But wait. What about the emotional body? Have we done anything about all the accumulated toxins we’ve held onto over the dark winter months? Have we done anything to cleanse ourselves on the emotional level?
Though others may not see the effects of emotional accumulation, it still affects us on the visceral level. In Western medicine, we are generally looking at the body as a machine. Feelings and thoughts, our emotional and mental selves are separate. We don’t tend to treat our emotions as possible causes for our physical imbalance but instead symptoms of those imbalances. In Eastern philosophy, we see how all is energy. Therefore, there can be no separation. Emotions can be seen as the root cause of imbalance and disease. So it is equally as important to keep the mental and emotional bodies moving freely as our physical bodies.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, emotions are linked to organs and systems of the body. Through the thousands of years this system has been practiced, they found a correlation between the build up of certain emotions and the function of their corresponding organs. The heart is the seat of Joy. The liver is Anger. The kidneys are the house of Fear and the lungs are Sadness.
Let’s say a person is presenting with symptoms of lung dysfunction. In Eastern Medicine the Lung Meridian, which is the energetic channel that supplies the nutritive energetic life force (chi) to the respiratory system, would be addressed. The emotional state of the person would be as much of a consideration as their physical habits, especially if a clear physical cause is not present. If they have been in a prolonged state of grief, it would be plausible that there could be an accumulation at of the emotion’s energy at one of the acupuncture/acupressure points along the meridian that could be blocking the flow of chi. Accumulation of certain emotions can create energetic holding patterns that can affect our thoughts, moods and ultimately our bodies.
It is important to allow our emotions their time. But no more than their time. If the emotion is no longer being triggered by something in the present, it may do us some good to stop giving it space in our now. If we find ourselves wallowing, it may do some good to redirect our attention to our breath. It can be like coming up for air from the sea of emotion giving us the boost of energy we need to swim for the shores.
Mediation can be of great benefit in keeping our bodies clear of energetic blockages and break long standing holding patterns. If we are present with an emotion, we can begin the practice of neutralizing it. We can start by observing it and accepting it. No judgements, no expectations, just being with it and looking at it for what it is. Just like food we’ve ingested, we must allow emotions to be metabolized. Take what we need from it and release the rest.
Yoga is an excellent physical practice for helping emotions flow. There are certain poses for the emotions we are trying to address. In Kundalini yoga, there is an entire series of kriyas designed just for the emotional body. Other forms of physical activity are also beneficial and can be made moreso with an added awareness of the breath.
Mantra and affirmations have also been found to help break mental and emotional patterns that we’ve adopted, knowingly or not. Again, if we accept that everything is energy at its core, we can see that our words have their own vibration. Intention is the key to that vibration so if we are to use affirmations or mantra to help change our frequency, we must be sure our intentions match our words. If we adopt an affirmation of health and abundance, we need to tap into the energy of health and abundance. We need to feel and visualize health and abundance in our lives.
We are much more than our bodies. Utilizing these practices can help detoxify our emotional and mental bodies, allowing for our holistic well being. It may take a bit more effort and time, but this juice is worth the squeeze!
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