vegetative points I and II. Second Session
Jerome point (29 b). PT1 and PT2.
Interferon point. Vegetative point I.
Allergy point. Rectum zone (81) (not in Crohn’s disease).
ACTH point. Master omega point.
Thymus gland point. Thymus gland point.

Primary Point Selection Third Session

Ileum—jejunum zone (89). Colon (90) or ileum—jejunum (89).
Colon—sigmoid zone (90, 91). Vegetative point II (34) (one or two points).
Point zero (82)—solar plexus zone. PT1 and PT4.
Retro-point zero. Interferon point.
Shen men point (55). Allergy point.
Urogenital plexus zone.
Fourth Session
Supplementary Points Possibly the same as the first session, modified
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4, master according to the available, i.e. sensitive, points.
omega point). All combinations are possible, and the order is
Vegetative points I and II, Jerome point (29 b). not imperative.
Interferon point.
Allergy point. The initial treatment series involves 15 sessions.
ACTH point. Treatment initially takes place twice a week. If
Thymus gland point. there is no recurrence of the condition, one ses-
sion can be undertaken every 2 to 4 weeks, de-
Treatment can be carried out without restrictions pending on results. Therapy is more successful
in combination with medication and measures and longer lasting if combined with colon reha-
from conventional medicine, as well as during bilitation and repeated annually.
symptom-free periods.
Combination with Body Acupuncture
BL-20, BL-21, BL-23, KI-3, CV-4, CV-12, GV-4, ST-
36, SP-6.
In these disorders, ear and body acupuncture
should be part of a complex treatment including
dietary therapy (colon rehabilitation, elimination
diet) and psychotherapy. This is the only way to
achieve good results.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

Allergy point (78)

Shen men zero
point (55) (112 m)
point I (51)

Omega point I
Interferon 89
Urogenital Thymus gland
plexus point point
Point zero
Solar plexus zone

ACTH point Oppression

(13/19) point (83)

point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34)
PT1 PT3 (antidepression point)
point) PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Fig. 10.15 Pool for inflammatory intestinal diseases.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.5.4 Chronic Obstipation Example

First Session
Practical Tip
Colon zone (91).
If there are clues in the patient’s history that it is
Point zero (82).
present, a diagnosis of habitually delayed transit Vegetative point I (51).
should be ruled out; neither ear nor body acu- Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
puncture is sufficiently effective in such cases. ing on sensitivity.

Second Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.16) Hemorrhoid zone (81).
Hypogastric plexus point. Hypogastric plexus point.
Colon zone (91). Retro-point zero.
Hemorrhoid zone (81). Motor intestine zone on the back of the ear.
Point zero (82). Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Retro-point zero. ing on sensitivity.
Vegetative point I (51).
Motor intestine zone on the back of the ear. Third Session
Psychotropic points (PT1–PT4). Colon zone (91).
Hypogastric plexus point.
Primary Selection of Points Vegetative point I (51).
Hypogastric plexus point. Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Colon zone (91). ing on sensitivity.
Hemorrhoid zone (81).
Point zero (82).
Retro-point zero .

Supplementary Points
Vegetative point I (51).
Motor intestine zone on the back of the ear.
Psychotropic points (PT1–PT4).

Treatment is initially carried out every 2 days us-

ing alternating sets of points; once an improve-
ment is noticed, this changes to once a week. A
series of 10 to 15 sessions is required.

Combination with Body Acupuncture

The shu/mu technique using BL-25 to ST-25.
Furthermore, LI-4, LI-11, CV-6, TB-12, ST-36,
GB-25, GB-26, GB-31.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

(112 m)
point I (51)

Frustration point
Hemorrhoid zone (81) 90

Point zero (82)

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34)

point) PT3

point) PT4

Fig. 10.16 Pool for chronic obstipation.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.6 Gynecological Diseases Example

First Session
10.6.1 Infertility Uterus point (58).
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.17) Ovary (gonadotropin) point (23), urogenital
Uterus point (58). plexus point.
Ovary/testis point (according to Nogier). Jerome point (29 b).
Ovary (gonadotropin) point (23). Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Urogenital plexus point. ing on sensitivity.
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4, master
omega point). Second Session
Vegetative points I and II. Ovary/testis point (according to Nogier).
Jerome point (29 b). Uterus point (according to Nogier).
ACTH point. ACTH point.
Liver zone (97). Liver zone (97).
Kidney zone (95). Kidney zone (95).
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Primary Point Selection ing on sensitivity.
Uterus point (58). Third Session
Ovary/testis point (according to Nogier). The same as the first session; if required,
Ovary (gonadotropin) point (23). exchange Jerome point (29 b) for vegetative
Urogenital plexus point. point I (51) or vegetative point II (34).

