People in Western culture seem pulled in two directions whenever fall rolls around. We see Nature around us doing that last hurrah before winter: the main harvest is in, the leaves are turning, squirrels and other animals are stockpiling food supplies.
Yet we are gearing up for all the frenetic activity that will take us from Halloween through to New Year’s Eve. Parties. Shopping. Making plans to get together with friends and relatives we’ve somehow avoided all year.
Consider instead the wisdom of discernment, as practiced by many ancient cultures more directly attuned to the earth. Fall was the season for letting go. Whatever did not serve you, whatever was not essential for survival through the winter, was cut. Tossed. Released.
It’s so important to exhale. In yoga, exhaling is considered more important than inhaling! Breathing in creates tension; breathing out allows relaxation. Likewise in Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ), exhaling allows stale air and stagnant energy to leave the body, creating space for fresh air and vibrant energy to enter.
In JSJ, energy moves down the front of the body (exhale) and up the back (inhale). It passes through specific Safety Energy Locks, similar to acupuncture meridian points. In fact, the Prime Mover, SEL 1, is the initial mechanism for exhaling and letting go.
(To feel how this works, sit and hold the two points at the inside bend of your knees. As you breathe, do you feel tension leaving your neck and shoulders? Your stomach area? Anywhere else that was tense or anxious? Just two minutes is a great restorative!)
Letting go of the gut
Hard to imagine with all those holiday feasts coming up, but fall is also an excellent time to let go of excess weight. I’ve been subscribing to the “Healthy Gut Summit,” an online series of interviews with doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, and other experts on how to heal such all-too-common abdominal disorders as leaky gut, IBS, acid reflux, and more.
These interviews will be available to watch again free of charge for a limited time only, from October 30 – November 2. Here’s the link: http://www.margaretledane.com/healthy-gut-thinner-summit-speakers/
An important takeaway from the series for me was the importance of chewing your food. “Chew it till it’s liquid,” said one presenter. Digestion begins in your mouth, mixing food with enough digestive juices so the stomach is able to finish processing it. (Chinese medicine says, “The stomach has no teeth.”) As I practice this, I’m learning all over again how much less food it takes to feel full. And how much easier it can be to start losing weight!
These days so many of us barely chew anything before we swallow it — and our compromised digestive systems show the results. It wasn’t always that way. When he was a child, my father wrote to his great-grandfather, Charles Seton Henry Hardee of Savannah, declaring, “I chewed my milk one hundred times.” This may sound like overkill, but great-granddad sent him a dime every time, and a dime went far for a youngster in the early 1920s. My dad wrote a lot of letters.
One of the bonuses of the summit is free access (for a limited time) to a documentary about GMO foods, “Genetic Roulette.” This powerful and disturbing film will have you rethinking where you get the food you eat. The link is: http://responsibletechnology.org/free-gift-genetic-roulette/. Enter this password: protectyourhealth.
Christin Whittington is a practitioner of energy medicine – helping people restore balance in their bodies, their health and their lives using a combination of Reiki, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Qi Gong and herbal medicine.