The version I tried involves the following non-invasive procedure: The doctor/practitioner passes an electronic instrument around your ear lobe and its beeping becomes more high pitched when it detects a part of your body that is out of balance. He then explains what parts were triggered and asks if you have noticed for example that your digestion is off recently. After you consult with him for a few moments you decide together where to apply the pressure points in the ear. The first time I did it last week he used small round metal buckshots with a strong Band-Aid type circle over it (as you can see in the photo ... yes that my ear for those of you who know about my elf tendencies ;). You leave them there for a whole week and just have to remember to press/stimulate each one for approximately 1 minute 3 times a day. After having them on for a week I started to question what the effect had been. I noticed that I had overall more energy and in some instances, like the one he put on for sadness, I felt like it exacerbated the emotion to some extent. But since I know that emotions like to be acknowledged I see it as a positive that they helped me to recognize and really face the sadness I was feeling and let the tears flow freely. When I went to the second appointment we swapped ears and some of the points were the same with a couple of new ones. This time since he was unable to get ahold of the proper supplies we did it the old fashioned way... with chia seeds and tape that he cut into squares!
One of the points he repeated with me is called the Shenmen point, which helps to open the general flow of Chi (energy). And some studies have also shown that placing a small stimuli on this point in the ear helps to increase parasympathetic nerve activity (http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/945063/), which essentially means you are lowering stress, strengthening your immune system, lowering your blood pressure and lightening your mood!
Auricular Therapy may used to treat addictions, obesity, mood disorders, anxiety, pain, musculo-skeletal and nervous systems disorders (stress), among others. I feel like it is absolutely worth a try if you have any obvious afflictions or just want to improve your overall well-being!