NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A remedy for aches and pains, sleeping problems, and even weight loss may be just a touch away.
It’s a modern spin on an ancient healing art that’s helping some people find much needed relief.
“I just haven’t been able to get to sleep in any way, shape, or form,” Michael Lowell said.
“My neck’s been feeling kind of stiff,” Zoe Batt Stern added.
Stern and Lowell have both visited licensed acupuncturists for their problems, but neither is being treated with traditional needles.
According to Dr. Nadia Volf, the ear is actually a micro-system of the entire body. She uses tiny ear seeds or pellets on specific ear points to treat her patients.
“Ear points are connected to the brain center,” Dr. Volf explained.
Dr. Volf said the soreness in Stern’s neck is related to something else completely.
“Can you see the little spots here? It means she has a fragility in the respiratory system,” Dr. Volf said.
She places the tiny ball bearing-like seeds on strategic spots.
“When it’s active the point becomes painful,” Dr. Volf said. “It is the point of the lung.”
The pellet keeps pressure on the point.
“Oh my god, no pain,” Stern exclaimed.
“When we do these little ear seeds we are in a way talking directly to the brain, and that’s why it works,” Dr. Jill Blakeway, Clinic Director, Yinova Center said.
Dr. Blakeway regularly treats patients with ear seeds.
“There are two insomnia points in the ear,” Dr. Blakeway explained.
She said Lowell should find relief almost immediately. She also said there’s a point that affects appetite.
“Here on the Tragis, I put it in after the holidays and I stand in front of the fridge and press the point instead of eating,” Dr. Blakeway said.
Dr. Eric Applebaum agreed that the treatment can work, but advised using it in conjunction with traditional practices.
“I would always suggest that you talk to your primary care physician the first go round when you’re seeking treatment for pain or nausea or some sort of ailment,” he said.
He added that there are benefits for the alternative treatments.
“Some of the medications out there have tremendous amount of side effects, so I’m all for people going down that road,” he said.
These procedures aren’t always covered by insurance so check with your provider. A new application for this is for soldiers injured on the battlefield — the ear seeds help them with pain relief before they’re brought in for the proper care.