DIY Traditional Medicine: Qigong, Tuina, and Ear Seeds for Wellbeing & Balance

Traditional medicines, created by indigenous peoples across the planet, provide us with a blueprint for designing from patterns to details and creating balance in the body, mind and spirit. Here we explore three physical medicine practices from Traditional Chinese Medicine: qi gong, tuina, and ear points.

Qi Gong Basics

QiGong, a mind-body practice combining slow, rhythmic breath with fluid movement, helps balance qi (energy) throughout the body.  It also supports the immune system.  Qi Gong strengthens and stretches the body and enhances awareness of how the body moves through space, simultaneously calming the mind. Qigong has been found to improve chronic pain, reduce blood pressure, and improve sleep, depression, and anxiety. Try the brief practice below!


Qi Gong Practice


TuiNa Basics

TuiNa is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that restores physiological and emotional balance by unblocking channels of energy and releasing tension. TuiNa literally means:  push-pull.  It involves using the hands to manipulate the fascia, connective tissue and skin over loose clothing.  This manipulation releases blocked energy.  TuiNa has been found to improve chronic pain and reduce stress and stress-induced conditions. Try the brief practice below and see if you can notice a sense of balance and calm.


TuiNa Practice


Ear Seeds

Because the ear represents the entire human body in TCM, it is always my first choice for where to place the first points during an acupuncture treatment.  Ear seeds can be purchased inexpensively online and used in place of needles in DYI ear acupuncture. Place an ear seed on one or more of the acupoints on the outer ear and massage a few times a day.  The picture below shows Shen Men, the primary ear acupoint, which is a key point for tranquilizing the mind and alleviating pain.  You can treat yourself by placing and ear seed on this point and then massaging this point between your thumb and index finger three times a day. You can also simply press and massage this point for about 30 to 60 seconds for stress and pain relief!  In addition to stress and pain, there is some evidence that shows ear seeds can also be used to treat the symptoms of ADHD.


Shen Men Acupoint


Traditional medicines treat the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.  You can safely experiment with three forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine: qigong, tuina, and ear seeds.  Notice how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally before and after each practice to help you evaluate which practices work best for you.


The Self-Care Solutions newsletter allows you to personalize your approach to health and wellbeing.  It offers you choices.  Safe choices.  Evidence-based choices. The articles allow you to try on different options and see what works for you. Think of each as an invitation. While not a substitute for care by your medical team, we’re here to support you in your quest for wellbeing!

Interested in Hero’s Journey Coaching?  Contact me at or visit


Reference Links

World Health Organization: Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Comparison of Auricular Therapy with Sham in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Perceived benefits of Taijiquan and Qigong

Benefits of qigong, NY Presbyterian Health

A Study on the Effects of Chinese Massage on Physical and Mental Health in Participants Based Smart Healthcare




Posted in

Dr. Ruthann Russo

I love assisting people on their hero’s journey towards self-transformation. A passion which is born comes partly from personal experience – I view my own life as a series of self-transformations. I have 20+ years of education, training and experience, including being the CEO and founder of two health technology start-ups and global wellness consultant to Fortune 100 corporations.

Explore More Posts

Move Your Spine to Increase Mental and Physical Flexibility

By Dr. Ruthann Russo | May 22, 2024

Your spine carries the weight of your head, torso, and arms. It also allows your body to move in any direction. I move my spine in 7 directions as part of my daily morning ritual. It takes less than a minute and you can do it anywhere, in a standing or seated position. The spine…

Read More

Buddha’s Triangle Acupressure Helps Anxiety and Stress

By Dr. Ruthann Russo | May 16, 2024

I fell in love with the Buddha’s Triangle treatment over 10 years ago when I heard the name and received the treatment of 3 needles covering the triangle from my inner wrist bones to the first third of my forearm.  Since then, I have used the Buddha’s triangle in patient treatments and many now request…

Read More

We Owe Our Lives to the Leaves

By Dr. Ruthann Russo | May 10, 2024

Recently, Sarah Holmes on the Herbal Highway Podcast discussed the many ways that leaves support us. From shelter and food to providing us with oxygen, it turns out we cannot live without leaves.  Let’s look at the leaves and what they do for us. A leaf is a principal appendage of the stem of a…

Read More


Schedule your 25-Minute Exploratory Coaching Session for only $50

Click below to schedule your 25-minute exploratory session with Dr. Ruthann Russo