Ancient Chinese medicine defines wellness as the unobstructed flow of energy which they give the term ‘qi’.
We’ve often heard how acupuncture can be used to realign energy paths, but many people shied away from the needles, the good news is there’s a non-invasive method: acupressure.
There is an interesting area in the ear called the Shen Men Point. Applying acupressure on it is believed to help with weight loss, insomnia, chronic lower back pain, among other health issues.
Do you think it can help you too?
Read on to find out.
Understanding Shen Men Point
Healing and wellness come in various forms, some see it as a result of medicines, others think of diets and nutrition, and then there are the eastern cultures where energy is the main focus of healing and harmony.
Feng shui is pretty similar to this philosophy; well designed, uncluttered spaces leave you feeling serene and happy. That’s all about clearing paths for the energy to flow, without obstacles or stagnation.
1. What Is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a Chinese healing method, very close to massage as it depends on applying pressure to the body, but it’s precise in the amount of pressure applied, and especially in the location where it’s directed.
Acupressure views the body as a map connected from one point to the other. Pressing the point in the middle of your eyebrows, for example, could promote relaxation.
This map of the body and its main energy paths has been chartered since ancient times, and there are numerous success stories of healed pain and reprieved emotional stress.
2. How Is Acupressure Different from Acupuncture?
Acupressure and acupuncture both operate on the principle of applying pressure on certain points in the body to regulate energy flow.
Acupuncture achieves this result by using needles, whereas acupressure can be done simply by massaging the desired point with your fingertips, or by placing ‘seeds’ to put some pressure on that spot.
There are invisible paths called ‘meridians’ believed to carry our energy and circulate it, pretty much the same way the circulatory system works, and blocked energy paths are associated with being sick or trying to ditch a bad habit without success
Acupressure and acupuncture both attempt to reverse the effects of blocked energy paths.
3. What Is a Shen Men point?
It’s a point located in the ear, in the triangular area just below the upper curved part where the ear attaches to the face. If you wear glasses it’s right below the handles.
According to Paul Nogier’s Map, this spot is connected to ‘the heart and the spirit’. That’s why it’s believed to heal the body and have a soothing effect on the nerves, so it helps with anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
It’s also connected to the lower back, and several studied associated acupressure on the Shen Men point with decreased chronic lower back pain.
4. Who Proposed Shen Men Point Treatment?
In 1959, Dr. Xu Zuo-Lin, a Chinese scientist, followed the previous work of acupuncture and acupressure. He could isolate a particular area in the ear and study how it connected to the rest of the body, and even to the psyche.
He called the newly discovered area Shen Men Point and succeeded in delineating whole routines of treatment, according to what he believed restored good health to the body and harmony to the soul.
5. What Does ‘Shen Men’ Mean?
Shen means awareness or spirit, and Men means conduit or gate. It’s an expression that translates loosely to ‘heaven’s gate’.
This is a further demonstration of how Shen Men is tied up to psychological states, as we mentioned in the previous section.
Shen Men is also referred to as the ‘catalyst point’, which augments the effects of acupressure at other prime spots. This is demonstrated in pain tolerance and pain management treatments.
It was also studied clinically and showed much promise for chronic pain cases. This is one of the main reasons why many people are paying attention to Shen Men, acupressure, and ear seeding.
The alternative is using heavy medicines for prolonged periods of time, which is in and of itself an excessive load on the body.
6. Why Is Shen Men Acupressure Good for You?
Using acupressure and focusing on the Shen Men point is believed to help you with some serious health issues.
- It could assist your weight loss efforts
- It’s believed to relieve chronic lower back pain
- It helps in post-treatment rehabilitation for lower back pain
- It could be significant in pain management
- It helps in reducing insomnia and sleep disorders
- It helps with stress-related psychological illnesses
- It could alleviate the severity of depression
- It might decrease panic attacks and anxiety-related issues
- It might be instrumental in defeating addictions
There are many other benefits to massaging the Shen Man point, but these are the ones backed with reasonable clinical research.
7. How to Find Your Shen Men Point?
It takes a bit of practice to be able to locate the correct Shen Men point and we have made a video to help you.
Looking at the mirror helps, and trying a few maneuvers gets you well acquainted with the correct way to find the exact point.
Some people go to experts for help. Others ask their friends to literally ‘lend a hand’, and after they find the right spot, the friends could stretch their kindness a bit more, and place the ear seeds in place.
8. How Do Ear Seeds Work?
Ear seeds act as a source of constant pressure on the desired acupressure point, and they work perfectly with Shen Men.
They usually come in a kit where users can apply it on their own, aided by an e-book for instructions.
There’s usually an energy map for the ear, a set of seeds already stuck in place inside an adhesive roll, and a pair of tweezers.
The ear seeds could be made from metal, plastic, or some organic seed like Vaccaria seeds. The last variety is usually the best.
There’s a lot of buzz about the ear seeds healing process, as it’s easy to apply, it’s non-invasive as opposed to acupuncture, and it begets results within a few weeks.
9. Are Ear Seeds Safe?
Acupressure is generally safe, and if you compare it acupuncture you’d see that it holds fewer risk factors.
Still, practicing caution is wise even if it’s a natural treatment. Pregnant women should refrain from acupressure as it could cause premature births, and any person already going on a medicine plan should check with a doctor.
The seeds come with a few issues of their own. Being too small and circular, they might fall off and be lost.
They could also drop and fall inside the ear canals, and in that case, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor should be consulted right away.
The adhesive could also be chafing or cause a rash to some people. In that case, it’s best to remove the mini patch.
It should also be removed if the spot where the patch is placed becomes sore or tender. Just remove it with the tweezers, and wait for a few days before reapplying it anew.
The patch and seed work best when they’re massaged a little occasionally. They also should be replaced after 3-5 days.
10. Who Should Use Shen Men Acupressure?
This Ancient Chinese routine is pretty safe, and even children get that gentle pressure on ears from time to time to help them to fall asleep.
It’s a spontaneous gesture with pets too, we usually massage our dog’s ears to help them unwind, and they respond to that movement nicely.
Acupressure is worth trying if you’ve suffered from obesity, lower back pain, or if you tried various ways to quit smoking with no success.
It also helps with insomnia, alleviates anxiety, and it’s believed to help with depression. Considering all these issues require heavy medicines when treated in traditional western medicine routines.
Use it if you’ve tried several lower back rehabilitation protocols, but the outcome remained unsatisfactory. This health concern, in particular, received a fair amount of clinical studies. They showed up to a 75% improvement in pain management and improved mobility.
The Shen Men point is a tiny area in the ears, but it has the potential to treat people and restore their good health.
Some studies show that a knowledge of Shen Men, coupled with the processes of acupressure is pretty effective and at the same time simple.
A kit containing ear seeds could be used at home to get these good benefits. An individual can place the seeds himself, or aided by a friend who can get the same result.
There’s a tutorial to demonstrate the proper way to locate the Shen Men point, and then to place the seeds in a good position, with the right amount of pressure.
There’s also an e-book in most kits to explain further the health issues that can be treated by acupressure, and who’s best suited for these procedures.
Ancient medicine stood the test of time for a good reason, right?. There are many reasons to suggest that it actually works.
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