Can wearing seeds on your ears help with things like anxiety, insomnia, and headaches? Short answer: yes. Ear seeding is a form of acupressure that’s based in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Ear seeds are made of either vaccaria seeds or metal, depending on the type you buy. They stay on the ear with little adhesive stickers—no needles! “It’s completely benign. It will not hurt you,” says Juhi Singh, an Oriental medicine specialist, acupuncturist, and Chinese herbalist.
Anxiety, depression, headaches, weight gain/management, addiction, and insomnia are a few of the common ailments that Juhi has treated with ear seeds. “In Chinese medicine, the ear is considered a microsystem, or a representation of the whole body,” Juhi explains. “If you look at the ear, it’s shaped like an inverted fetus.” (We’ll never look at an ear the same way again.) The lobe represents the head, the interior ridge represents the spine, and the middle recessed areas represent the internal organs. Ear seeds are pressed onto specific acupressure points on the ear that correspond to the patient’s ailment. “I am able to empower patients by teaching them how to take care of themselves, and it’s far less harmful than a Xanax,” Juhi says.
Make sure your ears are clean before you apply the seeds. Press them onto the points that correspond to your symptoms, and give them a little rub three to five times per day. They should stay on for about three to five days; remove them after five days if they’re still on. Then you can swap them out for fresh ones. Curious to try it for yourself? Shop ear seeds below, and peep the diagram above for placement suggestions.
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