Here’s How Ear Seeds Have Helped Me Manage My Back Pain


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Liu Chi-feng, chairman of Health Promotion Association in Taiwan, demonstrates 19 September 2003 ways of taping Wang Pu Liu Hsing seeds over points on a person's ear at an anti-AIDS seminar sponsored by Taiwan's Center for Disease Control.  Liu, who practices traditional Chinese medicine, said pressing the points several times a day would enforce a person's immunity.  AFP PHOTO/Sam YEH  (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

As someone who has lordosis and an active lifestyle, I’m always aware of my low back. It holds me up for all of my workouts and supports me when I sit at my desk. The least I can do is give it some TLC.

A couple of ways I care for my low back are through acupuncture and cupping treatments. Usually when I receive either of those treatments, I also ask for ear seeds. Ear seeds are small beads placed on specific acupressure points on the patient’s ear to address their areas of concern. For me, I usually get them placed on points to alleviate shoulder and low-back tension.

Keep reading to find out more about my experience with ear seeds and how I continue to use them for low-back pain relief.

How Ear Seeds Have Helped With My Back Pain

A few years ago, I went to an event where acupuncture and ear seeds were being applied. I asked for her to place them on points that would help with my low-back pain. When the acupuncturist put them on me for the first time, she told me to give them a gentle press whenever I wanted relief. I was a bit skeptical at first, but then I gave them a press. A few hours after the press, I felt the pressure in my low back lessen. That’s when I knew I had to get them again.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, I got the ear seeds put in, and whenever I give them a press, I feel some tension release. I will say, make sure you don’t press on them too hard. I’ve pressed mine too hard, and while my back wasn’t in pain, my ears were. So much so that I ended up taking out the seeds shortly after.

Ear seeds are not any type of permanent fix for my low-back pain, but they sure do help. Sticking to a light press on them does the trick, and they last for several days — even after showering. I usually get mine put in at WTHN here in New York, but most acupuncture studios should know what you’re talking about if you mention ear seeds.

Not all ear seeds look like the picture above. They come in a variety of materials and colors. For example, the bead itself is usually made from the Vaccaria plant; some are made from metal or ceramic materials. The covers of the ear seeds can also vary. I’ve had clear plastic, colorful triangles, and even Swarovski crystals.

If you’re looking for some help relieving tension, maybe give ear seeds a try.

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