Ear seeding is more than just a TikTok trend. It’s not as ‘new’ as you think. It’s been around for hundreds of years. If you’re a health and wellness connoisseur, you may have heard about it before or even tried it. It’s a part of holistic medicinal practices which makes it more appealing to folks looking for safe, natural options to improve their health. So, what is ear seeding, and how does ear seeding boost your health?
What Are Ear Seeds?
Ear seeds are seeds from the Vaccaria plant which are strategically placed on your ear at certain acupressure points. They can also be made from ceramic, metal, or even crystals and held in place with special adhesive tape. The practice of placing ear seeds is known as ear seeding and is a branch of auriculotherapy and a technique derived from traditional Chinese medicine. In addition to being placed on acupressure points, you can also gently massage or press the beads to activate the pressure points which help to relieve the symptoms you are using them for.
Why Do People Practice Ear Seeding?
Acupressure and acupuncture are ancient, holistic methods of healing different ailments and boosting health. Ear seeding is just another outlet in which the acupressure technique is utilized. People practice ear seeding for a variety of reasons. They are a non-invasive, and safe method to treat the symptoms of issues such as:
- Weight management
- PTSD and other trauma-related disorders
- Substance abuse
How Does Ear Seeding work?
When the seeds are placed on your pressure points it stimulates the body’s nervous system, especially the vagus nerve, and in traditional Chinese medicine, your Qi. Gently pressing or massaging the seeds throughout the day reinforces the pressure which then triggers your body’s production of hormones or endorphins which have different functions that affect areas such as:
- Immune response
- Gut health
- Reproductive health
- And relaxation to name a few
Ear seeds typically stay in place even during sleep, showering, and day-to-day activities. You can wear your ear seeds for up to 5 days or until they fall out on their own.
When applying ear seeds, it’s important to clean your ear with alcohol or soap and water before getting started. You will need tweezers to help with accurate placement as the seeds are so small. If you are attempting to self-administer the seeds, make sure that you have the proper alignment and identify the acupressure points on your ear before placing them. If you aren’t sure about how to place the seeds, seek the help of a licensed practitioner of acupuncture or acupressure.
Top Benefits Of Ear Seeding
As you may have picked up by now, ear seeding carries a host of benefits. Some of the major benefits and the most popular reasons why people seek this method of acupressure are as follows:
The World Health Organisation acknowledges the benefits of acupressure and acupuncture as valid practices for treating a variety of chronic pain conditions. This also includes ear seeding as it is a technique of acupressure, specifically performed on the ear. Ear seeding studies have shown that up to 70% of participants experienced decreased back pain after a month-long trial. Even people who had no history of pain and tried ear seeding reported an increase in their pain tolerance.
It helps reduce anxiety and depression
Acupressure and acupuncture are known for helping with relaxation and getting into a calm state. Ear seeding is an alternative way to experience these benefits without the use of needles or deep massage. When the production of the body’s feel-good hormones is stimulated, patients reap the benefits of serotonin and dopamine. This then allows the body to relax, and reduce anxiety. It also helps to improve your mood, so you feel lighter and more content.
Insomnia and stress management
The relaxing effect on the body when feel-good hormones are present and active also helps people who suffer from insomnia and stress. Users of the method have reported better sleep quality and reduced stress while ear seeding. It was easier to get into the ideal state for sleep due to the calming effects and this, in turn, promotes the reduction of stress hormones like cortisol from affecting body functions that may keep you up at night. Less cortisol also helps with weight loss and weight management.
Side Effects of Ear Seeding
Ear seeding is relatively safe for everyone unless you are using any particular medical treatment which may be affected by acupressure. Even so, the chances of any bad reaction aren’t high and you reap more pros than cons. Because ear seeds are applied on your ear, a sensitive body part for many, here are some considerations to keep in mind.
- You may experience irritation from the adhesive used for the placement of the seeds. In this case, it’s better to use a material that won’t cause any allergic reaction such as latex-free tape.
- If you massage the seeds too frequently you can cause sore spots
- Some people experience dizziness from first trying out acupressure/ ear seeds from having objects placed on the ear which plays a role in balance.
Holistic medicine has always been appealing to many because of the non-invasive and chemical-free options it presents. Health and wellness have taken on new meaning, especially after the global pandemic and many people are actively practicing or searching for ways to improve mental and physical health. With so many stress triggers, it is important to take care of your body and prevent the ill effects of stress from causing health problems.
Ear seeding is one such option that is proving to be very simple, effective, and requires very little fuss to apply. Another bonus is that ear seeds look like a style trend when they are applied, especially if you use metal or crystal versions of seeds. If you are looking for an affordable way to boost your health, reduce anxiety, improve your mood and sleep quality, ear seeding is worth a try!