One of the oldest alternatives to medicine has recently surfaced with an ultra-trendy makeover. Often associated with sharp, thin needles – the Chinese practice of acupuncture has a new, fashionable counterpart to its therapy, and it uniquely camouflages itself as a Swarovski crystal earring. Initially spotted at Exhale Spa in Dallas, we tapped the shoulder of licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, Diane Hartenstein L.Ac., DAOM (candidate), to learn more about this stylish yet therapeutic ear adornment.
“Being healthy is super fashionable these days,” Dr. Hartenstein jokes – but while a talk of the recent marriage of fashion with alternative medicine may be fascinating, she is on to something. The original practice of acupuncture hailed from influences in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean medicine. Primarily sought after for energy stimulation, stress relief, addictions and cravings, acupuncture while typically great in its results, can often repel potential patients who have a phobia of needles. Thus, practitioners are welcoming the arrival of what we’ve artfully coined as “ear bling,” but is accurately termed as acupressure by ear seeding.
Ear seeds, as an alternative to acupuncture, are gold and silver plated beads or Swarovski crystal pieces, that stimulate active pressure points in the ear. Depending on the treatment sought – whether for pain management, addiction, cravings, or others — ear seeds are methodically placed on designated pressure points, to target regions associated with relief. Ear seed users are encouraged to apply pressure to the points periodically throughout the day.
“You can treat the entire body through pressure points in the ear,” Dr. Hartenstein says. “When people are actively pressing these points, it can make a big difference. While ear seeds are cute, little decorations, and [hardly] stand out as medical, they can still have therapeutic effects.”
While our newest obsession is more than just a conversation piece, it is thoughtfully perceived as fashion with a purpose. “You can have a great effect on [symptoms] by giving yourself an ear massage. It’s so healthy and wonderful,” Dr. Hartenstein adds. And while we naturally know of no better way to treat ourselves than with Swarovski crystal ear accessories, this fascinating acupressure method is rapidly transitioning into a new, hip thing.
After application to the necessary pressure points, ear seeds can be retained for up to three days before the points become desensitized. Tried, tested, and true, Dallas’ Exhale Spa only offers this special technique during designated events; however the option is typically included in treatments conducted at the spa. For more information on ear seeding or acupuncture, contact Dr. Hartenstein or Exhale Spa at (214) 370-5800 to schedule an appointment.
Diane Hartenstein, L.Ac., DAOM (candidate) is a Texas and California Board licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. Diane received her master’s degree at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco, CA, completing more than 3,000 hours of clinical and didactic training and practice. She is currently completing her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) at ACTCM. Diane practices at Dallas exhale spa, Thursdays – Sundays.
Top image used courtesy of Exhale Spa.