Acupuncture points on the ear are effectively used to treat illness. In 1957, Dr. Nogier  developed a map of the ear based upon the inverted fetus concept, when he observed the occurrence of scars on the ears of a patient who were successfully treated for sciatic pain by French lay practitioners.  Auricular acupuncture is a treatment system based on normalizing the body's pain and dysfunction
through stimulation of points on the ear. Resulting amelioration of pain and illness is believed to be through the reticular formation through the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

His work was first presented in France and then published by a German acupuncture society and then finally translated into Chinese. In 1958, a massive study was initialed by Nanking Army Ear Acupuncture research team which verified the clinical accuracy of Dr. Nogier's inverted man concept of, the little man on the ear.

In 1980, a double blind experimentally controlled research study at UCLA Pain Management Center department of anesthesiology UCLA School of Medicine conducted a research study by Richard J. Kroeuning M.D., Ph.D and Terry D. Oleson Ph.D. This study reported in PAIN verified the scientific accuracy of auricular (ear) diagnosis. There is a statistically significant level of 75% accuracy achieved in diagnosing musculoskeletal pain problems in 40 pain patients. Specific areas of height and tenderness and increased electrical activity on the ear predicted specific areas of the body where some pain or dysfunction would be identified whereas the body free of pathology corresponded to non-active points on the ear. These points can be treated with needles, or without needles using electrical stimulation or small pellets or seeds applied with tape and pressed to stimulate the points.

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