The term “ear seeding” sounds as though flowering plants will sprout from your earlobes, but it is a form of acupressure. Targeting acupuncture points in the ear, ear seeding does not call for needles the same way traditional acupuncture does. This is great news for anyone who is uncomfortable with needles. It is this uneasiness around needles that makes people resistant to acupuncture.
What Is Ear Seeding?
Ear seeding is a form of auriculotherapy that works to stimulate acupressure points in the ear to address certain health ailments. Ear seeds play an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In fact, TCM teaches that the ears contain dozens of pressure points that help to calm the mind, reduce pain, and boost immunity. Applying pressure to a random spot in the ear doesn’t necessarily offer health benefits, though. This is where ear seeding comes into play.
In the traditional practice, ear seeding used actual seeds from the Vaccaria plant, which is native to Eurasia. In present day, there are many types of ear seeds or metal beads, and each seed or bead has an adhesive side. This allows you to place the seed on the pressure points in the ear. Some ear seeds even incorporate Swarovski crystals, so they resemble stud earrings after application. The placement of the seeds or beads will depend on what you are hoping to achieve via this form of auriculotherapy. Continue reading to learn more about how it works.
How Does Ear Seeding Work?
The stimulation of the points in the ear helps to trigger the central nervous system to release chemicals that send messages to the brain. These signals or messages initiate biological responses that help achieve the results you want from ear seeding. This is why you need to determine your health objectives before you start ear seeding. The placement of the seeds is a strategic process, so it can be beneficial to speak with a practitioner at a wellness studio before doing it by yourself. When you apply the seeds with precision, you have a higher likelihood of reaping the total benefits of ear seeding.
You can apply more than one seed at once, for example, applying one in an area that calms the mind and another in an area that promotes hormonal balance. The application of two or more seeds tends to have a better result, as they work in conjunction with each other. A great combination is the Shen Men point (stress point) and Point Zero (hormones). Many practitioners and online resources tend to have charts that detail where the various points are and what they help you achieve.
Ear Seed Application 101
Many advocates of this therapy advise people who have an interest in it to see a professional. A licensed acupressure or acupuncture practitioner knows where to apply the seeds for your health needs. Placement is paramount, so don’t DIY for your first stab at it. Once you have a professional do it and learn the ways of ear seeding, follow the steps below:
- Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball or swab and clean the areas of application.
- Apply the seeds or beads so that the adhesive part sticks to the pressure point.
- Leave the seeds or beads on your ear for three to seven days.
- Gently massage each seed two to five times per day. The pressure should not cause pain; rather, it should feel stimulating.
Are There Benefits?
The benefits of this therapy will depend on where you place the seeds. Practitioners say that some of the benefits include immune support, better sleep, improved focus, relief from chronic pain, and better digestion. The most common benefits that people agree on is stress reduction and relief from anxiety symptoms. One review found that acupressure is an effective treatment for relieving anxiety symptoms in patients with anxiety. Some people are very responsive to the therapy and experience results the same day. For others, it may take several applications to experience relief.
There is no harm in trying out ear seeding and it may offer a wide range of benefits. Please see a specialist before doing it by yourself. Ask questions and explain that you would like to perform the therapy on yourself moving forward.