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When you rub someone’s tired and tight shoulders, what happens? Things have a tendency to loosen up and the person relaxes. It turns out that touch, and even focused thought, is enough to affect the body’s energy system, which is mapped out in Chinese Medicine.
One of the great things about Chinese medicine and acupuncture is that disease is not so mysterious. According to Chinese medical theory, long before a disease ever manifests in the physical body, there is an imbalance somewhere in the energetic body.
In Western medicine, we know that when the body and mind relax, the immune system functions optimally and digestion is smooth. In Chinese medicine, we know that stress and tension create energetic traffic jams in the body’s energy channels, or what Chinese medicine calls meridians.
If too many traffic jams of energy occur at once or if a massive traffic jam is allowed to persist, then discomfort, achiness or even disease can develop.
Any way you look at it, it benefits us to relax. But did you know that your sore muscles might be telling you something?
When the upper back and shoulders feel tight, this is often a sign that we are not tuned into the inner wisdom of the heart.
The Small Intestine channel runs along the back of the shoulders.
In Western medicine, the small intestine pulls nutrients from food and continues the digestion process. In Chinese medicine, its function is similar: the Small Intestine is said to separate the pure from the impure—in other words, what we can use from what we cannot use. However, this function goes beyond food.
When we are unable to feel nourished from life or when we do not have clarity in thought or when making choices, the Small Intestine channel may be blocked. This is especially true when the upper back and shoulders feel stiff.
A Two-Minute Meditation
In Chinese medicine, the Small Intestine channel has a special energetic connection to the Heart channel. When you open up the Small Intestine channel, you open up a deeper level of discernment and expand the “wings of your heart.”
One way to do this is to spend five minutes in meditation.
Remember, your heart has the capacity to shine. When you are able to relax and radiate love, this heals your body and even those around you.
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