Let's plant some EAR seeds!
Updated: Jun 1
Okay, okay, by now you've heard of acupuncture but...
WTF ARE EAR SEEDS?
SHORT ANSWER: small seeds or beads that are taped into the ear to stimulate acupressure points for 2-5 days.
The ear is a 'micro-system' of the entire body.
This means we can treat the whole body (and mind) just using points on the ear. They can be used to heal a number of ailments, like regulating the nervous system, calming the mind, boosting immunity, reducing pain and much more.
Ear Seeds are a non-invasive, safe and effective tool used to treat the entire body.
Traditionally, small seeds were applied to the ear but nowadays we fancy AF and have a variety of cute and classy options to choose from (Swarovski crystals, 24k gold, stainless steel, etc).
Traditional Vaccaria Seeds with Tape Adhesive
24k Gold Beads with Clear Adhesive
Swarovski Crystals with 24k Gold Beads Underneath with Clear Tape Adhesive
Ear seeds work by applying pressure to specific acupressure points (similar to reflexology) on the ear.
Modern clinical research has shown the effect these points have on neurological pathways.
Now, sometimes people get confused between the terms "acupressure" and "acupuncture". AcuPRESSURE is where you are pressing or massaging certain points along the acupuncture meridians while acuPUNCTure is where we are actually using needles to "puncture" the skin.
Funny how it sounds so barbaric but results in some of the most relaxing naps of all time.
Some of the potential benefits of ear seeds include:
-pain reduction (headaches, sciatica, etc)
-detox or addiction
HISTORY OF SEEDING
(for all y'all knowledge nerds out there)
Using the ear to treat the entire body is not a new concept by any means. Auricular (ear) acupuncture has been around for ~2500 years, used in many different cultures, with the oldest written record being found in the Huang Di Nei Jing (one of the most important books in Chinese Medical History).
In 1957, ear treatments became much more widely used after a French neurologist and physician, Doctor Nogier, introduced the 'inverted fetus map'.
This concept suggests that the structures on the ear are connected via neurological pathways to the corresponding structures on the body (as represented by the upside down baby).
You can see how we use the earlobe to treat the head/face, the spine of the ear to treat the spine and the hollowed out center of the ear to treat the belly and internal organs.
One of Nogier's inital findings was that sciatica could be healed by the cauterization of the inferior crus of the anti-helix. He also reported that there was a change in the amplitude and dimension of the patient's radial pulse when certain points on the ear were stimulated. Nogier believed that the relationship between the auricular points and the areas of the body is due to the vagus nerve - autonomic nervous system.
[If you REALLY wanna go down a rabbit hole on this, click here]
Today, there are multiple ear charts that exist but the one I learned in school is shown below.
As you can see, there are TONS of points to choose from, allowing you to treat a multitude of different conditions and dis-eases within the body.
WHAT POINTS SHOULD I USE?
We decide which points to use based on your symptoms. If you get migraines, there's a specific 'point prescription' or combination of 3-5 points that you would use in each ear. This can be determined by the Ear Seed practitioner OR you can buy a special kit per your condition to DIY at earseeds.com.
HOW DO YOU USE THEM ?
Apply light pressure to the seeds every time you experience your symptom (aka anxiety, shoulder pain, indigestion) AND each time you remember that you're wearing the seeds in order to boost the stimulation.
HOW LONG DO THEY LAST ?
They CAN last up to a week or so but I suggest taking them off after 3-5 days in order to maintain proper hygiene. Shower as normal but keep in mind that swimming or other water submersion may reduce the longevity. Afterwards, just throw them away!
WHAT DO THEY FEEL LIKE ?
Sometimes a point will feel tender and sore to the touch. We refer to this as an "active" point and the points that are really painful often correlate with the painful or stagnated parts of your body. If it's really uncomfortable, there is no harm in removing the seed but if you're able to work through the discomfort, you're often rewarded with excellent results. That being said LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and feel no shame in removing them if needed.
ARE THERE ANY CONTRAINDICATIONS OR PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN'T USE THEM?
If you're pregnant, it's important to ask your doctor first. It's unlikely to have any mal-effects but growing a baby is a complicated process and we want to make sure everything is a-okay before proceeding!
CAN YOU USE EAR SEEDS AS THEIR OWN TREATMENT?
Ear seeds are a great compliment to an acupuncture treatment because they help extend the results and offer continued DIY healing BUT they can totally be used on their own when you’re too busy to get into the office or if you're traveling.
They are GREAT for motion sickness, indigestion, regulating the stress response and lots of other undesirable effects we often experience when jet-setting. This makes them a fantastic travel companion or an important appointment to make before you set off on your trip!
You can purchase your OWN set that a friend can help you apply at https://www.earseeds.com/.
Have questions about Ear Seeds?