The Astonishing Modern Healthcare Method Performed Exclusively on Your Outer Ear
Ear acupuncture (auricular therapy) is a proven, sophisticated European-developed treatment approach, used worldwide to improve health and relieve pain throughout the body. Various health benefits come from stimulation of the outer ear. Ear acupuncture is quite different from traditional Chinese body acupuncture.
Seeking the Auricle
An ancient Greek oracle refers to a prophet or shrine through which hidden inspired wisdom was believed to be revealed. What a fascinating coincidence it is that the medical term for the outer ear is the auricle.
Using modern scientific instruments, the auricle provides otherwise hidden information about the human body that other medical means may not reveal. The outer ear functions as a tiny microcosm of living energy that correlates with and connects to the entire body.
Conventional Western medicine looks to the human ear as only an organ of hearing. It is so much more!
The auricle has complicated nerve connections through which constant communication takes place between your ear, brain and the body. There are no direct nerve connections between the ear and every part of the body, but it does indeed have a vast supply of nerve endings connecting it to the brain and spinal cord. It appears that a reflex center in the brain (reticular formation) continuously transmits energy signals to the spinal cord, and then to nerves connecting to the corresponding part of the body.
Dr. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO
477 Viking Drive #170
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
When there is a disturbance somewhere in your body, a change in the electrical resistance can be detected at pinpoint locations within predictable regions of the skin of the ear.
These temporary acupuncture points directly correspond to the organs or tissue involved. Stimulating them by various means including acupuncture needles, electrical devices, cold laser, or acupressure pellets can trigger or “jump starts” a natural healing response.
This holistic ear-based treatment is called auricular therapy. It has been clinically observed to achieve some absolutely stunning results—often after conventional medications and other treatment methods have failed.
Many factors may disrupt the flow of energy, which can have far-reaching consequences to our health. Energetic blockages are obstacles to the normal energy flow throughout the body. Eastern medicine acknowledges that your health depends upon energetic balance and stability of the body-mind-spirit axis. Modern research and technology is now scientifically verifying this principle that has been understood for thousands of years by many cultures. Auricular therapy is at the forefront of the scientific energy medicine revolution. It is extremely safe and easy to have done.
The outer ear has complex nerve endings that correlate with problems everywhere in the body
The ear has been documented as an area of therapeutic focus dating back to ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Persia.
Various sources inaccurately cite auricular therapy to be developed by the Chinese. The use of acupuncture needles is, of course, originates from China. However the medical discipline of ear acupuncture originated in France.
Paul Nogier, MD (1908-1996) was a conventionally-trained neurologist, who also had an engineering background. He taught at the medical school in Lyon, France. During the 1950s, Dr. Nogier noticed a strange scar on the upper ear of some of his patients. The doctor learned these marks were created by a woman from Marseille named Madame Barrin. Although she was not a doctor or an acupuncturist, but someone had shown her how to intentionally burn (cauterize) a spot on the outer ear in order to relieve low back and thigh pain (sciatica). She had no idea why or how it worked. Amazed and fascinated by this unheard of procedure, Dr. Nogier observed it, and performed the same procedure on his own sciatica patients with some success.
Historically, Chinese acupuncture involved merely a few points on the ear as part of the comprehensive, full-body meridian energy channel system. In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture points are very specifically anatomically located at fixed locations on everybody. These are perpetually electrically active—they can always be detected on everybody with instruments.
On the other hand, with auricular therapy there are no exact fixed points; they are constantly changing. They can differ in location on the ear from person to person, within large zones. They exist as electrically detectable acupuncture points if, and only if a problem exists—like the warning light on the dashboard of a car that turn to in case of malfunction.
Ear acupuncture was discovered and developed by French neurologist, Paul Nogier, MD (1908-1996).
With side effects of drugs being a concern, Dr. Nogier sought methods of treatment that worked on a physical and energetic plane, rather than chemical. Thus, he studied homeopathic medicine, manual spinal correction, and acupuncture. He reasoned that needling the ear rather than burning it might be a much gentler, less drastic, yet equally effective approach. He was right on the money!
