It’s interesting that, as we age, our ears and noses seem to grow. According to the western medical outlook, our bones stop growing after puberty, but our cartilage doesn’t. Cartilage, of course, is what the tip of the nose and the ears are made of. There is an overall decrease in the production of collagen and elastin which is why we become wrinkly and saggy, and why our ear lobes become thin.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has an interesting perspective.
When we are conceived, we inherit “Essence” from our parents which is what creates our constitution. This rarefied and precious substance is stored in an area located between the kidneys in a place called the “Gate of Vitality” or “Ming Men”.
This original essence cannot be increased but it can join with the energy which we receive from the food we eat and by living a healthy lifestyle.
General living, stress and ageing depletes our Essence and once it is finished, we die.
According to TCM, the kidneys are related to the ears, there are two of them and they have the same basic shape.
Again, as we age and slowly lose our Essence, we develop ear problems like hearing loss and tinnitus. The fact that our ears no longer have the same full shape as in our youth is another example of depleting Essence. I’m so aware of how difficult it now is to get my earrings through the holes in my ears. Of course, wearing earrings, especially heavy ones, is detrimental to the collagen in the ears.
Ear shape is another fascinating subject and part of Chinese physiognomy (face reading). People who have large ears with long fleshy lobes show a great constitution, and a successful life; statues of the Buddha all show him with long ears. Long ears are also a sign of wisdom in old age, so one would hope that, as we age, and our ears grow long, we’ve acquired some wisdom.
I was introduced to nutrition as a small child when my mom used it to treat an ulcer. Since then I've been interested in supplements, healthy eating, reflexology, shiatsu, energy work and Traditional Chinese Medicine.