Ear acupuncture is a reflex zone therapy. Reflex zones are pictures of the human body and organs on small areas of the body (food, hand, ear). Imagine an embryo lying upside down, whose image is projected onto the ear. The reflex points coincide.
Ear acupuncture points can be detected in the skin of the ear conch/pinna as zones of several extremely small connective tissue corpuscles, which are wrapped in axons (long , fiber- like extensions of nerve cells) of different nerves. This gives them access to all core areas of the brainstem.Various physical and emotional stress can cause those small corpuscles to be filled with inflammatory cells. Therefore, the ear acupuncture point can appear sensitive to pain when irritated with a pressure scanner. The reflex points, which are associated to various body functions and organs, can be used not only for treatment, but for diagnosis also.
In addition to normal acupuncture needles, with ear acupuncture I use long term needles or magnetic beads, which patients carry in their ear over a few days and can stimulate themselves.
A particular application of ear acupuncture is the NADA protocol, a specially designed ear acupuncture program for addicts, which I have been participating in as an acupuncturist in Switzerland.