Auriculotherapy, also known as ear acupuncture, is a medical technique that was discovered and developed by Dr. Paul NOGIER (1908-1996).

The originality of the conception of Paul NOGIER is based on the fact that he considered that the diseases can be treated and cured by using physical approach.


The XIXth and the XXth centuries were the centuries where the chemistry was omnipotent and where the medical therapy was based upon this chemistry. For every disease, a chemical drug. For every symptom, a molecule. It was very rare in the XXth century that someone explored new physical paths for therapy. Dr. Paul NOGIER, who received a formation as an engineer, looked at the individual with an eye of a physicist. He understood that the biological systems were not only sensitive to active chemical substances but also to physical stimulations. Therefore he systematically tried to find physical therapies to be used in the treatment in order to avoid the secondary effects of the chemical drugs. As soon as he graduated in medicine in Lyon, he focused his interest on homeopathy, as the homeopathic granule liberated from any chemical substance, finds its action through the physical electromagnetic information. Afterwards, he studied manual medicine and later acupuncture.


In 1951, Paul NOGIER received in his consultation a patient, who explained to him that he was relieved from a sciatica pain by a cauterisation on the ear carried out by a quack in Marseille, Madame BARRIN. Following this observation, Paul NOGIER examined the external ear and tried to understand why this strange cure took place. It will take him more than 30 years to ascertain the mechanisms of the ear properties.

In fact, there exist points on the ear some like in acupuncture. These points appear as soon as, pain or functional disorder is provoked on the body. These points can be detected either by the pain sensitivity, or with equipment for differential electrical detection. Today we know that the surface of the external ear carries areas of lower resistance that appear in case of a presence of a functional disorder. Every point on the ear corresponds to a well defined part of the body. A real cartography is present on the ear.


By the help of these two methods of detection, which are the search for painful points and the points of lower cutaneous electrical resistance, it is possible to do first the diagnosis by a thorough examination of the ear. Then, as a second step, one can initiate a therapy by treating the ear points with physical means: needles, cauterisations, massage of the points, infrared light.

In 1990, in Lyon, the World Health Organisation held up a working group on the standardization of the nomenclature of the auricular points. This group was presided by Dr. Raphaël NOGIER and standardized 43 points.


On this occasion, Dr. Hiroshi NAKAJIMA, general director of the WHO, encouraged the medical doctors to use auriculotherapy in their medical practise.

This meeting that was held up in the splendid locations of the town hall of Lyon was the beginning of the recognition of the technique discovered by Paul NOGIER.

Today, the auriculotherapy is taught in numerous countries. In France, this technique is a subject on 7 faculties. It is integrated in the training of somatic acupuncture. In Paris, on the faculty of Bobigny, a university diploma in auriculotherapy is proposed to the medical doctors, dentists and midwifes after a course of two years. This formation is directed by Dr. David ALIMI, who is a student of Dr. René KOVACS.

Auriculotherapy is not only taught in France. This technique is now developed in all European countries and principally in Germany, where it is practised by several thousands of medical doctors.

In France, auriculotherapy can only be practised by professionals in medicine: medical doctors, dentists, veterinary doctors, midwifes. The legislation which is very strict in France is much more flexible in many other countries in Europe, in some of which a formation in acupuncture includes auriculotherapy for the para-medical professions, as: kinesiotherapists, nurses. The education is very complete and allows the students to exercise auriculotherapy under the control of a medical doctor. In the Scandinavian countries, this method is very successful. A supervising medical doctor controls one or several acupuncturists, who are not medical doctors, but have their own private medical cabinet. The acupuncturist shall ask for the opinion of the supervising medical doctor for the cases that go beyond his own knowledge. In the near future, it will be necessary to harmonize the legislation in this field.


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Treatments against the pain:

sciatica, shoulder pain, trigeminus neuralgias, zonas, etc.

Treatment of functional diseases:

motoric diarrhoes, constipation, migraine, etc.

Treatment of certain affective and behaviour disorders:

neurosis, reactional depressions, etc.

Programme d’enseignement:


History od auriculotherapy

Anatomy and embryology; innervation of the ear

Neurophysiological basic knowledge

Different kinds of ear points

Detection of the points

Localisations: conchae, antihelix, helix, lobule, tragus

Diagnosis by the help of the ear

Treatment by using the ear points with: needles, massages, cauterisation, infrared light

Obstacles to the treatment:

  • 1st rib syndrome
  • toxic scars
  • dental focus
  • hostile reactions to food

Special treatments:

  • anti-tobacco programme
  • spasmophily
  • chronical pain
  • gynecological disorders
  • migraine
  • trigeminous pain