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Books and Articles by Dr. Ranvir Pahwa

Shenmen Point - A system in itself

Dr. Ranvir Pahwa

Using Paul Nogier’s map, Dr. Xu Zuo-Lin of Beijing in 1959 introduced new auricular points. One of them was then, which later became popular as Shenmen among acupuncturists. It is included in several Western ear maps. It is located on the upper part of the posterior third of the triangular fossa. F1 zone of Terry Olsen’s (2003) auricular map represents Shenmen point. Shenmen point does not have anatomical description but possesses a functional and metaphorical nomenclature. Shen means: spirit, mind, consciousness; men means: door, gate, entry. The point is also called as ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and ‘Opening to the spirit.’

The heart meridian point Ht7 on the body bears the same name. This point calms the spirit, regulates and invigorates heart. Ear Shenmen has a similar activity to Ht7, but brings about wider range of therapeutic effects. In Nogier’s map the corresponding zone to Shenmen is the area of hip joint, pubic bone and symphysis.

Shenmen is the first point and a support point in various treatments and perhaps the most commonly used of all points in the ear. From the review of the Chinese and Western auricular acupuncture literature Shenmen point is used for the several health problems and conditions of various systems. This point also prepares the patient into a state to receive the treatment. It calms the spirit, effectively controls the pain, useful in convulsions, sedation, anxiety, depression, worry, sleeplessness, impatience, shock, addiction withdrawal, restlessness, dysphoria, hysteria, neuralgia, headaches, and also improves memory and concentration. Moreover, it is used in cough, asthma, wheezing, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting. The point quiets the heart and palpitation, reduces blood pressure and heart rate and effective in angina. Additionally, this point is applied in arthritis and inflammation,
in allergies, itching (dispels wind) and detoxification (clears heat and resolves toxins). It is one of the five points of National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol of drug addiction treatment. I always treat this point to stop smoking and chewing tobacco and it works.

Shenmen point strengthens the effect of all other points and can therefore be used as a “speed point”. During acupuncture anesthesia Shenmen is one of the most important points (Landgren, 2008). This point is combined with body acupuncture points in various disorders, such as hypertension, eczema, inflammation, pain etc.

"I want to point out that the Chinese Shenmen point is in the mesodermal tissue zone close to the heart, even though the Chinese do not put the heart here. This whole area receives the branches of the auricular temporal nerve from the 3rd offshoot of the trigeminal cranial nerve (TGN). This observation indicates the role of the Shenmen point in calming the spirit and the heart; as well as its role in treatment of facial, lateral and frontal head problems. With close observation one also notices that the Shenmen zone is also innervated by the branches of the great auricular nerve of the cervical plexus (ectodermal), which may be the reason Shenmen is used for skin and nervous system problems."

In the inference it can be stated that the point Shenmen is not a metaphoric name but in itself is a system, which is regulating several functions of the body through the role of central and autonomic nervous system.

Ear Say, Vol. 2, Issue 6, pg 1, (2010)