Anxiety and migraines can be life-changing challenges for many people. One moment you are feeling fine, the next—sometimes with little to no warning—pain or panic interrupts your focus. The world is spinning. You can’t function. You’re not sure how long it will last, but you know it’s significantly disrupted your day.

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone: Nearly one out of five people experiences anxiety, and about one out of ten battles migraines.

Some people have reported finding relief through a Shen Men piercing, also known as a faux rook piercing. While some people have reported finding relief through this type of piercing, there is no scientific evidence at this point that it does help ease anxiety or migrane pain.

It would be great if it turns out that chronic migraines and anxiety could be cured by this type of piercing. We would be happy to know that our Toronto piercing studios could be helping people. Until it is proven, we would be remiss to claim these piercings work in this manner. Any potential migraine or anxiety cure would get attention, so it’s no surprise Shen Men piercings have been gaining popularity. A cure that requires no drugs or ongoing treatments is almost too good to be true, and unfortunately, that may be the case here. Would we recommend a Shen Men Piercing? Sure, if you are looking for a cool, unique piercing it is a great option. If you are looking for a cure, however, we would recommend waiting until definitive research has been done.

What is a Shen Men piercing, and what is the theory behind it helping with anxiety, migraines, and possibly more?

In this article, we’ll dive into the details about Shen Men piercings. By the end, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not a Shen Men piercing is right for you:

Shen Men Piercing

What is a Shen Men piercing?

A Shen Men piercing is inserted at a specific point near the top-centre cartilage of the ear similar to that of a rook piercing. Acupuncturists believe that stimulation at this point can calm anxiety, boosts immunity, relieves migraines, and centres the body.

Acupuncture and Shen Men

To 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 acupuncture

Acupuncture 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 and unproven —but the theories and success stories are ancient.

Auriculotherapy vs. Acupuncture

Certain 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 Men

In 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. Others believe that by piercing through this area that you are damaging the nerves in this area and negating any effect that the accupuncture point could in theory have.

Shen Men Ear Piercing

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, but this has not been scientifically proven and may just be a placebo effect.

Some individuals report less anxiety following a Shen Men piercing. Again results have varied from person to person and have not been proven. At Chronic Ink we don’t reccomend approaching this piercing as a possible cure, but as a style choice. 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.

Does the Shen Men piercing really help with migraines?

Again, this is a claim that has not been proven. There is not enough medical research to verify the Shen Men’s effectiveness for relieving migraines—but people reported noticing it decreases their pain on occasion.

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Final thoughts on the Shen Men Piercing

While we wish it was possible for a piercing to cure both anxiety and migranes, at this point in time it is best to approach the Shen Men piercing as a style choice based on it’s apperance vs a possible cure. Even amongst the acupuncture community there is much debate over the validity of piercings and acupuncture points as some feel it destroys the nerves and any benefits that area may have on connected parts of the body.

Piercing Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street,
2nd Floor,
Toronto & Vancouver, Ontario
M5B 1S6


Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East,
2nd Floor,
Toronto & Vancouver, Ontario
M4P 1K2



7381 Kennedy Road,
Unit #105,
Markham, Ontario
L3R 5B5



Upper Canada Mall
17600 Yonge Street,
Newmarket, ON
L3Y 4Z1


Love the look and Ready Get Your Own Shen Men Piercing?

If you live in or around the Toronto, Mississauga area, reach out or stop by our shop today. At Chronic Ink and 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