Growing up in a large family in Ireland, we weren't always encouraged to express our emotions, especially those considered "negative," like anger. Instead, we were taught to be good and to behave ourselves and to keep the peace at all costs.
This is not always healthy, and it was later in life that I learned that I may be damaging my health and influencing my close relationships by withholding my emotions. It took some work for me to develop this skill, but it's very enriching and healing to learn to effectively express our emotions.
Do-in is a combination of exercises that stretch and activate the meridians in the body. It is also a form of self-massage that, when practiced on a daily basis, can keep your chi flowing and your body healthy and vital.
- The exercise: To activate the liver and gallbladder meridian, sit with your legs spread as wide as possible. Holding the left foot, ankle or shin, stretch the right arm up and over toward the left, so you're stretching out the side of your body. Hold for at least 10 seconds, remembering to breathe, then repeat, stretching to the opposite side.
After you stretch, stand up and tap along the meridians with loose fists all the way up the inside of the legs, the abdomen, through the chest to the face, lightly tapping around the eyes with your fingertips. Then, tap the sides of the head around the ears, squeezing the neck and continuing to tap down the side of the body and legs. This will get the energy flowing in the meridians that will support the healthy functioning of the liver and gallbladder.
Nature: The Great Healer
For overall health and well-being, particularly for the benefit of the wood element, there's nothing quite as healing as long, leisurely nature walks. Take deep breaths as oxygen activates and alkalizes the entire system, and welcome in the healing energies of nature.
Wishing you all the joys of springtime!