Exploring the Somatotopic Auriculotherapy Map with Respect to Skeletomuscular Dysfunction

By Marianne Buck

Abstract

The aims of this study are twofold; the primary aim was to explore the relationship between localised skeletomuscular pain or dysfunction and the electrical impedance found at ear acupoints (EA) corresponding to the affected area according to the somatotopic map of auriculotherapy (AT). Comparisons were made in a group of human subjects between the theoretically active point site and other points on the auricle that should be neutral according to AT theory. In the course of conducting the primary work technical difficulties were encountered that necessitated a more thorough exploration of the technical details and methodologies required in this type of study. This led to a secondary aspect to the work; namely to evaluate and appraise the various technical problems that arise in the course of biophysical measurement of skin impedance in the context of this type of acupuncture research. Questions arising here include the suggestion that the process of taking the measurement alters the impedance value over time, that significant errors might arise from changes in electrode pressure, and additionally the effect that different approaches to equipment design can alter readings.