Supplementary Points
Psychotropic points (e.g., PT1–PT4, master
omega point).
Vegetative points I and II.
Jerome point (29 b).
ACTH point.
Liver zone (97).
Kidney zone (95).

Combination with Body Acupuncture

KI-3, BL-23, and, if necessary, ST-26.
Initially, a series of 10 treatments is carried
out, if possible once a day or every other day.
Depending on sensitivity, two or three areas per
ear are selected and treated in an alternating
manner with other sensitive points. The combi-
nation of points is determined by their detect-
ability and varies depending on the individual.

Gynecological Diseases

Uterus point (58)

point I (51)

point (Nogier)
Urogenital plexus
Ovary/testis 97

Vegetative point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34)

ACTH point
(13/19) Jerome
PT1 point (29 b)
point) PT3 (antidepression point)

PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Master omega point

Ovary point (23)

(gonadoptropin point)

Fig. 10.17 Pool for infertility.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.6.2 Loss of Libido/Erectile Example

Dysfunction First Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.18) Libido points penis/clitoris point (according to
Libido points penis/clitoris point (according to Nogier).
Nogier). Psychotropic points: (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Ovary/testis point (according to Nogier). ing on sensitivity.
Urogenital plexus point. Vegetative point I (51).
Ovary (gonadotropin) point (23).
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level Second Session
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. Ovary/testis point (according to Nogier).
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, master Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level
omega point, frustration point. L5/S1), checking for sensitive points.
Vegetative points I and II. Vegetative points II (34).
Psychotropic points: (e.g., PT1–PT4), depend-
Primary Selection of Points ing on sensitivity.
Libido points penis/clitoris point (according to Ovary (gonadotropin) point (23).
Ovary/testis point (according to Nogier). Third Session
Urogenital plexus point. The same as the first session, depending on sen-
Ovary (gonadotropin) point (23). sitivity; possibly exchange the libido point of the
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level penis/clitoris point (according to Nogier) for the
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. ovary (gonadotropin) point (23).

Supplementary Points
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, master
omega point, frustration point.
Vegetative points I and II.

Treatment begins with two sessions per week

and can be reduced to one session per week after
improvement sets in after five or six sessions. A
total of approximately 10 to 15 sessions should
be expected.

Gynecological Diseases

point I (51)
Zone of paravertebral
S1 L5 chain of sympathetic ganglia
Urogenital L1 T12
plexus point
Frustration Zone of
point paravertebral
chain of
Ovary/testis ganglia

point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34)

PT3 (antidepression point)

PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)



Ovary point (23)

(gonadoptropin point)

Fig. 10.18 Pool for loss of libido/erectile dysfunction.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.6.3 Premenstrual Syndrome Example

(PMS) First Session
Urogenital plexus point.
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.19) Mammary gland point (44).
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level L5/
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. S1), checking for sensitive points.
Urinary bladder zone (92). Vegetative point I (51).
Urogenital plexus point. Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
Ovary point (23). sensitivity.
Uterus point (58). Uterus point (58).
Uterus (according to Nogier).
Mamma (“zone of nervous control points of Second Session
endocrine glands”). Mamma (“zone of nervous control points of
Mammary gland point (44). endocrine glands”).
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, frustration Ovary point (23).
point, master omega point. Uterus (according to Nogier).
Vegetative points I and II. Vegetative point II.
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
Primary Point Selection sensitivity.
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. Third Session
Urinary bladder zone (92). The same as the first session. If necessary, re-
Urogenital plexus point. peated treatment of the ovary point (23) and
Ovary point (23). mamma (“zone of nervous control points of
Uterus point (58). endocrine glands”).
Uterus (according to Nogier).
Mamma (“zone of nervous control points of
endocrine glands”).
Mammary gland point (44).

Supplementary Points
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, frustration
point, master omega point.
Vegetative points I and II.

Combination with Body Acupuncture

GB-34, GB-4, GB-10, SI-5, TB-6, CV-17, LR-3,
LR-13, LR-14.
The first treatment of two sessions per week
begins approximately 1 week before the ex-
pected discomfort starts and continues during
menstruation. A total of approximately five
sessions per treatment occurs over the course
of two cycles. This generally results in con-
siderable improvement of or freedom from
Depending on the course of the condition,
therapy may continue for another two cycles.

