The most effective acupuncture point
Tracey-Ann Brown, Complementary & Oriental Medicine
Of the close to 1,000 acupuncture points on the body, the point identified as PC.6 (Pericardium 6) or 'Inner Pass' stands out for its use in the relief of a number of health discomforts.
PC.6 is found on the inner forearm, between the two prominent tendons running between the elbow and the wrist and is located two inches above the wrist, joint. It lies on what is known as the pericardium channel/meridian, which originates in the chest and runs along the inner arm and forearm, ending on the tip of the middle finger.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to:
❐ Alleviate nausea and vomiting.
❐ Calm and relax.
❐ Relieve chest pain.
NAUSEA & VOMITING
This point is very popular for the relief of motion sickness and morning sickness symptoms in pregnant women. It is also used in cases of nausea as a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation.
INSOMNIA & CALM SHEN
Shen refers to the spirit of a person and is an indication of mental and emotional ease. In trying to calm the shen, the intent is to restore calm and ease to the person through the stimulation of this point. PC.6 may be used alone or in combination with other acupuncture points for persons suffering from:
❐ Insomnia: disturbances in sleep patterns resulting from difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or both.
❐ Excessive agitation, restlessness and irritability: whether because of lack of good sleep, uncomfortable environmental factors, work and family pressures or a medical condition.
Stress and anxiety: whether because of work, family or a variety of life pressures.
CHEST PAIN RELIEF
It is also an effective point in the relief of a number of chest complaints, including palpitations, in which one feels as though their heart is beating too fast or too hard and chest pain.
POINT STIMULATION ACUPUNCTURE
One method of stimulating PC.6 is with the insertion of very thin acupuncture needles. When needled, the acupuncture needle is directed perpendicularly with a needling depth of approximately 1/2 an inch and left in for the duration of the acupuncture session.
Alternately, one can administer self-massage at this point, using slow circular motions for five minutes or more. Depending on whether you are using this point to aid sleep, relieve anxiety, chest pain or nausea and vomiting, appropriately diluted essential oils may be massaged at the point to enhance relief.
❐ Nausea relief oils: peppermint, orange, lime, chamomile, bergamot, anise
❐ Calming oils: chamomile, lavender, sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, frankincense.
In recent times, clever persons have attached a small seed (magnet or ball) on the inside of a wristband worn over the point to allow continuous stimulation of the point if needed.
Dr Tracey-Ann Brown is an oriental medicine practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine at Revamp Comprehensive, and adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology in oriental/Chinese medicine; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't take life so seriously
Chronic stress makes you feel old and actually ages you. It also raises your blood pressure, can lead to a stroke or heart attack, and slowly kill you. In an Austrian study, researchers found that work-related tension harms DNA in your cells, speeding up the shortening of telomeres - which protect the ends of your chromosomes and which may indicate your life expectancy. Of course, it's impossible to completely obliterate stress.
"What's important is how you manage it," noted Thomas Perls, MD, associate professor at Boston University school of Medicine and creator of the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator.
THE FIX: Don't take life so seriously. Laugh a lot more, practise yoga, pray, meditate, have some fun, relax with a good book, get a hobby, go out more, treat yourself, get a good night's sleep, exercise regularly, just do whatever else chills you out. But whatever you do, make sure you make rest, relaxation, quite time and enjoyment a part of your life. What good would it do you to worry about things you have no control over?