Sure, your necklace looks cute around your neck, your dangly earrings add some flair to your outfit, and your chunky ring spices up your pretty mani. But those jewelry items aren’t doing any *work* for you, you know? Time to try ear seeds—little ear accessories that can actually double as pain-reducing, good-for-you mental health tools.
Ear seeding, or auriculotherapy—a practice from traditional Chinese medicine that involves placing a small seed (or metal or ceramic bead with adhesive, which is more common nowadays) on your cartilage and outer ear—may set off changes in your nervous system and, in turn, your body and vibe. So if you suffer from issues like stress, allergies, digestion probs, back pain, and more (*slowly raises hand*), you might want to put yourself in the market for these tiny but mighty gadgets.
And while there are tons of supposed benefits, you’ll want more information about some of the in’s and out’s of ear seeding before starting to stick them all over your ears. Understandable. The following are all your questions about ear seeds, answered by a doctor of internal medicine, a trained acupuncturist, and a holistic practitioner. In short, your ears are in good hands.
What do you use ear seeds for, exactly?
You use ear seeds as a method for quelling mind and body aches, even if they’re particularly painful. “You can put an ear seed on one of various points on your ear, depending on what kind of therapeutic benefit you want,” says Shari Auth, DACM, a holistic practitioner and cofounder of WTHN acupressure studio.
“In Chinese medicine, the ear is a microsystem of the whole body with dozens of pressure points that do different things from relieving pain to boosting digestion, balancing hormones, calming the mind or helping you sleep,” Auth explains. And while ear seeds don’t work instantly, per se, they can shift your energy pretty fast and, most important, effectively.
How does ear seeding work?
The theory is that acupressure points in the ear match up with spots on your body, and by placing the bead, you tell your nervous system to turn down pain receptors and stress hormones impacting the area, says Tiffany Lester, MD, an internist and acupuncturist at Parsley Health.
How quickly that happens depends on the issue. In serious pain? It may take a day or two. If you use seeds for stress, though, you should relax within an hour or so of applying.
How do you apply ear seeds?
The placement of your seed doesn’t need to be exact in order to work, so it’s pretty foolproof to DIY; you can buy ear seeds from Amazon or other online retailers. Search “ear seed diagram” in Google to find an ear acupressure map that shows where to place based on the ailment.
Ifyou’d feel more comfortable having a pro do it, you can have seeds applied professionally at some spas and alternative medicine practices, though it’ll cost anywhere from 35 to 85 dollars for the jewels and involve a 10ish-minute process.
Best Ear Seeds To Buy Online
Are ear seeds safe to try?
Yes. Ear seeds are pretty much harmless, and they shouldn’t cause pain at all. You can even press down on your beads with your fingers when you want a boost in the acupressure benefits (for example, if you’re feeling more anxious than normal and need a surge of ahhh), says Auth. A little red dot might appear on your ear, but it’s nothing more than a baby bruise. Just make sure you don’t wear them longer than a week, to avoid uncomfortable swelling or soreness, says Lester. Roger that.
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