How to Release Guilt

Is there a person alive who has not experience guilt in one form or another within their lifetime? If so, please let me know who they are as they will be authoring the next blog post.

In the event you do not find one, there is relief coming. First, a few things.

Guilt is one of those emotions that has little to no value. Sure, it helps “remind” us that certain actions like killing or stealing or abusing your spouse, drugs or the dog are completely unacceptable, but seriously, we already knew that. Even those that engage(d) in said behavior(s) knew it but decided to do it anyway. They did not need guilt to remind them. They needed a compassionate, strong voice to remind them that they matter. So does the other person.

Other than these and other obvious ones, what is the point of guilt?

Take a few minutes. I’ll wait.

And the answer is. . . . . . ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Exactly. There is none. There is this notion that if we are less than ideal, anything other than perfect, we are then “required” to engage in some self-punitive behavior. If we do this long enough (who knows how long enough is), then we can probably be “forgiven.” Assuming we are perfect from here on out of course.

As you can see, it is an impossible task. Completely and utterly impossible.

We do our best and sometimes, magic happens. We do our best and sometimes we fail miserably. We sometimes do not always do our best and maybe we can learn from this. Guilt and punitive actions/words are not the vehicles to teach. Just the opposite. They lessen our will and sap our energy, often leading to the same self-destructive behavior that initiated the guilt to begin with.

Then What Do I Do

Make a commitment to practicing forgiveness, making amends when needed and being kind to self and others. Then change behaviors.  Make it a lifelong practice, knowing full well that “failure” will, in fact, visit on more than one occasion.

Now, find a quiet spot. Everyone tells you this prior to a special exercise because silence in the outer world brings silence to the inner world.

Once you have your spot, put your right palm directly under the right chest/breast area. It should feel like half the hand is feeling your ribs and half the hand is below then.

Rub across to the other side (chest/breast area). Depending upon the size of the person, it will be around 12 inches or so. Make the movement linear.

Start slowly and increase the speed of moving back and forth from the right side where you started to the left side/chest/breast area. By doing so, you should begin to feel a sense of a line of heat in the middle of the torse.

Do this for 3-5 minutes. Vary the speed and remember to focus on your breathing.

Doing this is a 2-fold benefit:

  • The Liver is like a “trouble-maker.” Its energy is often abrasive and confrontational. The Spleen, on the other hand, is the “peacemaker.” By rubbing and thus connecting the liver and the spleen chi (energy), the balance is restored. The liver gets subdued and the spleen is energized. The end result is a sense of deep peace and comfort.
  • Guilt arises from the liver and when the energy becomes balances, Guilt leaves and its energy is transformed into something more useful, often creativity.

It is about a simple method as you can get but one that has surprisingly quick and deep effects. Typical results include a sense that “I can finally breathe deeply now” or a release of soreness and/or stiffness in the solar plexus.

Mostly, it is the freedom from guilt and the joy of experiencing our most natural state – love.

Use This Point to Release the Past

Are you troubled by your past? Haunted even?

Do you live in the past or which things “were like they used to be. . .  in the good ole’ days.”

You know being in the present is where life happens yet staying there is a challenge, insurmountable at times.

You try meditating, doing Tai Chi and have even befriended Eckerhart Tolle. Still, you find the past is like a magnet, continually drawing you back.

How are your lungs?

Don’t bother answering. I already know.

They are weak. Maybe not a disease but I guaranteed you they are weak. When the energy of the lungs is weaker than what it should be, one does not inhale and in particular, exhale as they should. This is where the clinging to the past enters the picture.

The past, in the form of stagnant energy (called Chi) accumulates in the lungs and traps the person in memories of the past.

In the meantime, life is flying by and you are not even getting to participate in it.

Fortunately, there is one point on the body that can make a huge difference with this issue. It is called Tai Yuan or Lung 9. It translates as “the Great Abyss” which when this point is weak, a person feels trapped in this “Great Abyss” of the past.

The point is easy to find. If you look at your palm (either hand), it is on the thumb side, right on the crease of the wrist. When you palpate, you will find strong sized tendon there. (see featured image).

Press into it and massage it clockwise for 60 seconds, a few times a day. As you do so, notice exactly how you feel with each circular movement. Pay extra attention to your breathing, focusing mainly on the exhale.

In a short period of time, you will find yourself focusing on the now and releasing the past, regardless of what has occurred (or not occurred).

Life is happening now. Use Lung 9 to be an active participant.

7 Ways Acupuncture Helps

The World Health Organization list acupuncture for the treatment of over 200 different diseases and conditions. The list is quite extensive and contains many more issues than just pain relief.

Here is a great list of the top 10 conditions that acupuncture can be used. It is from the Naturo Medica:

1. Acupuncture promotes relaxation:

In today’s non-stop world it is a rare occasion for me to meet a patient that is not “stressed out”. Many people feel there are just not enough hours in the day to meet the demands of work, family and self-care. This results in most of us operating in a state of chronically high stress, which not only feels awful but is actually quite damaging to the body. Acupuncture is one of the best ways to relax the nervous system and promote a state of calm and relaxation. The majority of my patients enjoy a state of deep relaxation during and after acupuncture visits and often fall into a peaceful sleep.

