Everything You Need to Know About Your Pineal Gland
Here at Sakara, we’re all about the intersection of mind and body, science and spiritually, the physical and the metaphysical. So it’s about time that we pay tribute to the tiny yet powerful piece of our biological bodies that connects us to all things otherworldly. We’re talking about the pineal gland.
Biologically speaking, the pineal gland is part of our endocrine system and is located deep inside the center of our brains directly between the two hemispheres. It’s about the size of a grain of rice, and resembles the shape of a pinecone (hence the name). The pineal gland is responsible for producing melatonin, the serotonin-derived hormone that regulates our sleep and wake cycles. And as we can all attest to, the duration and quality of our sleep largely (if not entirely) affects how we feel on a daily basis, making this tiny organ of upmost importance to our sense of wellbeing. But surprisingly enough, this gland has long been a mysterious piece of our biological puzzle for scientists and researchers, and until recently very little was known about it in the medical community.
On a spiritual and metaphysical level, the pineal gland is synonymous with our third eye chakra. Logistically this makes sense, as the pineal gland is located right between the eyebrows, as is our sixth chakra. As we’ve already learned during our chakra series, the third eye energy center houses our sense of intuition and spiritual connection. It has long been believed by spiritual communities that the pineal gland functions similarly, and is the point of contact between our minds and bodies, and beyond. Now, it’s obviously hard to objectively back up such a claim, but I’m guessing it’s no coincidence that unlike most of the brain, the pineal gland is not separated from the body by the blood-brain barrier.
Looking back at history, the pineal gland has been revered as a symbol of personal enlightenment by ancient civilizations for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians and Romans depicted the pineal gland as an eye in much of their artwork, and in Roman Catholicism this organ is symbolized as a pinecone. The 17th century French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician René Descartes described the pineal gland as the “principal seat of the soul”. Seems like a lot of attention for what Western scientists consider to be just another endocrine gland, no?
It is through activation of the pineal gland that we awaken our minds to our true selves, our true nature, beyond what we think we already know. We awaken our minds to the universal love, abundance, and wisdom that flows through us and all beings on this planet. We awaken ourselves to a sense of community and oneness, a knowing that we are all connected by love. It has even been said that our ability to truly empathize with another originates from our pineal gland. It is from this space that we can turn inward, see the bigger picture of life, and connect to something larger than ourselves. By activating the pineal gland, we strengthen our sense of intuition and our ability to sense and intentionally impact the energy that surrounds us.
This innate power lies within each and every one of us, just waiting to be tapped into. Typically, our pineal gland is active at birth, but for many of us, it begins to dull with age. As a society, we’ve been taught to fear or resist the intuitive, energetic, and metaphysical aspects of ourselves, and with enough suppression, the abilities of the pineal gland and third eye begin to decrease.
An additional reason for this decrease in activity is calcification. Calcification of the pineal gland is largely due to the amounts of sodium fluoride that we’re exposed to — you know, that “good for your teeth” stuff that floods everything from our dental hygiene products to our drinking water to our food. In the late 90’s, a study confirmed that the pineal gland is a target for sodium fluoride, and that it absorbs more fluoride than any other physical matter in the body (including our teeth and bones). This absorption of fluoride causes the pineal gland to calcify and makes it no longer effective. This is so not good, you guys! Biologically, a calcified (therefore inactive) pineal gland negatively affects our sleep cycle, hormonal processes, stress levels, and physical performance. On a metaphysical level, this inhibits our sixth chakra energy center and weakens our intuitive nature.
So, it’s time to awaken that pineal gland! Among the most common techniques for activating a dormant or sluggish pineal gland are meditation* and yoga. Anything that draws your attention inward, connects you with your vital life force (aka the breath), and stills the chatter of the mind will lead to a slow but steady opening and awakening of the pineal gland. And to tackle the calcification issue, begin to remove all sources of fluoride from your life. Luckily, there are so many fantastic fluoride-free toothpaste options to choose from now. Our drinking water is a major source of our fluoride consumption, so seek out fresh, alkaline spring water or reverse-osmosis distilled water in lieu of tap or conventionally filtered water. To break down the calcification that has already occurred, consider adding a zeolite supplement to your diet. Zeolites are volcanically-produced crystals with powerful detoxifying qualities — they breakdown hardened mineral build-up within the body and then so kindly escort it out.
Go ahead and show your pineal gland a little love, and I promise you’ll be amazed at what you find.
*Bonus meditation ~
Start by setting a timer for 60 seconds, closing your eyes, and bringing a subtle awareness to the space behind your brow line (oh hey, third eye!). Breathe slowly and deeply through the nose, while maintaining this connection to your third eye center. When 60 seconds is no longer a challenge, set the timer to 2 minutes. Continue to gradually increase your meditation time, minute by minute — I usually cap around 20 minutes daily, but feel free to dedicate as much time to your practice as you’d like!