Gynecological Diseases

Uterus point

Vegetative Zone of
point I (51) paravertebral
chain of
plexus point
Vegetative 44 gland
point II point (44)
gray substance
point) (34)


PT3 (antidepression point)

PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Ovary point (23)

(gonadoptropin point)

Fig. 10.19 Pool for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.7 Urological Diseases Example

First Session
10.7.1 Prostatitis (Abacterial, Urogenital plexus point.
Chronically Recurrent) Prostate zone (93).
Shen men point (55).
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.20)
Interferon point.
Prostate/uterus point (according to Nogier).
Prostate zone (93).
Urinary bladder zone (92). Second Session
Urogenital plexus point. Prostate/uterus point (according to Nogier).
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. L5/S1), checking for sensitive points.
Shen men point (55). Allergy point.
Immunomodulatory points: allergy point, in- Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
terferon point, thymus gland point. sensitivity.
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, frustra-
tion point. Third Session
The same as the second session, if necessary
Primary Point Selection including the thymus gland point.
Prostate/uterus point (according to Nogier).
Prostate zone (93).
Urinary bladder zone (92).
Urogenital plexus point.
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points.
Shen men point (55).

Supplementary Points
Immunomodulatory points: allergy point,
interferon point, thymus gland point.
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, frustra-
tion point.

Initially, treatment is carried out every other

day. When the condition improves, treatment is
reduced to two sessions per week. Improvement
is expected after a series of 8 to 10 treatments.
In general, lasting freedom from symptoms can
only be expected in combination with colon re-
habilitation and several repeated treatment se-
ries. Again, the patient must be informed about
options from conventional therapy, and supervi-
sion by a specialist is warranted.

Urological Diseases

Allergy point (78)

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51) Zone of
Urogenital paravertebral
plexus point chain of
Interferon ganglia
gland point

point) PT3
(antidepression point)
(anxiety/worry (sorrow/joy point)

Fig. 10.20 Pool for prostatitis.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.7.2 Urinary Incontinence Example

Pool of Feasible Points (Fig.10.21) First Session
Urinary bladder zone (92). Urogenital plexus point.
Urogenital plexus point. Point zero (82).
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level Vegetative point I (51).
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points.
Point zero (82, diaphragm point). Second Session
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, master Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level
omega point, frustration point. L5/S1), checking for sensitive points.
Vegetative points I and II. Urinary bladder zone (92).
Kidney zone (95). Vegetative point II (34).
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, depend-
Primary Point Selection ing on sensitivity.
Urinary bladder zone (92).
Urogenital plexus point. Third Session
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level Urogenital plexus point.
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. Vegetative point I (51).
Point zero (82, diaphragm point). Urinary bladder zone (92).
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, depend-
ing on sensitivity.
Supplementary Points
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, master
omega point, frustration point.
Vegetative points I and II.
Kidney zone (95).

Urological Diseases

point I (51)
Zone of
Frustration 92
95 paravertebral
chain of
Urogenital sympathetic
plexus point ganglia

Point zero (82)

point II
gray substance
point) (34)
(antiaggression (antidepression point)
(anxiety/worry (sorrow/joy point)

Master omega point

Fig. 10.21 Pool for urinary incontinence.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.7.3 Irritable Bladder Example

Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.22) First Session
Urinary bladder zone (92). Urinary bladder zone (92).
Urogenital plexus point. Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, depend-
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level ing on sensitivity.
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. Kidney zone (95).
Point zero (82, diaphragm point). Vegetative point I (51).
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, frustra-
tion point. Second Session
Vegetative points I and II. Urogenital plexus point.
Kidney zone (95). Point zero (82).
Vegetative point II (34).
Primary Point Selection Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, depend-
Urinary bladder zone (92). ing on sensitivity.
Urogenital plexus point.
Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level Third Session
L5/S1), checking for sensitive points. Zone of paravertebral chain of ganglia (level
Point zero (82, diaphragm point). L5/S1), checking for sensitive points.
Kidney zone (95).
Supplementary Points Vegetative point I (51).
Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, frustra- Psychotropic points: e.g., PT1 to PT4, depend-
tion point. ing on sensitivity.
Vegetative points I and II. Urinary bladder zone (92).
Kidney zone (95).
Fourth Session
Combination with Body Acupuncture The same as the third session.
KI-7, BL-20, BL-23, BL-28, BL-40, CV-3, SP-6, SP-9.
Initial treatment is carried out daily or twice a
day. When the condition improves, treatment is
reduced to two sessions per week. Usually, treat-
ment can be successfully completed with a total
of approximately 10 sessions.

