One of the most famous and most commonly used acupuncture points on the body is named Yintang, or Hall of Impression. This point lies midway between the medial end of the eyebrows, in the area designated by many cultures as the “third eye”.
Many first time acupuncture patients look at me a little trepidly when I tell them that we are going to put a needle here on their face. This point is actually the first point that I had to practice needling as an acupuncture student, so I can assure you that it is in no way uncomfortable or dangerous.
Most acupuncture points lie on the body’s energy pathways called meridians and have both a Chinese name and a numbered naming convention. The numbering system is probably the way most American acupuncturists learn the points. This point is a little unique in the fact that it does lie on a meridian. It lies on the Governing vessel which is in itself a little unique. There are twelve regular meridians on the body and eight meridians that are designated as Extraordinary meridians. The Governing vessel belongs to one of the Extraordinary meridians. The Governing vessel has twenty-eight points numbered one thru twenty-eight and Yintang is not considered to be one of them. Yintang is one of many “Extra” acupuncture points that have been documented over the centuries to have very specific functions.
Yintang has a very powerful action of calming the mind and because of this action is almost always used in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and agitation. Because of the location of Yintang, it can be an effective point to treat a frontal headache. Yintang also benefits the nose and is often used to treat nasal and sinus congestion, rhinitis and nosebleed. Yintang can be used to treat disorders of the eyes and can be stimulated not only by acupuncture, but also acupressure. I often give my patients homework to do between acupuncture treatments. Self acupressure on a number of acupuncture points on the face and head will increase circulation to the eyes and Yintang is one of those points.
Yintang has other functions that may not be so obvious. It is an acupuncture point that is often combined with other acupuncture points to treat hypertension and dizziness. And getting a lot of press these days is the use of acupuncture for facial rejuvenation. Yintang is a point that will be used to reduce wrinkles on the bridge of the nose.
You can see that Yintang is truly an extraordinary acupuncture point, not only because of its location, but also because of the multitude of powerful applications when treating the human body!
About the Author:
Joyce Marley is a licensed acupuncturist who provides acupuncture therapy in New Hartford, NY. She writes Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) health articles about acupuncture and Oriental medicine.