Brain power is awesome until it fails you. Who hasn’t spaced on a name right before an important introduction? And almost everyone has locked themselves out of either their car or their home. Stress, anxiety, or depression can make a person more forgetful, as well as exhaustion.
According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine the mind (Shen) embodies consciousness, emotions and thought. Shen influences long term memory, the ability to think clearly, contributes to wisdom and presides over activities that involve mental and creative functions. When the mind is healthy we are able to think clearly. And remember things like our mother’s birthday.
When the mind is unhealthy or unbalanced we experience confusion, poor memory, and clouded thinking. Disharmony of the mind often manifests as anxiety, insomnia, muddled thinking, forgetfulness and chronic restlessness. It has been found that acupuncture has proved to be helpful for improving memory function, and assist in maintaining balance and reducing stress. And reduces the need for sad Moms and bouquets of apology flowers.
In fact, a new study measures that acupuncture biochemically reduces memory loss due to chronic stress. Researchers applied acupuncture at acupuncture point P6, near to the center of the wrist crease on the anterior surface of the forearm. The researchers measured biochemical and behavioral changes in laboratory rats. It was found that acupuncture stimulation at P6 increased AchE (acetylcholinesterase) chemical reaction activity in the brain.
AchE is an enzyme that converts the neurotransmitter acetylcholine into choline and acetate and plays an important role in synaptic transmission. The study shows that rats exposed to chronic mild stresshad significantly lower AchE activity in the hippocampus of the brain. It was discovered that acupuncture at P6 increased chemical reactivity of AchE in the hippocampus compared with the control group.
The researchers also conducted a passive avoidance test (PAT) to compare the biochemical findings with behavioral examination. The acupuncture group performed better than the control group for the PAT. The researchers concluded that acupuncture at P6 improves memory, increases AchE reactivity in the hippocampus and restores learning and memory after biochemical and behavioral impairments due to chronic mild stress.
Now when we apply that to humans, we can see improvement in reducing stress, remembering your wife’s name and walking out the door with keys in hand!
Improving your diet can also help with improving memory function. Here are some suggestions!
Nutritional Therapy for Poor Memory
- Vitamin C and Vitamin E are important antioxidants that can improve cell functioning in the brain and protect it by reducing oxidative damage.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help protect nerve cell membranes.
- Zinc helps with proper nerve functioning. Take with Vitamin B6 for a synergistic effect.
- Ginkgo Biloba (40 mg three times a day) helps support circulation in the brain.
- Flavonoids can protect against oxidative damage (and may reverse) in the brain.
People who are worried about memory problems should see their doctor. If the doctor believes that the problem is serious, then a thorough physical, neurological, and psychiatric evaluation may be recommended.
For more information about how acupuncture may help you, visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
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“The effects of acupuncture (PC6) on chronic mild stress-induced memory loss.” Hyunyoung Kima, Hyun-Jung Parkb, Hyun Soo Shimd, Seung-Moo Hanc, Dae-Hyun Hahmd, Hyejung Leed, Insop Shimd. Neuroscience Letters. Volume 488, Issue 3, 25 1-2011, p 225-228.
Photo: Reading Girl by Kathrym Bennett