Urological Diseases

point I (51) Zone of
Frustration paravertebral
point 95 chain of
Urogenital ganglia
plexus point

Point zero

point II
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34)

Fig. 10.22 Pool for irritable bladder.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.8 Diseases of the Example

First Session
Locomotor System Ankle point.
10.8.1 Achillodynia Knee point (49 b).
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.23) Sensitive points between ankle point and cal-
Calcaneus point (47). caneus point.
Ankle point. Shen men point (55).
Knee point (49 b).
Shen men point (55). Second Session
Jerome (29 b). Calcaneus point (47).
Sensitive points between ankle point and cal- Sensitive points between the ankle point and
caneus point. calcaneus point.
Retro-Jerome point . Jerome point (29 b).
Retro-knee point (French). Retro-knee point (French).

Primary Point Selection Third Session

Calcaneus point (47). Sensitive points between the ankle point and
Ankle point. calcaneus point.
Sensitive points between the ankle point and Ankle point.
calcaneus point. Shen men point (55).
Retro-Jerome point.
Supplementary Points
Shen men point (55).
Jerome (29 b).

Combination with Body Acupuncture

KI-3, KI-5, BL-57, BL-58, BL-60, BL-61, locally at
the insertion of the Achilles tendon.
In acute conditions, treatment is carried out
three times a week depending on the course of the
pain, and if necessary daily with alternating sets
of points. After the complaint has eased, another
three sessions are carried out at weekly intervals,
until freedom from symptoms is achieved.

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Sensitive points between Undefined points Knee point

ankle joint and calcaneus surrounding the (French ) (49 a)
point (X) knee (+)

Knee point
(French) (49 a)

Calcaneus point Shen men point (55)

(heel point) (47) Retro-Jerome
Ankle point (48)

Jerome point (29 b)

Fig. 10.23 Pool for achillodynia.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.8.2 Epicondylitis, Epicondylopathy Example

(Tennis Elbow) First Session
Elbow point (66).
For point selection, differentiation between lat- Shen men point (55).
eral and medial epicondylitis is irrelevant.
Second Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.24) Shen men point (55).
Elbow point (66) (ipsilateral). Jerome point (29 b).
Points in proximity to 66. Two or three sensitive points in proximity
Retro-elbow point (elbow joint zone). to 66.
Shen men point (55).
Jerome point (29 b). Third Session
Elbow point (66).
Primary Point Selection Shen men point (55).
Elbow point (66) (ipsilateral).
Points in proximity to 66.
Retro-elbow point.

Supplementary Points
Shen men point (55).
Jerome point (29 b).

Combination with Body Acupuncture

Point selection is according to the affected path-
Depending on the course of the pain, treatment
may be carried out daily with alternating sets of
points. Once the complaint has subsided, another
three sessions are carried out at weekly intervals.

Diseases of the Locomotor System

joint point

Shen men
point (55)

Elbow point

point (29 b)

Fig. 10.24 Pool for epicondylitis or epicondylopathy (tennis elbow).

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.8.3 Shoulder–Arm Syndrome Combination with Oral Acupuncture

Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.25)
The third molar–retromolar space of the upper
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C7
jaw, at the maxillary tuberosity.
to T8.
Shoulder joint point (64).
Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free
Shoulder point (65).
Retro-shoulder joint point.
In chronic conditions, treatment is started with two
Retro-shoulder point.
sessions per week, which can be reduced to one
Jerome point (29 b).
session per week depending on the course of the
Shen men point (55).
condition. Point combinations differ from patient
Occiput point (29).
to patient. Generally, two series of 10 sessions each
Thalamus point (26a).
with a treatment break of 1 to 2 weeks are required.
Analgesia point.
ACTH point.
Example: Dorsal Shoulder Pain
Acute First Session
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C7
Primary Point Selection
to T8.
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C7
Shoulder joint point.
to T8.
Shen men point (55).
Shoulder joint point (64).
Retro-shoulder point.
Shoulder point (65).
Retro-shoulder joint point.
Retro-shoulder point.
Combination with Body Acupuncture
SI-9, SI-12, BL-60, SI-3.
Supplementary Points
Jerome point (29 b).
Second Session
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C7
Shen men point (55).
to T8.
Occiput point (29).
Shoulder point (65).
Thalamus point (26 a).
Jerome point (29 b).
Analgesia point.
Retro-shoulder joint point.
ACTH point.

