Ear Seeds for Anxiety: Placement Diagram & Quick Guide


Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Ms. Mai Sogawa

Ms. Mai Sogawa is a senior therapist who graduated from Japan Medical School of Judo Acupuncture and Moxibustion International Education College.

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Ear seeds for anxiety, an innovative approach within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), provide a gentle yet effective method for managing stress and enhancing mental well-being. This technique is a key component of auriculotherapy, a specialized practice in TCM that recognizes the ear as a focal point for health and healing. By placing tiny seeds at specific auricular points, it is believed that one can influence the body’s energy channels, or meridians, to restore balance and reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. This practice reflects the holistic philosophy of TCM, where the ear is viewed as a microcosm of the entire body, offering a pathway to holistic health.

The Science Behind Ear Seeds for Anxiety Relief

Recent studies have brought attention to the potential of ear seeds for anxiety relief, mainly through vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Research, as highlighted in a Psychology Today article, shows that non-invasive VNS via the outer ear can enhance the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby reducing stress responses. A University of Leeds study further supports these findings, demonstrating that daily tVNS through the outer ear can rebalance the autonomic nervous system, especially in older adults. While promising, these studies also recognize the need for more extensive research to fully understand and validate the benefits of ear seeds for anxiety.

Read more about the vagus nerve and ear seeds for anxiety.

Ms. Mai Sogawa, TCM Therapist from Japan, on Auriculotherapy for Anxiety
“Judging anxiety solely by the ears is difficult, but for individuals with a nervous disposition or insomnia, the elevated part above the earlobe, known as the tragus, tends to be tense and rigid. Pressing on this area with a finger may evoke a sensation of hardness or pain.”

The Impact of Ear Seeds on Mental Health and Anxiety Management

Ear seeds for anxiety have emerged as a noteworthy method in Traditional Chinese Medicine for enhancing mental health, particularly in managing anxiety symptoms. According to insights from Ms. Mai Sogawa, using ear seeds is expected to bring about a relaxing effect and promote mental stability. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who experience anxiety coupled with insomnia, as improvements in sleep patterns are often observed.

Ear Seed Placement for Anxiety Relief

Ear seed placement for anxiety is crucial in auriculotherapy for achieving the best results. As outlined by Ms. Mai Sogawa, here are two main pressure points on the ear that are particularly effective for anxiety relief:

ear seeds placement for anxiety
Ear Seeds Placement for Anxiety
  • Brain Stem (44): Located on the outermost area of the earlobe’s elevated part, opposite the tragus, and divided into thirds vertically.
  • Eye (50): Found at the center of the earlobe.

For a complete guide to all essential ear pressure points, you can refer to the complimentary ebook included in our Dragon Acupuncture Ear Seed Kit. This resource offers detailed instructions on effectively identifying and applying ear seeds to these acupoints.

Tips for Using Ear Seeds for Anxiety

To effectively use ear seeds for anxiety, consider the following tips from TCM Therapist Ms. Mai Sogawa:

  • Application: Ear seeds can be self-applied using a mirror or a partner’s help. Use tweezers for easier application, preferably with rounded tips for safety.
  • Types of Ear Seeds: Various types are available, including grain-based seeds and metal ones like titanium, gold, or acrylic. Metal seeds are smaller and less noticeable. Some even come as decorative accessories with Swarovski crystals. The effects are the same.
  • Duration and Replacement: Replace ear seeds every 2-3 days or up to a week. Avoid overstimulating the area to prevent injuries. Give your skin a day’s rest between replacements.
  • Number and Placement: Apply seals to 2-4 locations on one ear at a time. They can be applied symmetrically to both ears or just on the side with more pronounced symptoms.
  • Skin Types and Care: Be cautious with oils and sweating, as these can affect the adhesive quality. Consider your skin type (oily or dry) when applying.

The Dragon Acupuncture Ear Seed Kit stands out as the best ear seed kit for anxiety. This comprehensive kit includes 600 natural vaccaria seeds, an informative eBook, a useful ear probe, tweezers for precise application, and a detailed ear chart. Designed for both beginners and experienced users, it provides clear instructions for correct placement, ensuring optimal use. Whether you’re new to auriculotherapy or seeking a reliable ear seed solution for anxiety, the Dragon Acupuncture Ear Seed Kit is an excellent option.

Health Benefits and Risks of Ear Seeds for Anxiety

Using ear seeds for anxiety offers several health benefits, but it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and situations that might require medical consultation. Here’s a list of key points:

  • Health Benefits:
    • A non-invasive method for anxiety relief.
    • Promotes relaxation and mental stability.
    • It can improve sleep quality, particularly in individuals with insomnia.
  • Potential Risks and Management:
    • Overstimulation may cause fatigue or warmth. Solution: Remove the ear seeds and rest.
    • The risk of seeds getting stuck in the ear canal is minimal. If it occurs, tilt your head to let the seed fall out, avoiding finger insertion.
  • Contraindications and Precautions:
    • People with skin allergies should be cautious.
    • Those with weakened immune systems, like cancer patients, should consult a doctor before using ear seeds.
  • When to Seek Medical Consultation:
    • If experiencing adverse reactions like persistent rash or infection.
    • Individuals with pre-existing health conditions or weakened immunity.

Broader Applications: Conditions Treated by Ear Seeding

While ear seeding is popular for anxiety relief, its applications extend to various conditions. Here’s a quick list of some common ailments that can benefit from ear seeding:

  • Pain Management: Effective in alleviating chronic pain, headaches, and migraines.
  • Insomnia: Helps improve sleep patterns and quality.
  • Stress Reduction: Useful in managing general stress and tension.
  • Weight Loss: Assists in appetite control and metabolism regulation.
  • Digestive Issues: This can aid in addressing conditions like constipation and gastritis.
  • Menstrual and Menopausal Symptoms: Offers relief from PMS, menstrual cramps, and menopausal discomfort.
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse: Supports efforts in quitting smoking and managing substance dependencies.


Author: P. Sze

P. Sze P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. S he also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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