Boost Your Brain Power with Acupuncture
Having difficulties focusing, remembering tasks or organizing your thoughts? Acupuncture and
Oriental medicine can help optimize your brain power through a treatment approach that in-
corporates different modalities, including nutritional support.
According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the spirit (Shen) embodies consciousness,
emotions and thought. Shen influences long term memory, the ability to think clearly, con-
tributes to wisdom and presides over activities that involve mental and creative functions.
When the mind is healthy we are able to think clearly. When the mind is unhealthy or un-
balanced, we experience confusion, poor memory, and clouded thinking.
A healthy mind involves harmony between the brain (Sea of Marrow) and the spirit (Shen).
Disharmony of the mind often manifests as anxiety, insomnia, muddled thinking, forgetful-
ness and chronic restlessness. You can enhance this harmony with meditation and acupuncture,
as well as physical exercises such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. The right foods can balance and
strengthen the mind by providing essential nutrients such as flavonoids, Omega 3s, vitamins,
folate and iron that are great for improving the quality and quantity of learning capacity,
cognitive abilities, memory and overall brain function.
Acupuncture Improves Memory and Learning Capacity
The Spleen, Kidney and Heart organ systems all influence intellect. For example the Du
meridian influences all neurological activity by nourishing, stimulating or calming the brain
and spirit. The Spleen organ system influences short-term memory, analytical thinking and
concentration and is damaged by worry and poor nutrition. The Kidney organ system in-
fluences short-term memory and retention, and is damaged by fear and aging. The Heart
organ system influences long-term memory and recall and is damaged by emotional and
chemical over-stimulation. To enhance general learning Oriental medicine focuses on
improving the flow of Qi to the brain, regulation of information processing and response
to external stimuli.
According to a study published in the October 2008 issue of Neuroscience Letters,
acupuncture can significantly improve learning and memory capacity that has been impaired
by hyperglycemia and cerebral ischemia. Researchers reported on whether electro-
acupuncture (acupuncture needles stimulated with a mild electrical current) could
improve learning and memory in rats whose memory and cognitive functions were
impaired by the decreased circulatory effects of diabetes resulting in cerebral ischemia.
In the study, the effects of the acupuncture treatments were measured with a passive
avoidance test, an active avoidance test, the Morris water maze and electrophysiology.
With all tests, significant improvements were seen in restored memory and learning
capacity. Researchers believe that the positive results of this study indicate similar
benefits for humans and warrant further investigation.
Call (904) 448-0046today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can
optimize your mental skills!
Exercises to Improve Concentration
Trouble focusing on your work or losing steam mid-way? Oriental medicine has
innovative approaches to restoring concentration, based on an interpretation of
Qi, the energy which powers the body and the mind. According to Oriental
Medicine, Qi stems from four main components of diet, exercise, rest and mental
activity, each of which tend to vary in terms of quality, quantity, frequency, and
Looking at these components, you may realize you need to make adjustments to
your diet, fitness, and relaxation strategies in order to make them more sustainable
and conducive to improved brain function and overall health. If you are bloated or
tired after meals or struggling to fall asleep after turning off the computer, you already
know what actions you need to take to nourish your Qi and mind! Meditation and
Tai Chi can also help calm and focus the mind. Try integrating these exercises, to
nourish and improve your concentration.
Eye Exercise for Concentration
Prolonged focus on a fixed location can cause eyestrain as well as Qi Stagnation, im-
pairing circulation and concentration. You should routinely change your focus from
your phone or computer to a point in the distance. Additionally, try taking short breaks
and rolling your eyes in circles, both clockwise and counter-clockwise,10-20 times in
each direction, to relieve strain.
Hand Exercise for Concentration
Manipulating the hands can recharge the mind, according to Oriental medicine and
Traditional Chinese Medicine. Try using Baoding balls, which are small spheres made
of wood, stone, metal, or clay which range from 1.8mm and up in diameter. Place one
ball in the hand and try to pass it to each finger, then try rotating two balls within your palm.
Breathing for Concentration
Breathing exercises redirect your focus to the Liver, which also is the first organ and
meridian system affected in times of emotional stress. As an everyday practice, try
breathing in and out, holding the breath, then exhaling again. Force yourself to “let go”
even more, which stimulates an even deeper inhalation. Lengthening the breath can
calm the mind and redirect your focus away from stress.
Meditate to Increase Focus
Create a quiet, relaxing environment, with comforting items (candles, incense, art
that has a spiritual importance to you, etc.) around you.
Sit upright on a cushion with legs folded, or in a chair with your feet firmly planted
on the ground, allowing for free and easy breathing. Relax your shoulders and gently
place your hands on your knees or in your lap.