Combination with Body Acupuncture

Combination with Body Acupuncture
SI-11, BL-60, ST-38.
Here, differentiation is required between:
Lateral shoulder pain: LI-15 or TB-14; ST-36,
Third Session
ST-38, as well as GB-34.
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C7
Dorsal shoulder pain: SI-9, SI-11, SI-12, BL-60,
to T8.
SI-3, and ST-38.
Shoulder joint point (64).
ACTH point.
In the acute phase, treatment takes place either
Retro-shoulder point.
every day or every other day. Approximately
five sessions are required. Once the complaint
Combination with Body Acupuncture
has improved, sessions can be reduced to two
SI-3, ST-38.
and later one per week. Depending on the se-
verity of the condition, a total of approximately
10 sessions are required.

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Shen men Vegetative

point (55) groove

X joint point (64)

Neck point (41)

ACTH point (13/19)
Occiput point (29)

Thalamus Jerome
point (26 a) point (29 b)


Fig. 10.25 Pool for shoulder–arm syndrome.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.8.4 Cervicobrachial Syndrome Second Session

Retro-thalamus point.
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.26)
Segment therapy—cervical segment (points in
Thalamus point (26 a).
the area of the neck zone, points of the vegeta-
Shen men point (55).
tive groove).
Retro-thalamus point.
Segment therapy—thoracic segment (stellate
Jerome point (29 b).
ganglion point and points of the sensory tract
Segment therapy: cervical segment, including
of the spinal cord).
points in the zone of paravertebral chain of
Neck zone (back of ear).
sympathetic ganglia (e.g., middle cervical gan-
Jerome point (29 b).
glion point and also undefined points).
Occiput point (29).
Neck point (scapha).
Vegetative groove (helical groove). Third Session
Zone of sensory tracts of spinal cord on the he- The same as the first session.
lical brim.
Neck zone (back of ear). No more than five or six needles per ear should
Segment therapy: thoracic segment, including be used.
points in the zone of paravertebral chain of When maintaining treatment intervals of at
sympathetic ganglia (e.g., stellate ganglion). least 3 to 4 days, a regular repetition of treatment
Shoulder point (scapha). can be carried out using all sets of points accord-
Vegetative groove. ing to their sensitivity.
Zone of sensory tracts of spinal cord on the he-
lical brim. Combination with Body Acupuncture
Shoulder zone (back of ear). Depends on the affected pathway; e.g., in cases
of acute symptoms along the triple burner, use
Four treatments are usually required at intervals BL-5, GB-34, and GB-41, whereas in chronic
of 3 to 6 days, depending on the intensity of the conditions, the following body points are more
pain. If the treatment intervals are shorter, i.e., 3 appropriate: BL-10, GB-10, GV-13, GV-14,
days or less, alternation of different sets of points SI-11, SI-12, SI-14, BL-15.
is recommended.

First Session
Thalamus point (26 a).
Segment therapy—cervical segment (ganglion
points and points of sensory tracts of spinal
Segment therapy—thoracic segment (vegeta-
tive groove and shoulder points).
Shoulder zone (back of ear).

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Shen men point (55)

joint point

joint point (64)


82 X X
Inferior cervical
ganglion point
X (stellate ganglion point)
Middle cervical
Occiput ganglion point



(29 b)

point (26 a)

Fig. 10.26 Pool for cervicobrachial syndrome.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.8.5 Lumbago–Sciatica Syndrome Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free

Acute (Fig. 10.27)
In case of chronically recurrent symptoms, points
Sciatica zone (52), primarily on the ipsilateral
are selected according to the patient’s history
side. Depending on the number of sensitive
and findings:
points, approximately three or four points are
Jerome point (29 b).
needled using the sieving technique.
ACTH point (13).
Thalamus point (26 a).
Shen men point (55).
Analgesia point.
Segment therapy: various lines of treatment
Retro-thalamus point.
are established by using sensitive points in the
Shen men point (55).
L1 to L5 section.
Segment therapy, e.g., points in the sciatica
Psychotropic points, depending on sensitivity:
zone (52), in combination with the thigh point
Frustration point.
or knee points (49 a, 49 b).
PT1 to PT4.
Occiput point (29).
If required, point R (Bourdiol).
Jerome point (29 b).
Vegetative point I (51), vegetative point II (34).
Zone of lumbar-gluteal motor tract (back of ear).
When using individual sets of points, it should
Initial treatment takes place as needed, either daily
be kept in mind that the upper limit is five or
or every other day with alternating sets of points.
six needles per ear, and that needles used in the
sieving technique are counted as one needle.
Approximately 10 sessions are required initially,
First Session and these are carried out at weekly intervals.
Sciatica zone (52) (sieving technique) .
Thalamus point (26 a).
Combination with Body Acupuncture
Vegetative point I .
This is carried out in accordance with the path-
Jerome point (29 b).
ways affected, e.g., in cases of a lateral radiation
Second Session of pain: GB-30, GB-31, GB-34, GB-39, BL-62.
Segment therapy (psychotropic points). In cases of pain along the midline or pain radi-
Retro-thalamus point. ating from there: BL-10, BL-58, BL-62, BL-40,
Shen men point (55). GV-26, GV-3, GV-4.
Zone lumbar-gluteal motor tract (back of ear).
Occiput point (29).

