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Acupuncture for Mental Alertness- The Heart and Shen

Mental Alertness

Have you ever been awake, but just not quite mentally there? Maybe someone noticed you being “spaced out”. It’s not that you were daydreaming so much as “nobody was home”- you weren’t thinking of anything in particular. When this happens it feels like not being fully conscious.

The word we use for what is missing here in the mental state is “shen”. Shen is sometimes loosely translated as “spirit”, but that’s a bit of a loaded word in our culture with it’s religious overtones. A less exciting, but more accurate definition in the context of acupuncture might be “awakeness” or “mental presence”.

The heart is the organ that is said to generate or have dominion over the shen. When sleeping it is said that the shen retires into the heart. What this statement means from a practical standpoint is that when someone is having a hard time finding peaceful sleep it implies that somehow the heart is being energetically disturbed.

Acupuncture treats the body and the mind. I’ve spoken about the body-mind connection in a previous blog post. If you’ve read that post you know that it is actually impossible to treat the mind without the body and vice versa.

If you are experience issues with mental alertness or problems with sleep, you are experiencing an imbalanced shen. Acupuncture may be able to help.

To see if acupuncture might be right for you, give us a call at our Durham location or you may call us at 919-228-8448. If you find it easier to make an appointment online, you can simply click here to use our online schedule to set up a free face-to-face consultation.