Will rubbing your ears increase the amount of energy that goes toward the kidneys? No, that's not true: A nephrologist told Lead Stories there is no scientific evidence that the ear exercises shown in an online video will increase kidney health.
The claim appeared on Facebook (archived here) on March r, 2023, with the caption "#healthtips #kidneycare." It opens with a woman in a white coat speaking to the camera. She says:
Did you know in traditional Chinese medicine, kidney is the powerhouse of our body?
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Mar 20 15:04:21 2023 UTC)
The woman in the video, who wears a white coat similar to a medical doctor's, does not refer to herself as a doctor or any other type of medical professional in this video or on her Facebook account, where the video originated. She includes no studies or links to back up her claim.
In the video, she demonstrates four pulls on her ear, saying that by doing those techniques "your body will receive unexpected results."
Lead Stories contacted Dr. Kirk Campbell, a doctor who is board certified in nephrology and a professor of medicine in the Mount Sinai Health System, about the claim. In a March 21, 2023, email, Campbell replied:
There is no validated clinical or scientific evidence that these exercises improve kidney health.
Here is a six-step guide for protecting kidney health from the National Kidney Fund. There is no mention of rubbing or pulling ears on this page.
More kidney-related fact checks by Lead Stories are here, here and here.