Energy Channels in Traditional Chinese Medicine
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have energy channels throughout our bodies. These energy channels, known as Meridian channels, support our body, mind, spirit and emotions. There are twelve main channels, grouped in pairs, with the exception of one set of four meridians. Each set is associated with characteristics, including:
- a season
- an element
- a primary function.
- an emotion (that we may feel if the energy becomes stuck.)
The Autumn Meridians
In Autumn, the lung and large intestine meridians, in the metal element are at their strongest. If our energy gets stuck, you can suffer with the emotion of grief. But the counterpoint or the power and primary function of the energy of the metal element is letting go. This enables you to release negative energy, so you can rejuvenate and refresh.
If we think about the function of our large intestines and lungs, this starts to make sense. Our large intestines help eliminate waste from our bodies, after we’ve absorbed all the nutrients from our food. Our lungs expel the old used air, in the form of carbon dioxide. This leaves (pun intended) room for the new air you inhale to bring fresh oxygen to be absorbed into your bloodstream. So the lungs and large intestines have a similar purpose. They both absorb vital compounds that we need to survive, and release what we do not need. Tapping into this energy of metal and Autumn, of the lung and large intestine meridian channels, can help us do the same thing in our lives. So let’s delve a bit deeper into the functions of the lung and large intestine meridians:
The Lung Meridian
- Receiver of pure Chi. It’s our connection to the heavens and all that is spiritual. This meridian helps us to see and appreciate the quality in ourselves, others and the outside world – it is the source of true self esteem. You might remember an earlier video where we spoke about expanding our posture, which expands our lungs; and breathing deeply, to lift our spirit, and boost our self esteem. If you missed it, check it our here (add link).
The Large Intestine Meridian
- In charge of the waste system for the body, mind and emotional self. The large intestine also helps ensure we have space for the new by getting rid of the old. This meridian affects our ability to let go of what is no longer needed in all aspects of our life.
5 Cleansing Techniques, Using the Metal Energy of Autumn.
It’s important to create a balance of giving and receiving. A period of rest, followed by a period of growth. Create a balance of inhalation and exhalation.
You can also learn from nature by letting go of the stories and expectations attached to your experiences, which can cause additional suffering. Live in the present moment with truth and acceptance. Practice letting go, trusting, and accepting, as you use the energy of the seasons, to help you move through your own seasonal cycle and energetic shift.
2. Release thoughts, beliefs & behaviours that no longer serve you
We often think of spring as a time to clear, clean & declutter, but autumn has this connection even more. Allowing us to release things, thoughts, beliefs & behaviours that we no longer need.
Sometimes I’d like to declutter people in my life too. But they are usually the people closest to us. They are the ones who unconsciously & mostly even unintentionally seem to know which buttons to press, to get under our skin. .
Let me share a recent private challenge with you to illustrate my point. Just the other week, I had one of those days. I had to resolve a work progress issue with a member of our team, who’s a lifelong close friend. Much thought and preparation went into the meeting, which ultimately went well, and was uplifting for all involved. Although the process to get there was certainly taxing and an energy drain. As soon as I came out of that meeting, I found myself falling headlong into a misunderstanding with my mother. Does this type of thing happen to you? Like someone is trying to teach you a lesson?
Over the years, these incidents have led me to search for strategies for forgiveness. And most of the time I realise there is at least an element of forgiving myself that I must address. This is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why it’s so powerful. Forgiveness is emotional release, just like the autumn leaves. Forgiveness, however, is not for the faint hearted, and although you may think it is, forgiveness is certainly not for other people. As Gandhi says:
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Three strategies that I have found, that work best for me, are:
(i) Breath Cleansing
One of the best and simplest ways to strengthen your lungs is deep breathing. Especially outdoors, in the brisk autumn air. This nurtures and nourishes your immune system, supports your energy, and promotes good sleep. When you breathe deeply and deliberately, you flush your cells with the oxygen needed for all your bodily processes. Promoting the process of releasing and rejuvenating. Your lungs interact directly with the outside environment through your nose, mouth and skin pores. This plays an important role in fighting off external pathogens, like viruses and bacteria. As the temperature drops and winds become dry, you may notice cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a stiff neck, body aches, chills, fever, sore throat, headache, cough and runny nose. Existing skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, may get aggravated, and asthma or allergy reactions may flare. Now is the time to strengthen our Chi, energy, to prepare for winter.
Let’s get breath cleansing:
Consider each breath out, as a time for releasing any unwanted energies and developing the energy you desire.
This is your time to heal and let go. You can be open to letting go of anything that no longer serves you. Focus on the simple in and out breath. A longer out breath will help you relax if you feel stressed or emotional.
With every breath out, you can let go.
Release anything that holds you back or no longer serves you.
Now is the time to release and surrender.
