Oxytocin is called the “love hormone” or the “cuddle chemical” since it’s stimulated in breastfeeding, birth, and sex and plays a role in pair bonding and sociability. Exactly how oxytocin fits into our biology and psychology is actually a more complex picture, and more of a mystery for men. Despite the dark side of oxytocin, this hormone is important for connectivity for us as social beings.
How do we raise our levels of oxytocin naturally?
In the mid-90s, Dr Norm Shealy began working with acupuncture points and testing for what would become the five sacred rings, the Ring of Fire, the Ring of Air, the Ring of Water, the Ring of Earth, and the Ring of Crystal.
According to Dr Shealy, the Ring of Air, a circuit of 13 acupuncture points, is “most important for helping develop intuition but more importantly for relaxation and happiness.”1 It activates the chemicals neurotensin and oxytocin. Great for a good sleep, too.
From his research Dr Shealy found that the Ring of Air has “fabulous results” for people with depression, anxiety, addition and when combined with the Ring of Earth, autism and Down’s Syndrome.
Some ways to activate the Ring of Air – rub the essential oil blend Air Bliss from Dr Shealy (there is an essential oil for each ring) into each of the acupuncture points, massage and tap the acupuncture points, with or without the visualization, or you can visualize the Ring of Air as a meditation.
The 13 Acupuncture Points of the Ring of Air
1 Spleen 1 A
This is located at the tip of the big toe nail on the inside. The actual acupuncture point is Spleen 1. Massage and tap this point on both feet.
2 Liver 3
Located on the top of the foot, Liver 3 is found between the big and second toes, just above the web of the toes. Massage and tap this point on both feet.
3 Stomach 36
Go up the shin bone until you get to the knee, Stomach 36 is on the outside of the shin bone. Massage and tap this point on both legs.
4 Governing Vessel 1
This point is on the bottom of the spine.
5 Lung 1
This sore-to-the-touch point is located under the collar bone, as far out from the centre of the body as possible, on the chest muscle. Massage on both sides.
5 Gall Bladder 20
GB20 is located half way between the spine and the mastoid, halfway across the bottom of the skull. Massage on both sides.
6 Governing Vessel 16
Located at the top of the spine and just below the skull.
7 Governing Vessel 20
Top of the skull. “It is one of the 22 winds of the sky points, but it also overlies the pineal. My intent was, that by stimulating that, it puts the energy right into the pineal, which ultimately controls the pituitary.”2
Oxytocin and Trauma
Dr Shealy, like many people, believe that the first seven years of life are crucial, including the pregnancy. He calls the rush of oxytocin produced during natural delivery “grounding the oxytocin mechanism.”3 Even when babies are born under these circumstances, major trauma in the first seven years of life can block the oxytocin mechanism. What boosts oxytocin production? Hugs, kissing someone you care for, petting your dog, skin-to-skin mother and infant contact, breastfeeding…and massaging the Ring of Air acupuncture points.
Give it a go and observe how your moods are.
You can find photos of where these points are located on Dr Shealy’s website.
1 Applying Air Bliss Oil to the Ring of Air with Dr. Norm Shealy
2 The Self Care Revolution Presents: Module 3 Transmute & Release Trauma hosted by Dr Robyn Benson and Kevin Snow. p40.
3 Ibid., p34.
Is Love Simply a Puff of Oxytocin? by Joe Herbert M.B, Ph.D. Joe Herbert M.B, Ph.D. on Psychology Today. April 17 2016.
Insights With Norm Shealy by Bill Reddy, LAc, Dipl. Ac. Insights With Norm Shealy
The Self Care Revolution Presents: Module 3 Transmute & Release Trauma hosted by Dr Robyn Benson and Kevin Snow.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao