February: Expand Your Chest, Open Your Heart
by Shannon Stevens, LAc
February Wellness Tip: Because Valentine's Day is held within the month, February brings up the notions of love and romance which emanate from the heart. When heart matters are at hand, it is crucial to keep the physical area of the heart open. Just as our heart needs space to do its work - pumping blood, bringing oxygen to our tissues - the energetic area of the heart needs room to breathe. It's a classic defense mechanism to protect our hearts by collapsing in the chest. This is ultimately detrimental to the free flow of Qi via the breath and the stagnation of emotions. By keeping our chests open and full of breath, we keep the physiological and energetic nature of the heart free.
February Acupuncture Point: Ren 17 - Shanzong. This translates as "Chest Center or Central Altar." Ren 17 is located in the center of the chest. The center of the chest is defined as lying on the midline of the sternum level with the 4th intercostal space. It is important to note also that in Oriental medicine the "Ren" channel is also known as the Conception Vessel (CV), as it runs the length of the midline of the body and has important implications in treating issues with fertility. Press this point to alleviate issues with the lungs such as bronchitis or asthma, chronic cough, and fatigue. Also note that this point, being located so close to the heart, can help to relieve emotional heartbreak and grief.
"I had an amazing experience with Kindness Community Acupuncture! After recovering from a shoulder injury, I had some residual strain in my neck and shoulder. I met with Natalie, told her all the pains and issues I had been experiencing during the last month. Natalie was kind, professional and constantly made sure I was comfortable. After the appointment, I felt great! The next morning I was pain-free!" - Aubrey G.
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