2 Truths 1 Myth

WTF Are Ear Seeds

Have you ever taken a solid two-minutes to rub a puppy’s ears? Fido is in ecstasy. Because dog ears are filled with tons of nerve endings, when you give good ‘ol Fido an ear massage, signals are sent to his brain that can actually increase the production of endorphins (a.k.a. the happiness hormone).

So, is owner like dog? After speaking with Nikki Ostrower, a nutritional expert and owner of NAO Wellness in New York City, we're here to say: Kind of!

Ever hear of auriculotherapy?

Traditional Chinese Medicine has used auriculotherapy for thousands of years under the pretense that the ear is akin to a map of the body. "Ear seeds are adhesive seeds from the natural vaccaria plant placed on specific acupressure points on the ear to address specific symptoms and areas of the physical and emotional body," Nikki tells us.

So what's the difference between using ear seeds and asking your acupuncturist to be a little more ear-focused? Well, besides the fact that ear seeds are kind of cool looking (especially the ones that NAO Wellness offers), they're non-invasive, can be used in tandem with other treatments, and can stay on for up to a week. That's CONSTANT EAR RUB LOVE for A WEEK!

Here, Nikki shares more on ear seeds.

Truth 1: Your body releases feel-good chemicals during auricular therapy

"Applying ear seeds to the correct acupressure point causes the release of endorphins," Nikki explains. "That's the chemical that's responsible for making you feel good and relaxed." And get this: According to a study Nikki sent us done by the Department of Chinese Medicine at China Medical University Hospital, many other tension-relieving, like serotonin and norepinephrine, may be released as well.

Truth 2: They are kid-friendly (in fact, kid-approved!)

Nikki, who quaran-teamed with two other families with children with similarly aged kids brought home a bunch of ear seed kits to help the grown ups with mounting COVID-anxiety. The kids were instantly interested. "It was the cutest thing ever," Nikkis says. "At first, it was a psychosomatic response. They just saw these rainbow bling ear seeds got super excited. Then we placed it on their ears. Kids don't lie. They have no filter. And yes, they were happy and excited because there were blingy things on their ears, but actually, they all slept so much better that night.

Myth: Ear seeds are basically magic beans

"I think what happens to some folks is that they read all of these blogs and see all these influencers and think it's all fun and fancy," Nikki says. "While there can be quick releases, there is no such thing as a magic pill. There’s also no one-size-fits-all approach to everyone.

Nikki tells us that while almost always, vaccaria seeds are used in this practice, it's actually not the seed that's doing the magic. "It's the act of the actual seed going on the right acupressure point that makes all of the difference," she explains. "There are over 100 different acupressure points in the ear. So technically speaking, do you need ear seeds to really create a healing benefit? No. You can do it yourself by taking your nail and just holding it there for fifteen minutes."

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