Imagine as the leaves float to the ground, as the gentle breeze is carrying them. Along with these leaves, allow this breeze to carry what you no longer need. Feel the safety in this energy of releasing, to prepare for a renewal period and to make room for what is coming.
Without falling leaves, there can be no new growth.
So…ground yourself in nature, close your eyes and breathe deeply as you feel the weight being lifted while you let go. Let go of anger, free all guilt. Liberate your grief. Release sadness. Free any judgments. Remove comparisons. Let go of shame. Unburden yourself of whatever is weighing you down. These emotions may have served you in the past, they may have protected you in some way, but now give yourself permission to release them.
Should you have persistent negative thoughts invade your release cleanse.
Simply thank the thought for sharing. This helps it feel acknowledged. If it persists, rephrase or reframe it by adding “up until now” or “yet” to encourage it to feel heard. If it remains, then tighten your face and fists up on the in breath and release and relax on the out breath.
Take another deep breath in, and as you breathe out feel the release.
Like the colourful leaves that fall from the branches. Feel a heavy weight being lifted from your shoulders. Like clearing out unwanted clutter from your mind.
Now you have released everything you no longer need.
You feel a lightness, a calm feeling of inner peace. You look around you see the wind has stopped. The leaves have all fallen, and the forest of your mind is calm and still.
(ii) Visualisation – Based on Forgiveness Visualisation by Vishen, at Mindvalley
Forgiveness is when you let go of your resentment towards an individual or situation. Start by seeing the individual in front of you. As long as you sense they are there, it doesn’t matter if you cannot get a clear picture of their face. When you see them, remember that we are all connected.
- Repeat the following phrase in your mind: “I forgive you and I ask you to forgive me”.
- Take a deep breath and as you exhale, feel your forgiveness flow to them, feel whatever resentment, anger or rage, release from your body.
- Now imagine this person telling you the same thing. “I forgive you, and I ask you to forgive me”. As they say it, take in a deep breath, and as you exhale, feel all regrets, resentment and rage, release from your body.
- Sometimes, if it is a deep, more painful memory, it can take longer to feel you’ve forgiven the person. Forgiveness is a trainable skill. One day, with practice, forgiveness will come. When you forgive, you improve your own health and you improve your own happiness in your life.
(iii) Hawaiian Ho’ Oponono Technique
Simply say, or write these statements, with feeling (and whilst holding an image of the person you’re forgiving), in your heart and mind:
- I’m sorry
- Please forgive me
- I love you
- Thank you
Sometimes I practice these exercises in the safety and privacy of home. Other times, it can be a virtually immediate and deliberate response in the moment. When this is possible, it’s a great feeling, to let go, and not have it over my head for the rest of the day.
3. Pressure Points & Brushing
If you have a thought that won’t budge, or a habit or behaviour that persists, try using acupressure points as well as the above practices. Even a meridian brush can amplify your results and improve your ability to release. Also, notice if you wake up at night… What time is it? To help release the energy, you can brush your meridian channels, along your arms.
Waking between 3:00 – 5:00am
This is when lung energy is most active. Brush the inside of your arm from your shoulder to your thumb.
Waking between 5:00 – 700am
Focus on your large intestine meridian. Lightly brush with your fingers, from your pointer finger, all the way along the back of your arm, up your neck, and across to your opposite nostril. You can also press acupressure points on yourself at home to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. These metal points can help you let go of anything you no longer need. Releasing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tension, as well as strengthening you from the inside out, to boost your personal composure. You can activate these acupressure points to clear stuck energy and emotions by stroking or pressing on the points. Let’s do it together now. See the diagram: Large Intestine1 (LI1) and Lung 8 (Lu8).
- LI1 – On the radial (also thumb) side of the index finger, about 0.1 finger width posterior to (towards the back of the hand) from the corner of the nail.
- Lu8 – On the anterior (inside) forearm. Follow the line from the lateral (outside) edge of your thumb nail, to the depression at the base of the styloid process (wrist bone). 1 finger width above the transverse crease (across) your wrist.
- To invigorate the energy, press these points gently 3 – 7 times.
4. Nourish with Nutritional Support of this season to Strengthen Your Body and Immunity
Healthy foods that can be easily added to many dishes, to further nourish our bodies, include: bay leaves, garlic, horseradish, leek, ginger, capers. They can support our lungs and boost our immune systems, naturally.
5. Allied Health Team Support
To strengthen your immune system and entire body, consider a ‘tune-up’ with a visit to your preferred professional practitioners. An osteopath, naturopath, acupuncturist or transformational massage therapist will be a complimentary support for your holistic Autumn cleanse.
Wishing You Happiness and Strength This Autumn!
If you knew that you could, which aches and pains in your body, would you let go of?
If you were courageous enough, what thoughts, ideas or habits would you release?