Can Ear Seeds Help Ease Migraine?
No matter how old your pain or illness is, you’ll find a remedy in Chinese traditional methods. Ear seeding is one such sought-after therapy that stimulates pressure points in your ears to ease pain and other ailments.
Ear seeding is a holistic remedy that includes the use of seeds as therapeutic devices. These are placed on some specific points on the ears to ease certain illnesses or conditions. It is similar to acupuncture but only the pressure points in your ears are stimulated.
The origin of ear seeding dates to over 3000 years ago in ancient China. It is commonly known as auriculotherapy or ear therapy that targets the ears as a medium to access body energy. Acupuncture has roots in Chinese medicine and is based on opposite polarity and duality, which means balancing energy. So, “yin” and “yang” are two contradictory and complementary forces that represent ‘qi’ (pronounced as ‘Chi’) or energy. As per Chinese belief, qi flows through pathways and is accessible at 350 pressure points in the body.
Though very little is known scientifically about this practice on curing chronic illness. But, some research suggests that ear seeding can be beneficial when paired up with another treatment. According to a randomised clinical trial of auricular acupressure points for chronic lower back pain conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, published in the journal Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, showed reduced pain among 19 people. After four weeks of treatment, results pointed to a 70 percent reduction in worst pain intensity, a 75 percent decrease in overall pain with improved mobility.
A 2016 study from the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health shows acupuncture provides relief from exhaustion due to work stress. Besides, it healed several health conditions such as the neck, backache, migraine, nausea, headache, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and infertility.
Types of Ear Seeds
1. Vaccaria seeds
Originally, seeds from Vaccaria plants, commonly known as cowherb, cow basil, and cow soapwort, were used in auriculotherapy. Vaccaria seeds are ideal for those who are allergic to metal balls.
2. Metal or crystal seeds
Balls made of metals, or stones are strategically placed in specified pressure points that trigger the nervous system giving a soothing and relaxing feel.
How does ear seeding help?
Ear seed therapy is non-invasive, painless, and natural therapy to relieve pain by stimulating the acupuncture points in the ear. The choice of seed one chooses also has a major role to play in the treatment. It is believed that every seed or metal ball possesses energy or polarity. Polarity is the existence of both positive and negative energies in the body which are different but complementary. It is based on two principles: yin(cold) and yang(hot), yin (dark) and yang (bright) as these are continuously interacting and opposing each other while balancing and co-existing harmoniously. The objective of ear seeding is to maintain the polarities of organs by stabilising energy flow. When someone gets sick or their ‘yang’ increases, ear seeding therapy provides the yin to maintain energies. Some use mustard or fenugreek seeds while others opt for metallic studs as they are non-polar. However, it is dependent on the medical history of the patient and what outcomes they expect.
Related Story: Declutter Your Life, Declutter Your Mind
Benefits of using ear seed
Ears seeds may help with:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
Related Story: 11 Questions You Must Ask Your New Therapist
How to use ear seed
It is possible to use ear seeds on your own. However, if it is your first time, consult a professional acupuncturist who can help pinpoint and place studs at the correct pressure points. In case you plan to do it on your own, it is imperative to follow these steps.
- Clean your ears and dry them thoroughly
- Map the areas you want to stick seeds. For this, an expert can help in identifying auricular points
- Now, carefully apply seeds or studs using latex or waterproof tape onto the auricular point, so that it stays in place
- Massage ears where seeds are placed, in a circular motion for two to three minutes
Precautions while using ear seeds
- Never put ear seeds in the ear canal
- Change metallic studs every five days to reduce chances of infection
- Do not put pressure while adhering to studs as it might cause skin irritation
Related Story: How to Find The Best therapist For You