The French physician Paul Nogier developed ear acupuncture or auriculotherapy in the 1950’s. He noticed that some of his patients had a little cauterisation scar in their ears which they claimed relieved sciatic pain. Over 15 years, Nogier investigated the connections between ear points and various organs and body regions and came up with a map of points that roughly resembled the shape of an inverted foetus. He realised that with applying acupuncture to the ear he could treat any area of the body, including the nervous system.
Once China found out of the new acupuncture system, they investigated it in large-scale trials, using the Nanjing army. Nogier’s system was confirmed and auriculotherapy was included in the curriculum of Traditional Chinese Medicine courses.
Today auriculotherapy is widely used throughout the world for many applications, one of them is the NADA protocol.
A simple ear acupuncture treatment to help people in withdrawal from narcotics, alcohol, nicotine and other addictions was discovered in the early 1970’s by Dr. Wen, a Hong Kong based neurosurgeon.
In the 1980’s the treatment spread to the USA and became known as the NADA protocol, an acronym for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, which promotes it around the world. The treatment is often done in group sessions in a safe, supportive environment in the USA.
The five ear acupoints used stimulate Lung, Liver and Kidneys and produce a calming effect of the sympathetic nervous system. So removing toxins from the body whilst keeping the emotions relaxed.
The treatment takes 30minutes and can be applied a number of times a week. A proficient therapist can modify the treatment to include acupoints for individual challenges that may arise during withdrawal such as depression, irritability etc.
The NADA protocol and its variations are also used to assist patients during smoking cessation.