Are you stuck in a negative relationship? Are you bottling up feelings? A large intestine meridian imbalance could be the cause. But what can you do to balance yourself? Performing meridian exercises for the Large Intestine can help unblock and release negative emotions and unhealthy relationships and get your life moving in a positive direction again.
What are meridians?
Meridians are energy channels in our body through which our vital life force or Qi flows. Meridians, according to Chinese Medicine, correspond to specific body organs and the 5 Elements.
The Large Intestine Meridian is referred to as the “Minister of Transportation,” and is responsible for the balance and purity of bodily fluids. According to energy medicine, it affects and is affected by, our relationships and feelings. This means that our ability to digest life's information and release things which no longer serve us, just like our body’s need to release waste, is dependent on having a healthy colon.
Because it is associated with the element metal, it is similar to the lung meridian. Lungs eliminate metabolic waste by breathing in qi from the air and filtering it through the meridians.
Blocked or diminished Qi circulation in any meridian can negatively affect our physical, emotional, spiritual and even social health, says Chungsuk, a life energy expert who teaches meridian exercises.
When we have strong Large Intestine Meridian energy, we can let go of patterns of negative thinking, destructive emotions and spiritual blockages. When the Large Intestine Meridian becomes congested or closed down it can manifest in a number of ways. Some people have a hard time moving on from difficult situations, or hold very tightly to harmful emotions even though they know they are harming themselves.
Holding onto painful feelings or patterns can also manifest as an unwillingness to betray or share our emotions with others. "Bottling up" our emotions is a common cause of chronic constipation.
With proper nutrition and Large Intestine Meridian exercises, you can train your body, and your mind, to function in the world more freely.
When you are suffering from chronic constipation or sluggish digestion, Chungsuk also recommends that you take some time to meditate on your personal relationships.
"Consciousness and meridian energy are deeply connected," he says. The Large Intestine Meridian's metal energy is concerned with matters of prosperity and self-protection, but it is also the "organizer" organ. Large Intestine governs discernment and discretion.
When your Large Intestine meridian energy is strong and balanced, you are organized—in your thinking and your physical space. You are clear headed and free of pollutants, both physically and mentally.
If your Large Intestine Meridian energy is unbalanced, your ability to discern and discriminate can get confused. Physically you may become constipated. Mentally your thinking may become clouded. And your ability to discern or make good judgements becomes impaired.
Two areas of life where you might feel this imbalance most are in your relationships and money.
You may become unyielding or stubborn in your personal relationships, or find yourself unable to "think straight," make decisions or be organized in your work.
This pattern of holding on can also manifest as an unwillingness to share—our emotions, feelings or prosperity. We can become stingy or even begin hoarding our money, time and resources. This phenomenon of “bottling up” emotions for years very often leads to chronic constipation.
The condition of your Large Intestine is also reflected in your skin. Blemishes, eczema, dry or dull skin are all indications of chronic constipation.
As a metal element, Large Intestine is also associated with the emotion of grief. We frequently see the effects of grief on the Lung meridian, the other metal energy center. Pneumonia, bronchitis or even coming down with a severe cold are common reactions to the loss of a loved one or significant relationship.
But grief can affect the Large Intestine, too, particularly when one becomes attached to the grief itself; being too attached to a memory, or so stuck in negative thinking that it becomes nearly impossible to move on. You become literally constipated, unable to change the situation.
Below are two Large Intestine Meridian exercises you can use whenever you are feeling sad, indecisive or stuck in a negative situation.
Exercises for Constipation and Your Large Intestine Meridian:
- Abdominal Breathing Massage
- Lower Dahn-jon Tapping
How to Perform Abdominal, or Diaphragmatic, Breathing Massages
For better energy, improved digestion and glowing skin, perform this easy, relaxing belly breathing exercise to release stress, increase circulation and relieve constipation.
1. Lie, sit, or stand in a comfortable position, place both hands over your belly with your thumbs pointing toward your navel and your two index fingers touching so they form a triangle, covering the area from your navel to your pubic bone.
2. Begin to inhale as your push your abdomen outwards until you feel pressure, like blowing up a balloon
3. Next, exhale completely, slowly pulling your abdomen back inward toward your spine
4. Hold each inhale and exhale for two to three seconds each. You can also contract and relax your rectal muscles during this exercise to gather energy and warmth more quickly. Repeat this circuit 100 times at first. You can gradually increase the number of repetitions to 300.
This is a highly relaxing yet stimulating intestinal exercise. When you have completed your circuits, take time to balance your energy by lying or sitting still for several minutes. You can balance your energy further by drinking several glasses of water after this exercise.
How to Perform Lower Dahn-jon Tapping
Combine this exercise with the abdominal breathing exercise for soft, toned and flexible intestines. This exercise not only stimulates, strengthens and softens the intestines, it also increases blood and vibrant qi circulation to your Lower Dahn-jon, the energy center located in your abdomen.
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Lengthen and relax your spine, shoulders, neck and arms
2. Place your hands on your abdomen and begin patting it with your open hands in a rhythmic motion. Increase the pressure and intensity of the patting until it becomes a striking motion.
You can use your abdominal muscles to resist or push off your palms for better muscle toning.
Repeat for 100 times at first. You can gradually increase the number of repetitions to 300 as your abdomen becomes stronger.
Try these tapping and abdominal, or diaphragmatic, breathing exercises anytime and anywhere you feel you've "hit a brick wall" or want to get your life, and energy, moving again. And next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with negative energy, don’t forget to check in with your Large Intestine meridian.