I'd never heard of ear seeding before my acupuncturist started ending my treatment sessions by placing tiny balls at select points within one ear.

Ear seeding (or auricular acupuncture) is a wear-at-home treatment placed on more than 200 pressure points on the external surface of the ear that correspond to organs, according to traditional Chinese medicine. When stimulated, the seeds are believed to help treat pathologic conditions in the body. My acupuncturist uses ear seeding to continue to treat my uterine fibroid between weekly acupuncture sessions.

There is limited research on the practice, so, as always, talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment.

What exactly is ear seeding?

"Ear seeding, also known as auriculotherapy, is a modality of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in which small seeds are placed on acupuncture points on the ear," explained Shannon Lawrence, D.A.O.M. at Seyhart in Santa Monica, California.