February Wellness Tip: Don’t be heady, but be Mindful
“Mindfulness” is everywhere, but what does it really mean to be Mindful? In Oriental Medicine the health of the mind is directly related to the Heart. Not so much the heart as we know it in western medical terms, but the concept of the Heart in a more energetic understanding. Chinese medicine texts state 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. As the old saying goes, “healthy heart – healthy mind”. 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 that over time become harder and harder to escape from. You get lost in your head. 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 for February: 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.