What are Ears Seeds & How Can They Help

The Microsystem of Auriculotherapy

Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular acupuncture, is a well-known application of the principle that a single, small part of the body reflects the whole body, also known as a microsystem. According to this theory, the ear resembles an upside down fetus and there is a point in the ear that reflects a part or an organ of the body.

Auriculotherapy utilizes points on the ear that when stimulated provide treatment for medical conditions in other areas of the body. Learning proper ear seed placement can help with anxiety, depression, weight loss, back pain/sciatica, stop smoking, stress, headaches/migraines, insomnia, focus & memory, menopause, postpartum, libido, any pain in the body and so much more.

How to properly use ear seeds

In acupuncture sessions, usually very thin hairlike needles are shallowly inserted into the points. If patients want to prolong the effects of the treatment sometimes semi-permanent needles or ear seeds are placed in the ear to wear for a certain number of days after the treatment.

Semi-permanent needles are extremely small and short needles that stimulate the points. Ear seeds are usually seeds from the vaccaria plant. Sometimes small metal balls or magnets are used. The ear seeds or magnets are attached to an adhesive tape to allow the practitioner or patient to secure the ear seeds to the specific acupuncture point in the ear. To amplify the effect of the ear seeds it is recommended to lightly massage seed with your finger tip every few hours. Please note: the adhesive tape used to secure the ear seeds usually contains latex so if there is any allergy to latex you can simply stimulate the points with a pointer tool every few hours or have a licensed acupuncturist apply acupuncture needles to the points.

The seeds are left in place for three to five days. It is recommended to wait a few hours to 24 hours before reapplying ear seeds to give the skin a chance to breathe after removal. When the ear seeds are in place, continue to conduct your life just as you normally would. You don’t need to remove them for sleeping, bathing, sports or any other activities. Basically, think of your auricular acupuncture seeds like wearing a waterproof bandage that you don’t remove for five days.

Sometimes people feel immediate relief from the presence of an auricular acupuncture seed; other times, it can take longer to feel their effect. This is similar to conventional acupuncture with needles. However, remember that auricular acupuncture is non-invasive, so no needles are used.

Placement of ear seeds

When working with pain, it is recommended to place the ears seeds on the same side of the body as the pain for a stronger treatment. For example, if you are experiencing left sided sciatica, place the ear seeds on the correlating acupuncture points on the left ear. If you are applying ear seeds to help balance emotions, many practitioners recommend either placing the seeds in the ear of your dominant hand. For example if you are right handed and experiencing insomnia and anxiety, place the ear seeds in the corresponding acupuncture points on the right ear. You can also put seeds on both ears for emotional issues, internal diseases or bilateral pain.

What are the benefits of auricular therapy? 

There have been many successful studies done to show the benefits of auricular acupuncture. Studies are ongoing to see if auricular acupuncture may eventually replace current therapy in treating conditions like anxiety and depression; including trauma, grief, addiction and PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps (CAMRC) has shown effective results with helping first responders after traumatic events and lower levels of PTSD. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) has trained many people including addiction and harm reduction counselors, mental health therapists, social workers, correctional officers, drug court personnel, disaster relief teams and trauma support center staff, first responders, health promoters, nurses, EMTs, acupuncturists and Western medical doctors to utilize the NADA protocol. The NADA protocol has been proven effective in reducing cravings for alcohol and drugs (including nicotine), minimizing withdrawal symptoms, increasing calmness, improving sleep, decreasing agitation, relieving stress and emotional trauma and discovering one’s own inner quiet and strength.

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has also received a lot of research and attention due to it’s impressive results in many areas. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve and performs many things in the parasympathetic nervous system (affecting the immune system). VNS is effective at calming the central nervous system (CNS) and bringing us into parasympathetic “rest and digest” mode because the peripheral branch of the vagus nerve enters the brain and directly manipulates the CNS.

How does it work?

The brainstem and subcortical area of the brain are connected to the vagus nerve so VNS is good for the treatment of depression, anxiety, associative memory loss, psychiatric and psychological disorders, and substance abuse including reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms while assisting the patient in becoming comfortable in their own skin and promoting calmness.

