Have you ever wondered why your acupuncturist is constantly trying to warm up your belly button? It’s because your belly button is the exact place of a very important acupuncture point. In the west we refer to this point as CV 8 and in Japanese it’s called shinketsu 神闕. Why the difference in naming? Acupuncture points were numbered when the ancient art of acupuncture was introduced formally to the west. Making it easier for practitioners, unable to read Chinese and Japanese, to learn the points and use them successfully. In Japan, acupuncture points are still referred to by their original kanji.
So whats the difference? Lets use CV 8 as an example: When I say CV 8 to a trained western acupuncturist they will know, by route memorisation, that I am referring to the point located at the belly button. If I say shinketsu to a Japanese or Chinese acupuncturist than they will also know this but not because they memorised it but because the points name 神闕 means life (神) and entrance to the umbilical cord (闕). With a little bit of research and thought they will also understand the this is the first place that life energy, or life chi, enters and exits the body. In short, while changing the Chinese character into a number might of made it easier for us westerners to read and remember the acupuncture points it also unfortunately meant that the historical usage and placement detailed in the point names were lost.
So getting back to the original question: we put a hot stone on your belly button to warm your internal organs and because it is considered one the most important places for the entrance and exit of life energy. So the next time your thinking about something that is makes you really nervous try putting your hands on your belly button and breathing deeply. Feel the warmth of your body and the rhythm of your breath. Draw the warmth of your breath through your nose and into your hands. Send this warmth into your internal organs via the belly button and than exhale all of your stress through your mouth. Relax and enjoy experiencing the flow of your life energy!
Heather Maya Suzuki