The terms ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture is used when the stimulation is achieved by inserting acupuncture needles or using press pellets on the ear. When specific points or zones on the ear are stimulated with manual pressure, this approach can be considered ear reflexology or auricular acupressure. Acupuncture points on the ear can also be stimulated with low level lasers, stick on magnets and ear pellets (there are many types of ear pellets ranging from seeds to gold plated). There are different ways that auricular points can be found.
The acupuncturist will palpate the area looking for a tender response and gently massage, laser or insert an acupuncture needle. Another way of selecting acupuncture points is using a point finder (electrical detection device) which detects changes in electrical conductivity on the ear. A vascular cutaneous pulse can also be used to detect the active points on the ear for treatment. Auriculotherapy is an art form where precise location of points are essential.