latest from the blog
Working with Sadness
Feelings are an experience of the movement of energy in the body in response to an object, situation or person. An emotion is the label our minds give to that experience of moving energy, or feeling. It all starts on the body and when we are not able to be present with a feeling, we will lock up parts of the body to avoid the sensation.
We may want to avoid the feeling of an emotion that a part of ourselves has a judgement around. Perhaps we were taught as a child it was bad to cry and be sad. We may have experienced a trauma and have pushed that part of ourselves aside because there is a belief in our internal system that the feelings of the traumatized part will overwhelm our system. There can be any number of reasons for locking up the body to avoid feelings and we call this segmental armoring.
There are five primary segments; ocular, jaw, chest/shoulders, solar plexus and hips. Over a period of time segmental armoring will result in difficulty with the function of vital organs, chronic pain and distress. Over the next series of video blogs, we will be exploring movements designed to avoid armoring the body in response to an emotion or feeling. Part of our awareness is what we physically feel, and these movements use acupoints and meridians to tell the body how to move the energy. I have used these movements myself and with clients for many years and find them very beneficial to creating wellness.
The feeling of sadness is often experienced as a contraction in the chest and our breath pulls in. If we armor the chest to avoid this feeling it can damage the lungs. In Chinese medicine lungs play a vital role in our basic energy needed to function day to day. They also act in part as our immune system as they send Wei Chi out to the myofascial area of the body to protect from the invasion of damp, cold, wind… Often during periods of grief people become ill easily and experience fatigue. Sadness and grief are part of life. We cannot expect to go about life and not experience loss. What we can do is be present with what we are feeling. The movement for lung demonstrated in the video Working with Sadness is one way to be present with the experience of grief and to avoid armoring the chest segment.
When things arise in your life take a moment and ask, “Where do I feel this on my body?”, “What does it feel like sensually?” Meaning, is it hard or soft. Is it hot or cold, maybe it has a color, a sound? Connect with your heart and let that part of yourself know that you feel it, you are there, and it is going to be okay. Let that part know that when you can you will come back to it and learn more about what it is feeling. If the feeling is part of a long term pattern you may wish to explore this with a talk or body therapist. Working with the movements in this series is certainly a valuable tool to begin a process of healing.
Video Video Working with Sadness