If you’ve heard about something called “ear seeds” for migraine and you’re wondering what that’s all about, you’re not alone.
Despite the fact that ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture has been around for centuries, this ancient holistic healing remedy is just making its way back into the mainstream.
The good news is, you don’t need to plant and grow anything out of your ear to experience natural migraine headache relief!
Continue reading to learn how you can get the most effective headache-relieving benefits from ear seeds.
What Ear Seeds Are and How They Work
Ear seeds, also called ear pellets, are tiny balls made from the seeds of the vaccaria plant. Ear seeds are also available in magnetic, silver, and gold. The seeds are placed at specific points on your ear, each point corresponding to a certain body part.
If you’ve ever seen a foot reflexology chart, you may have a better understanding of how this process works. Like the foot, the ear contains acupressure points that correspond to points on your entire body.
For example, there is a spot on your ear lobe that, when gently stimulated, corresponds directly to the face and can help relieve facial pain. Another spot, this one on the upper ear, corresponds directly to the fingers and can help relieve pain in your digits.
Understanding the Homunculus and How It Relates to Your Health
Dr. Paul Nogier of France was the first individual to describe a technique very similar to reflexology, and he is considered the “Father of Modern Ear Acupuncture”.
He originated the concept of the homunculus, or, the ‘man in the ear’, which is the representation and anatomical correlation of the inverted fetus inside the ear.
In other words, a homunculus is a very tiny representation of an entire human being. Your ear is your homunculus. This means that your ear represents your entire body, upside down, in a birthing position.
It might be hard to wrap your head around at first, but stick with me. I’ll show you scientific studies that have proven that auricular acupuncture can successfully treat migraines and so much more!
Ear Acupuncture – Ancient Medicine Meets Modern-Day Science
A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicinerevealed that “stimulation of a reflex point in the ear can relieve symptoms of distant pathology with a reliable duration.”
A Chinese study revealed that auriculotherapy used on 90 subjects suffering from migraines without aura over a 10-day period revealed positive results after just one treatment.
The conclusion of this study revealed that “Comprehensive auricular acupuncture reduces apparently the headache score for migraine without aura and relieves the clinical symptoms of migraine. It is a simple and effective therapy for migraine without aura.” (Translated from the original Chinese)
More good news for migraine and chronic pain sufferers, vaccaria seeds have been proven to significantly reduce inflammation.
According to a study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vaccaria seeds have been shown to dramatically reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines.
This means that the regular use of vaccaria seeds could not only help treat your chronic migraine naturally, it could also reduce chronic inflammation throughout your entire body!
Your Ears Can Tell You a Lot about Your Health
Another interesting factor in ear reflexology is that your ear can actually tell a professional acupuncturist which parts of your body are experiencing pain, trauma, or imbalance!
When a point on your ear is “active”, it will present with increased tenderness to stimulation, skin texture and color changes, as well as an increase or decrease in the visibility of veins.
This has also been proven scientifically in a study published in the journal, Pain.
During the study, 40 patients with musculoskeletal pain were carefully examined to determine which parts of their body were most troubled. Each patient was then draped with a sheet that concealed any visible physical problems.
A physician came in and looked at only the patients’ ears, having no prior knowledge of their medical conditions. The auricular exam consisted of simply examining each patient’s ear for areas of tenderness or elevated skin conductivity.
Skin conductivity is a phenomenon where the skin momentarily becomes a better conductor of electricity when introduced to physiologically arousing internal of external stimuli.
The correlation between the established medical diagnosis of each patient and the auricular diagnoses was 75.2 percent!
From the study:
“These results thus support the hypothesis that there is a [somatotopic] organization of the body represented upon the human auricle.”
How to Use Ear Seeds at Home
When you’re living with any kind of chronic illness, it’s important that you’re as involved in your own healing as possible.
That said, we highly recommend a visit with a professional acupuncturist first before using ear seeds to treat your chronic migraine or any other health condition.
Your ear is crowded with pressure points. The more accurately you place and stimulate the seeds, the more health benefits you will receive.
When you’re new to ear acupressure, it’s easy to accidentally stimulate the wrong point, which will not have the desired effect.
If you do decide to practice ear seeding at home, buy a complete ear seed kit complete with a chart containing all of the map points.
If you’re using the seeds for chronic migraine, place the seeds where the chart indicates. If you want to discover other areas of your body that may need help, gently press on each pressure point in your ear (you can use a toothpick) and test for sensitivity.
Then, refer to the chart so you know just where to place the seeds!
Once you find a sensitive area, clean your ear with rubbing alcohol, wait for your ear to dry, pull an ear seed off the packet with tweezers, and place the seed on the pressure point(s) you desire.
Using your thumb and index finger, apply firm but gentle pressure on the ear seeds to stimulate the healing process. Do this a few times per day.
Ideally, ear seeds should be replaced once a week, but they often fall off after a couple of showers. This is fine. All you have to do is affix new ear seeds on a clean, dry ear to continue receiving the health benefits.
Note: If your ear becomes red or inflamed, remove the ear seed as you may be sensitive to the adhesive. See an acupuncturist who can help you determine the best ear seed kit for your individual needs.
When you use ear seeds to treat your chronic migraine and other health conditions, the process is easy and non-invasive, and the possibilities are endless!
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