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. For Dr Norm Shealy, his research shows him that “oxytocin inadequacy has been reported in every known emotional and mental disorder.”1
How do we raise our levels of oxytocin naturally?
In the mid-90s, Dr 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.”2 It activates the chemicals neurotensin and oxytocin. Neurotensin, according to his book Living Bliss, reduces pain and anxiety, coordinates digestion, and interrelates with growth hormones. He further shares that with an increase in neurotensin oxytocin is released.
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 Syndrome.
More about the Ring of Air from Dr Shealy website
“Oxytocin deficiency has been reported in every emotional disorder—Autism, ADHD, Depression. Anxiety, Addiction. Borderline Personality, Inadequate Personality and even in Schizophrenia! In 2014 the results of using Air Bliss for depression and anxiety were presented at the Southern Medical Association annual meeting—a striking 80% of patients had striking reduction in depression and anxiety! This appears to be the single best approach for both these problems!
Stimulation of the Ring of Air with visualization and massage to these specific 13 acupuncture points has been done in classroom settings with several hundred individuals, most of whom report subjective feelings of increased connectedness accomplished at the highest levels of meditative experience. There is no accurate way of measuring lucidity or meditative states of awareness and obviously much further clinical work needs to be done, both to determine the subjective effects of activation of the Ring of Air. Meanwhile it is strongly recommended that the first treatment of both anxiety and depression should be Air Bliss.”
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
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.
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.
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.
Governing Vessel 1
This point is on the bottom of the spine.
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.
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.
Governing Vessel 16
Located at the top of the spine and just below the skull.
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.”3
Oxytocin and Trauma
Dr Shealy, like many people, believes that the first seven years of life are crucial, including the conception and pregnancy. He calls the rush of oxytocin produced during natural delivery “grounding the oxytocin mechanism.”4 Even when babies are born under these circumstances, however, 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 Living Bliss by C Norman Shealy, MD, PhD. 2014, p102.
2 Applying Air Bliss Oil to the Ring of Air with Dr. Norm Shealy
3 The Self Care Revolution Presents: Module 3 Transmute & Release Trauma hosted by Dr Robyn Benson and Kevin Snow. p40.
4 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.