Thursday, December 18th, 2008

In my travels and work within the natural products industry the growing use of body piercings is escalating. The fashionable belly button piercing, complete with accessories has left no body part or organ off limits. Piercings due to peer pressure, individual tastes, religious or cultural traditions, because your friend did it and the possibility of additional sexual stimulation, fail to communicate the long term health risks involved in this practice. Given the option of a tattoo or piercing, I would opt for a soy based ink tattoo. As one who regularly receives acupuncture treatments for lifestyle balance, I have consulted with several acupuncturists and their resources for this information.

Think of your body as an energy grid that runs on high voltage power. Too much interference may cause a short-circuit electrical failure within cellular communication and the body’s natural energy flow. These interruptions may contribute to a variety of diseases as we age .

Seriously , this is one of the side effects of aging and the ailments that are attached to it . For instance , when the brain loses electrical power ,symptoms such as hypertension, anxiety ,memory laspses, depressions, elevated blood pressure ,lack of energy, hormonal imbalances , etc start creeping into our lives. Most people write these off as aging  but you can delay old-age symptoms by keeping your electro-magnetic fields balanced which is what most bodywork is designed to do .

Metals ( body piercings )  interfere with this natural energy flow in the body. Researching Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); Acupuncture therapies are now recognized by NIH and the Global World Health Organization along with many medical doctors for health maintenance.

Acupuncture, regulates Qi (pronounced chi) in the body and works to improve energy flow and overall balance and cellular communication. Each point of insertion will have a different electrical impulse or tissue frequency. The 14 meridian channels are linked into this flow of natural energy and our bodies’ natural electrical fields. Meridians; invisible channels that flow like a river, carry the Qi to various organs to keep our energy fields in balance.

For instance the Stomach meridian spans from the brain & nervous system function to the face all the way to your toes. When the stomach meridian is comprised, wrinkles become visible around the mouth, and you may become prone to acid reflux, nausea, hiccups, frontal headaches, and atrophy throughout your nervous system and even experience problems with your vision.  It affects much more than the area thought.

We need to view our bodies as a whole not just sliced up into different diseases per body part as our western medical culture dictates.

The meridian channels are as follows:

Liver, Stomach, Large intestine, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Triple Warmer (not organ related), Gallbladder, Ren (female issues), and Du (male impotence , spinal and mental disorders).

This is why it is so important to maintain overall body health and why I do not advocate organ removal before first using integrative medicine for body balance, i.e.; many Western medicine doctors would rather remove a gallbladder instead of treating the liver and endocrine system first with various integrative medical treatments.

Getting back to piercings: When the bodies’ Qi is compromised due to diet, stress, anxiety, surgery, aging (hormonal reduction), medications, physical accidents, disease, environmental toxins including metal insertions, the energy may become stagnant. Energy imbalances reduce our natural immunity and set the stage for chronic or long term diseases.

Metals, no matter what type will interfere will this process. Gold is an alloy (never 100% pure for jewelry) that tonifys the body, while silver will calm or sedate. When the acupuncture point is active due to a continued piercing 24/7 the area may become over-stimulated. This may lead to possible organ burn-out or immune weakness setting off chain reactions to various parts of the body –depending on your inherent genetic or environmental weaknesses.

When these metals are inserted into certain points, the body either speeds up (hyperactive, hormonal burnout, addictions to stimulant foods, alcohol, medications, etc.), while silver may lead to anxiety, stress, depression and a lack of ambition or clarity.  Once a person removes metal piercings, they may have to chelate or detox their body as many people absorb toxins from the metals – similar to metal dental amalgams (another blog!).  The best and most reasonable ways to chelate metals from your organs are to use chelation/detox suppositories, selenium, chlorella, l- glycine, glutathione, cilantro, green tea

(5-10 cups) infra-red saunas and lots of fluids.  Supplements such as Dr. Venessa’s Liverclean and the Anti-Aging3 collagen may also help.

Common Body Piercings:

Belly Button: This is a forbidden acupuncture point, known as CV8, located on the Ren Meriden channel, impacts the entire central nervous system. This point, depending on where the ring, metal or diamond stud is inserted could cause long term energy displacement and has been linked to chronic immune disorders such as MS. Piercing this point is could be linked to short-circuiting your core energy and lead to burn-out. Women wanting to conceive should remove this piercing and NEVER leave it in if one is pregnant or lactating. There are also fertility issues in many women who have belly piercings.

Tongue: The tongue is divided into 5 parts; stomach, lungs, heart, gallbladder & liver.  The center involves the spleen & stomach points. Several people I have encountered with center tongue piercings experience chronic digestion problems, acid reflux, constipation, fatigue and increased acne. The tip of the tongue represents the heart point – is there a link to possible heart disease here? How about just behind the tip – this is the lung point. Experiencing asthma or allergies?  Please give this a second thought. On the outside of the tongue is the gallbladder, on the person’s right side and the liver on the left. All critical points for healthy endocrine activity and long term health. In ancient cultures, the tonugue piercing was a pagan blood ritual and was not a permanent piercing.

Lip/ Medusa Point: Located in the middle of the upper lip. This is point DU26. This point helps with proper muscle contractions – over stimulating could lead to spasms in the back, dizziness and nausea.

Chin: This is on the ren Meriden and is point REN24. Piercings here can affect hormonal level burn-out, stress in the mouth (grinding of the teeth) infections in the mouth, and salivation.

Bridge/Top of Nose: Bladder2 point. Over stimulating may lead to sinus issues and headaches.

Madonna Piercing: also known as the Beauty spot or Monroe piercing placed on the top or outer part of the lip can cause damage to the gums (receding gums) and teeth (may reduce tooth enamel).

Outer eyebrows: Triple heater 23 point – over stimulating can lead to headaches.

Center brow points: Yua yao point – too much stimulation can aggravate headaches while traditional acupuncture stimulation can diminish headaches. It is all in the balance.

Ears: The points from the mid – ear (imagine your ear like the face of a clock)

9:00- Draith, tragus, conch orbital ,helix orbital , etc- to the top of the ear, 12:00 should never be pierced.  At 9:00 both the uterus and genital parts may be affected.  The outer ear at the 2:00 area is also a nerve point for the occipital area in the back of your head – already a stress magnet. From 3:00 down to 6:00 is the safest part on the ear for any piercing.

So the silver industrial bars (barbells) that connect the top of the ear or even the vertical industrial bars can severely affect your liver, kidney, bladder and mental state.

There are so many other places that are pierced but there are just a few of the highlights. If you must the very small gold, common in the traditional Indian culture that the women do to show submission to their husbands and to ease menstrual and childbirth pain is probably the safest piercing next to the lower ear lobe. It involves cartilage and not meridian or acupuncture points.

Be careful with infections, allergies and immune disorders. Please think twice before jumping into body piercing. Your immune system may reject it. Keep your electricial system working well , take those dangerous peircings out . You immune system will thank you.

We will discuss positive results from acupuncture in the next segment.


In continued health,


Sally Byrd

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