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Auricular Ear Seeding


What Are Ear Seeds?


Ear seeds are very small stick-on seeds or beads that are used to stimulate the external ear, which is also called the auricle. Using ear seeds or needles to apply pressure to the outer ear is called auriculotherapy.


Just like your feet, the ear has hundreds of acupuncture points that correspond with specific organs or body systems. Triggering these points is meant to allow for the proper flow of energy, called qi, in the body, which can resolve blockages that lead to health issues and prevent qi deficiency.


This idea of specific parts of the ear being linked to internal organs was first discovered in ancient China and noted in the medical classic “Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Medicine.” Today, auricular is used for the diagnosis and treatment of several health conditions.


The ear seeds, or pellets, serve as stimuli to the ears, but they do not pierce the skin. Trained professionals commonly used plant seeds (usually from the vaccaria plant) or magnetic pearls to trigger a very specific area.


What Are They Used For?


There are hundreds of acupoints in the ear that, when stimulated, improve the flow of qi in the body.


Unlike the needles used in acupuncture ear seeds can be worn continuously for days at a time.


Ear seeds are used for a range of issues, from weight loss to addiction. Research investigating the efficacy of ear seeds reports they may help relieve issues such as:


acute pain


headaches


sleep issues


stress


anxiety and panic attacks


depression


weight issues


stress eating


addiction


low libido


fatigue


How They Work


According to research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the mechanisms of ear acupressure have a close relationship with the autonomic nervous system and neuroendocrine system.


Its efficacy is based on the stimulation of neural reflexes, which makes it possible to relieve pain, anxiety and sleep issues by triggering ear acupoints.


Seed or pellet pressing is meant to open the energy pathways and stimulate nerves that relay messages to the central nervous system. The brain receives these stimulations, or messages, and activates the specific body part that’s been triggered.


Do They Work?


Proven Benefits

Some proven ear seed benefits include its ability to:


1. Relieve Anxiety


A randomized clinical trial conducted in Brazil evaluated the effectiveness of auricular therapy in reducing pain and anxiety of hospital nursing staff members.


The participating nurses received 10 sessions of auricular therapy using ear seeds. Researchers found that there was a statistical difference for anxiety after each session.


There was also a 74 percent reduction of pain after using ear seed therapy.


2. Improve Sleep


A systematic review and meta-analysis published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that auricular therapy has a positive effect when used for insomnia.


Researchers concluded that ear accupressure may serve as a cost-effective and safe therapy, especially as compared to the consumption of Narcotics and hypnotics.


3. Relieve Pain


A 2012 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine examined the benefits of using ear seeds for back pain in a seven-day treatment period.


When auricular point acupressure was used to reduce chronic low back pain, participants reported a 76 percent reduction in their worst pain and a 80 percent reduction in average pain; 62 percent of participants also reported using less pain medication.


4. Ease Addiction


A 3- to 5-point ear acupressure protocol is the most widely implemented acupressure-assisted protocol for substance abuse and broad behavioral health issues, according to research published in Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation.


Ear acupuncture and acupressure are commonly used for smoking cessation, although results vary according to dedication of the test subject.


However, there’s evidence that ear acupuncture and acupressure have been beneficial for patients suffering from drug dependence.


5. Boost Weight Loss


A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine found that ear acupressure with Japanese magnetic pearls or vaccaria seeds decreased body mass index in an eight-week, randomized controlled trial. The vaccaria seed method showed the greatest reduction in BMI.


Are They Safe? Risks and Side Effects


Ear seeds are available as stick-ons, so they’re easy to use and don’t require a licensed acupuncturist. That said, for ear acupuncture to be effective, it is ESSENTIAL to work with a trained professional who knows how to find the appropriate acupoints on the outer ear.


Ear seeds are generally considered safe, as they are noninvasive and simply rest on the outer ear. There are a few types of ear seeds, including actual seeds from the vaccaria plant, crystal ear seeds, metal beads and ceramic beads.


If you notice signs of irritation after applying the seeds or pellets, then remove them right away. Researchers in China found that the most commonly reported adverse effects of auricular therapy were:


local skin discomfort


redness


tenderness


Applying too much pressure to the seeds may cause minor irritation, so don’t do it too often. It’s also helpful to give your ears a rest after removing the seeds before you reapply, at least 8-16 hours.


Conclusion


Ear seeds are tiny seeds, pellets, beads or crystals that are placed on ear pressure points to stimulate the flow of energy to other areas of the body.


Auriculotherapy is used for range of health issues, including anxiety, pain, weight loss and addiction.


Carmen Elizabeth is a Qualified Ear seed Practitioner with training and knowledge in applying ear seeds to the appropriate acupoint areas to be highly effective and beneficial.


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