Ear Acupuncture

What is Ear Acupuncture?

Ear acupuncture is one of the most important components of traditional Chinese acupuncture. It is a specialized form where the auricle (ear) is used to stimulate various organs and meridians in the body. The ear represents a fetus in the womb but in an inverted position. It is a microcosm of the macrocosm: the ear represents the entire body.

Auricular therapy has a long history in China. The earliest recorded mention of the close relationship between the ear and the body is found in the Silk Book Meridians, written around 500 B.C., which states that the ear meridian originates in the back of the hand and ascends to enter the ear. Auricular diagnostic and therapeutic methods were first documented in Nei Jing, The Classic of Medicine, written around 200 B.C., which stated that the nature and location of various diseases could be determined by inspection of the shape, color, moistness, and collaterals of the ear. It recommended the use of blood-letting puncturing of the collaterals of the ear to treat headache and side pain.


Ear acupuncture is widely used for many conditions, including addiction treatment, mood disorders, obesity, pain, and other conditions. This medical system emphasizes a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. The acupuncture points found on the ear help to regulate the body's internal organs, structures, and functions.

Ear acupuncture points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear tacks. Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant or tiny metal beads. These seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to one week. Ear tacks are very small needles with an adhesive backing. Ear tacks are inserted into the ear and left in the ear for a few days or up to one week.