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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.

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I’m feeling some anxiety about changes–real, imagined and expected–in my life now. I came across this article in the Yoga Journal, by meditation teacher Philip Moffit, where he talks about change and intention: The Dharma of Life Changes. Since intention is a key word in my own work with clients and with myself, I was curious to see what the author had to say.

I was especially drawn to these questions that Phillip Moffit proposes:

Diligently applying mindfulness allows you to answer three basic questions:

  1. What are your real motives?
  2. What are the possible effects of any change?
  3. Is the manner in which you plan to go about change skillful?”

These are seemingly simple questions, but how simple is it to “diligently apply mindfulness”? I find my mind wandering easily to worries and planning, so I remind myself of the benefits of spending a few minutes to do a self-acu mini meditation.

Whatever movement in your life that you are dealing with or working on bringing to fruition–managing your weight, improving your life balance, greater financial success, a new job, a growing family–try out these questions. Change is a part of life; it’s nice to have some guidance in how to navigate through those times.

In the last minutes of 2006, I was in a car accident. We were just about to cross the Oakland Bay Bridge to go home after a warm and lovely New Year’s Eve dinner, and the car I was driving was hit by a truck.

Fortunately, no one was injured. The man who hit us was calm and friendly, which helped calm my startled nerves, and I trust that the insurance matters will all work out alright. When the clock struck 2007, we were still on the side of the road, but had a great view of the fireworks display across the Bay.

Nevertheless, my spirit has been a bit off-kilter today, the first day of 2007. Worried about the repair requirements, wary about driving, rattled that the transition to the new year was accompanied by such a jolt. However, I remind myself of the healthy intention I set for myself yesterday, before the accident.

That is, to practice some yoga and meditation every morning, even if only for 15 minutes. I ALWAYS feel better when I do that. I know this supports all aspects of my life.

And this morning, even though I was feeling a bit tentative and sorry for myself, and my neck and shoulder were a bit uncomfortable–from the accident? from stress and worry?–I did my practice. I felt better afterward, in body and spirit, and I believe it allowed me to enjoy the visits with good friends through the day as much as I have. My morning practice also probably helped to recognize my “off-kilter” state, and just let it be, rather than getting more worried about that.

So, I invite you to consider setting a healthy intention for yourself.

  • Not a goal, which sets up a specific expectation. Here’s a familiar example: I must diet and lose x pounds by y-date.
  • But a guiding principle that helps you with what to do in every moment. It might look like this: My intention is to pay attention to when I am actually hungry, and eat food that is nutritious and delicious, enough to satisfy my hunger, and no more.

When you pay attention to the joyful or peaceful and restful moments in your life, what healthy intentions can you set?

After dinner last night, my friend asked for some advice for her insomnia. She has the kind where it’s hard to get to sleep. (The other kind is where you wake up during the night, and have difficulty falling back asleep. And of course there’s the combination of those two.)

There can be any number of reasons for insomnia, so I did what I always do, which is to learn more about that sleeplessness.

  • Do you have physical discomfort in bed, that could affect your ability to fall asleep?
  • Is you mind busy? Are you thinking lots of thoughts?
  • Are you feeling stressed? Do you have deadlines or other worries?
  • Does this happen every night? When is it not such a problem? When it is worse?
  • What do you typically do before you go to sleep? Do you have a bedtime routine?

My friend said that she thinks her mind is busy with thoughts. So I suggested she try soaking in a bath before going to bed. When our energy is up in our head–with thoughts and worries–the body sometimes gets left out. A hot bath covers your skin all the way down to your toes, and reminds our heads that it’s not all about our minds. The toes want some attention, too. Some of that energy in the head can relax down into the body, helping in overall relaxation.

It turns out that my friend does take a bath. Every night!

She thought a little more, then asked, “What about reading before bed?”

It turns out that my friend reads a variety of material–magazines, novels, non-fiction–in the bathtub.

So her nightly bath ritual may relax her body, but the reading might be stimulating her mind. My suggestion to her was to leave the reading material outside. See what it’s like to let the bath be a blissful bath on its own. And to pay attention to her ability to sleep. I’ll check in with her later.

Bathtime Tools: Even though there’s a wonderul soaking tub in my home, it’s whoafully under-used. So I bought myself a jar of Ahhh…Bath Soak because I love how the aromatherapy helps to calm me, and also gives each bath a specialness boost. I’m not suggesting that you have to buy anything to make your baths more fragrant. But to pay attention to what makes it relaxing and appealing to you.

Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed with shopping or hosting/travel preparations? Or worried about finishing up a project at work? Or maybe you just want to take a break from the buy-buy-buy atmosphere.

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.

The Self-Acu Mini Meditation takes just a few minutes, and can be done anywhere. At your desk, sitting in your car, or at bed-time. It’s easy to do, and gives you a chance to hold two important acupressure points: the Third Eye (between your eyebrows) and the Hara (below your bellybutton.)

Give yourself this gift, now or anytime.

Self-Acu Mini Meditation

For a moment of relaxation during a busy day, try this mini-meditation.

Stand or sit comfortably and close your eyes.
Gently place a finger on your Third Eye-between your eyebrows-and place the palm of your other hand on your Hara-below your bellybutton.

Take five … deep … slow … breaths.

Smile. You’ve just given yourself a wonderful gift.

Get a printer-friendly version, or check out beautiful cards printed with this meditation.

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This is a place to share, explore and discuss ideas around healthy and sustainable living. By paying Attention and setting Intentions, we can each find our individual paths to wellness. Learn more about this blog on the About page.
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