Auriculotherapy was developed by Dr. Paul Nogier, a neurologist in the 1950’s. He became interested in the study when several of his sciatic patients related how they had been helped by a Middle Eastern woman. They reported that their suffering ended after she put a hot needle into their ears. Nogier began his quest to understand more of this system.
Since then, researchers such as Terry Oleson, PhD from UCLA, and Dr. Jay Holder in Miami, FL have expanded Nogier’s work. Oleson, using radioisotope techniques, showed how these ear points could be located. He identified their relationship to areas of the body. The acupuncture meridians do not innervate the ear. Originally, Chinese medicine evolved to include a form of auriculotherapy that used needles placed in the ear to treat opiate addictions as well as other problems. Nogier became aware, however, that auricular points differ from acupuncture points: Auricular points can move; acupuncture points are stationary. To detect the movable points, Nogier used elaborate cameras with filters, which was time consuming. Today, a noninvasive micro-stimulation device is used to not only detect the points, but to deliver a microcurrent that effectively treats the points faster and more accurately than would be possible with needles. The microcurrent feels like a slight prick with a needle. Although some mild discomfort is possible, most patients find it barely noticeable and tolerable.
Auriculotherapy for Smoking Cessation
Auriculotherapy is a safe and effective treatment accepted by the World Health Organization and approved by the FDA. Treatment consists of electro stimulation of specific points in the ears that have been established for smoking cessation. Stimulation of these points “turns off” the nicotine addiction centers. The treatment takes about 10 minutes and is performed using a device called the Stim Flex 400A. This device is one of only 2 devices approved by the FDA for this purpose. Dr. Toni Lane’s auriculotherapy program includes the initial visit and one follow-up “booster” treatment for $50. Over 50% of patients do not require the booster treatment to be successful. The percentage of patients who are able to successfully quit smoking goes up to over 75% - 80 % after the second treatment. Additional booster visits are required for a small percentage of patients and are available for only $20. Similar results occur for patients who wish to stop chewing tobacco.