What is a Shen Men piercing?
A Shen Men piercing is inserted at a specific point near the top-centre cartilage of the ear. Acupuncturists believe stimulation at this point calms anxiety, boosts immunity, relieves migraines, and centres the body.
Acupuncture and Shen MenTo truly understand the claims behind the Shen Men piercing, we have to go back to its parent arts: acupuncture, auriculotherapy, and eastern medicine.
A little about acupunctureAcupuncture uses specific “pressure points” on the body to equalize the body’s metaphysical energy. These points are believed in eastern medicine to balance an individual’s yin and yang (good and bad energy) resulting in a healthier, happier lifestyle. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to build healthy immune systems, decrease inflammation, relieve pain, calm nausea, and more across Asia. Some researchers believe the increased blood circulation caused by acupuncture could contribute to healing and wellbeing. Very few scientific studies evaluate acupuncture’s medical merits; nevertheless, many people claim acupuncture eases their symptoms. The science behind acupuncture is still new—but the theories and success stories are ancient.
Auriculotherapy vs. AcupunctureCertain acupuncturists focus on points on the ear rather than points on the body. This practice of acupuncture on the ear alone is known as auriculotherapy. Beginners of this movement, including a French doctor named Paul Nogier, mapped specific points in the ear to corresponding body parts in the mid-1900s. Auriculotherapists believe the systems of the entire body can be traced to points on the ear, and claim that stimulating these points may induce healing for specific challenges.
The significance of Shen MenIn auriculotherapy, the Shen Men point is also known as the “Divine Gate.” This place on the upper-middle ear is believed to connect to dozens of energy centres throughout the body and orchestrate overall well-being. Acupuncturists and auriculotherapists sometimes stimulate Shen Men (without a piercing) for clients with anxiety and depression, migraines, or related issues. For these reasons, many people believe a piercing can help ease these symptoms long-term.
What does the Shen Men piercing do?The effects of a Shen Men piercing vary from individual to individual. Here are a couple of the most commonly asked questions about results from a Shen Men piercing:
Does the Shen Men piercing really help with anxiety and depression?Possibly! It depends on the person. Some individuals report less anxiety following a Shen Men piercing. Occasionally, individuals are able to lower their medication dosage for anxiety or depression after a piercing. Others don’t notice a change. Positive results could be a placebo effect (your mind thinks it’s received an effective treatment and your body begins the healing process, even if the treatment is ineffective in itself). They could also be legitimate effects from triggering the Shen Men point in the cartilage; without more research, it’s hard to say. Placebo effect or not, the results many experience are real and worth considering. Of course, always talk with your doctor before changing your dose of any medication.
Does the Shen Men piercing really help with migraines?Again, potentially yes, but it’s difficult to say for sure. There is not enough medical research to verify the Shen Men’s effectiveness for relieving migraines—but many people notice it decreases their pain significantly. It could help. Or it could accomplish nothing. But if migraines are dominating your life, why not take the leap and see if it helps you?
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Final thoughts on the Shen Men PiercingIf you struggle with the intense, debilitating pain of migraines or emotionally-exhausting effects of anxiety, it’s worthwhile to try a Shen Men piercing. If it works, you’ve found a helpful solution to your pain; and if it doesn’t, you can keep or remove the piercing (whichever you prefer) with little to no side effects. Many choose to keep it simply because of its interesting, subtle aesthetic. There’s no doubt—a Shen Men is always a win-win.
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Ready to Learn More or Get your Own Shen Men Piercing?
If you live in or around the Toronto, Markham, Newmarket or Mississauga area, reach out or stop by our shop today. At Chronic Ink Tattoo, we can help you find the perfect jewellery and placement for your very own Shen Men piercing. Our team of talented piercing professionals is known for exceptional work and results, and ranks among Toronto’s leading piercing shops. Contact us and find out why so many local residents trust us for all their piercing and tattoo needs.Get yours today