In Chinese medicine The Mind (Shen) is one of the vital substances of the body. It is the most subtle and non-material type of Qi. Shen indicates the activity of thinking, consciousness, self-identity, insight and memory, all of which depend on and “reside” in the Heart. Translated as “Mind”.
Chinese medicine is the close integration of body and Mind which is highlighted by the integration of the three Vital Substances which are the Essence or Jing, the Qi and the Mind or Shen; these are called the “Three Treasures”.
These Three Treasures represent three different states of condensation or aggregation of Qi, the Essence being the densest, Qi the more rarefied, and the Mind the most subtle and non-material. The activity of the Mind relies on both the Essence and the Qi as its fundamental basis.
The state of the Mind in turn affects Qi and Essence. If the Mind is disturbed by emotional stress, becoming unhappy, depressed, anxious or unstable, it will definitely affect Qi and/or the Essence. Since all emotional stress upsets the normal functioning of the Qi, in most cases it will affect Qi first. Emotional stress will tend to weaken the Essence, either when it is combined with overwork and/or excessive sexual activity, or when the Fire generated by long-term emotional tensions injures the Yin and Essence.
Acupuncture has a calming effect on the nervous system, by reducing levels of adrenaline and increasing serotonin, which is why after the acupuncture treatment we leave feeling well and relaxed.