2. Acupuncture can help improve sleep:

10% of the US population suffers from chronic insomnia, which is difficulty falling or staying asleep. This lack of sleep is detrimental to a person’s quality of life and has significant health consequences. Many people turn to sleeping pills for relief, but these too can have serious adverse effects that need to be considered. They can be habit forming, leading to abnormal sleep behavior such as sleep walking, sleep eating and long term cognitive decline, depending on which medication is used. Acupuncture is a safe and effective option for insomnia. The best part is that acupuncture treats the root cause of what is causing the insomnia and actually benefits your overall health at the same time!

3. Acupuncture can boost your energy:

Fatigue is the number 1 health concern I encounter in my patients. Most people are burning the candle at both ends with fast paced, high stress lives. In Chinese Medicine the term “qi” can be most closely defined as energy. The majority of people I encounter are deficient in qi. This can be due to many factors including chronic stress, strong emotions, improper diet, too much or too little exercise, and even lack of breathing fresh air can contribute to qi deficiency. The good news is that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can do wonders to nourish a person’s qi, thereby increasing their energy levels. Instead of turning to another cup of coffee, consider increasing your energy in a balanced and sustained way with acupuncture.

4. Acupuncture can decrease musculoskeletal pain:

Acupuncture is one of the best options to consider for both acute and chronic pain. I use acupuncture with great success helping my patients with pain and recovery after injury, pre and post-surgery as well as after motor vehicle accidents. There are several ways in which acupuncture helps to decrease pain and promote tissue recovery including:

  • signaling your body to release pain moderating chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins
  • increasing blood flow to surrounding tissue to bring in nutrients, oxygen, hormones and chemicals to increase the healing process
  • stimulates your body’s release of natural anti-inflammatory compounds that decrease pain and promote healing
  • micro-trauma induced by the needle helps to stimulates your body’s immune system to promote healing

5. Acupuncture can treat headaches:

Headaches can be crippling to those that suffer from them. Many of my patients suffering from chronic headaches have been under the care of Neurologists and continue to suffer from headaches even while undergoing conventional medical treatment. Acupuncture is an excellent therapy for headaches of all types. I commonly treat patients with migraines, tension headaches and hormonally triggered headaches with great success. My patients report experiencing a decreases in the frequency and severity of headaches and over time many people experience a complete resolution of headaches.

6. Acupuncture can improve your mood:

Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression impact the lives of many people causing a great deal of pain and suffering. Medications can be effective and are at times necessary to help manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for mood disorders that can be used as a stand- alone treatment as well as in combination with mood supportive medications or supplements. My patients report experiencing a significant decrease in anxiety levels and an improved sense of well-being during acupuncture visits and increasing periods of balanced mood with regular acupuncture treatments.

7. Acupuncture can boost your immune system:

In Chinese medicine the “Wei Qi” is the protective energy barrier that keeps a person healthy and their immune systems strong against the various pathogens. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are incredibly effective at both strengthening the “Wei Qi” to prevent illness as well as expelling pathogens from the body when a person is ill to help speed along recovery time. I use acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat patients that get sick frequently, for colds, flus and respiratory disorders, for environmental allergies as well as with patients dealing with autoimmune disorders.

8. Acupuncture can help improve digestion:

There is an increasingly high percentage of the population that struggles with symptoms of poor digestion. Some of the many digestive conditions I treat with Chinese medicine are gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and abdominal pain. In Chinese Medicine a healthy digestive system is the basis for good health. If the digestive system is not functioning optimally it trickles down to all other aspects of health and lays the groundwork for disease. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help to regulate digestion and restore optimal digestive function.

9. Acupuncture can help with disorders related to menstruation and menopause:

Many women suffer with hormonal imbalances that manifest as conditions such as absent menses, painful menses, heavy menses, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, perimenopausal and menopausal disorders. Conventional medical treatments are often ineffective for these disorders and seldom treat the underlying cause. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are incredibly beneficial in treating the root cause of these conditions as well as providing symptomatic relief.

10. Acupuncture can help keep you healthy:

Acupuncture is an excellent option for those people that are looking to take their health to the next level. Once my patients have recovered from the condition that brought them in to see me initially I recommend that they continue to come in once a month or quarterly for a “tune up” to keep their body functioning optimally. I find that patients that come in for preventative acupuncture “tune ups” experience higher energy levels, and increased sense of well-being and get sick less frequently than my patients that come in only when they are feeling ill. I am a big advocate for using acupuncture as a form of preventative medicine. I encourage everyone to consider coming in for acupuncture at least once a season to help give their systems a boost, which lays the groundwork for sustained good health.