Auricular Medicine: Quackery on Steroids

auricular acupunctureVR writes: “I have been getting homeopathy treatment from a chiropractor using Auricular Medicine.  It is a bio-energetic medicine testing protocol that enables them to objectively determine which homeopathics are appropriate (and not appropriate) for each patient. Is this New Age medicine?”

It sounds like you’re getting a double-dose of quackery from a chiropractor who ought to know better. Not only is homeopathy without a shred of scientific merit (see our blog index for numerous articles on homeopathy) but auricular medicine is even wackier.

For those of you who have never heard of it, auricular medicine is also known as “ear acupuncture” and involves inserting acupuncture needles into certain spots in a person’s ear which supposedly correspond to certain parts of the body. But here’s where it gets really weird.

the "little man" in your ear

the “little man” in your ear

This therapy is widely believed to be an ancient Chinese remedy but that’s not even close to the truth. It was actually invented by a French homeopath, Dr. Paul Nogier, in 1951 when a patient came to him and claimed he was relieved of sciatica pain by a cauterization of the ear performed by a quack in Marseille, France.

Nogier suddenly had a remarkable “insight” that the ear was actually a homonculus (a little man) in the form of a fetus. Therefore, if one stuck a pin in the a certain area on the “little man” in the ear, it would heal the corresponding part of the body. (I’m not making this up – click here for an article containing plenty of citations, including the diagram shown, which document the bizarre history of this treatment.)

Personally, I would not trust my health to anyone who uses such untested and downright ludicrous methods of “medicine” to diagnose an illness, then treat it with homeopathic drugs that have long been proven to be nothing more than plain water (which homeopaths believe have a “memory” of anything that ever touched it). If I were you, I’d find a real doctor and get on with some real healing.

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