February 17, 2012
I haven’t addressed any specific acupuncture points here yet so I thought I would share one of my favorites, one that I use on many patients. The point is called Heart-7 or shenmen (spirit gate). I should pause to explain that the majority of acupuncture points have a name as well as a channel-number code. The channel-number designation makes it easier to remember where the point is found, but the name gives insight into the full function of the point.
Chinese Medicine views the Heart in some ways similarly to how Western Medicine does, and in some ways very differently. In addition to its function to help circulate blood through our body (as in the Western perspective), it is also heavily involved with the connection between body and mind (significantly less Western, though you could imagine the romantic ‘heart’ here). The Heart can suffer from both excess and deficiency which results in symptoms such as insomnia (ranging from minor trouble falling asleep to extreme insomnia), vivid dreams, anxiety, being easily startled/frightened, heart palpitations, poor memory, talking during sleep, or mania.
So what makes Heart-7 special and one of my favorites? Well, for starters, there’s the location. It is easy to access right next to the pisiform on the underside of the wrist. And its function is relatively straightforward. The spirit in ‘spirit gate’ can be viewed as strongly affecting our mind and personality, making this point one of the most useful to address both mood and sleep. Sleep is so important! For everyone! It’s what rejuvenates our bodies and our minds. Many people are stuck in a cycle of not being able to sleep or having poor quality sleep. Even for those who sleep well, we could all use a little boost to get the most from our rest at night. Getting a good night’s rest can do wonders for our body and mind. And this is the point for that!
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