#Health & Fitness

I Tried Ear Seeding, the Next Big Wellness Trend — Here’s What Happened Next

by Caroline Harris

I Tried Ear Seeding, the Next Big Wellness Trend — Here’s What Happened Next
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If you’re a self-care enthusiast, you may be familiar with a buzzy new wellness trend called ear seeding, or auriculotherapy. The practice, a form of acupuncture, is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and involves applying adhesive plant seeds called ear seeds to stimulate different pressure points in your ear. The results are potentially reduced stress, improved sleep and a myriad of other health benefits.


I learned of ear seeding back in November when I watched my friend get seeded at a popup in NYC’s Bryant Park. In the following months, I watched as ear seeding blew up on Instagram. Judging by the influx of Instagram posts and the growing number of Google searches on ear seeds, it’s safe to say this is going to be the next viral wellness trend, so I needed to learn more. I decided to get ear seeded at NAO Wellness in New York City to determine whether ear seeding lived up to the growing hype.



What Is Ear Seeding?


At NAO Wellness, I discovered an immediate oasis of string lights, infrared saunas and yogis. I met up with Morgan Grindell, the Senior Director of Business Development at NAO. Over mugs of green tea, she showed me ear reflexology charts and described the wellness benefits of ear seeding.


“We have 200 different nerves in our ears that correlate with different parts of our body,” Grindell explained. “Ear seeding triggers those nerves to help with anxiety, insomnia, hormonal imbalances and back pain issues.”


before ear seeding photo


Grindell characterized ear seeding as a “10-minute healing modality for your mind, body and soul.” She discussed how ear seeds are created from the seeds of the vaccaria plant then secured to the ear with adhesive tape, creating a sparkling, accessorized look in the process. Clients can choose from gold beads, silver beads and colorful chakra-inspired Swarovski crystals.


Each ear seeding formation is customized depending on what health concern you want to address. I went with stress, bracing myself for intense ear pain equal to that of getting my ears pierced. Instead, the treatment was over in just a moment as Grindell expertly applied five seeds to each of my ears. The silver seeds looked and felt like stickers, and I was obsessed.


after ear seeding photo


All weekend, I collected compliments from my friends and family, including my parents who were visiting from California. My mom was so into the look, she snapped a bunch of pictures to show her friends.


After getting seeded, I slept like a baby and felt zen all day long. I pressed down on my ear seeds several times a day to reinforce their effects. Was my calmness because of the ear seeds or because of Manhattan’s gorgeous spring weather and the presence of my parents? It’s impossible to say for sure, but regardless I had become an ear seeding enthusiast with just one session. In addition to the benefits I experienced, ear seeding, along with other forms of acupuncture, is also used to help with weight loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, infertility, sleep issues and addiction.


Grindell told me that ear seeds last between three and five days, at which point I should remove my ear seeds with a pair of tweezers. Sure enough, my ear seeds loosened up at the three-day mark. (My side sleeping and showering probably hastened the demise of my ear seeds.) After removing my ear seeds, I was pleasantly surprised to discover no residue or red marks.


Can you DIY ear seeding at home? According to Grindell, you can — just make sure to do your research first. Follow an ear reflexology chart to know where to place the seeds. Consider using a buddy system since seeing intimately inside your own ear is no easy feat. DIY ear seeding is a low-stakes endeavor, according to Grindell. Worst case scenario, you may misplace the seeds to trigger different wellness benefits than the ones you intended.


Try the feel-good trend for yourself with these ear seeding kits and pellets starting at just $7. 


1 of 6 Image Credits: Amazon

Vie Healing 24K Gold Acupressure Ear Seeds


This acupressure kit contains a 20-pack of 24k gold-plated ear seeds, along with an instructive ear chart so you can figure out exactly where to put your seeds. The seeds are small but mighty, with reviewers declaring “they help reduce my stress and anxiety levels.”

2 of 6 Image Credits: Amazon

Damiju Swarovski Stone Ear Therapy


For a luxurious look, grab some Swarovski-inspired ear seeds. These seeds claim to help with bloating, weight loss, stress relief and more. Use an ear reflexology chart to apply, then massage your acupuncture points daily for additional healing benefits.

3 of 6 Image Credits: Amazon

Rosenice 600 Counts Acupuncture Vaccaria Ear Seeds


An economical option, these ear seeds come in a neutral shade of white and stick on very well. Grab 600 ear seeds for just $7, and get ready to rock ear seeds (and reap the benefits) all year long.

4 of 6 Image Credits: Amazon

Dragon Acupuncture Ear Seed Acupressure Kit


If you’re a little intimidated about getting started with ear seeding, spring for this set. There’s a book entitled “The Beginner’s Guide to Auricular Therapy” along with a large English acupuncture ear chart to follow during your DIY session. Tweezers, an ear probe and 600 ear seeds complete the kit.

5 of 6 Image Credits: Amazon

Swarovski Crystal Ear Pellets


These ear pellets are a little pricier than others on our list, but that’s because they’re made with crystals from Swarovski. The kit comes with a gold stainless steel tweezer plus an infographic on how to apply the ear seeds to promote relaxation. One reviewer writes, “as an acupuncturist, these are some of my favorite seeds to include in healthcare events or education seminars.”

6 of 6 Image Credits: Amazon

Deborah Bleecker Acupressure Made Simple: Easily Treat Yourself for Common Ailments


If you’re curious to learn more about acupressure, pick up this top-rated book about how to use acupressure points to treat your health problems. The guide discusses how to treat concerns from nausea to allergies and has a near-perfect 4.8 rating on Amazon.