GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Ear seeding has been practiced for thousands of years, but recently TikTok has made it a trend.

“You may be familiar with acupuncture, cupping, gua sha. Ear seeding is now one of the things that we’ve been using as part of our medicine for so long that it’s now becoming really trendy to treat what ails you,” said Gudrun Snyder, doctor of East Asian Medicine and founder of Moon Rabbit Acupuncture.

Snyder says ear seeding is experiencing new popularity since the pandemic because people are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression and digestive issues; and they’re looking for ways to treat it.

“This is something that if you’re looking for a low-grade anxiety help, some digestive upset help, things like that, and this isn’t extremely costly for you. This is a great, fun way to do it at home,” Snyder said.

We spoke with Snyder via Zoom from her office in Chicago. Ear seeding is something she does in her practice. She guided us through the at-home process to show us how it works.

“They’re literally just tiny stickers with gold beads on them that you’re going to place an acupressure point in your ears. You can actually see on my ears, I have the Swarovski crystal one. And I have them on a stress point. I have them on a detox point and an immune point,” Snyder said.

I received the ear seeding kit ahead of time including three sets of ear seeds, tweezers and a map of those acupressure points. I asked my colleague, Amy Fox, to help me out.

Following the map, Fox went to work.

Handling the tiny ear seeds proved tricky. Snyder told us to think of the ear as a target — not a bullseye.

“You really might not feel any difference for at least tonight, maybe tomorrow, and even it might be a couple days….the pressure is so light, and the stimulus is so light. It’s going to take a little while for your body to be like, oh wait, something’s trying to change things a bit here,” Snyder said.

Studies support acupuncture. Ear seeding uses the same idea but with light pressure.

“Even the Mayo Clinic uses some of these points that help with pre- and post-operative nausea, anxiety, (and) things like that. But there is real science,” Snyder said.

Snyder warns that ear seeding is not for everyone and is certainly not a magic pill.

“Don’t spend your last dollar on something that’s not guaranteed. If it’s affordable to you, then why not try it? It’s fun, it’s extremely functional, and again, you can do it in the comfort of your home,” Snyder said.