Auricular Acupuncture as an Alternative Medicine. Citation: (Stanton 2017, 23)

As a result of the increasing worldwide research into auricular acupuncture, the field is now considered by many physicians to be an evidence-based medicine. Gary Stanton at the Department of Neurology, Sleep Medicine and Pain Medicine Services at Emerson Hospital in the USA, offers a summary of the history of auricular acupuncture, its clinical rationale, indications, methods and advantages. See the report (external link). Reference:Stanton G. Auricular Acupuncture as an Alternative Me...


Neurophysiologic effects of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) via electrical stimulation of the tragus: A concurrent taVNS/fMRI study and review. Citation: (Badran 2017)

Since prior studies of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have had inconsistent findings (owing to variability in stimulation targets and parameters), the authors undertook to develop a transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS)/functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) system enabling the comparison of taVNS in relation to control stimulation through concurrent electrical stimulation and fMRI acquisit...


Non-invasive Vagal Nerve Stimulation Effects on Hyperarousal and Autonomic State in Patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and History of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Preliminary Evidence. Citation: (Lamb 2017)

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a result of chronic stress that mobilizes  the autonomic nervous system, and may be reflected by chronic disinhibition of limbic structures. Mild traumatic brain injury commonly precedes PTSD in populations such as veterans, owing to the vulnerability of white matter in these networks. Such damage may affect response to treatment of PTSD. The authors evaluated transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS or taVNS), a non-invasive, low-risk neuro-auricul...


Investigation of a Micro-test for Circulatory Autonomic Nervous System Responses. Citation: (Moser 2017)

Most cells in the body react to signals of the autonomic nervous system. This explains the importance of this unconscious part of our nervous system for homeostatic regulation and hemodynamic balance. Searching for a suitable test for the organismic response to acupuncture, Nogier discovered a cardiovascular reaction, which could be triggered by slightly stimulating certain points mechanically on the human ear (Nogier, 1972). He called it “réflexe auriculo cardiaque” or RAC, known in English ...


Auriculotherapy to reduce anxiety and pain in nursing professionals: a randomized clinical trial. Citation: (Kurebayashi 2017)

In a randomized clinical trial with an initial sample of 180 professionals, Kurebayashi and her colleagues studied the effectiveness of auricular methods (e.g. an auricular protocol for pain & anxiety) as a efficient, drug-free approach for improving the quality of life of the nursing staff of a hospital.  Results showed a 17% reduction in anxiety, a 36% reduction in pain, and a 13% increase in the mental aspect of quality of life. Details on descriptive statistics, analysis of variance...


Novel Neuromodulation Techniques to Assess Interhemispheric Communication in Neural Injury and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Citation: (Shin, 2017)

Interhemispheric interaction has a major role in various neurobehavioral functions. Its disruption is a major contributor to the pathological changes in the setting of brain injury such as traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerve injury, and stroke, as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Shin and Pelled provide a review (yielding approximately 170 relevant articles) of noninvasive and state-of-the-art molecular based neuromodulation methods that focus on or have the potential to elucidate int...


Auricular Acupuncture Analgesia in Thoracic Trauma: A Case Report. Citation: (Papadopoulos 2017, 49-52)

In a case of thoracic trauma (rib fractures with pneumothorax and pulmonary contusions) with severe chest pain leading to ineffective ventilation and oxygenation, doctors in emergency department applied auricular acupuncture to ameliorate pain and hopefully improve his functional ability to cough and breathe deeply. The patients pain scores diminished considerably within minutes. Ventilation and oxygenation indices improved to safe limits. Read the full case report (external link) Reference...


The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol, auricular acupuncture to support patients with substance abuse and behavioral health disorders: current perspectives. Citation: (Sturt 2016)

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, developed during an era of surging opiate use and addiction, is known as a cost-effective means to quickly reach and help treat populations that are often considered the most difficult to treat.  This 2016 review by Stuyt & Voyles is drawn from a range of small positive studies that offer testimony, “perhaps more appropriate to the reality of NADA practice today” of effectiveness for supportive intervention. NADA protoco...


Battlefield acupuncture: Opening the door for acupuncture in Department of Defense/Veteran’s Administration health care. Citation: (Walker 2016, 491-8)

Battlefield acupuncture, a form of auricular protocols based in auriculotherapy and auricular medicine, is an ear acupuncture procedure used in a number of medical facilities throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) for treatment with positive impact in polytrauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury as well as pain management. The DoD seeks nonpharmacologic/opioid pain management across the continuum of care, and this paper presents interest for, and progress related to,...


Auricular acupuncture diagnosis in patients with lumbar hernia. Citation: (Romoli 2016, 61-65)

Romoli and his colleagues completed a study to identify the specific auricular zones related to lumbar hernia in patients treated using a series of epidural infiltrations with corticosteroids. A significant association was found for some auricular areas, along the series of epidural infiltrations, with a progressive reduction in the number of tender and low electrical resistance points together with a decrease of pain and hand-foot distance. It was concluded that auricular zones found with au...


Enhancing Rehabilitative Therapies with Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Citation: (Hays, 2016)

The author suggests that pathological neural activity could be treated by directing specific plasticity to renormalize circuits and restore function. Rehabilitative therapies aimed to promote adaptive circuit changes after neurological disease or injury, are often prevented in supporting full recovery owing to insufficient or maladaptive plasticity. Adjunctive strategies that broadly support plasticity to facilitate rehabilitative interventions have the potential to improve treatment in a wid...


Near-Infrared Transcranial Radiation for Major Depressive Disorder: Proof of Concept Study. Citation: (Cassano 2015)

Paolo Cassano at the Massachusetts General Hospital Depression Clinical & Research Program in Boston, and respective colleagues at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, LiteCure LLC, and Mount Sinai Hospital, have registered and completed a pilot study with ClinicalTrials.gov to confirm and extend preliminary data on Transcranial near-infrared radiation (NIR) is an innovative treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). In a double-blind, randomized study of 6 sessions of NIR versus ...