Especially in French ear acupuncture, gold and silver needles are also used. Sterile ear permanent needles resemble small thin “drawing pins”; smaller than a 1 cent piece. They are usually pressed into the ear points with the thumb and fixed with a small patch.
There are also other forms of ear permanent needles with small “barbs” for better fit and applicator for placement. As an alternative to earpieces, there is the traditional method of sticking seeds (usually mugwort seeds) to the ear points with small square plasters. If the acupuncturist or acupuncture therapist deems it necessary, the points themselves can be regularly re-stimulated by pressing the seeds (or the permanent needles) themselves.
For example, when giving up smoking, when the desire for a cigarette develops, or during weight reduction, when feelings of hunger arise. In addition, there are also acupuncture needles with so-called guide tubes or with a guide tube. Guide tubes are lancing devices for the acupuncture therapist.
The usually transparent plastic guide tube, similar to a straw, is placed over the acupuncture point. Depending on the brand, the acupuncture needle is already inserted into the tube or the acupuncture needles are inserted into the guide tube after removing them from the package. The handle of the acupuncture needle protrudes slightly at the upper end of the guide tube (the tube is shorter than the acupuncture needle).
The acupuncture needles are then “splinted” from above through the guide tube into the acupuncture point. For right-handed people, for example, the guide tube is often held between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, placed on the point and then pricked with an “index finger tip” of the right hand, from above, on the needle handle or needle head, similar to the “ash tapping” of a cigarette. When the acupuncture needle is securely seated, the plastic guide tube is carefully pulled upwards over the acupuncture needle.
In case of extremely thin needles or acupuncture points that are difficult to pierce, a guide tube can be quite useful. In Chinese specialist clinics, on the other hand, guide tubes are generally not used. With increasing routine, acupuncture doctors or acupuncture therapists often resort to thinner acupuncture needles.
Depending on the quality, uncoated, thinner acupuncture needles, for example, have a much lower puncture resistance than thicker acupuncture needles. Thinner acupuncture needles, however, are usually more elastic than thicker acupuncture needles. Therefore, particularly thin acupuncture needles are not immediately suitable for inexperienced acupuncturists.