Ear seeds may be your key to better sleep, less stress and improved digestion — and TikTok loves them

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Ear seeds aren’t just pretty gems, although you can definitely get some that look like cool piercings. Instead, ear seeds are non-invasive stickers, and they’re a form of acupressure that can help you sleep better, destress, improve digestion and more.

Ear seeds are trendy right now, especially on TikTok, where videos of them are getting millions of views. However, they’re actually a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which dates back thousands of years. Within TCM, ear seeds are a form of auriculotherapy, so they’re based on the idea that the ear is a microsystem. The ear has dozens of acupressure points that stimulate other parts of the body to help with physical and mental healing, according to WTHN, an acupuncture clinic in New York City. 

Credit: WTHN

Instead of using acupuncture needles, acupressure applies light pressure to specific acupoints on the body. “Stimulating an acupoint, whether via acupuncture or acupressure with ear seeds, sends a message to the brain that alters brain chemistry and tells the body to react to achieve a desired result,” WTHN Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Dr. Hyojin Kim, DACM, LAC wrote in a blog post.

The first time I tried any form of acupressure was on a cruise when I felt seasick. I picked up a pair of Sea-Bands, the tight-knit bracelets with a bead that applies pressure to the inside of the wrist. And, yes, they really worked. 

That said, ear seeds can reportedly treat many conditions, including stress, anxiety, chronic pain, digestion issues, insomnia, substance abuse and more. Most acupuncturists can apply them, but you can also apply your own ear seeds at home.

WTHN Ear Seed Kit, $45

Credit: WTHN

I’ve been going to WTHN in NYC for acupuncture. After many sessions, I’ve had ear seeds applied. At first, I just thought they looked cool, but then I realized they help. Recently, before going on a long trip overseas, I picked up WTHN’s at-home ear seed kit and applied my own while abroad. The ear seeds helped me get over my jet lag by promoting better sleep, improving digestion and providing a little immunity support. 

Credit: WTHN

WTHN’s ear seed kit comes with a total of 40 ear seeds (20 with pretty Swarovski crystals, 20 more that are 24k gold-plated stainless steel), a set of gold tweezers for applying and a helpful guide. Once they’re on, you can leave them on for 3–5 days and reapply weekly.

You can get the kit on WTHN’s website for $45 (and it should last you a while, although you can get refills for $25 too). It’s an easy step to take in your overall wellness, and if you’re still skeptical, well, at least it won’t hurt. 

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