Ear Seeding is a healing tool based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice of acupressure that treats the outer ear as a microsystem which reflects the entire body. One popular use of ear seeds and acupressure is to improve sleep.
For those suffering from insomnia, or poor sleep generally, we know that trying to solve the problem can become exhausting in itself - not to mention expensive. So if you’re looking for a natural, at-home and accessible way to get better sleep, then using Ear Seeds could be a fantastic option.
Let’s talk about whether ear seeding actually works for insomnia, how it works, and best ear placement.
Ear Seeds For Insomnia: How It Works
Traditionally, ear seeds have been made from the Vaccaria plant and stuck on to the acupressure points of your outer ear with waterproof tape. However, Point Zero's ear seeds are made from 24K gold and look like small studs thereby marrying functional health and fashion.
The idea is to wear the ear seeds for up to 5 days and massage them several times throughout the day to stimulate acupressure points.
To the untrained eye, you could easily mistake them for cute studs, which makes them a win-win for us! For the needle-phobes amongst us, they’re an excellent needle-free alternative to acupuncture.
What exactly are these acupressure points and why does it help to massage or stimulate them?
According to TCM, the flow of our energy (Qi) determines the state of our health. It is believed that this Qi flows throughout meridians, or energy pathways, in our body. And if our Qi becomes stagnant or blocked in the meridians, it causes health issues.
In TCM there are 12 main meridians, or energetic passageways, that pass through the top layer of the skin and fascia. The meridians are all connected - imagine 12 different extension cords plugged in end to end and intertwined so if you were to unravel them, they would form one big loop.
Ten of these twelve different pathways are associated with a specific organ: the heart, stomach, lungs, large intestine, small intestine, liver, bladder, kidneys, gallbladder and spleen. The remaining two are related to emotional well-being and metabolic health.
For insomnia, the idea is to apply pressure (through ear seeds, fingers or needles in acupuncture) to the emotional well-being meridian that helps soothe your nervous system and calm your mind.
TCM principles believe that energy (Qi) can become stagnant or deficient in certain meridians causing health issues in the related organs.
The idea is to revitalise the Qi in the associated meridian as it passes by the outer ear through pressure and massage, therefore healing the sleep issues.
Ear Seeds Help To Regulate Your Nervous System
Not only does massaging your ear seeds help unblock energy in your meridians, but gently pressing them also sends signals to your brain to soothe your nervous system which in turns helps our body feel calm and safe enough to sleep well.
Research has actually shown that when massaging certain points on your ear, brain wave patterns change to a relaxed state.
Do Ear Seeds Actually Work For Insomnia?
As anyone who struggles with sleep knows, trying to quieten your racing mind can sometimes feel impossible and is often what keeps you laying wide awake in bed. The fact that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised 39 acupressure points for soothing pain and calming the mind signals that ear seeding can help with sleep.
Ear Seed Placement For Sleep
So where exactly should you place ear seeds for insomnia? Just like with acupuncture, there will be specific ear acupressure points for sleep. Similar to the TCM foot chart for Reflexology, there is an ear chart too that shows where to apply pressure to help with certain ailments based on where the associated meridians are.
With the Point Zero Aid Sleep Ear Seed Kit, you’ll get step-by-step instructions in each treatment box that prescribes points on the ear that will help with sleep.
One point commonly used for improved calm, and therefore better sleep, is the Shen Men. It is the most popular ear point used in Auriculotherapy and is located on the upper part of the ear in the triangular fossa, and can have a tranquilising effect.
If you choose to work with an auriculotherapist, they will assess which meridians to apply pressure to in order to help treat your sleep struggles.
How Long Do Ear Seeds Take To Work For Insomnia?
As with most holistic healing work, it is not a quick fix, however after 2-3 treatments, we find that the seeds are already working their magic.
We encourage you to gently massage your Ear Seeds at least 3 times per day so that you’re stimulating the acupressure points enough. The great thing about ear seeding is that it’s like a prolonged acupuncture session but less invasive.
While acupressure is a low-risk alternative that is safe for most people to try, we always believe in being holistic in your sleep strategies - ensuring that your take care of your diet, your sleep environment and more to help improve sleep.
Ready To Be Your Own Healer?
We often forget that within ourselves is the substance of our very nature and untapped sources of health, balance and well-being. Nature has given us breathing methods, nutrition, therapeutic techniques (like acupressure) and other effective ways to reset the nervous system and improve sleep.
So if you’re ready to learn to become your own healer and give ear seeding a try, or are simply looking to supplement other insomnia treatments, explore our Aid Sleep Ear Seed Kit here.