Looking for a socially distanced way to beat stress, decompress or simply have some me time that doesn’t involve watching another season of The Real Housewives? Introducing ear seeds, the dinky DIY ear accessories that target the acupressure points that help combat a host of health woes
From daith to conch piercings, adorning our cartilage with a carefully curated constellation of fine jewellery has become de rigueur in the past few years thanks to luxe piercing experiences in department stores and jewellery brands such as Maria Tash. But if you’re looking for a new way to elevate your ear adornment – one that boasts healing properties that can help alleviate stress and anxiety and can be done from the comfort of your own home – ear seeds could be the answer. Essentially tiny gold or silver balls, ear seeds are secured in place with super sticky adhesive, and when applied look like minuscule piercings. Although they aren’t permanent and should be changed every two to three days, they can last for up to a week, allowing wearers to specifically target ailments for a prescribed period of time by tapping into acupressure points (minus the needles) while simultaneously allowing the wearer to try a new kind of metallic ear ensemble on for size.
“Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular acupuncture, refers to a method of stimulating auricular acupuncture points with short acupuncture needles or other methods to diagnose and treat diseases,” explains Guy Tang, a practitioner at Natural Healing in Dubai. “According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), stimulating specific acupuncture points will achieve the certain medical results because each acupuncture point has physiological connections with parts of the body. There are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on our body; more than 260 of them are on our ears.”
According to TCM, auricular acupuncture can treat specific pain, inflammation, dysfunctional conditions, allergies, endocrine and metabolic disorders, infectious diseases, and some chronic diseases by calming your sympathetic nervous system, which is believed to be essential for a healthy and high-functioning immune system. However, Guy says it’s most commonly used to help people with anxiety, weight loss, stopping smoking, or skin issues such as acne. “Auricular acupuncture can be used to effectively treat anxiety by stimulating the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system to regulate the body’s function and mental state,” Guy elaborates. “It can also release some nerve mediators, such as dopamine, enkephalins, endorphins, and serotonin into the central nervous system to achieve relaxation.” So how do ear seeds differ from traditional acupuncture, and crucially do they hurt if you’re on the squeamish side? The adhesive that secures ear seeds acts as an alternative to the traditional needles used by acupuncturists, which shouldn’t cause any discomfort. And while ear seeds have traditionally been positioned by an acupuncturist, several companies are now offering DIY ear seed kits that you can apply yourself, including Beverly Hills-based Vie Healing. Founded by acupuncturist Mona Dan, Vie Healing offers five types of DIY 24k ear seed kits that each target different concerns and can be ordered online. “Ear acupuncture is an invasive procedure using hair-thin needles within pressure points of the ears. Vie Healing ear seeding is not invasive, it’s the process of applying small 24k gold-plated magnets held down by a clean adhesive on the pressure points of the ears that send signals to the reflex centres of the brain to stimulate the body and shift it from fight/flight mode to processing mode,” Mona explains. The constant stimulation allows the body to process and digest for a longer period of time.”
Although Guy acknowledges that ear seeds shouldn’t be viewed as a quick fix or as an alternative to traditional acupuncture, he believes they do have their place. “Although the medical effect achieved by ear seeds is not as quick as using needles, it is convenient for patients,” he suggests. Four of the Vie Healing kits – Happy, Calm, Detox and Relief – were created during the pandemic as a response to the main concerns Mona’s clients were experiencing at the time, including lack of energy, stress and sleep deprivation. “Our ear seeds greatly benefit stress, anxiety, pain, digestive issues, sleep issues, hormonal imbalances and more. Once you try them on and see how incredibly relaxed you feel with them on, you’ll wonder how they aren’t more popular,” Mona tells MOJEH. Each kit comes with ear maps and instructions on how to apply them correctly, but, as with any at-home treatment, they aren’t foolproof. “I would suggest you take your time in the beginning. Before you know it, you won’t even need to look at the mirror when applying them,” she says. “It takes a little getting used to, but honestly once you start familiarising yourself with your ears, you’ll see that it’s an incredible aspect of our bodies that is usually completely neglected. With four main nerves that directly communicate with the brain, our ears hold a lot of sensory aid to relax our nervous systems.” Aesthetically pleasing, painless, easy to use, and good for your health? It’s hard to argue with that.
How To Apply Your Ear Seeds
It may take some time to get used to applying your ear seeds but, as with everything, practice makes perfect.
1. Make sure your ears are clean and dry before applying the seeds.
2. Once you have identified the correct point, apply the seed with tweezers (never put an ear seed inside your ear).
3. Give your ear seeds a gentle massage to activate them and don’t forget to change them regularly.
- Words by Aoibhinn Mc Bride