The pineal gland, or epiphysis cerebri, is shaped like a pineapple. (That’s where the name comes from.) And it plays an important role in regulating your sleep patterns and circadian and seasonal cycles.
It is small (only about 8 millimeters long) and is located in a very special little spot in your brain, right between the two hemispheres, wedged in the area where the two parts of the thalamus come together.
Something else that is interesting about the pineal gland is the whole world of spirituality, magic, and tradition that has been built around it.
It’s not a new subject of study. Actually, Descartes in his time said that this is where man’s soul is found and where, according to more mystic traditions, our “third eye” is found.
However, other than these less scientific approaches, the truth behind this little gland goes far beyond what they have been able to tell us.
It is a gland that is essential to your health and is deserving of deeper understanding.
The pineal gland regulates our cycles
We’ve already talked about melatonin and its role in the body.
This hormone is what allows us to rest, induces sleep, strengthens our immune system, and prevents the premature aging of our brain.
- Something that’s important to know is that the pineal gland is exclusively in charge of producing melatonin when you’re in the dark and inhibits it when there is light.
- The process is regulated by the photosensitive cells of your retina. These are the ones that detect light and send this information to your pineal gland.
It’s quite a perfect, wonderful process.
It’s also known that proper regulation of melatonin means you have more energy and better health. However, the problem with the pineal gland is that it ages faster.
Let’s look at some more facts below.
“Read this too: 6 Effective Ways to Control Hormones that Cause Weight Gain”
The pineal gland and calcification
The pineal gland works like a perfect biological clock with the ability to help us adapt to the changing seasons, sleep better at night, and be in sync with the cycles of nature.
It’s a tough issue in today’s busy world where we’re constantly in artificial light, light that affects the internal balance of the pineal gland.
- Something we should consider and try not to forget is that this gland is very sensitive to factors like pollution, electric light, stress, and vitamin D deficiency.
- It’s also interesting to know that the pineal gland receives more blood than any other part of your brain. It actually receives almost the same amount as your kidneys.
- However, it loses functionality once you hit adolescence.
- As you mature, your pineal gland tends to calcify.
- A calcified pineal gland does not work as well, meaning that you not only have trouble sleeping, experience fatigue, and have memory problems, but also that you are at greater risk of reaching old age with a less agile brain.
Your “third eye” or principal seat of the soul
As we said at the beginning, in many spiritual philosophies, the pineal gland symbolizes the third eye, capable of spiritual awakening, as well as your most sensitive capacities or an elevated state of consciousness.
Practices like yoga emphasize this area of your brain. There are also animals who really have this “third eye.”
The tuatara, for example, is a kind of reptile in New Zealand that has a small eye on their head with very specific roles: one is hormonal and the other is thermoregulation.
“Take a look at this one too: The Emotional Benefits of Yoga”
How can I take better care of my pineal gland?
The worst enemy of your pineal gland is calcification.
It is very hard to prevent it from happening as the years go by, but you can postpone it with certain activities and a lifestyle that helps keep it healthy.
Here are some tips:
- Live in accord with the cycles of nature and sunlight.
Or in other words, it’s very advisable to take advantage of sunlight hours to go for a walk, take a sun “bath” (but always being safe and avoiding the hours of most intense UV rays).
- The light your computer, cell phone, and television give off are very harmful to your pineal gland.
- The best thing to do if you want to let it do its job is to disconnect from all of your devices an hour before going to bed.
- Sleep in complete darkness.
- Vitamin D is ideal if you want to take care of this gland.
- Pollution, especially flouride, is very damaging to your pineal gland. One way to get rid of excess flouride is by eating fresh fruit, especially tamarind.
Improve your lifestyle habits and learn to pay this little gland in your brain some attention. It does so much for your health.