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What is auricular acupuncture?


The scientific, medical system of auricular acupuncture is a form of acupuncture used to diagnose and treat many diseases of the body and mind, via points on the ears.  It can be used in conjunction with body acupuncture, or as a stand-alone treatment.  Many acupuncturists add ear needles into their regular sessions, to augment or enhance the focus of the treatment.


In China, the ears have actually been used to treat diseases for over 2000 years. In Chinese medicine, the ear is seen as a microsystem, whereby one part of the body can be used to treat conditions present anywhere in the body.  There are over 200 acupuncture points on the ear.


How does auricular acupuncture work?


Acupuncture points found on the outer ear are stimulated with fine needles, electric stimulation, massage, or the application of ear seeds.  The stimulated points on the ear trigger electrical impulses from the brain to the corresponding part of the body being treated.  Western research has shown that auricular therapy stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s own feel good hormones.


What is auricular acupuncture used for?


Auricular acupuncture is used as a treatment modality for a variety of medical issues.  Auricular acupuncture has been proven to be especially effective for treating addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obesity.  In these cases, a special needle protocol is used, to initiate and support detoxification.  This particular needle protocol addresses both physical and psychological aspects of addictions.

Ear needles can be quickly and easily applied to treat victims of natural disasters or soldiers on the battlefield.  Ear seeds can also serve as a general re-balancing, feel-good treatment.


What are ear seeds?

Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant.  The seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape.  Ear seeds may be left on the ear for three to five days and are a painless, take-home treatment which offers continuous stimulation to the point of contact.


Ear Seeds:


  • address a large variety of conditions,

  • offer natural, holistic, drug-free relief,

  • can help promote general well-being,

  • are a wonderful alternative for those afraid of needles (and can be used as a stand-alone treatment),

  • can supplement traditional acupuncture between sessions,

  • are small and barely noticeable,

  • are safe, painless, and have no side effects, and

  • deliver prolonged benefits to users.

What do I need to do at home, following ear seed application?


  • Make sure to stimulate the seeds for 30 seconds, five times a day, or as needed.  Please note that stimulation should be gentle (circular massage movements), to avoid irritation and pain.

  • Keep the ear seeds dry, by covering the ear with a shower cap when showering.

  • To dry your ears after your shower, tap gently on the ear with the towel (do not rub the ears).

  • Seeds should be removed, if the stimulus becomes too painful, or if the ear feels irritated.  The average retention time of the seeds is three to five days.

  • To remove an ear seed, gently peel the tape off the ear, and the seed should follow.

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