Eventually, Dr. Nogier determined that this “magical” sciatica spot was a reflex point that corresponded directly with the fifth lumbar vertebra and its neighboring sacroiliac joint. This is where the sciatic nerve exits the spine, and runs down the leg. Despite the lack of scientific validation, Nogier persisted with detailed investigation of this phenomenon. He keenly hypothesized that if this spot on the ear was effective in treating low back pain, maybe other parts of the ear could treat other parts of the body too. Through extensive experimentation, Dr. Nogier systematically mapped out energetic ear reflex projection zones for the entire body.
When there is a problem in the body, it shows up on the ear
In a fascinating development, Dr. Nogier observed that skin changes on the ear correlated to the whole body... in the shape of the human body as a fetus!
The head projects electrical changes to lower ear lobe, the feet at the top of the ear, and the rest of the body in-between. This model was first presented in France in 1957, then spread to Germany, and finally was translated into Chinese. In 1958 the Chinese embraced and adopted this model of acupuncture that was previously unknown to them despite thousands of years of acupuncture practice. They acknowledged Dr. Paul Nogier as the “Father of Auricular Therapy.” Not satisfied with these initial extraordinary findings, he continued research for decades. Nogier understood that the human body functions through always-changing and highly dynamic systems.
Several years later, Dr. Nogier and his research team determined this remarkable fetus presentation to be merely one of three possible energy projection patterns that reflected problems in the body! They discovered that the surface of the ear is actually a 3-dimensional, holographic energetic projector of the human anatomy and physiology. A hologram is a 3-dimensional image of an object, which contains the information of the object itself… and in EVERY PART of itself. Dennis Gabor theorized the concept of holography in 1947. Leith and Upatniecks introduced it practically by 1964.
Every part of the body has three distinct areas for which electrical changes could develop. These are called auricular energy phases. Which zone develops electrical changes depends upon nature of the problem. A sudden or acute condition causes changes in a pinpoint area of one particular zone. A chronic problem results in electrical activity in another zone, quite a distance away. Any physical changes, tissue damage, injury, or degeneration leads to electrically detectable ear acupuncture points in yet another distinct area. There isn't just one zone or point on the ear for each organ or tissue; there are 3 different areas to consider.
The shape of our ears is no coincidence; it correlates with anatomy & function of the whole body
The nerves from the outer ear connect to centers in the brain, which send neurological messages to the spinal cord and then to nerves connecting to the corresponding part of the body.
Imagine your brain as a computer. Inside this computer is a map of the entire body. This map is projected onto your EAR through your nervous system. Finding the points on the map is like using a computer’s keyboard or mouse to gain entrance into the system. With auricular therapy we can energetically treat a number of painful conditions through the “brain’s computer.”
The reticular formation of the brain stem collects information from the entire body, and sends it to the ear. This is why the outer ear (the auricle) reflects everything going on in the body, and what the brain is trying to do to deal with it. The ear is a hologram decoder!
It is also thought that pain relief from auricular therapy comes from the release of endorphins into the blood. Endorphins are your body’s natural pain relieving chemicals.
They are created by your brain, but they are similar in chemistry to opiate drugs, like morphine. Proof of this mechanism has come in the form of fascinating experiments, which revealed that drugs that block the effects of opiate drugs, also block the pain relieving effects of auricular therapy.
From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, pain is caused by blockage of Qi or Chi (pronounced chee) energy in the acupuncture meridian channels, thus creating an imbalance in the total body (macro-system) acupuncture system. By stimulating specific ear points in the auricular micro-system, two-directional connections are activated in the body macro-system which leads to a balancing of energy and an increase flow of Qi. It has been since scientifically determined that Qi is simply, electricity!
Helping the body to naturally heal itself by stimulating the nerves to the skin of the outer ear
Modern science has proven what ancient cultures and millions of people have known all along: acupuncture works! Technology such as function MRI (fMRI) has long proven that ear acupuncture indeed triggers an effect in areas of the brain, specific to the corresponding zone on the ear.
Anybody, especially doctors, who say they do not believe in auricular therapy must realize that it is not an unproven or mystical treatment approach. Physicians would be wise to actually read the vast array of published medical research on the subject. There's no excuse for medical professionals in the age of the Internet; anybody can read papers directly from medical journals. In the scheme of history, acupuncture has been safely and effectively used long before the first pharmaceutical drug was patented and sold.