Due to the vagus nerves connection to anti-inflammatory properties, the VNS is effective at controlling pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, complex regional pain syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), colitis and other inflammatory digestive and auto-immune disorders.

Other health complaints that have been alleviated with vagus nerve stimulation include headaches, obesity, alertness, ADHD, autism, compulsive disorders, epilepsy, and tinnitus. The intertragic notch, concha and tragus of the ear, all can be stimulated to access the vagus nerve. Some people may have branches in the other parts of the ears but the vagus nerve runs most superficially just near the tragus on the concha which can be easily stimulated with ear seeds.

Summary

The microsystem of the ear and vagus nerve stimulation have the potential to really help healthcare workers and their patients achieve significant results. Since patients are able to take ear seeds home, the body can have longer healing sessions and continue to correct any disruptions in the body’s ability to heal itself. Learning specialized points from your acupuncturist and bringing home your own kit (or having it mailed to you) is a powerful way to deal with acute, chronic, physical, mental and emotional issues someone is suffering from.


References:

  • CAMRC information: http://www.coloradoacupuncturemrc.org/
  • NADA information: https://acudetox.com/
  • Vagal Nerve Stimulation & Auricular Acupuncture information: Net of Knowledge Webinar by Tom Corbin
Verified
Lakewood acupuncture isa great to help relieve pain and stress. Just after my first visit I immediately had less pain and more flexibility. The new office is super clean, very bright and private. Consistently have visited in the last several weeks and have seen dramatic results all therapist are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Is hidden gem will change your life!
Matt Luby
Matt Luby
2021-03-28
Verified
LCA truly is wonderful. Jamie is incredibly intuitive with his acupuncture practice. As someone with chronic back pain, I am incredibly grateful of his expertise and caring touch. Their space is clean, safe and welcoming. Keep up the great work! You are appreciated!
Rachel Rowland
Rachel Rowland
2021-03-26
Verified
Jamie and Crystal are amazing practitioners! They are so knowledgable, warm and thorough. Their space is very relaxing and comfortable. I highly recommend LCA!
Maggie Berigan
Maggie Berigan
2020-12-02
Verified
Wonderful Acupuncture clinic! Great affordable care that can treat many different aliments. The staff is super caring and knowledgable.
Katie Cleveland
Katie Cleveland
2020-12-02
Verified
I have been seeing Jamie Holland for more than a year now and he is truly amazing. I work with my hands constantly and can honestly say he is the reason I can keep working without pain. Always great energy, great acupuncture and great cupping. He is incredibly detail oriented and has such a high level of compassion. Can’t recommend Lakewood Community Acupuncture enough!
Jacob Cohen
Jacob Cohen
2020-11-30
Verified
Jamie is one of the BEST acupuncturists I have ever worked with. Always calming and good hearted, he is a great energy to be around. Also always sleep better and feel less stressed after my appointments. I recommend everyone I know to see him!
Anna Miller
Anna Miller
2020-11-06
Verified
Jamie (co-founder + practitioner) is an incredibly kind and effective healer. As a person with three chronic infections, I am usually pretty hesitant to seek out new treatments. I am so glad I got over my fear and made an appointment with Jamie, however, because I finally feel like both my chronic pain and fatigue are much more manageable. Thank you for all you do, Jamie! I am beyond grateful for you and Lakewood Community Acupuncture as a whole.
Zascha Samuels
Zascha Samuels
2020-07-04
Verified
Crystal is sweet, knowledgeable, empathetic, nurturing and provides so much love in her acupuncture sessions here. I’ve been going here for months and I love the energy and intention of the space. Highly recommend!
Sara Watt
Sara Watt
2020-01-25
Verified
I went in for my first-ever acupuncture treatment, and Jamie was amazing! He was so helpful and thorough, and took the time to explain exactly what he was doing since I'm new to the practice. I also tried cupping for the first time here as well, and I noticed an immediate difference after the session. I'll definitely be back!
katherine Kelly
katherine Kelly
2019-10-21

Contact

7114 W Jefferson Ave, Suite 112,
Lakewood, CO 80235
(720) 242-9756
info@lakewoodacupuncture.org

Hours

Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-6pm
Wednesday: 9am-6pm
Thursday: 9am-6pm
Friday: 9am-2pm
Saturday: 8am-1pm
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram