The practice of acupuncture is believed to have been developed in China and has been around for centuries to treat many common physical ailments. Recently though, acupuncture has been gaining momentum in mental health applications as well.
A New York Times article reports that acupuncture and “ear seeds” in particular is a growing trend in the treatment of conditions such as depression, anxiety and addiction. The article titled, “A Traditional Therapy Finds Modern Uses”, discusses the application of ear seeds to a patient being treating for cigarette addiction. Specifically, the application of ear seeds is referred to as auricular therapy and involves applying seeds from the Vaccaria plant, using small bits of tape, to specific areas on the outside of the ear. Reportedly the seeds are now used at the Promises Treatment Center in Malibu, a popular drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. In addition, the article mentions that ear seeds are being used to treat people who have been traumatized from 9/11, Katrina and the California wildfires.
The article reports that there is no specific evidence proving the ear seeds effectiveness in treating these mental ailments, however it’s something to consider before taking a more invasive pharmacological route.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2008
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Bechdel, J. (2008). Depressed? Anxious? Addicted? Try Ear Seeds. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/02/21/depressed-anxious-addicted-try-ear-seeds-3/