Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can help people who are afraid of acupuncture needles. Are you one of them? Maybe you’re intrigued with the healing potential of this ancient form of medicine. You’ve heard good things about it from friends, colleagues, your family, or even your doctor. Some have experienced remarkable improvements in their health and swear by it. Maybe you’ve also read that it is very safe compared to pharmaceutical drugs. But, unfortunately, you can’t bring yourself to give it a try because the idea of needles just freaks you out. No problem! I have good news for you…


In the field of acupuncture and energy medicine, there are several specializations called microsystems. The most well-known and widely practiced system is auriculotherapy. Though the ancient Chinese were already using some areas on the ear for treatment, the full-fledged practice of this approach is a modern development of a more international nature. In the 1950ies, the French physician Paul Nogier experimented with points on the earlobe and found that they relate to specific regions of the body in an anatomical pattern. His approach cross-fertilized with what acupuncture physicians in China and other parts of the world were exploring. Today, many acupuncturists integrate auriculotherapy in their therapeutic approach, some even use it exclusively.

Acupuncture without needles?

One of the top experts I studied with many years ago, Dr. Lichun Huang, emphasized a style that doesn’t even involve acupuncture needles! How does she do it? Instead of needles she uses little seeds that can be taped to specific points on the earlobe to stimulate them. This has several advantages: The seeds do not pierce the skin, so there’s less risk of infection. They are taped to the skin and can stay for a few days without falling out. Thus, they continue to gently stimulate the selected points and prolong the effects of treatment. You can continue to press on them a few times a day before you remove them, which is especially helpful if you experience pain or anxiety.

The pioneers of auriculotherapy identified over 100 points and specific areas on the front and back of the earlobe that relate to structures and functions in the body, including the skeleton, the internal organs, and the nervous, hormone and digestive systems. There are points that can relieve high or low blood pressure, help with weight loss, and relief anxiety. Usually, several strategic points are selected for a particular patient to address their current health concerns. Many people report a calming effect almost immediately. A series of several treatments over the course of a few weeks is often needed to alleviate chronic conditions.

Auriculotherapy can save you time

Many of my patients, of course, look forward to their acupuncture treatment because they enjoy the rest and deep relaxation they experience while the needles are retained. The advantage of practicing auriculotherapy the way I described it above, however, is that it enables me to treat you in just a few minutes, saving you time and expense. It can be a great option for straight-forward pain or stress relief.

I usually add a few points on the ear to the body points I use when giving an acupuncture treatment. My patients appreciate the effects of ear points so much that they remind me when I forget to include them in their treatment.

Your ears connect to all parts of your body

If you have headaches, back pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, or experience stress, anxiety or insomnia, give auriculotherapy a try. It may surprise you just how effective it can be. I’m always excited if one of my patients is able to reduce their use of pain medication once they receive acupuncture or auriculotherapy regularly.

© 2020 Christiane Siebert