Pineal Gland - Tiny Organ, Mighty Function
Aug 31, 2020 02:28PM
By Pamela Purser
The pineal gland, located in the center of the brain, has been the subject of much discussion lately. Fortunately, there’s no truth to the rumors that it can be damaged by infrared scanners used to screen for Covid-19 symptoms (read more about that below). But medical scientists are exploring how calcification of the pineal gland might play a role in certain health conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, rapid aging, headaches and migraines, schizophrenia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, insulin resistance and stroke.
This pinecone-shaped organ is tiny, but it has a big job. It produces melatonin, a critical component in our circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles. It also plays a vital role in bone metabolism; mental health, especially countering Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); the development of the ovaries and testes; and regulation of the menstrual cycle and other functions. Research suggests that damage to the pineal gland can alter the behavior of the pituitary gland, thus affecting a wide range of hormonal issues, including growth and thyroid function.
Six Ways the Pineal Gland Gets Damaged
1) Working nights and sleeping days: Studies have shown that graveyard-shift workers are 1.5 times more likely to get breast cancer due to disruption of their circadian rhythm. Morning light triggers the circadian rhythm, which regulates the pineal gland’s release of melatonin.
2) Blue-light exposure: Light from TVs, phones and other electronics can interfere with the release of melatonin by the pineal gland.
3) Chronic stress: Studies show stress may lead to an abnormal melatonin release by the pineal gland, contributing to cortisol production. Over the long term, elevated cortisol levels trigger the production of glucose, leading to higher blood-sugar levels.
4) Fluoride exposure: Studies show that fluoride causes decreased melatonin production and alters normal pineal function.
5) Drug use: Recreational and prescription drugs have been shown to alter pineal gland function and patterns of melatonin secretion.
6) Aging: As we age, the pineal gland secretes less melatonin, causing us to sleep less and have trouble falling asleep.
Six Ways to Keep the Pineal Gland Health
1) Get on a sleep schedule. Sleep patterns won’t change overnight, so make small changes slowly. Prepare for bedtime mentally at least 30 minutes beforehand, and avoid going to bed past midnight. I’ve found Golden Milk to be an excellent sleep aid.
2) No TV or cellphones in the bedroom. Blue light interferes with the release of melatonin from the pineal gland. Even when they’re off, electronics have blinking red or glowing green lights and emit EMFs.
3) Meditate daily. Studies show mindful meditation produces deep-brain waves and enhances healing of the pineal gland.
4) Exercise daily. Even a simple 10-minutes walk releases hormones that support circadian rhythm and nightly release of melatonin.
5) Regulate digestion. The gut is our “second brain.” Regulating it supports pineal gland function.
6) Try acupuncture: If you’re following steps one through five and still want professional support for your pineal gland, acupuncture is a great option.
Acupuncture for the Pineal Gland
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the primary point for pineal gland support is yin tang, located in the middle of the forehead, between the eyebrows. This is in an important anatomical location—the place where light enters the skull to activate the pineal gland.
According to Dr. Steven K.H. Aung, a pioneer in the integration of western, complementary and traditional Chinese Medicine, ying tang has physical, emotional and spiritual functions. I’ve seen it work instantaneously to quiet the mind, aid sleep, resolve headaches and regulate the reproductive system.
The most common reason yin tang is needled is to calm the shen. This TCM term doesn’t have an exact English translation, but it refers to the aspect of us that is not physical, like consciousness and thought, and our emotional and spiritual being.
Yin tang corresponds to the third-eye chakra, a metaphoric eye in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is believed to open when our consciousness expands and we become enlightened. Spiritual mentors call yin tang by the Sanskrit word anja (“perceiving” or “command”), the sixth of the seven chakras. It’s responsible for how we perceive the world. The third eye is our inner wisdom, our intuition, which allows us to see past the physical world. This chakra connects us to the part of creation beyond science and physical manifestation.
Between its roles in our physical well-being and in our spiritual perception of the world, the importance of the pineal gland is indisputable.
Acupressure on Yin Tang
Bring your right hand to your forehead (third-eye chakra) and your left hand to your chest (heart chakra). Start by putting your intention to your yin tang point. Inhale as you move your right-hand finger in a circular motion, and exhale as you complete the circle, letting your forehead muscles soften and relax. Repeat the circular motion eight times. Do this at least once a day.
Pamela Purser, an acupuncture physician and licensed acupuncturist, is clinical director and co-owner of Navarre Acupuncture and Wellness, located at 7287 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL. For more information, visit NavAcuWell.com.
No-contact thermometers pointed at the forehead pose no threat to the pineal gland, despite social media rumors to the contrary. According to Dr. Haris Sair, director of neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins University, these devices simply detect infrared heat; they don’t emit radiation (or anything else).