Tuck your chin in slightly and keep your eyes half open, your gaze softly focusing
downward about four to six feet in front, and your mouth slightly open. Observe your
Try belly-breathing not breathing with the chest, but from the navel. Don’t accentuate
or alter the way you are breathing, just let your attention rest on the flow of your breath.
The goal is to allow the “chattering” in your mind to gradually fade away. If you’re dis-
tracted by a thought, gently bring your mind back to your breathing. Continue to focus
on your breathing for 10 or 15 minutes.
Stay relaxed, yet awake and attentive. Finding your balance there is not easy! Eventually,
as your body understands what you are doing, meditating will become easier to enter
into. Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Meditating for even 5 or 10
minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.
Good Nutrition Boosts Brain Power
Looking to support your health and also boost your brain function? You can achieve
both of these goals through nutrition. According to Oriental medicine (OM), good
nutrition can improve mental activity, physical and emotional strength and immunity,
breathing, and elimination.
Where to begin? First of all, avoid excess. According to Oriental medicine, overindulging
in food or drink can impair your Qi–the energy which powers the body and the mind.
Greasy, fatty, spicy, and sweet foods can also lead to “stuck” Qi, worsening any
symptoms of fogginess or sluggishness. So how can you support your brain and body
health with food? Consider these foods and their benefits for your brain and body:
Walnuts for Memory
Walnuts are a good source of Vitamin B and E, which may support memory function
and slow cell aging. Try eating 1-2 walnuts per day for optimal brain function. Nuts
and seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, folate, vitamin E, vitaminB6
and zinc, all of which allow you to think more clearly. Seeds and nuts rich in thiamine
and magnesium are great for memory, cognitive function, and brain nourishment.
Leafy Greens for Concentration, Recall and Understanding
Cooked leafy greens support the Yin which, according to Oriental medicine, enables
better concentration and deep rest. Vegetables such as cabbage, kale, spinach,
collards, turnip greens and others are rich in vitamins, folate, and iron, all of which
are essential for memory recall and increasing cognitive activity. Oriental medicine
considers cooked foods easier to digest, so throw them in soup, steam them or stir-fry.
Water for a Calm and Restful Mind
According to Oriental medicine, drinking water is a crucial way to nourish your Yin,
calming the mind and improving your rest. Oriental medicine recommends drinking
warm water, to support the bodys internal temperature.
Substitute any beverages with pure water to transport nutrients during digestion, to
act as fluid between the joints, and help regulate our temperature and skin (via
perspiration). As a broad guideline, drink half your weight in ounces of water.
Berries to Improve Learning Capacity
Most berries contain fisetin and flavonoids, which are great for improving your
memory and allowing you to easily recall past events. Blueberries are well known
for their role in improving motor skills and overall learning capacity.
Acupuncture and ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioral
conditions among children. In the United States, approximately 4.5 million children
between the ages of 5-17 years old are diagnosed with ADHD each year.
Research indicates that when treating ADHD, a multidisciplinary approach is most
effective; combining behavioral therapy, exercise, dietary changes and medication.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be added as one of the treatment methods
that can successfully manage ADHD.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes
it difficult to concentrate or control impulsive behavior.
Children with ADHD generally struggle with paying attention or concentrating. They
struggle to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also
tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act.
These behaviors are generally common in all children, but they occur more often and
are more severe in a child with ADHD. The behaviors common with ADHD interfere
with a child’s ability to function at school and at home.
Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills,
goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-
esteem, and addictions.
Treatment for ADHD
Treatment for ADHD is multifaceted, consisting of ADHD medications, behavioral
therapy and lifestyle and dietary modifications.
ADHD is best managed when families, educational and health professionals work
together to meet the unique needs of the child or adult who has ADHD to help them
learn to focus their attention, develop their personal strengths, minimize disruptive
behavior, and become productive and successful.
An excellent addition to any treatment plan, acupuncture and Oriental medicine are
used to help restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while also diminishing
the symptoms of ADHD.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help improve focus and attention, augment
mood management techniques, reduce fidgeting, lower hyperactivity and enhance
Acupressure for Focus
Try pressing on Yin Tang (Hall of Impression), which is similar to the “third eye”
location in yogic practices.
It is level with the base of the eyebrow, midway between the inside corners of the
eyebrows, over the bridge of the nose.
Lean forward towards a table or desk. Bend your thumbs and press your two
knuckles into this point to improve your concentration.
Boost Mental Clarity
Feeling a little foggy? Having trouble concentrating? Massage acupuncture point
Du 20 for some mental clarity.
Du 20 is located on top of the head, midway between the ears. It is used to clear
the mind and improve focus.
Stimulate the point with your index finger 35-40 seconds for a quick “brain boost.”
About The Author: Julee Miller
More posts by Julee Miller