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Buddha’s Triangle: Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

Acupuncture points are all connected to the nervous system and tell the body to take very specific actions or functions. In this way, a persons body takes the action to heal itself, whether internal medicine, physical injury or any other issue in life. With acupuncture, you heal you.

A lot of people know acupuncture can help with stress, anxiety, depression and trauma. The following looks into these issues of the mind and emotions as well as an acupuncture point combination, which helps calm the mind and work to resolve stress, anxiety, depression and trauma.

When a person is experiencing heightened stress, they have stress hormones like cortisol flowing through the blood. Whenever you have cortisol flowing in your blood and you feel stress or experience trauma, the body prominently stores the memory or experience in the hippocampus. In the days of the Woolly Mammoth, this would have been a great function of the body. If you encounter a predator or potential harm, you want to react instantaneously to preserve your life.

In our modern life we store all of life’s “pains” prominently in the hippocampus so we know what to avoid, but these are the experiences that often hold us back from living our life to the fullest potential, affecting every experience and encounter. These negative life experiences will be at the forefront, even subconsciously as we go through life. And every time we remember a past event we reshape it, a constant dance with the memory and your ego creates beliefs and themes that in most cases are not helpful in becoming your best self.

We know the brain stores memories, but memories are also stored in certain parts of the body or muscles. With the brain many people ruminate, thinking and re-thinking, obsessing with a mind that never stops to take perspective and connect to consciousness, but if the brain is where we play out the actions of life, where do our emotions really come from, where do they resonate and what is most affected by our emotions.

Our emotions really come from our heart and our “gut.” Traditional cultures have always said things like, “this gives me heart pains” or “I feel it in my gut.”

The heart has an electromagnetic field, which comes out in a circular type pattern pattern 3-feet from your chest that is unique to every individual. Every thought or different type of emotion you have will affect your heart field and every time you are 3-feet in proximity to another person, your heart fields are interacting.

The gut is often referred to as the second brain and 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels. The gut doesn’t just receive information from the brain, but sends information to the brain as well and the first system of the body to be damaged by stress and a constant fight or flight experience is the digestive system. When you are stressed, the body sends blood and focus away from the digestive system. Acupuncture is also great at helping a person’s body heal it’s digestive system, whether a person experiences bloat, gas, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, etc.

When combined, three acupuncture points in the wrist can greatly help with stress, anxiety depression and trauma. Together, they are called Buddha’s Triangle. They are Heart 7 (HT7), Pericardium 6 (PC6) and Lung 9 (LU9). When needled they form the shape of a triangle.

HT7 helps to calm the spirit, or (mind) as well as help with insomnia, talking during sleep, poor memory, mania-depression, dementia, sadness, fear and fright, disorientation and grief. HT7 greatly helps to address heart related emotional issues.

PC6 helps to unbind the chest (oppression of the chest), regulates the heart and calms the mind. It also harmonizes and helps to heal the stomach and alleviates nausea, vomiting and clears heat. This point doesn’t just help with digestive issues, but helps with the emotional aspect of the “gut.” The pericardium is technically the outer layer of the heart, and using this point helps to buildup or strengthens the hearts protector, which has a beneficial emotional aspect. The pericardium also speaks to how we relate and express ourselves to others in life.

LU9 tonifies the Lung and transforms phlegm as well as promotes the descending function of the lung. The lung and the heart have a relationship, where the lung massages the heart and both have a strong connection to our emotional state. We can control our nervous system and relieve acute stress with deep breaths, but many people find it hard to do “breath work” in the moment of stress and many more people are in a constant state of breathing shallow. Shallow breathing isn’t just a stress response; it becomes a habit that feeds stress. Shallow breathing also lowers the amount of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps to defend the body from invading organisms as well as countless other negative health effects.

There are numerous other acupuncture points, which help with the psycho emotional aspect of life.

If you want to work on stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, shame, fear, grief, addiction or any other emotion or feeling, I’d love to help you. Come see me in my office in the Midtown Manhattan, Koreatown, NoMad area.