I use auricular or ear acupuncture often in my practice. I do this because I believe that it enhances the effects of the treatment. In Chinese medicine the ear is called a micro-system. A micro-system is any distinct part of the body that you can use to treat the entire body. So there are points that effect all other parts of the body in the ear. So instead of just doing body points to treat say the low back, I will use ear points that correspond to the low back to strengthen the treatment. I just find it more effective. The ear is often used on its own to treat addiction (a set of points called the NADA protocol). These 5 ear points are used in addiction clinics world-wide. Some people have gotten permanent or semi-permanent staples in the ear on points to treat things such as migraines and to help with weight loss. There are other micro-systems in use such as the hand (used extensively in Korea) and of course the foot is the micro-system used in reflexology (also invented by the Chinese).
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond