The third eye. The mysterious chakra center residing directly between the eyebrows.
The famous French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes described it as “the principal seat of the soul, and the place in which all our thoughts are formed.”
Scientists consider it the producer of the hormone melatonin. Of all the endocrine glands, its role was the last to be understood.
Regardless of what it brings to mind, all agree on its name: the Pineal Gland.
The tiny gland is small (rice-sized), and is shaped like a pinecone, hence the name.
It is a mere 1/3rd inch long, with a reddish-gray hue, and is located deep in the brain's center.
Regardless of what it brings to mind, the pineal gland plays a significant role in our overall health.
Recent scientific research has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that sleep is a critical component for maintaining a healthy body. Without sufficient rest, the stress hormone cortisol rages out of control, increasing our already high stress levels.
Also, lack of sleep is associated with another modern-day health-robber: obesity.
As mentioned earlier, the pineal gland produces melatonin, which plays a huge role in our sleep quality and length.
Melatonin also regulates our sleep-wake cycles, which are known as circadian rhythms.
It has been used for some in combating jet lag, which is defined as alterations to the body's circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east-west or west-east) travel on high-speed aircraft.
According to many researchers, melatonin is also a potent antioxidant (a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules and is thought to be a powerful weapon in slowing down the aging process).
For all of these reasons, you can see why the pineal gland is essential and needs to be given the same care and attention as any other part of your body and mind. Here are a few suggestions to do just that:
- Meditate. Meditation boosts bio-electric energy, and this has a direct effect on the pineal gland. The gland is susceptible to light and dark signals, and regular meditation practice will allow you to guide this energy directly into the gland.
- Sunshine. There is no better source of light than natural sunlight. When exposed to light, the pineal gland gets active and kicks out serotonin, which ramps up your energy levels and elevates your mood. Sunlight also makes the body produce vitamin D, which plays a critical role in the pineal gland's function. Without sufficient vitamin D levels, calcium doesn't become bioavailable and will calcify tissue….including the pineal gland. To prevent this nightmare, make sure your vitamin D levels are adequate by getting out in the sun for 10-15 minutes and supplementing with vitamin D.
- An entirely dark sleeping environment. All too many people just can't seem to switch off their electronic toys at bedtime...and pay the price for it. The glare of television, reading tablets, computer screens, and cell phones results in serotonin production at precisely the wrong time. As mentioned above, serotonin gets you going, but that's not what is needed at bedtime. In total darkness, the pineal gland secretes melatonin, which, as mentioned earlier, controls your sleep-wake cycles. Please don't confuse it by allowing light into your sleep environment.
- Raise your iodine level. The fluoride in our drinking water and toothpaste can result in calcification, which is defined as “the accumulation of calcium salts in body tissue. It typically occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue, causing it to harden”. This is a problem for many organs and functions of the body, especially the pineal gland. The pineal gland accumulates fluoride in more significant amounts than any other organ. Eventually, this leads to the development of phosphate crystals. When these crystals invade the joints, a broad range of health problems can occur such as joint pain, rheumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, kidney stones, and a hardened pineal gland. The result? Less melatonin is produced, which wreaks havoc on your sleep-wake cycle.
- Due to many folks reducing their salt and seafood intake, lower iodine levels are becoming more common. Restoring your iodine level is a meaningful way to battle calcification. An excellent way to accomplish this is by eating foods rich in iodine: sea vegetables; raw, organic cheese; organic strawberries; organic potatoes; cranberries; organic yogurt; and organic navy beans. Raw cacao powder has also helped many stimulate and detox their pineal gland. You may also consider adding an iodine supplement. Make sure you have a good water filter. Don't risk your health by drinking unfiltered water straight from the tap. Finally, brush with fluoride-free toothpaste.
- Avoid mercury. Here's an easy way to think about this: mercury = poison to the pineal gland. If possible, find a dentist who can remove your toxic mercury fillings. Be careful about consuming large amounts of certain fish (tuna and dolphin; the bigger the fish, the more mercury), as well as bottom feeders like shrimp and prawns.
- Also, Eco light bulbs may be more energy efficient. But each bulb contains five milligrams of mercury. DO NOT LET THESE BULBS BREAK IN YOUR HOME! Always handle with extreme care.
- Don't smoke. Tobacco doesn't make anything in the body better or healthier...and that includes the pineal gland. Enough said.
- Add chlorella and spirulina to your supplement list. These powerful, natural phytonutrients have been shown to detoxify heavy metals like lead and mercury from the body.
- Other toxins. Fortunately, the rules for keeping your pineal gland healthy are similar to what you do to maintain your general health. Keep processed foods to a minimum, as they are loaded with additives like artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, and some man-made, unnatural chemicals that are impossible to pronounce without a chemistry dictionary. Same with other common household chemicals found in air fresheners, deodorants, cleaning liquids, and mouthwash. When possible, look for safer, more natural substances.
The pineal gland's entire purpose is still not completely understood and is a research work-in-progress.
In metaphysics, the gland is held in high status as a center of psychic ability (almost universally dismissed by the scientific community).
Scientists agree that the gland is the manufacturer of melatonin.
However, there is universal agreement on the importance of the pineal gland. You will be well-served to maintain its functioning at the highest level possible.
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