Many are aware of Ear seeds these days. This is a form of acupressure, which targets various acupuncture points without the use of needles. Ear seeds acupressure therapy is known to benefit human health. Take a read further to know how does ear seeds acupressure therapy benefit your overall health?
What Are Ear Seeds?
Ear seeds are specific seeds, especially the ones that come from Vaccaria, or a herb, and can also be made of metal or ceramic. These seeds are used in a type of traditional Chinese medicine technique, named auriculotherapy that focuses on various areas in the ear. The seeds are placed on the ear and they serve as tiny acupressure devices.
After cleaning the ear using an alcohol swab, the practitioner places these ear seeds on the exterior of your ear over specific acupuncture points. This might feel some warmth or tenderness, however, it won’t hurt you. Then, by applying gentle pressure to the seeds, massage is given, at least twice or thrice a day. Usually, these ear seeds are held in place by waterproof tape and kept on the ears for a week.
5 Amazing Benefits of Ear Seeds Acupressure Therapy to the Overall Health
It is believed that ear seeds promote relaxation and comfort to people suffering from various health conditions, especially those with pain, insomnia or anxiety. Though there is not much high-quality research or study related to ear seeds, however, some of the existing studies suggest that this acupressure therapy can benefit your overall health. Let us read below to take a closer look at this matter.
Pain Relieving Benefits of Ear Seeds
One of the most important benefits that ear seeds offer is that they help in relieving pain. Results of a study from 2013 that looked at 19 individuals with chronic lower back pain show that ear seeds could help in reducing pain and also improve mobility.(1)
Another study from 2010, which was shared in the “Journal of Alternative Medicine”, had also shown that ear seeding might relieve mild to moderate pain, and a review of 2020 that was done taking 14 other studies from Brazil, had found that this acupressure therapy or ear seeds could reduce Musco-skeletal pain effectively.(2, 3)
It was also found that ear seeds could ease menstrual pain. This study of 2021 was published in the “Journal of Personalized Medicine.”(4)
Ear Seeds Help In Pain Tolerance
It is also known that ear seeds are beneficial in improving pain tolerance. A study in 2015 that compared the maximum and minimum sensations of pain felt by 16 normal and healthy individuals before and after using ear seeds, had shown that pain tolerance could be increased by using ear seeds.(5)
Benefits of Ear Seeds in Treating Insomnia
Insomnia is a big problem and affects many people these days. Ear seeds are known to be effective in treating this issue and associated symptoms of insomnia.
A literature review of 2015 that looked at 15 studies of auricular acupuncture with ear seeds for insomnia, indicates that the combination of acupuncture and ear seeds seemed to reduce the symptoms of insomnia.(6) However, there were several flaws in these studies that were analyzed.
A recent meta-analysis of 9 trials comprising a total of 688 participants has shown that ear therapy might help in improving the quality of sleep in cancer patients.(7)
It Might Bring Down Your Anxiety
Another way ear seeds could benefit our health is by bringing down anxiety levels. A research review of 2020, had shown that out of 22 of 24 studies, it was found that auriculotheray improved symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. However, it was acknowledged by researchers that the methodology used in these studies was weak and further research is required to prove this.
Earlier in 2017, it was found from a study that considered 180 participants who had 10 sessions of ear therapy over 5 weeks, that the treatment could reduce pain and anxiety.(8)
Ear Seeds Might Lower Blood Pressure
One more reason why ear seeds could be beneficial in improving human health is that they might assist in lowering the levels of blood pressure.
Around 30% to 45% of individuals have high blood pressure.(9) Fortunately, ear acupressure like ear seeds might be effective in reducing high blood pressure.
A review of 44 trials involving 5022 participants found that ear acupressure that was used in tandem with blood pressure medications was more effective than medicines alone.(10)
Risk and Side Effects of Ear Seeds
Though ear seeds do not have any serious side effects, some might experience minor symptoms of dizziness, infection, discomfort or skin irritation, sleepiness, and minor bleeding after using ear seeds.
NOTE: You need to ask your practitioner to use latex-free tape for securing your ear seeds if you have a latex allergy or latex sensitivity.
This traditional Chinese medicine practice of ear seed acupressure therapy is a noninvasive approach for treating many health issues and improving overall health. Though there is not enough scientific evidence supporting their benefits, existing research surely suggests that ear seeds could benefit our health in various ways. We would still have to wait for more research to come in this regard.