People Are Turning To 'Ear Seeds' To Beat Anxiety And Insomnia
The treatment, which resembles tiny gold piercings, is thought to stimulate the reflex centres in the ear to help boost energy, relieve stress and jet lag, and soothe other aches and pains.
Working in a similar way to acupuncture but without the use of needles, the 'seeds', which are a type of auriculotherapy (ear therapy) also promise to help boost mood and help achieve a sense of calm.
There's no need to head to an acupuncture expert, as you can try this remedy at home yourself - Cult Beauty, among other companies, is selling kits for £29.
Described as a 'must-try treatment straight out of LA', Cult Beauty claims the seeds "stimulate the reflex centres in the ear to help alleviate issues, boost energy and achieve a sense of calm relaxation".
They add: "Part of the reflexology family, these 24k gold-plated ion seeds create a continuous and long-lasting compression on different points of the ear and can help relieve stress, jet lag, aches and pains as well as boosting your mood."
The seeds are stuck onto clean and dry skin, and can be pressed throughout the day, supposedly to stimulate their health benefits.
They can be left on for up to a week, although experts say it's best to change them every two to three days and consult a practitioner before using them if you're unsure.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture practitioner Olivia Inge told Cult Beauty: "Placing these seeds on specific acupuncture points, stimulates the nervous system and causes the release of neurochemical messenger molecules which influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms (your personalised pharmacy!)."
"This is the process your body goes through in order to heal itself," she adds. "One of the advantages to using these seeds is that they are pain-free. They work well on needle-phobic patients, frequent fliers, babies and children, those with addictions or weak constitutions."
While people are raving about the benefits, the jury is still out on how effective they are.
A 2017 study at the University of São Paulo, which looked at treating anxiety in nurses using auriculotherapy, found that acupuncture needles were more effective than seeds, but didn't completely rule out their effectiveness.
"The best result for reducing state anxiety was produced by the auriculotherapy with needles. Similarly, in a study conducted in a university hospital, there was a greater reduction of stress by auriculotherapy with needles compared to that with seeds," said the researchers.
Still, we're willing to give them a shot.
Featured Image Credit: Cult Beauty