Relief from pain, insomnia, anxiety and more?
Ear seeding seems to be the latest wellness trend. It has been around for years but is now seeing a resurgence thanks to Instagram and other popular social media sites.
Ear seeds are small seeds used to stimulate pressure points inside your ear. This is a type of auriculotherapy, kind of like acupuncture for the ear. It follows the general principle of traditional Chinese medicine which is that our health depends on the flow of qi, or energy, in the body. Energy flows along invisible pathways called meridians. Meridians are found throughout the body including the ears. The goal is to stimulate the reflex centers of the brain to relax the nervous system. Ear seeds are placed at certain points along the meridians in the ear to clear up any energy blockages. Resolving the energy blockages may help relieve a variety of health issues.
While the use of ear seeds is based on acupuncture, it is not Chinese in origin. In 1957 a French neurologist used the reflexology theory that every part of the human body can be stimulated somewhere on the foot. He applied that to the ear which he determined had 200 pressure points.
Traditionally ear seeds came from the flowering herb Vaccaria, but today there are metal and ceramic ear seeds in use. They are kept on the ear generally 3 – 5 days. They are considered generally safe as they are noninvasive and do not require the use of needles, but you should consult with your healthcare provider.
It is thought that the use of ear seeds could help with chronic pain especially in the lower back, insomnia, depression, anxiety, stress, migraine, infertility and addiction.
Scientific evidence supporting the benefits of ear seeds is in short supply because very few studies have been done. Results from the few studies indicate that ear seeds may provide relief from insomnia and pain. More research is needed.
An ear with ear seeds
While it is possible to use ear seeds on your own, it is highly recommended to see a trained acupuncturist the first time you use them.