Acupuncture Corner: Don’t Be Heady, Be Mindful!
by Shannon Stevens, LAc

February Wellness Tip: Be Mindful

“Mindfulness” is everywhere, but what does it really mean? In Oriental Medicine, the health of the mind is related directly to the heart. Not necessarily the heart as we understand it in western medical terms, but the concept of the Heart’s energetics. Chinese Medicine texts state that the Heart houses the mind, or Shen, and is indicative of the whole sphere of mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the human being. Thus, a mind guided by an open heart cultivates a fuller awareness of the human experience. Conversely, a mind governed by fear feeds on the reactionary fight or flight centers of the brain, and lends itself to repetitive mental loops of worry and anxiety. This is the heart of mindfulness – to quiet the monkey mind of worry and fear long enough to hear the whispers of the heart.

Acupuncture Point: Yintang

Appropriately located at the center of the forehead, between the two inside ends of the eyebrows, Yintang is a favorite point to calm the mind. As this point is centered anterior to the frontal cortex of the brain, it tends to draw a person out of the emotionally driven fight or flight amygdala in the back of the brain and into the more meditative, logical, and compassionate area of the brain.