If you’re going to spend the time and effort to buy ear seeds, we want you to use ear seeds as “by the book” as possible. What do we mean by this? Well, we prefer that the numerous research studies on ear seeds and acupressure serve as a blueprint for how we use ear seeds.
In this article we’ll share the 4-3-1 rule, backed by the research, to provide the best chance of our ear seeds working for the symptoms or conditions we’re hoping to remedy. Read on!
The 4: How long to use ear seeds
The 4-3-1 rule begins with the 4, which represents the minimum number of weeks you should commit to using the ear seeds.
Ideally, we’d like to see you use ear seeds for six weeks because much of the research methodology uses a six-week timeframe. However, we believe that the 30 to 31 days of a month is an appropriate amount of time to establish a habit, and we’d like you to assess how you feel after that length of time.
When you buy ear seeds from us, be sure to add the 4-Week Ear Seeds Tracker to your order as well. With this PDF you can download and print, you can check off each day and week you use the ear seeds. As the name of the document suggests, this tracker is intended for four weeks of use (but you can always print more copies for continued use with the ear seeds).
Keep in mind that you should not use the same set of ear seeds for the entire four-week duration — not that you’d be able to anyway because the ear seeds will either fall off on their own after several days, or you’ll need to remove them and their adhesive tape yourself.
Regarding which kits to buy from us so you can have enough for four weeks of use, we first recommend the My First Ear Seeds Kit, which gives you 40 seeds right off the bat, along with tweezers and alcohol wipes for pre-seeding use on the ears. Once you feel comfortable knowing how and where to place the seeds on your ears, the next step is purchasing a My Ear Seeds Refill Kit, where you’ll get even more ear seeds, without tweezers.
The 3: How many times a day to stimulate the ear seeds
Now that you know that you should commit to a minimum of four weeks, but more preferably six weeks, of ear seed use, the next part of the rule is the 3. This represents the number of times per day you should be stimulating the ear seeds.
What does “stimulating ear seeds” mean? It simply implies that you need to press, with clean hands and light to moderate pressure, your fingertip down on your ear seed three times each day.
The ear seed applies a base layer of pressure to your seeded acupressure ear points, but the stimulation, of course also backed by research, adds that extra pressure that can help take your ear seed experience to the next level.
The 4-Week Ear Seeds Tracker also has a place where you can check off each of your three suggested stimulation sessions per day. A tip to share: set alarms on your phone for three times a day — morning, afternoon, and late evening — and repeat daily. This way you won’t have any excuses not to take time to press on those ear seeds.
Stimulation of the ear seeds is so important that in at least one study, failure to do this (and at least four times per day for this particular paper!) resulted in those participants having to withdraw from the study.
The 1: How long to stimulate the ear seeds each time
Finally, we move to the 1 in the 4-3-1 rule. That’s the length of time in minutes (in other words, one minute) you should stimulate the ear seeds each time you press on them, at least three times daily.
The one minute is not per ear but rather, per seed on the ear. You could technically press on the same ear points of both ears at the same time using both your hands, but don’t try to cut corners and do a mediocre job or minimize the amount of time you spend stimulating your ear seeds.
To sum it up
Remember, auricular acupressure via ear seeds is an investment by you and for you. With evidence-based ear acupressure articles as your north star, you should try as much as possible to follow the 4-3-1 rule to use ear seeds most effectively.
If you miss stimulating the ear seed points every now and then, no big deal. We would be willing to bet that the research participants didn’t achieve full compliance with their stimulation protocols either (and in fact, this exact limitation is referenced in the study on ear seeds and ADHD outcomes in children).
So, just give this 4-3-1 rule, and ear seeding in general, your best effort and don’t stress about the rest.
Vahedi, M., Hasanpoor-Azghady, S. B., Amiri-Farahani, L., & Khaki, I. (2021). Comparison of effect of auriculotherapy and mefenamic acid on the severity and systemic symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized clinical trial. Trials, 22(1), 655. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05622-w