The Surprising Reasons You Should Start Massaging Your Ears

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, a massage can really hit the spot — pun intended. People seek out massages for any number of reasons, from stress management to easing chronic pain to relieving the physical discomfort of an injury. Whether it's a foot massage at the salon, a back massage during a spa day, or a friendly shoulder rub from your partner after a long day at the office, some areas of the body are frequently targeted for massage therapy. But there are other, oft-ignored parts of the body that could also benefit from a massage, such as the ears.

Reflexology is a long-standing healing technique that works by stimulating different pressure points on the body through the application of physical pressure (via Natural Health Practitioners of Canada). Over 200 nerve endings exist in the ears, making them prime pressure points for effective massage (via Bino Massage). Referred to as Ear Reflexology, or auricular therapy, this form of massage offers numerous physical and mental benefits due to the fact that our ears have connections to both our right and left brain.

Ear massage offers both physical and mental benefits

On a physical level, rubbing our ears can offer relief from certain chronic pain conditions. Though our ears are relatively small in size, there are numerous points on the ear that neurologically connect to different areas of the body. According to experts at the Institute for Integrative Healthcare, rubbing the ear can ease pain by interrupting messages from the brain that are causing muscles to involuntarily contract and spasm. Different muscular areas can be targeted depending on whether you stimulate the lobes, the upper ear, or the inner ear area.

Additionally, there is also evidence that ear massage can aid in substance abuse recovery. Pressure points located on the outer ear influence the autonomic nervous system and hypothalamus, so massaging this area can help the body relax and maintain internal balance. These pressure points also produce endorphins when stimulated, which in turn reduces drug and alcohol cravings and aids in detoxification. Experts at Bino Massage say that ear massage can also offer other mental health benefits such as alleviating depression symptoms and reducing food cravings, as well as improvements in memory, focus, public speaking ability, energy, and listening.

Sense Massage Therapy suggests experimenting with different methods of ear massage such as tugging, pinching, stroking, folding, and rubbing while moving your fingers around different parts of the ear. In doing so, you may find yourself more relaxed, alert, and grounded on even your most stressful days.