It's been a big week for ears.
First, ear-tickling got a good rep for anti-ageing, now ear-seeding is becoming the next big thing.
But, what are ear seeds?
Rooted in the world of acupuncture — the ancient Chinese medicine that works on the theory that blockages in the flow of energy can cause health problems, and can be cured with the insertion of fine needles into certain points on the body — ear seeds involve no pin pricks or clinics.
Instead, the tiny seeds can be planted at home and are claimed to help with issues from stress to jet lag, while boosting your mood and instilling a sense of calm.
Auriculotherapy, much like reflexology, works on the principle that the ear is a microsystem that reflects the entire body. By mapping these auricular points — there are around 100 in the ear — the seeds are used to apply a light, continuous compression that is believed to help alleviate symptoms.
The 'seeds' are tiny balls of pure silver or 24-karat gold attached to an adhesive sticker. The 24k gold is warming, stimulating and boosts blood supply, while silver is known for its cooling and dispersing properties.
Even the queen of wellness approves; at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop wellness summit in New York this year, ear-seeders from Manhattan’s Yinova Center acupuncture clinic placed crystal-encrusted seeds onto three points to settle the mind, balance the nervous system and help create focus.
Beginners are encouraged to first visit a fully trained acupuncturist who will tailor a treatment plan and show you the most effective points to place the seeds.
For ongoing concerns, it's recommended that ear seeds are used in conjunction with regular acupuncture appointments.
Incredibly, they can be used to tackle anything from depression and mood swings to irregular periods to repeated fits of coughing.
A growing number of people are also turning to them to help them quit smoking.
Hey, if it's good enough for Kate Moss...
Main image by @penelopecruzofficial
READ MORE: The Exact Science of Acid Skincare
READ MORE: The Sally Rooney Essay You Haven't Read