Dr. Mark Sandomirski, a Russian doctor, professor and psychiatrist, advices his patients how to get rid of the effects of stress on their body in a very simple and easy way. Medical implications of stress are various and people experience them in many different, but always harmful ways.
After having a stressful experience we are left hanging with unpleasant feelings, discomfort or pain in certain parts of the body. In such case, the first thing you should do is forget about those feelings which hurt you. Next, you should remove physical harm of stress by massaging the upper ear point you see in this picture:
An ancient Chinese doctor called this point Shen Men or in translation “heavenly gate” because its treatment brings celestial energy to our body!
How it was discovered
Auricular acupuncture was developed as a formal somatotopic system through the discoveries of Dr.Paul Nogier, of France. With the initial recognition in 1951 that the “sciatic point” in fact correlated with the 4th lumbar vertebra rather than sciatica as an ailment, Dr.Nogier discovered the primary correspondence of the body on the auricle in an “inverted fetus” presentation. This observation led to the eventual identification of the body’s anatomic or structural correspondence with zones in the auricle.
The Chinese learned of Dr.Nogier’s work through a German medical acupuncture article that arrived in China via Japan. The Chinese followed with thousands of clinical observations and developed auricular mappings which were similar to the early French system, though with some differences noted. This correspondence system acupuncture technicians readily assimilated into their paramedical practices.
Dr.Nogier’s original discovery led to the identification of the body mapping on the auricle which presented remarkable consistency with respect to anatomic and embryological considerations. Thus, the “inverted fetus” presents with the musculoskeletal (mesodermal) projections in the upper aspect of the ear including the antihelix, scaphoid fossa, and triangular fossa. Visceral (endodermal) organs present in the concha, and the head’s (ectodermal) structures are located in the lobule in the earliest somatotopic mappings.
What Shen Men is good for?
The Chinese Shen Men point has been recognized for its application in many pain and dysfunctional conditions. With pain conditions, Shen Men is often considered to be a primary point for treatment. Neuro-psycho-emotionally, it is considered to alleviate apprehension, fear, anxiety, and to help regulate the sympathetic nervous system.
Shen Men is regularly employed in addiction treatments. It is also recognized for its role in the treatment of inflammation. The presence of an electrically active or tender Shen Men is regarded by the Chinese auricular acupuncturist as an indication of neurasthenia or the presence of pain. As it became common for practitioners to look for Shen Men and to treat it for many conditions indiscriminately, it is important for physicians to know what the Shen Men point really represents.
Shen Men is not a mystical, mysterious point as the impression on Chinese ear acupuncture charts give us. The Chinese acupuncturists have noticed the presence of a point here that is usually active in painful conditions, in many inflammatory conditions, and in cases of addiction. As a result, the name Shen Men was assigned for its functional qualities of electrical activity and clinical efficacy in numerous conditions. As Shen Men is a functional designation, the nature of the point and its representation of body organs and systems is not recognized. In fact, phase understanding will give us a clear understanding of the nature of Shen Men.
Often a physician’s confusion regarding the presence of an active auricular point will become clear when the multi-phase anatomic evaluation is considered.
In Phase 1, the Shen Men area corresponds to the spleen zone. This mesodermal organ will functionally deal with inflammatory cellular elements and thus this zone is often seen in acute ailments.
In Phase 2, the Shen Men zone corresponds to the representation of the ectodermal thalamus. As a significant central nervous system structure, it is not surprising that this zone would be seen in chronic degenerative and painful conditions and in patients suffering from chronic addictions.
In phase 3, the Shen Men zone corresponds to the liver. Again, given the extensive interactions of hepatobiliary physiology, it is not surprising that subacute or chronic ailments would be identified in this zone.
The significance of Shen Men may be more specifically recognized when a physician understands the anatomic and embryological implications, rather than simply the functional importance of this zone. Additionally, this advanced auricular acupuncture approach will lead to clearer diagnostic interpretation of a presenting illness as it is represented in one or more areas on the auricle. Ultimately, more enduring clinical effects may be realized with treatment of properly identified points.
1. Nogier, PFM. Handbook to Auriculotherapy. Maisonneuve: Sainte-Ruffine, FR, 1969.
2. Nogier, PFM and Nogier, R. The Man in the Ear. Maisonneuve: Sainte-Ruffine, FR, 1985.
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