Monitoring the diagnosis of auricular points : contrasting the performance of the VAS and the electrical detector.

Etude en anglais d'Yves Rouxeville, Marc LeBel, Yunsan Meas et Dalila Trabelsi.

This work is in response to a request made by Prof. Youenn Lajat that the VAS (Nogier’s pulse) be validated. At the time, Prof. Lajat was the national chairperson for the teaching of acupuncture at the university level in France. In fact, he was the national president of the Coordination Committee for the inter-University diploma (D.I.U.) in acupuncture.

Posing a diagnosis on an auricular point using the VAS presents a major bias : it is a human-on-human reading involving an important subjective aspect. In clinical practice, the validity of an auricular point on a patient is observed if there exists a significant impedance variation (complex electrical resistance) between the point examined and its immediate environment.

This reading is more objective as long as one knows well the limitations of the instrument used. Establishing statistical correlations between two detection approaches (the VAS and electrical differential detection) may make it possible to validate auricular point diagnosis using Nogier’s pulse.

Keywords : VAS - auriculomedicine - electrical differential detection

  • Rouxeville, Yves
    Lecturer in charge of Auriculotherapy Curriculum, D.I.U. et Capacité d’Acupuncture, Université de Nantes, B.P. 60 105 – F 56601 Lanester – phone : 33 607 29 70 51
  • LeBel, Marc
    Richmond, 3231 Ocean Park Blvd., #111, Santa Monica, CA 90405 (U.S.A) phone : 1-310-396-6582
  • Meas, Yunsan
    29 boulevard Guist’hau – F44000 Nantes – phone : 33 240 35 23 23
  • Trabelsi Dalila,
    B.P. 9, 1053 Tunis les Berges du Lac (Tunisia) – phone : 216 98 323 677

From a historical perspective, it is indispensable to recall the blind testing achieved using the Acus system developed by Prof. Serguei Timochevski, in November 1996. He observed (1) a concordance between detection achieved by the VAS and electrical differential detection plus (2) “a general concordance of 90% between detection by the Acus system and electrical detection.” [1, p.84-85 and 128-130]

Manual recognition of the VAS is well documented. It has been demonstrated [1, p. 35-41], [2, p.123-125]. After 20 years of practice, we have retained the most reliable auricular stimulations among those demonstrated by Paul Nogier in the course of his productive mentorship. [3] Electrical detection has been demonstrated [4] [2, p.117-121]. The detector is calibrated on Point Zero on the right ear of a right-hander (or on Point Zero on the left ear of a left-hander). For the purpose of this research, we have used European Community-standard medical devices approved in France for all general practitioners to use as needed in clinical setting. Until 2008, we used the AGISCOP®. In 2009, we have begun to use the MODULO 100®. This device presents a helpful electronic screen and scale that makes it easier to track or log in reliable readings.

The so-called phase 2 or 3 auricular points : as early as 1995, these points generally appeared to be presenting a much lower drop in impedance than the reference point [4] [5, p.29].

In 2008, a blind study [6], of 241 points was conducted, which points were recorded on the Romoli sectogram. [7]

  • of the 186 auricular points detected by Heine lamp [1, p.104-105] : 120 registered a strong impedance drop, 53 registered a weak drop. A total of 93% of these points showed an impedance drop.
  • of 173 auricular points detected by scanning the auricle with the white tip of the Black & White Detector [5, p.26] : l16 points showed a strong impedance drop, 38 showed a weak impedance drop for a total of 89% of the points showing an impedance drop.
  • of 43 auricular points detected by scanning the auricle with the black tip of the Black & White Detector [7, p.26] : 29 are also positive when stimulated by the color blue 44. 28 of these points registered at higher impedance.

In 2009, a new ongoing study, allowed us to flesh out the results observed on the auricular points detected by using the Heine lamp.

Moreover, the auricular points detected by scanning simultaneously with frequencies 3.75 Hz and 8.74 Hz using what is known as “the twin-key DB” [1, p.141] [7, p.33], fall mainly into 2 groups : a strong impedance drop and a weak impedance drop. Further analyzing these points by projecting on them the colors orange 21 and blue 44 is instructional.

  • phase 2 and phase 3 auricular points are weak impedance points. When treated by standard needle insertion, laser or electrical current, they are effective in chronic and or complex disorders.
  • in our 2008 and 2009 studies, we strived to avoid the bias by beginning in the blind and using the most subtle tests first, and by ending our experiment with electrical-detection proving.
  • auricular points detected by the Heine lamp or by the white-tip scan or by the Twin-key DB, fall under 2 categories : strong or weak impedance drop.
  • the auricular points detected by both the black tip of the Black & White Detector and the color blue 44, are considered the so-called energetic-leak points. They were found to be of higher impedance.
  • auricular points come under two levels of impedance drop.
  • a large portion of the points detected by the VAS are subtle. These are found to show an impedance drop less noticeable than in points sensitive to painful pressure.
  • detection by the VAS is not some notion of the mind. In our opinion, it stastistically appears to be valid.
  • the effectiveness of Auriculomedicine is evidence-based ; it can be proven with the right level of testing.


  1. Rouxeville, Y., Acupuncture auriculaire personnalisée, Sauramps medical, (Montpellier : 2000)
  2. Rouxeville, Y., Meas, Y., Bossy, J., Auriculothérapie, Acupuncture auriculaire. Springer Verlag France, (Paris : 2007)
  3. Rouxeville, Y., “Index des cours effectués par Paul Nogier” from February 27, 1981 to July 9, 1994. May be consulted at www.biblio.auriculo.fr
  4. Rouxeville, Y., “La détection électrique.” in Cahiers de Biographie number 133, (Paris:1995)
  5. Rouxeville, Y., A Course in Auriculomedicine, Dux Lucis Books, 1st ed., (Santa Monica:2006)
  6. Rouxeville, Y., Meas, Y., “Auriculothérapie :” Le RAC-VAS, contrôle de sa mise en évidence, in Revue Acupuncture et Moxibustion 2008 ; 7 (3) p.239-243, Marseille
  7. Romoli, M., Agopunctura Auriculare. Utet, (Torino:2003)

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