By Sara Calabro
Here comes the latest installment of “Why Are You Doing That Point?”, an ongoing series that explains popular acupuncture points. This time we’ll look at Yintang.
Yintang is considered an extra point, meaning it does not correspond with any specific acupuncture meridian. There are several extra points throughout the body, but Yintang is unique in that it does actually fall along a meridian—the Governing Vessel—yet it’s not considered part of that meridian. The reasons for this are unknown.
Yintang, whose English translation is Hall of Impression, is its own entity. It’s a single point located between the eyebrows, just below the area known as the third eye (see below).
Acupuncture’s chill pill
The most common use for Yintang in modern acupuncture clinics is to calm the mind. Acupuncturists choose it for people who complain of anxiety and related symptoms, such as insomnia due to over thinking.
Yintang alleviates what’s sometimes referred to as monkey mind, the non-stop emotional treadmill on which many of us find ourselves. Unsettled, agitated, anxious about things we can’t control, mind spinning, unable to focus—that’s monkey mind. Yintang takes the edge off this kind of emotional restlessness and anxiety.
This acupuncture point causes you to chill out.
For this reason, Yintang is frequently called upon for acupuncture goers who are nervous about needles. Anxiety around needles has a tendency to peak upon assuming the position on the acupuncture table. Starting a treatment with Yintang can be a great way to calm a person down, paving the way for greater receptivity to the remaining points.
Yintang benefits the outer head, too
Yintang’s benefits are not limited to what’s going on inside your head. This acupuncture point is used for anything head and face-related, especially issues with the nose.
People suffering from stuffiness, post-nasal drip, sinus congestion and nosebleeds are likely candidates for Yintang. The point also is used for eye disorders as well as frontal headaches, dizziness and vertigo.
Due to its calming function and accessible location, Yintang compliments almost any acupuncture treatment or self-care acupressure regimen.
For pain conditions, try pressing Yintang in combination with Large Intestine 4. This will be especially helpful for pain on the head or face because Large Intestine 4 is on a meridian that travels to that region. For anxiety and related conditions such as insomnia, press Yintang on its own using firm pressure.
In the next installment of “Why Are You Doing That Point?” we look at Pericardium 6. Read it now.
Photo by Sara Calabro; Yintang infographic from A Manual of Acupuncture
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