Posts Tagged ‘nei guan’

Inner Gate fMRI


I wouldn’t even make pretenses to being a neuroscientist by donning an Einstein wig and goggles, but I can generalize wildly at the distillations of actual neurobiologists with the best of them. This article is describing the areas of the brain that “light up” when subjects were needled at a specific acupuncture point, Nei Guan, which is also called Pericardium 6 (PC6), and translated into English as “Inner Gate.”

The areas of the brain that “lit up” in this study were: the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), occipital fusiform gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex, and precuneus (PCC/PCU). They are involved with awareness, emotions, sense of self, empathy, judgments of self as distinct from others, pain, blood pressure & heart rate, episodic memories, and “unconscious” memory retrieval and vetting.

In Eastern medicine, PC6 is predominantly used for nausea, chest disorders, and shen disorders. The shen is the Eastern version of the ego as self (not the division into superego, id, etc.). Its name, Inner Gate, implies access to the inner workings, or the vault, which corresponds nicely to the idea of judging the parameters of our self, as well as memory retrieval. The Pericardium channel is used to treat disorders of the heart, like blood pressure, as the Pericardium literally wraps the heart to protect it, and figuratively acts as the Heart’s envoy & ambassador to protect it from hostile forces.

It is also the point used to access what is called the yin linking vessel, which is an extraordinary meridian that links all of the yin channels in the body together and acts as an overflow-canal system, to redistribute excesses and deficiencies into a state of balance. The yin channels are all connected with a yin organ, which are viewed as a seat of an aspect of consciousness in traditional Eastern medicine. In this way, PC6 can affect all the aspects of the shen, and thereby influence any emotional state.

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