Third Session
The same as the first session.

Approximately five or six sessions are required.

Once the symptoms have improved significantly,
treatment is continued during the symptom-free

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Lumbar spine zone

Sciatica zone Thoracic spine zone

Shen men
zone of
cauterization) point (55)
(52) Cervical spine zone

Vegetative S1 L5 L1 thalamus point
point I (51) T12

Point zero (82)

point II (subcortex
point, gray
point) (34) 100
point (29)

ACTH point
point (29 b)

(antiaggression (antidepression point)
(anxiety/worry (sorrow/joy point)

point (26 a)

Fig. 10.27 Pool for lumbago–sciatica syndrome.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.8.6 Fibromyalgia Supplementary Points

Thalamus point (26 a).
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.28)
Shen men point (55).
Primary points Retro-thalamus point.
Segment therapy: using alternating treatment Jerome point (29 b).
lines along sensitive points in the various af- Occiput point (29).
fected areas: ACTH point.
– Cervical segment, including points of the Vegetative points I and II.
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia, Psychotropic points, depending on sensitivity:
e.g., middle cervical ganglion, and also un- frustration point, PT1 to PT4, if required, point R
defined points of the neck zone (muscle and (Bourdiol), master omega, and omega point II.
ligament zone—scapha), vegetative groove
(under helical brim), and sensory tracts of In chronic conditions, usually 15 to 20 sessions
the spinal cord (helical brim). are required, depending on the intensity of the
– Thoracic segment, including points of the pain. Initially, treatment is carried out every 2
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia to 3 days. With shorter treatment intervals, e.g.,
(e.g., stellate ganglion), shoulder zone (sca- 1 to 2 days, alternating sets of points are gener-
pha), vegetative groove, and spinal cord (he- ally recommended for each session.
lical brim).
– Lumbar segment, including the sciatica
zone (inferior crus), undefined points of the
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia,
vegetative groove, muscle and ligament
zone, as well as spinal cord.
Shoulder zone (cervical spine—back of ear).
Neck zone (thoracic spine—back of ear).
Retro-joint points.
Jerome point (29 b).

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Omega point II

Shen men
Vegetative point (55)
point I (51)

Point R


ACTH point 82

Vegetative Vegetative
point II groove
(subcortex point,
gray substance
point) (34)

29 b
PT1 26 a
PT3 (antidepression point)

PT2 PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


Master omega

Analgesia point

Fig. 10.28(a) Pool for fibromyalgia.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

Example Third Session

First Session Segment therapy thoracic segment (vegeta-
Segment therapy—cervical segment (vegeta- tive groove, points in the shoulder zone, stel-
tive groove, ganglion points, and points in the late ganglion point, and points of the sensory
muscle and ligament zone). tracts of spinal cord).
Jerome point (29 b). Retro-joint point: pelvis and hip.
Master omega point. PT3.
Thalamus point (26 a). Shen men point (55).

Second Session Fourth Session

Segment therapy: lumbar segment—sciatica The same as the first session.
zone (inferior crus), undefined points of para-
vertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia, vege- Combination with Body Acupuncture
tative groove, as well as muscle and ligament For example, BL-23, GB-34, HT-6, LR-3, GV-20,
zone. KI-3, PC-6.
Neck zone (cervical spine—back of ear).
Occiput point (29).
Retro-thalamus point.

