A single-blind investigation of four auricular needle puncture configurations

Am J Chin Med. 1995;23(2):105-14. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X95000146.


In order to identify an appropriate needle puncture control for clinical trials of acupuncture we conducted a study in which ten cocaine dependent subjects rated local and systemic effects of four auricular needle puncture configurations (a) sites commonly used for addiction; (b) sites proximate to addiction specific sites; (c) sites not specific for cocaine addiction; and (d) sites in the helix. Subjects received one treatment per day on four successive days. The addiction specific sites were rated highest on local effects; proximal sites a common control were rated highest on systemic effects. A majority of patients ranked the addiction specific sites as the most preferred treatment and the helix points as the least preferred. Results suggest that needle insertion into proximate and non-specific sites may be too active for use as controls; helix regions may be more suitable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Cocaine*
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Ear / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*


  • Cocaine