Why Do My Ear Seeds Hurt?

When you get your ears seeded, whether for the first time or for a repeat session, you may experience some discomfort from the seeds. In this post we’ll explain why ear seeds hurt sometimes, how much is too much pain, what to do about the tenderness, and what the research says about ear seed pain.

Why ears seeds hurt sometimes

After an ear seeds placement session, you might be asking yourself, “Wow, why do my ear seeds hurt like that?”

And it doesn’t matter if you put the ear seeds on your own ears or if an ear seeds coach applies them for you — ear seeds can sometimes cause a tender feeling after they’re applied. This seems counterintuitive for a product that research has shown to relieve pain.

So why can ear seeds hurt?

Skin Sensitivity from Ear Seeds

First things first, our skin is like the moodiest member of the family – it can be a bit touchy at times. The adhesive on ear seeds might not always play nice with your skin, especially if you have skin that’s prone to sensitivity or irritation. So, if you feel a twinge of discomfort, your skin might just be having a little conversation with those seeds.

Acupressure Points in Action

Ear seeds are all about stimulating specific pressure points on your ears, which are believed to have connections to various parts of your body. Now, these points might just be a little shy at first, and the initial sensation might feel a bit weird or even slightly uncomfortable. It’s like introducing yourself to new neighbors – it takes a bit of time to get used to each other.

Mind Over Matter

Believe it or not, sometimes our minds play a role in how we perceive discomfort. If you’re trying ear seeds for the first time, your brain might go, “Hey, what’s this new sensation?” And because it’s new and unfamiliar, you might interpret it as a bit of discomfort. But don’t worry, most people find that this feeling tends to mellow out as they get more accustomed to the ear seeds.

Placement of the Ear Seeds Matters

Sometimes, ear seeds might be placed slightly off-target. Just like trying to hit the bullseye in darts, if the ear seed isn’t positioned perfectly, it might cause some discomfort (and might not work as effectively as it could be with the correct placement). The good news is that adjusting their placement or removing them altogether usually does the trick.

Sensitive Souls

If you’re generally quite sensitive to touch or have a low pain threshold, you might feel more discomfort than others. It’s all about personal variations and how our bodies respond.

How much is too much pain from ear seeds?

Ear seeds aren’t meant to be extremely painful. As the non-invasive alternative to acupuncture, they rest on the outside of your ear and apply a light, natural pressure to the ear points where you seeded. A gentle pressure or light discomfort is normal, especially if you’re not used to wearing ear seeds or if they’re put on points that correspond with particularly troublesome conditions.

A piercing or jarring pain that doesn’t go away, however, isn’t normal or acceptable. You should be able to go about your daily activities and forget the ear seeds are there – not be dwelling on the fact that they’re hurting you. In that case, the pain would be too much.

What to do about the tenderness

If you’re stimulating your ear points three times a day, make sure you’re not pressing too hard. A light touch and short hold of your finger on your ear point is all that’s needed when stimulating the seeds. Alternatively, you can drop down to once- or twice-daily stimulation sessions (or even none at all!).

When you find that your ear seed pain is extreme and overly uncomfortable, take off the ear seeds altogether and give your ears a rest for a day or two. Then reseed and evaluate the pain intensity. If you still experience more pain than you care to tolerate, remove the ear seeds and just press gently on the affected ear points without the seeds on.

Whether you buy ear seeds from us or another brand, we recommend a guided placement session through an in-person or virtual consultation. We can’t guarantee that the ear seeds coach will take away all the pain, but they can ensure you’re using the ear seeds effectively and in the right points, and they can suggest other ideas for a less painful ear seeds experience.

What the research says about ear seeds and pain

In a study called Adverse Events of Auricular Therapy: A Systematic Review, researchers looked at 43 different types of studies and papers to understand the negative effects of acupressure on the ears. The abstract states: “For auricular acupressure, local skin irritation and discomfort, mild tenderness or pain, and dizziness were commonly reported.”

Nonetheless, the authors of this paper heralded ear acupressure’s safety and convenience, contributing to less pain than acupuncture of the ears, and agreeing that the benefits of this treatment modality outweigh the risks – even the risk of pain.

To sum it up

Remember, if the discomfort becomes more than just a minor annoyance, it’s totally okay to remove the ear seeds. Your comfort and well-being come first. And if you’re unsure about using ear seeds due to any existing medical conditions, it’s always a great idea to chat with a healthcare professional before diving into the world of ear seed magic. But overall, don’t let a little discomfort discourage you – your ear seed journey might just be waiting for the perfect time to blossom into a more comfortable experience!


Tan, J. Y., Molassiotis, A., Wang, T., & Suen, L. K. (2014). Adverse events of auricular therapy: a systematic review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2014, 506758. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/506758

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