Diseases of the Locomotor System

Retro-wrist zone

Knee joint zone (Chinese)

Retro-elbow joint zone

Knee joint zone (French)

Retro-hip joint zone

r sp
Lu m

Zone of motor
p ine

tracts of
cic s

spinal cord

Retro-shoulder joint zone

Cervical spine zone

Retro-Jerome point

Retro-thalamus point

Fig. 10.28(b) Pool for fibromyalgia.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.9 Neurological Disorders Supplementary Points

Vegetative point I and/or Jerome point (29 b).
10.9.1 Tension Headache Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, frustration
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.29) point, omega points.
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C1
to T5. Combination with Body Acupuncture
Sensory line (29, 35, 33). HT-3, HT-7, GV-20, CV-17.
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, frustration Depending on the intensity of the pain, 6 to 10
point, master omega point. sessions at intervals of 3 to 6 days are required. with
Jerome point (29 b). shorter treatment intervals, e.g., 3 days or less, vary-
Shen men point (55). ing sets of points must be selected for each session.
Thalamus point (26 a).
Analgesia point. Example
First Session
Acute Segmental treatment line C2/C3.
Primary Point Selection Jerome point (29 b).
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C1 Occiput point (29).
to T5. Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
Sensory line (29, 35, 33). sensitivity.

Supplementary Points Second Session

Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, frustration Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
point, master omega point. Jerome point (29 b).
Jerome point (29 b). Vegetative point I.
Shen men point (55). Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
Thalamus point (26 a). sensitivity.
Analgesia point.
Third Session
Combination with Body Acupuncture Segmental treatment line C2/C3.
For example, BL-10, BL-60, SI 3, TB 5, GB-20, LI-4. Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Depending on the degree of pain, treatment Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on
takes place, if necessary, daily, with alternating sensitivity.
sets of points. After the discomfort has sub-
sided, preventive treatment is given during the Fourth Session
symptom-free period. The same as the first or second session.
Initially, treatment is carried out twice a week,
changing to only once a week once the pain has
improved or subsided. A total of 5 to 10 sessions
must be expected.

Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free

Primary Point Selection
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C1
to T5.
Sensory line according to Nogier: forehead
point (33), sun point (35), occiput point (29).

Neurological Disorders

Shen men
point (55)

point I (51)

Vegetative 82
point II
point, Vegetative
gray substance groove
point) (34) (segmental
35 29
29 b
PT3 (Antidepression point)
Thalamus point (26 a)

PT4 (sorrow/joy point)

Analgesia point Sensory line

Fig. 10.29 Pool for tension headache.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.9.2. Migraine Preventive Treatment in the Symptom-free

Treatment During the Attack (Fig. 10.30)
Primary Point Selection
Primary Point Selection
Treatment is initially carried out twice a week.
Thalamus point (26 a).
When attacks become less frequent or are ab-
Analgesia point.
sent, treatment should then be given only once
Sun point (35).
a week. In total, 5 to 10 sessions will be required.
Occiput point (29).
Sensory line according to Nogier: forehead
Forehead point (33).
point (33), sun point (35), and occiput point
Shen men point (55).
Sensitive points in the solar plexus zone, such
Sensitive points in the solar plexus zone.
as the oppression point (83), or in the stomach
Supplementary Points
Depending on the trigger mechanism:
Thalamus point (26 a) or retro-thalamus point.
Weather point (body acupuncture: TB-15,
Sun point (35).
Occiput point (29).
Ovary point/gonadotropin point (23) (body
Segment therapy: e.g., superior and middle
acupuncture: SP-6, KI-3).
cervical ganglion points, vegetative groove,
Vegetative point I and/or II.
Uterus point (58) (body acupuncture: SP-6,
Depending on the intensity of the pain, the treat-
Segment therapy: vegetative groove in the cer-
ment is carried out at intervals of 2 days using
vical segment.
alternating sets of points. After the symptoms
Jerome point (29 b).
have subsided, this is followed by preventive
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, frustration
treatment in the symptom-free period.
point, omega points (body acupuncture: HT-3,
HT-7, GV-20, CV-17).
Combination with Body Acupuncture
Distal points: BL-58, BL-60, SI-3, TB-5, GB-37,
Combination with Body Acupuncture
GB-39, GB-43, KI-3, PC-7, LI-4, ST-44, SP-6,
Local points: BL-2, BL-10, GB-3, GB-20, EX-HN5
(tai yang), LI-20, ST-8, GV-20, TB 15, SP-6, KI-3.

Example: Weather-dependent Migraine

First Session
Sensory line (29, 35, 33).
Weather point.
Vegetative point II (34).
Frustration point.

Second Session
Segment therapy: vegetative groove at level C1
to T5.
Vegetative point I (51).
Jerome point (29 b).
Psychotropic points: PT1 to PT4, depending on

Third Session
Weather point.
Vegetative point II (34).
Jerome point (29 b).
Master omega point.

