Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2013

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technique classroom to client | @work | energy work | Myofascial techniques Finding Balance Acupressure for Blocked Emotions By Wolfgang Luckmann According to an old Chinese medical principle, emotional balance is the ability to feel all emotions appropriately. When a client is feeling challenged and stressed out, he or she can get fixed in one emotional state, the result of which can be fatigue, pain, depression, and lack of self-esteem. Such an emotional state of imbalance is mirrored in the physiological and anatomical systems of the body. A client in this state might exhibit posture that slumps forward and a kyphotic back with rounded shoulders. Tendons become tight and muscles can atrophy because of insufficient energy pushing blood and lymph. There is a connection between qi, or universal life energy, and blood and lymph. According to the ancient Chinese medical text The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, "Qi motivates blood and fluids," which means that there is an energy that drives the heart and circulatory system. Ultimately, without balance, there is dysfunction. The Taoist Perspective A healthy emotional state can be observed in early childhood. A toddler will be happy one minute, screaming and frustrated the next, and then happy again before the tears have time to dry. Unfortunately, as we age, our emotional responses become more and more predictable, rigid, and even neurotic. We have difficulty adjusting our patterned responses, and the free flow of emotions becomes blocked. So how exactly can emotions affect and harm physiological and anatomical systems? According to ancient Taoist philosophy, our emotions and soul inhabit our internal organs. There is a whole physiology associated with how the emotions circulate from organ to organ and to larger physiological systems. The organs contain the very essence of our emotional, physical, and spiritual life force and form an invisible web that influences our bodies right down to the cellular level. It is important to understand that it is only when we feel our emotions excessively, and they become chronic, that emotions, even good ones, can harm us. For example: anger weakens the liver and gallbladder; grief weakens the lung and large intestine; worry weakens the stomach and spleen; joy weakens the heart, pericardium, and small intestine, and ultimately the brain; and fear weakens the kidneys and bladder. 110 massage & bodywork january/february 2013

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