The science of auricular acupuncture has been well documented, internationally researched, with over 800 papers published in peer-reviewed medical journals (I am proud to have written several of them). It is not only taught in France, but all of Europe—especially Germany. It is practiced by several thousand European medical doctors.
In 1990, Hiroshi Nakajima, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) praised Dr. Paul Nogier, and encouraged medical doctors to use auricular therapy.
The WHO lists 150 conditions for which Auricular therapy is appropriate. Examples include various neurological and orthopedic disorders such as: headaches, migraines, trigeminal Neuralgia, facial paralysis, peripheral neuropathy, Meniere’s disease, intercostal neuralgia, tennis elbow, sciatica, lumbar pain, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer pain, dry mouth, hot flashes, etc.
Ear acupuncture is scientifically proven, with over 1,000 studies published in medical journals
Around 1995, Nogier's authentic work was brought to America, brilliantly re-vitalized, refined, and furthered by anesthesiologist, acupuncturist and homeopathy expert, Nader Soliman, MD. I am proud and privileged to have been personally trained by him. Gleaning from Dr. Soliman’s experience, I have been thrilled to be able to carry on the noble work of Dr. Paul Nogier for patients from coast-to-coast.
Despite its success, most North American doctors are unfamiliar with it. Auricular therapy has proven to bring pain relief and support healing, in many cases, after all other medical interventions have failed.
Various forms of ear acupuncture/auricular therapy are used around the world. Needle-based acupuncture has been practiced in Asia for thousands of years, but only a few specific points were used on the ear; not as an entire acupuncture system. In November of 1997, a consensus panel of the U.S National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave conditional approval of the practice of acupuncture. They included an evaluation of those studies that supported the use of ear acupuncture for pain relief and addiction treatment (quitting smoking, drugs, alcohol).
Auricular therapy has been used in Europe since Nogier introduced it in 1957. The body of international research supporting it is quite impressive. Research studies in China and the USA verified the scientific accuracy of auricular diagnosis:
In China the ear points of over 2,000 patients were assessed recording which points correlated with certain diseases and which ear points lead to reduction of medical symptoms.
At UCLA 75% accuracy was achieved in correctly diagnosing the location of the musculoskeletal pain problems of 40 patients. Expert panels were formed by the World Health Organization leading to international standardization of identification of ear reflex points.
Auricular acupuncture has even been used to treat pain for cancer patients when prescription medicine was ineffective. A research study involving 90 cancer patients was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Vol 21, Issue 22 (November), 2003: 4120-4126). The scientists concluded that there was a clear benefit from auricular treatment for cancer related pain.
Another example is Chinese medical research published in the journal, Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2007 Feb;27(2):112-4). This study revealed success in relieving lower back pain. Studies have revealed auricular treatment’s success with dealing with drug and nicotine addiction.
Nader Soliman, MD, the world's authority on ear acupuncture is my mentor (2008)
Auricular therapy was successfully implemented into the United States Armed Forces thanks to recently retired Air Force Colonel Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH. He is a radiation oncologist, who became the first full-time physician acupuncturist for the U.S. Armed Forces. Dr. Niemtzow teaches military physicians an auricular technique called Battlefield Acupuncture. He established an extremely popular clinic at Andrews Air Force Base, where he serves personnel from Andrews, the Pentagon, White House, National Naval Medical Center, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Niemtzow has been Consultant for Alternative Medicine for the United States Air Force Surgeon General. He has also represented the Department of Defense at the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Advisory Council.
Dr. Richard Niemtzow, Col. USAF (ret.) brought acupuncture to the US Armed Forces in 2002
Body acupuncture works with fixed meridians—channels which are exactly mapped and defined in the body, as well as fixed acupuncture points situated along these meridians. They can always be detected because they are always electrically active.
Auricular therapy (ear acupuncture) is a specialized acupuncture micro-system of the entire human body, which involves diagnosis of electrically active acupuncture points, which are ONLY detectable if there is something wrong in the body. Many consider this to be an advantage that auricular therapy has over traditional body acupuncture.