Neurological Disorders

point II

point (58)
Shen men
point (55)

point Retro-thalamus
Oppression point
Omega point I point (83)
Solar plexus
Point zero (82)

ganglion point
point II Middle
(subcortex cervical-ganglion
point, Occiput point point
gray substance (29)
point) (34)

Thalamus cervical-ganglion
point (26 a) point
PT1 Sun
(antiaggression point) point (35)
PT2 Forehead
(anxiety/worry point) point (33) PT3 (antidepression point)

Master omega PT4 (sorrow/joy point)


point Sensory line
Ovary point (23)
(gonadoptropin point)

Fig. 10.30 Pool for migraine.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.9.3 Herpes Zoster Neuralgia Example

First Session
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.31)
Thalamus point (26 a).
Thalamus point (26 a).
Ear geometry.
Retro-thalamus point.
ACTH point.
Segment therapy: vegetative groove, zone of sen-
sory tracts of spinal cord in the affected segment.
Second Session
Shen men point (55).
Retro-thalamus point.
Analgesia point.
Shen men point (55).
ACTH point (13).
Analgesia point.
Ear geometry.
Ear geometry with other sensitive points, if
Sun point (35).
Occiput (29).
Sun point (35).
Occiput point (29).
Treatment is initially carried out every 2 days
with alternating sets of points, depending on the
Third Session
course of the disease.
The same as the first session.

Combination with Body Acupuncture Once an improvement is noticed, treatment

LR-3, PC-6, BL-60, CV-14, CV-15, CV-5.
frequency should be changed to two sessions a
Locally: around the blister area, segmentally,
week and, finally, one a week.
e.g., GB-34, GB-40, LR-5, in cases of thoracic her-
If reactive emotional stress is suspected, PT1
pes zoster.
and/or the master omega point may be treated,
depending on their sensitivity.

Neurological Disorders

Shen men
point (55)



Occiput point (29)

ACTH point X

Line of treatment =
segmental treatment
X Reactive points
Sun point Thalamus point
(35) (26 a)

Fig. 10.31 Pool for herpes zoster neuralgia.

10 Examples of Therapy for Use in Practice

10.9.4 Apoplexy, Postapoplexy Supplementary Points

Thalamus point (26 a).
Pool of Feasible Points (Fig. 10.32)
Retro-thalamus point.
Depending on the affected body parts (extremi-
Jerome point (29 b).
ties) and/or functions, corresponding areas (seg-
Sensory line according to Nogier (29, 35, 33).
mentally or direct) are selected and sensitive
Vegetative point II (sieving technique).
supplementary points located.
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo.
Segment therapy, cervical, thoracic, lumbar
Combination with Scalp Acupuncture
Retro-joint points.
Thalamus point (26 a).
According to Yamamoto
Basic points A, C and D, Y point: kidney.
Retro-thalamus point.
Jerome point (29 b).
Sensory line according to Nogier (29, 35, 33). Combination with Body Acupuncture
Vegetative point II (sieving technique). Upper extremity: LI-4, LI-11, LI-15, TB-5.
Von Steinburg’s line of vertigo. Lower extremity: GB-34, GB-14, ST-31, ST-36,
Primary Point Selection Facial palsy: GB-2, GB-14, SI-18, TB-17, TB-3,
Segment therapy: using alternating treatment LI-20, GV-26, ST-1, ST-3, ST-4, ST-6, ST-7.
lines along sensitive points in the correspond- Speech disorder: GV-23, CV-15.
ing affected segments:
– Cervical segment, including points of the For this disorder, up to 15 to 20 sessions may be
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia, required. Initially, treatment is carried out at inter-
e.g., middle cervical ganglion and also un- vals of 2 to 3 days, depending on the course of the
defined points in the neck zone (muscle and condition. Symptoms tend to improve even within
ligament zone—scapha), vegetative groove the first six sessions of treatment. With shorter
(under the helical brim), as well as sensory treatment intervals, e.g., 1 to 2 days, alternating
tracts of the spinal cord (helical brim). sets of points are recommended for each session.
– Thoracic segment, including points of the
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia
(e.g., stellate ganglion), shoulder zone (sca-
pha), vegetative groove, and spinal cord (he-
lical brim).
– Lumbar segment, including the sciatica
zone (inferior crus), undefined points of the
paravertebral chain of sympathetic ganglia,
vegetative groove, muscle and ligament
zone, as well as spinal cord.
Retro-joint points.

Neurological Disorders

Knee point (Chinese) (49 b)

Knee point
(49 a)

Shen men point

Ankle (55)
point (48)

point (66)
Zone of
chain of
sympathetic Shoulder
ganglia 82 point (65)

ganglion point