I can't help noticing you seem to have had a number of piercings since I saw you last.
No punctures here. I think you're looking at my ear seeds.
Oh dear. Didn't your mother explain the consequences of poor aural hygiene? Here, take this cotton bud and pop off to the restroom.
Look closer, grasshopper. These ear seeds are gold-plated Swarovski crystals. As worn by Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Penelope Cruz - and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Ah, you've invoked Gwyneth. So this isn't just jewellery. Let me guess: the seeds contain shamanic ectoplasm or goddess magic or they're just something outlandishly sexual.
Please tell me you're not wearing Gwyneth's jade egg, too.
No, this is auricular therapy, an acupressure technique. These little beads work on your ear's pressure points and tap into your body's meridians, freeing up the flow of chi.
Thousands of years before Gwyneth and her brethren discovered them, ear seeds were considered a very handy piece of kit by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. Still are. They're used in conjunction with acupuncture.
These little beads work on your ear's pressure points.
Ok, tell me more. I'm all ears.
TCM practitioners use ear seeds to help with various ailments, from back pain to addiction to allergies. Your ear has many pressure points, and that's why you see the self-adhesive seeds scattered all round the ear.
In the hands of an expert who knows the pressure points and how to apply the seeds correctly, auricular therapy has been seen to deliver tangible results.
Recent studies have showed their beneficial effects on insomnia, migraine, anxiety and lower back pain. Back in the day, the seeds really were seeds, from the Vaccaria plant.
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So what are your seeds busy doing right now?
They're freeing up my chi, in the hope that I'll stop shouting at everybody and dreaming the world is going to explode like a shaken Champagne bottle.
They're chilling your chi?
I think so. I haven't grumbled once today.
Good. Incidentally, why are your seeds gold and not from a plant?
Gold is known for its ability to restore harmony in the body.
And for its ability to attract dollars to the wallets of those who sell gold-plated ear pellets. Just sayin.'
That was a lobe blow.
- Amy Cooper is a journalist who embraces wellness, but has also used kale to garnish a cocktail.