What To Expect When You Use Ear Seeds, According To An Acupuncturist

The familiar adage, "everything old is new again," doesn't just pertain to the ebbs and flows of fashion. Ear seeding, for example — the "new" wellness trend that has been taking TikTok by storm — isn't so new at all. In fact, it's very, very old. "Ear seeding is one of the techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is a 3000-year-old system of health and wellness techniques that uses acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other modalities to care for the mind and body," says Gudrun Wu Snyder, Doctor of Acupuncture and Founder of Moon Rabbit Acupuncture.

Similar to acupuncture, but without the intimidating needles, ear seeding is a healing modality rooted in the belief that each of the body's organ systems has a corresponding pressure point on the ear. Using a gentle adhesive like tape, small beads or seeds are attached to these distinct points, where they will typically stay for 3-5 days. When the beads are massaged, physiological and psychological symptoms associated with an imbalance in the body are believed to be addressed.

In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Dr. Snyder gives us the scoop on all things ear seeding.

How ear seeding works

Dr. Snyder explains that while traditional ear seeding implemented the use of seeds from the flowering vaccaria plant, native to Eurasia, she prefers to take a more modern approach. " Today at Moon Rabbit we use gold ear seeds in conjunction with an adhesive and even add swarovski crystals to some for some extra fun!"

Fun and fashion aside, Dr. Snyder explains that these tiny, gold beads can have big benefits. "In TCM the ear is a microcosm of the entire body, both interior and exterior," she says. "Ear seeding works similarly to acupuncture by stimulating both the mind and body," she explains. "Acupuncture and ear seeding both work on the TCM meridian system — a series of energy pathways that are found throughout the body. Thus, stimulating certain points on the ears will help smooth [the] flow of energy and restore balance." 

Dr. Snyder notes that each ear seed is placed on a specific acupressure point, and when they are massaged — she says that's when the magic happens. "The stimulation of these points sends a message to your brain that alters biochemical responses and helps to achieve your desired result."

Benefits and side effects

When it comes to the benefits of ear seeding, the temporary ear bling is just the tip of the iceberg. "In TCM we use ear seeds most commonly to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia. However, ear seeds are also an easy way to treat digestion issues, difficulty concentrating, addiction, weight loss, and pain management," says Dr. Snyder. "What's great is that you can treat these conditions at home with a safe, effective and fun kit [that comes] with all the instructions you need." We love self-care on a budget!

Just like any medical treatment, ear seeding isn't necessarily for everyone. Dr. Snyder points out that people with allergies or sensitivities to certain metals or adhesives might experience irritation after ear seeding. In the event of skin irritation, she says the seeds should be removed immediately and the area should be wiped with an alcohol swab. If you purchase your kit from Moon Rabbit, you shouldn't have any issues though. "The ear seeds we use in our Moon Rabbit Ear Seeding Kit are all real gold with a sensitive-skin friendly adhesive."

Other than that, Dr. Snyder says ear seeds are pretty innocuous. "Given [that] ear seeds do not puncture the skin, there are no long-term or serious risks." And the best part? She states, "Even if you place the ear seeds on the wrong area, the worst-case scenario is that nothing happens."

To learn more about ear seeding visit the Moon Rabbit Acupuncture website, follow them on Instagram, or email any questions to frontdesk@moonrabbitacupuncture.com.