Acupuncture Point Shenmen "Spirit Gate"
Shenmen Point – A special point for Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia
Shenmen (HT7) point is one of the points I use a lot in my practice. There are two Shenmen points. One is on the ear and the other one is near our wrist crease, which belongs to the heart meridian. I would like to talk about the one near our wrist since it is a very easy point for people to reach and it has a lot of health benefits for us, especially in today's modern society.
Shenmen (HT7) means “Spirit Gate”, which means a gate/door to access our spirit/mind/emotion. When you needle or do acupressure on this point, it can help open the gate/door to relieve the energy blockage for our spirit/mind/emotion.
Shenmen (HT7) is one of the main points on the Heart meridian. It can help nourish the blood and cool/clam down the internal fire. Therefore, it is a very good point for the mind, emotion, and heart-related issues such as stress, anxiety, and insomnia, palpitation, etc.
According to the Clinical application of single acupoint (HT7) (Son, 2019), there are some main disorders that Shenmen can help with, including insomnia, psychological stress, emergence agitation, and alcohol or nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Shenmen is located at the wrist crease, on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, between the ulna and the pisiform bones. (Please see the picture for the reference)
(Little Tip: Nowadays, people use computer mouse a lot, since Sherman is located near the wrist crease, it is good to find some kind of massage tool or object, and place it right underneath the wrist crease to help you do self-acupressure on this HT7 point while you are working and using the computer.)
Below is a list of common benefits of doing acupressure or self-massage on the Shenmen (HT7) point.
• Stress/Anxiety/Panic: Mild pressure for 15-30 seconds. You can alternate left and right hand for up to 3-5 minutes. You can do this a few times per day, regularly or as needed.
• Insomnia: Mild pressure for 15-30 seconds. You can alternate left and right hand for up to 3-5 minutes. You can do this a few times per day, regularly or right before the bed.
• Motion sickness (Carsick): Applying pressure via thumb or fingernail on this point can help relieve symptoms of motion sickness, such as nausea and vertigo.
• Memory loss / forgetfulness: Since Shenmen can help you calm your mind, it can also clear the mind and help with forgetfulness. Regular massage of the Shenmen point daily can help keep your memory sharp at any age.
• Chest tightness / Palpitation/ Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD): Shenmen is on the heart meridian, which connects to our chest/heart area, therefore it is also a good point to address the issues like chest tightness, palpitations and GERD, etc.
Doctor of Acupuncture & Integrative Health
Tai Chi Acupuncture & Wellness Center
Son C. G. (2019). Clinical application of single acupoint (HT7). Integrative medicine research, 8(4), 227–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2019.08.005