Ear Seeds Not Only Look Stylish, They Can Apparently Reduce Stress and Anxiety Too
You’ve probably heard of acupuncture (chances are you might have even tried it yourself!), but have you heard of ear seeds? These small seeds are fixed to certain spots in the ear to stimulate pressure points. Known as auriculotherapy, ear seeds are based on the same principles as acupuncture.
The principles of acupuncture are based on traditional Chinese medicine, which, according to Healthline, means your health is determined by the qi (energy) in your body. This energy travels alongside pathways in the body known as meridians, which can also be found in the ears.
Ear seeds are usually placed along these meridian lines to help clear any energy blockages you might have. Unlike regular acupuncture, ear seeds can be left in a for a few days (but no more than five days) to allow them to do their job.
What are ear seeds used for?
There isn’t a ton of research about ear seeds currently available but the few that do exist show auriculotherapy can help with the following ailments: Lower back pain, insomnia and pain tolerance. They’ve also been thought to reduce stress and anxiety. The downside to the majority of these studies is the sample size, which reduces the quality of the data.
Despite this, the findings from this research have been promising with a 2015 literature review, which looked at 15 studies on ear seeds, finding that a combination of the seeds as well as regular acupuncture seemed to reduce the symptoms of insomnia.
A 2013 study looked at how 19 participants living with chronic lower back pain responded to the use of ear seeds. Participants were divided into two groups, with the first group having ear seeds placed on points in the ear that correspond with the lower back. The second group had ear seeds placed at random within the ear.
After four weeks of treatment, the participants in the first group experienced an overall decrease in pain intensity of about 75 percent, with this change lasting for a least a month following the treatment.
How to use ear seeds
While you can have a trained acupuncturist administer ear seeds in your ears, you can also do it yourself at home as ear seeds are available to purchase online. We recommend checking out Australian brand Auricle, which has a range of ear seeds in silver, gold plated and crystal so they make a fashion statement at the same time.
To use the seeds, start off by drying the outside of your ear. Seeds are never placed into your ear canal, but rather on the outside. When you purchase your seeds, you’ll be given instructions on where to place the seeds. If you’re hoping to target sleep issues, the instructions will tell you the places to target.
Use tweezers to apply the ear seeds and try not to touch the sticky end of the seed, as this is the bit that sticks to your ear. Once the seed is stuck in place, you can gently apply pressure and rub the seeds to activate them. Do this each day for one to three minutes.
The seeds should fall out after three to five days but if they haven’t, make sure to remove them after the five days is up. Remove them with tweezers and pop in the bin. Should a seed fall into your ear and you’re unable to get it out, be sure to seek medical assistance.
Healthline recommends waiting at least eight hours to a day before popping on new ear seeds in order to let your skin rest. If you notice any redness, swelling or soreness after applying the seeds, remove them immediately.