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History

CAUTERISATIEEarly traces of auriculotherapy go back to 3500 B.C. The knowledge of auriculotherapy was passed on orally, from master to pupil. In those days, auriculotherapy was mainly known for its potential to ease pain, to improve the state of mind, to enhance fertility and even to improve eyesight.

Since old China, the time of Hippocrates, the age of the prirates, the painter Jerome Bosch, king Henry III (France) and many others, the shallop of auriculotherapy has sailed in the wake of classical medicine, without ever sinking.

In the 20th century, there was a major breakthrough under the impulse of the genius of the French doctor Paul Nogier. By coincidence he was able to observe patients who were treated succesfully for low backpain by a Ms.Barin Casalta, who was taught this technique by her father, a world traveller. Because of these observations, Dr.Nogier was able to draw up a cartography of points on the auricle. This map had the shape of an inversed foetus.

De omgekeerde foetus van Paul NogierThis  period can be seen as the birth of modern auriculotherapy. The term 'Auriculotherapy' was given to the technique by Dr.Nogier himself in the years 1950.

Already in those days, this technique en cartography was characterised by a high degree of coherence and consistency. Yet, auriculotherapy was mocked by doctors who practised medicine in a very conventional way.

But auriculotherapy continued to evolve and has since then never ceased to evolve. Great names in France like Dr.René Bourdiol, Dr.René Kovacs, Prof.Jean Bossy and others brought forward more and more evidence, neurophysiological arguments sustaining the functionality of auriculotherapy.

In the last two decades, it was mainly Dr.David Alimi (France) who propulsated our understanding of auriculotherapy to a new level with his studies using funcional MRI as imaging technique. The neurophysiological principles on witch the auriculotherapy is founded, hoist this technique up to the same level als more conventional medical techniques, stimulated by continuous scientific validation and evaluation. To this day, auriculotherapy is the subject of hundreds of randomised clinical studies, performed by researchers all over the world. It is Dr.Alimi who demonstrated (in his work with functional MRI) the presence of the localisations on the human ear. In other words, he proved the existence of the mutual relationships between body, ear and brain.

Meanwhile, auriculotherapy is well known in numerous countries, but it is important to stress that this technique is performed by a medically qualified person. Training of reference is a 2-year formation at the University of Paris XIII, that already has been succesfully followed by a number of Belgian doctors. Director of the formation is Dr.Claire Marie Rangon.

In Belgium, a shortened 1-year formation is given by Dr.Jozef Heindryckx, ancient pupil of Dr.Nogier and Dr.Alimi. The courses are organised under the wings of the BVGA (Belgian association of Medical Doctors Acupuncturists).

Dr.Rini Verpraet