Ear acupressure is one tool you can keep in your self care tool bag. This blog post is an introductory how-to guide for doing it yourself.
Ear acupressure (also called “auriculotherapy” or simply “ear treatments”) is virtually free and can help you reduce symptoms and stay healthy. Using ear treatment methods, you can address everything from stress reduction and boosting immunity to soothing your digestion, easing joint & muscle pains, and more!
Ear treatments are done by placing small press balls, little magnets, or even seeds (especially seeds from the vaccaria plant) at specific areas of the outside of your ears. Don’t have ear balls or seeds? You can massage ear points using a pencil eraser!
How does it work?
Similar to how foot reflexology targets points on the feet that correspond to areas of your body, in acupuncture, there is a map of the body inside the ear. Acupuncturists use these points for treating pain, digestive problems, smoking cessation, weight loss, generalized stress and anxiety, and to emphasize functions and parts of the body during an acupuncture session. But you can do this at home too!
MY ADVICE: Always use common sense when putting things in and on your body. Don’t leave press balls, magnets, or anything else small on children who will rub or swallow or shove these items down their ears or any other place for that matter. Don’t do it. And don’t do it yourself either.
DIY Ear Acupressure Supplies List
- medical tape and scissors
- ear seeds, press balls, little magnets
- alcohol wipes or a damp cloth
Gather your supplies and decide what symptoms you’re going to focus on.
Wipe your ear with alcohol or a damp wash cloth.
Stick the press balls or press seeds on up to 5 points on your ear. You can treat both ears or just one. Treat the same side as the problem you’re working on: for example, left hip pain gets some press balls in the left ear.
Leave them in place for 2-3 days. To keep them from falling off, you can cut a small piece of medical tape and cover the press balls / press seeds in your ear. Check out the pics on our Pinterest board for examples of what that will look like.
More on Ear Treatments
How to Give Yourself Ear Acupressure by Denise Cicuto
Ear Acupuncture For the Masses by Ryan Bemis
More on Self-Care
Sara Ahmed’s research blog Feministkilljoys.
Cristina Jo Pérez & Jessica Kenyatta Walker in Powerlines, an online journal, Considering People of Color in the Politics of Self-Care.
Low End Theory, On Audre Lorde’s Legacy and the “Self” of Self Care, Part 1 of 3.
Deirdre Cooper Owens on the DSA website, Black Bodies, Self-Care, and the Limits of Class.
Greg Jones, The Radical History of Acupuncture. (Copies are available at the clinic. If you join POCA can be downloaded from the POCA website.)