Why is Shen Men used for epilepsy?


I recently came across a Facebook article that talked about the discussed the importance of the vagus nerve in just about everything, including epilepsy, depression, inflammation and the immune system. It talked about fitting an electrical implant to stimulate the vagus. This got me wondering about how I could do this myself for my patients without the expensive implant. What about acupuncture? Would you believe it, there were numerous references to this on the web and there was our old friend Shen Men, which stimulates the ear branch of the vagus. And Shen Men is how old? Definitely older than the last 50 years or so.

The Chinese explanation of seizures often talks about Internal Wind and Liver Excess, there is of course no comparative western explanation. I guess if we waited for the vagus nerve explanation, Shen Men would not be one of the most recognized ear acupuncture points from ancient times but maybe with a patent number and an expensive machine to stimulate the vagus. Oh wait, I think they are just coming up with such a machine that will no doubt cost tax payers lots of money but be the most amazing discovery for epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis and anything else you can think of.

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