Chinese acupuncture is performed on the body. auricular acupuncture is done exclusively on the ear
Traditional acupuncture involves placement of needles in anatomically-established points within energy channels (meridians) throughout the body. They are spaced widely apart. Auricular points are only a few millimeters or less from each other. In ancient China they didn't have electrical point locators.
Current technology enables modern auricular practitioners to locate points with amazing precision. The device is used to detect increased electrical skin conductivity, which is found at an electrically active point. The increase in electrical conductivity correlates exactly with a problem in the corresponding part of the body. The same instrument can provide electrical point stimulation.
A sophisticated neuro-electrical diagnostic detector is used to locate ear acupuncture points
There are many different techniques used by acupuncturists, physician acupuncturists, as well as healthcare practitioners who are not licensed and trained to use needles. Needle-free methods include use of electrical or laser stimulation, specialized pressure pellets made from gold, silver, steel or herbal seeds, as well as magnets, and manual pressure. The choice of which materials to use depends upon the patient's needs and/or the practitioner's scope of practice.
Ear Neuro-Electric Acupuncture
Dr. Paul Nogier's research revealed specific frequencies that must be used for different areas of the ear for electrical treatment. Strict attention to proper frequencies greatly enhances results. The same applies for modern therapeutic laser treatment.
In my practice I use an extraordinary instrument, which serves as both a diagnostic and treatment instrument. Most people don't feel anything at all with its micro-current electrical stimulation. Each point is treated from 10 to 120 seconds. You can see me demonstrating it during a (2012) WAVY-TV 10 news story they aired for auricular therapy treatment for people with chronic dry mouth
Dr. Paul Nogier determined frequencies for different regions of the ear. (C) Liebell 2009
This segment aired in 2012 on WAVY-TV 10 news in the Virginia Beach area. I demonstrated the use of ear acupuncture & electrical stimulation for chronic dry mouth
Once an ear acupuncture point's location is determined, an acupuncture needle can be inserted.
At the Liebell Clinic, we primarily use semi-permanent needles. These are 3mm-long, thinner than an eyelash, filaments of sterilized stainless steel. They are slid under the skin, and are barely felt going in.
This is NOT like getting your ears pierced, drawing blood, or getting a shot!
Once they're inserted, they are covered with special tape, plus a special non-toxic medical adhesive called Mastisol. This keeps them in place from days to weeks, depending upon treatment needs.
Many auricular specialists think ear acupuncture has an advantage over traditional full-body acupuncture because these semi-permanent needles enable you to have ongoing stimulation without frequent treatment. A session of traditional needle acupuncture ends when the needles are removed. I have found them to be outstanding for use with a variety of problems, including pain relief, as well as allergies, with a very high level of patient satisfaction.
They're tiny: you barely feel a thing! Semi-permanent ear acupuncture needle
Ear acupuncture has been used at the Liebell Clinic for a wide variety of health concerns. Its most recent phenomenon has been providing treatment for allergies via the Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment (SAAT). Nader Soliman, MD's patented method has produced extraordinary results. But you won't likely hear about it from too many doctors.
I am proud to have published medical research on its usage for allergy to red meat, as well as other health problems.
If you would like to know if ear acupuncture might be helpful for you, feel free to email below, or better yet, just call the Liebell Clinic and talk to Sheila.
This video is my entire hour and a half Keynote Presentation from the 2019 Alpha Gal Symposium at Virginia Tech's Reynolds Homestead in Martinsville, Virginia: Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment (SAAT) for overcoming allergy to red meat (cause by tick bite).
477 Viking Drive #170, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452, United States
The Liebell Clinic has office hours one Saturday each month for special evaluations. Times and dates are variable month-to-month.
Copyright © 2021 The Liebell Clinic - All Rights Reserved. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO. The information and statements contained in this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The content of this website is for informational purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Your reliance on any information provided by Dr. Liebell’s website, any referenced parties is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice or treatment, because of information contained in this website. This website expresses Dr. Liebell's health care views, and describes wellness-based, natural treatment methods, and must not be misconstrued as direct treatment advice—it is information only.