Paul Nogier discovered this signal in 1966 assuming that there was a connection between the ear and the heart. Later, he realized that it was a response of the generalized autonomic nervous system.
The VAS is a vasculocutaneous reflex that can be felt like a stationary wave of the pulse on the arterial wall. This pulse is the result of cardiac output and its rebound as the blood piles up against the arterioles and capillaries. It is a response and adjustment of the nervous system. Any stimulation of the skin by light, laser, heat, or touch can provoke the VAS.
In Europe, the VAS became another method used for finding “reactive” auricular points. Hereby, practitioners use the radial artery pulse for its detection. VAS also allows the identification of treatable points which are not painful but still show a dysfunction of the body.
The practitioners use their thumb to palpate the VAS, nowadays it can also be detected with bidirectional Doppler ultrasonography.