Anxiety is challenging at best and absolutely debilitating at worst. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, says that nearly 20%, or over 40 million, U.S. adults have an anxiety disorder. So if you suffer from anxiety to any degree or in any form, first know that you’re not alone. Second, there are different treatments, strategies, and solutions for anxiety, depending on the severity.
Using ear seeds for anxiety as a complementary health approach
One such treatment falls into the “complementary health approaches” category: ear seeds for anxiety. As you work with your healthcare practitioner on a treatment plan for your anxiety, be sure to discuss acupressure, specifically on the ears with ear seeds.
Whether you opt for psychotherapy, medication, a complementary health approach, or a combination of any of the three, at least you can be informed and ready with research backing ear seeds for anxiety. Let’s dive into some of this research.
Children, ear seeds, and anxiety at the dentist’s office
That wave of anxiety that overcomes many of us when we sit down in the dentist’s chair is very real for a lot of us — and it often begins in childhood. Imagine if there was a way to alleviate some of that anxiety so we have a calmer, more pleasant experience as we’re getting our teeth cleaned and worked on.
Maybe there is.
Researchers divided children ages 8 to 12 into three groups: acupressure with ear seeds on actual ear points, acupressure with ear seeds on “sham” (non-effective) points, and control.
Based on results from the Modified Child Dental Anxiety Scale, pulse rate, and a behavioral scale, the researchers concluded that children in the acupressure group had a lower level of anxiety in a dental environment than children in the other two groups.
Auricular acupressure for reducing pre-exam anxiety in nursing students
Ever get the jitters before a big exam? Test taking evokes panic in many people, but the results from one study give us a glimmer of hope for using seeds for anxiety.
This study divided nursing student participants into two groups: one receiving auricular acupressure on legitimate ear points, and one receiving the acupressure on “sham” or not legitimate ear points. The simple conclusion was that the experimental/treatment group receiving the legitimate acupressure points’ stimulation showed decreased levels of pre-exam anxiety. Ear seeds may be something to try when you or your children take your next big test!
IVF anxiety reduced with ear seeds
One of our favorite studies looked at the effects of ear seeds on the treatment of anxiety in over 300 women who were struggling with infertility and going through IVF. Only three points of the ear were targeted: Shen Men, Endocrine, and Internal Genitals.
With a consistent treatment plan of manual stimulation of the ear seeds on those points, the outcome was that the acupressure group had not only reduced anxiety levels, but improved IVF results as well. If you or loved ones are undergoing IVF, ear seeds would be a great complementary tool to incorporate into an IVF journey.
These are just a few of the studies on ear seeds for anxiety. We encourage you to visit scholar.google.com and see what else is out there. Then, come back to My Ear Seeds and shop our collection of ear seeds kits and consultations.
Common research-backed ear points for anxiety
According to a team of researchers in a 2015 study, Auriculoterapia efeito sobre a ansiedade (translated to “Effect of Auriculotherapy on Anxiety”), these were the most common ear points used in auriculotherapy studies to effectively reduce anxiety:
- Shen Men
- Master Cerebral
You can locate some of these points in the graphic we have on our Stress, Anxiety and Depression page. Alternatively, our ear seeds coach can guide you on where to place your ear seeds for anxiety in a virtual consultation.
A final word about ear seeds for anxiety
If you’ve stumbled upon My Ear Seeds because you’re looking for a different or additional treatment approach to try for your anxiety, we’re glad you’re here!
A couple of things to remember about ear seeds for anxiety:
- Always consult your healthcare professional before starting or stopping treatments for your anxiety
- Results vary from individual to individual; we love to show the research studies, but you are uniquely you, and what works for others may not be a fit for you
- Auricular acupressure with ear seeds works best with consistency across time and with daily manual stimulation; it’s a treatment you must commit to, and to stay on track, we recommend our 4-Week Ear Seeds Tracker
Avisa, P., Kamatham, R., Vanjari, K., & Nuvvula, S. (2018). Effectiveness of Acupressure on Dental Anxiety in Children. Pediatric Dentistry, 40(3), 177-183.
Lee, E., & Park, J. (2023). Effect of Acupressure on Pre-Exam Anxiety in Nursing Students. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 29(5), 158-163.
Moura, C., Carvalho, C., Silva, A., Iunes, D., Carvalho, E., & Chaves, É. (2015). Auriculoterapia efeito sobre a ansiedade. Revista Cubana de Enfermería, 30(2). Retrieved from https://revenfermeria.sld.cu/index.php/enf/article/view/596/90
Qu, F., Zhang, D., Chen, LT. et al. Auricular Acupressure Reduces Anxiety Levels and Improves Outcomes of in Vitro Fertilization: A Prospective, Randomized and Controlled Study. Sci Rep 4, 5028 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep05028