The Shen Men Point and Ear Seeds

“Shen Men” is a term you’ll hear time and time again when you get into ear seeds, acupressure, and auriculotherapy. It’s not part of the everyday English vocabulary, so using it when referring to ear seed therapy might take some getting used to.

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What’s so special about Shen Men?

Sometimes written as one word, “Shenmen,” the Shen Men is commonly a default point for ear seeding. “If all else fails, Shen Men” could be a great motto because this point is comprehensive, encompassing support and relief for a variety of conditions:

Shen Men has been called by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners as the “gate to the spirit,” with the ability to “restore spiritual harmony” (Cheung et al., 2015).

Where is the Shen Men point?

If “lateral third of the triangular fossa” means anything to you, well, that’s where the Shen Men is located. If you’re not as familiar with ear anatomy, we might describe finding your Shen Men like this:

With your fingertip, locate the point between your eye and your eyebrow. Draw a line with your finger straight toward your ear. You’ll first come to your ear’s outer ridge; cross over that ridge with your finger and then you’ll be in the valley of your ear. Allow the whole pad of your fingertip to take up space in that valley once you initially enter it. Where your finger is resting, that’s where your Shen Men is, in the upper third of the ear.

Auriculotherapy practitioners will balk at the way we explained that, but we know the importance of making ear seeds — and the terminology that goes along with it — accessible to everyone.

Uncertain about where to apply ear seeds on your own Shen Men point? We’re here to help! Let our ear seeds coach guide you over a video call after you purchase a 30-minute Virtual Ear Seeds Consultation. We have ear models and drawings to show you in a virtual one-on-one session, so you’ll know for sure whether you’re hitting that point or not.

You can also start a 30-day trial to the leading ear seeds placement chart app, Auriculo 360. This app for both your phone and computer features a 3D ear that you can zoom, rotate, expand, and move. Below is a screenshot of the Shen Men point as shown in the app. The Shen Men is one of over 300 points that Auriculo 360 includes. We highly recommend you start your trial of this incredible auriculotherapy software today!

Shen Men Point for Ear Seeds
Image used with permission by Auriculo 360 by Miridia Acupuncture Technology

What does research say about the Shen Men Point?

Due to its power, the Shen Men is unsurprisingly a key element within several research studies on auriculotherapy, including the following:

  • Spatial learning and memory deficits improved in rats with insomnia when the Shen Men, alone and in conjunction with other points, was stimulated by electroacupuncture. Using multiple acupressure points for treatment (including Shen Men) led to a more positive outcome than using singular acupressure points alone (2023 study).
  • Acupuncture applied to the Shen Men and Point Zero points to cancer patients recovering from surgery that removed a portion of the colon were observed to have better parasympathetic nervous system outcomes, as measured by heart rate variability (HRV) (2013 study).
  • Electrical stimulation on this point pointed to positive outcomes in mood as well as reduced arousal and more sleepiness, providing potential implications for individuals who are suffering from mood issues or insomnia (2015 study).
  • A 2021 study came along later that confirmed that the stimulation of this point with acupressure was effective in promoting sleep quality of hospital nurses in emergency departments and ICUs.

Of course, these are just a few of the many studies focusing on this acupressure point in various treatment modalities.

In summary, if you seed this point, making sure to get it on the actual Shen Men, you can’t go wrong. Also known as “Heavenly Gate,” it is a significant acupoint that holds a reputation for its various potential benefits.

As part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern complementary therapies, the Shen Men is recognized for its potential to offer both physical and emotional relief, making it a key component of holistic health practices.

Happy seeding, and let us know if we can help!


Abbasi Tadi, S., Saberi, M., & Akbari, H. (2021). Effect of Acupressure at ShenMen Acupoint on the Sleep Quality of Nurses in Emergency Departments and Intensive Care Units. cmja, 10(4), 380-395. URL:

Arai, Y.-C. P., Sakakima, Y., Kawanishi, J., Nishihara, M., Ito, A., Tawada, Y., & Maruyama, Y. (2013). Auricular Acupuncture at the “Shenmen” and “Point Zero” Points Induced Parasympathetic Activation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 945063.

Cheung, M.-c., Chan, A. S., & Yip, J. (2015). Microcurrent Stimulation at Shenmen Acupoint Facilitates EEG Associated with Sleepiness and Positive Mood: A Randomized Controlled Electrophysiological Study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015, 182837.

Qiao, L., Shi, Y., Tan, L., Jiang, Y., & Yang, Y. (2023). Efficacy of electroacupuncture stimulating Shenmen (HT7), Baihui (GV20), Sanyinjiao (SP6) on spatial learning and memory deficits in rats with insomnia induced by para-chlorophenylalanine: a single acupoint vs combined acupoints. J Tradit Chin Med, 43(4), 704–714.

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