Should You Try Ear Seeds for Morning Sickness

When you’re experiencing morning sickness, (a euphemism for what is actually all-day sickness), otherwise known as nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP), it seems like you’ll try anything just to get some food down. From chewing ginger to vitamin B6 to probiotics to eating a sleeve of Saltines when you wake up, there’s no one-size-fits-all method—and what works for your sibling or friend may (sadly) do nothing. for you.

Often, it’s a combination of supplements and eating patterns—and, yes, it waits: morning sickness usually disappears by week 14—that helps relieve symptoms. But some research shows that using ear buds, an acupressure treatment rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may offer some benefits. All in all, there is very little downside to trying ear seeds for morning sickness: they are very small and discreet and not Saltines that’s like winning.

What are ear bones?

“Ear buds work in the same way as traditional acupuncture by stimulating a specific point in the ear to help stimulate change,” Dr. Brittany Schneider, DACM, L.Ac, Dipl. OM, an acupuncturist at TIME in New York City, Motherly said. But unlike acupuncture, there are no needles involved in ear implants. Sometimes called auriculotherapy, the practice of ear seeding involves placing small stickers with tiny beads (or actual seeds) on certain points in the ear, and keeping them there for several days or even that week.

Ear seeding can be used to treat and prevent a variety of conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, or chronic pain, says Dr. Schneider. While clinical research is limited, some studies show that it has been effective in relieving nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. A randomized, double-blind controlled study found ear bones provided significant relief from nausea in pregnancy, although they did not provide relief from vomiting.

Who should test ear buds in pregnancy?

However, any reduction in nausea can be detrimental. “Anyone can benefit from ear seeding,” says Dr. Schneider. “If a patient is pregnant and experiencing morning sickness, ear seeding can be done to help eliminate some of the side effects.” In TCM, the ears reflect the conditions of the internal organs or pathology. “Depending on the condition or symptoms a patient is experiencing, certain points in the ear may become tender or show changes in size or color. Acupuncturists use those signs along with other diagnostic tools to help to determine where to apply the ear bones to best help the patient,” he said.

You can try putting ear seeds yourself (we like the ORA Acupressure Kit or the new one Body Pregnancy Kitboth of which include ear bones), but Dr. recommends Schneider says to talk to a licensed acupuncturist first just to make sure you’re putting them in the right place.

“There are some ear points, as well as body points, that are avoided early in pregnancy due to the fact that they have a strong down-bearing sensation, which can induce labor,” Dr. Schneider notes.

He likes to use ear buds as an extension to acupuncture treatments. “I use ear seeds to help extend the treatment until the patient can come back for another session. Especially for pregnant women dealing with morning sickness, I like to end their session with the seeds of ear so they can stimulate the pressure points on their own days after the treatment.

Ear bones are meant to be touched—lightly touching them can stimulate the points below, increasing the effects. In general, there are few side effects when using ear seeds for morning sickness, says Dr. Schneider. “However, as with anything, some people may experience skin tenderness or skin irritation from the glue connected to the ear bones.”

Ultimately, ear buds are an inexpensive, low-intervention option that can work to relieve morning sickness in some people, making it worth a try, says a spokesperson from Bodily. Especially if you haven’t had any real luck with other morning sickness remedies—or you Really too much food of Saltines.

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