The term “ear acupuncture seeds” is a bit of an oxymoron. More commonly and simply known as “ear seeds,” these tiny beads, pellets, or plant seeds don’t actually use acupuncture needles at all.
Instead, they utilize acupressure to apply a gentle, but constant, pressure on the ear.
The practices of both acupressure and acupuncture of the ear are derived from the principles of auriculotherapy (“therapy of the ear”). So that’s why some people call ear seeds “ear acupuncture seeds.” For the purposes of this article, that’s what we’ll call them too (although no puncturing of the skin is needed with ear seeds, and you can apply them at home, which is not something you want to try with acupuncture).
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The anatomy of ear acupuncture seeds
Let’s discuss what makes up ear acupuncture seeds. We’ve already mentioned a tiny bead or seed. This is what lays against the ear to give it the acupressure effect. But how does it stay on the ear for three to five days at a time?
The ear seed is attached to a round adhesive sticker. The sticker is what keeps the seed from rolling off your ear. It holds it in place, and it’s especially successful in doing so when:
- The ear has been cleaned well with an alcohol wipe prior to seeding
- The ear is overall healthy and the skin isn’t very flaky
- The ear isn’t submerged in water for long periods of time, such as for swimming or bathing
The benefits of ear acupuncture seeds
Ear acupuncture seeds have many health benefits, having been studied by researchers from around the world. Ear acupuncture, ear acupressure, and ear reflexology, in fact, date back thousands of years, with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in cultures of ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, and the Mediterranean (Gori & Firenzuoli, 2007).
In the past few decades, scientists have confirmed auriculotherapy as an evidence-based therapy, with research supporting its ability to help people reduce anxiety, manage pain, reduce symptoms of ADHD, support weight management, and much more.
Exactly how ear acupuncture seeds work seems like a mystery to many people, and earseeding is not without its critics (despite plenty of research backing their efficacy). There’s science behind the practice, however.
The ears are a microcosm or microsystem of the rest of the body. This means that when acupressure or acupuncture are applied to them, the ears send signals to the brain, which sends signals to the corresponding points of the body, saying, “Let’s get to work and do the body some good!”
This bizarre-looking diagram (based on the observations and studies by 1950s French Doctor, Dr. Nogier, the “Father of modern ear acupuncture”) represents what we mean by the ear as a microcosm or microsystem:
As goofy as this drawing seems, it really is a great way to visualize the ear as a microcosm and microsystem of the greater body.
Where to buy ear acupuncture seeds
Buying ear acupuncture seeds is easy because they do not require a prescription, they can be applied at home, and they are widely accessible. Since you’re already here, you might as well purchase your ear acupuncture seeds from us — it’s what we specialize in!
We not only sell ear seeds, but we also sell auriculotherapy accessories as well. Within our My First Ear Seeds Kit, for instance, you’ll find a pair of precision tweezers, alcohol wipes, ear seeds, and a QR code card that connects you with a digital and interactive ear seed placement chart we recommend, called Auriculo 360.
How to use ear acupuncture seeds
Once you receive the ear acupuncture seeds from us, follow a few steps to get them onto your ears:
- Gather your supplies (mirror, ear seeds, tweezers, alcohol wipes or ear cleansing cloth, ear seed placement map app)
- Wash your hands and then clean your ears with the alcohol wipes or cleansing cloth
- Locate on the ear seed placement app the specific point(s) you intend to seed
- Press with your fingertip or fingernail onto the ear point so you can get a sense of where the seed will go
- Use the tweezers to lift the ear seed off the plastic backing strip, ensuring that the seed doesn’t roll off the adhesive sticker
- Place the seed onto the target ear acupressure point
- Press the seed firmly onto your ear with your fingertip as you slide the tweezer out from under it
Congrats! You’ve now applied an ear acupuncture seed to your ear. To place additional seeds, repeat steps 3 through 7.
The toughest part of ear seed placement is making the connection between the ear placement points on the chart and on your own ear. Taking a few practice tries with the ear seeds before you get confident using them is totally normal. But if you’re still uncertain about the whole ear seed process and want more peace of mind and guidance, we offer 30-minute virtual consultations too.
When you’re ready to remove the ear acupuncture seeds, gently lift them from your ears with the tweezers or scrape them off with your fingernail. Dispose of them in the trash, wash your ear, and reapply new seeds once you’re ready for the next round. Note that ear seeds are not reusable, but we have a My Ear Seeds Refill Kit to help you get restocked.
Are you ready to get started using ear acupuncture seeds?
We’re excited for you to try ear seeds! Just remember that, like any health and wellness protocol, ear seeds too are best used consistently, over a period of at least four weeks. This is not arbitrary advice, but rather, it’s what’s used in research studies — and often, the auriculotherapy studies’ treatment or intervention groups use the ear seeds for up to 12 weeks at a time (of course replacing the individual ear seeds with new ones every 5 days or so).
Let us know what questions you have about ear acupuncture seeds by sending an email to email@example.com. Otherwise, happy seeding!
Gori, L., & Firenzuoli, F. (2007). Ear acupuncture in European traditional medicine. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 4(Suppl 1), 13–16. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem106