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I realize that quitting a long-term smoking habit can be a huge endeavor.  Once in a while I’ll meet someone who quit cold turkey, but that is likely an exception to the rule.

The thing about any habit is that it’s familiar and comfortable, so letting go of it is a difficult thing to do.

Therefore, the LETTING GO point is a wonderful point to hold, if you are thinking about or working on quitting smoking.  It’s a great point to use on a friend of relative who is going through this, too.  Fittingly, it’s the first point on the Lung meridian, so while it’s really helpful for letting go in many areas of life, it’s so appropriate for letting go of something that pertains to the Lungs. 

To learn more about this point, see this post.

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Your breath is your friend.

In Chinese Medicine, the lungs are associated with Autumn, so this is a great time to focus on breathing.

Acu Point: Letting Go

Is your breath shallow? Are you holding your breath? Discomfort in your upper chest? Hold this point on the lung meridian–it’s a few fingers under your collarbone near the top of your upper arm bone–and Let Go. Take long deep and slow breaths. Learn more about this.

Meditation

Meditation can be a powerful source of health and wellness, for both body and spirit. Even when we don’t have the time or inclination for a full meditation “practice,” a few moments of deep breath and holding acupressure points can be calming and relaxing. Try this mini-meditation.

Name: Letting Go (Lung 1)

This is a great point because its name tells you the benefits.

  • It’s the first point on the lung meridian, so it’s effective for relieving discomforts related to your lungs: breathing, asthma, coughing and chest tension, especially the upper chest.
  • Also, it’s “poetic” name “Letting Go” reminds us that this is a helpful point when we have ideas or emotions that we’re hanging onto too tightly, that we’re having a difficult time letting go. Grief, which is the emotion of letting go of something dear to us, holding this point gently and compassion can be helpful.
  • In addition, this point helps with fatigue, irritability and confusion.

lung1Location: On your front body, three fingers’ width below your collarbone, next to the top of your upper arm bone. On the top of the hand, on the web where the thumb and the index finger meet.

It can sometimes be difficult to find, but when you do, it often feels good. Sometimes it can be tender; hold gently. Often, you’ll take a nice deep breath.

To hold: You can push on this point with a light touch, or with a lot of pressure. As in the photo above, you can cross your arm across your chest and push in and up with your index and middle fingers, or all three middle fingers. Try this out to figure out what feels good. You can rub or massage the point with a circular motion.

You can hold the point with the hand of the sameside, as in the photo below (left).

lung1_2

lung1_3

Or try touching your thumb lightly on the spot. Even such a light touch can be effective.

Hold for 10 or 15 seconds initially, until you figure out what works for you. Take deep slow breathes while you hold the point. You can hold for a few minutes, but make sure that the holding hand does not get tense or tired out. Release gently if you feel any acute pain.

You are encouraged you to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider for questions about a medical condition.

You may wonder why I’m talking about paints in this blog, but since it’s dedicated to Everyday Wellness, and healthy and sustainable living, I think you’ll find this post is on-topic. Read on!

“Your breath is your friend.”

My clients and students hear this from me…often. I encourage them to pay attention to their breath, and make the intention of taking deep breaths as they practice self-acupressure or spend a few minutes to do an acupressure mini-meditation.

However, if the air you’re breathing is unhealthy, your breath is not your friend. That’s what I found a few days ago while helping my parents repaint their small apartment. A few hours after painting the ceiling, the paint smell started to get to me and I was starting to feel bad; I was worried about not being able to sleep in the apartment. Because the apartment is high up and it was windy, it wasn’t an option to sleep with the window open. We worked out that I could sleep in the bedroom that hadn’t been painted; fortunately, I felt fine in the morning.

The good news is that the day before, I also had the first-hand experience of a healthier paint option: a low odor, low VOC paint. GreenHomeGuide.com explains why this is healthier:

Levels of many common organic pollutants are two to five times higher indoors than they are outside, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Most of these pollutants are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from paints, finishes, and other materials. VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; nausea; and perhaps even cancer. Given all that, it makes sense to limit exposure by choosing low- or no-VOC paints—especially in the bedroom, where we spend about one-third of each day.

So, the day before we painted the ceiling with “regular” paint, we used Benjamin Moore’s Eco Spec low odor, low VOC paint for the walls. I’m a novice painter, so I can’t compare to other paints, but it was easy to apply two coats with a roller. The color was Simply White. (Unfortunately, the Eco Spec paint we wanted for the ceiling wasn’t available.)

That day and night, I barely noticed any odor and felt no discomfort, and slept in the room that had been painted. It really felt like a “healthy” option, especially for such a small space.

Here’s to beautiful living spaces that are also healthy, long-term.

Running ragged from a long week? Feel your energy flagging?

Try the following self-acupressure energy boosters and see if any work for you.

Lower Back Rub

Place the back of your hands on your lower back—at waist-level—and rub vigorously for 15 seconds. Relax your arms, take a deep breath, and repeat two or three more times.

Stretch and Breathe

Take a deep long breath as you raise your arms up over your head and stretch. Bend your arms and point your thumbs into the “corner” below where your clavicle (collar bone) meets your shoulder bone. This helps open your lungs and chest; now take a few more deep breaths.

Three Mile Point

Sit comfortably. Make a light fist and rub vigorously along the outside of your shins, a couple of inches below your knee. It’s said that when soldiers in ancient China did this they could run three more miles; hence the name!

 

(For questions about a medical condition, please see a qualified health care professional.)