The History of Ear Acupuncture and Ear Cartography:

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The History of Ear Acupuncture and Ear Cartography:

Why Precise Mapping of Auricular Points Is Important

Andreas Wirz-Ridolfi, MD

The current author had the opportunity to present a study on the history of ear acupuncture at the International
Summit Forum on Clinical Application of Acupoints in August 2018 (from August 25 to August
27), in Beijing, China, and to introduce the latest ear chart by Frank R. Bahr, MD, there. This article is
based on that presentation and includes more historical facts. Although the relationship between the ear and
meridians was discussed previously in the famous book, The Internal Classic of the Yellow Emperor
(Huang Di Neijing), the first auricular map was published in 1888 by Zhenjun Zhang in his book Essential
Techniques for Massage (Lizheng Anmo Yaosu). This map was a drawing of the posterior aspect of the ear
showing areas of the five Zang organs: Heart; Liver; Spleen; Kidney; and Lung. Paul Nogier, MD, discovered
ear somatotopy, a representation of the whole person on the ear in the shape of a homunculus, or
inverted fetus, on the ear. Dr. Paul Nogier’s ear map was first published in 1957. A more-detailed presentation,
the Loci Auriculomedicinae, elaborated by Drs. Paul Nogier and Bahr as well as Rene´ J.
Bourdiol, MD, appeared in 1974. A new edition will soon appear in French. Auricular medicine is an
excellent method, but only if the ear points are located precisely. Preconditions for this ability are excellent
knowledge of the ear’s anatomy, documented on a very detailed modern ear chart, such as the one recently
created by Dr. Bahr, and constant practice of pulse palpation according to Dr. Paul Nogier with the
vascular autonomous signal.
Keywords: ear acupuncture, ear cartographies, auriculotherapy, auriculomedicine, Paul Nogier, vascular autonomous

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