As I navigated the closed streets and detours of the way back to my city home, I realized just how quickly the calmness of the peaceful countryside fades away in the city stress. I have just returned from two days away from the city, the traffic, the concrete, and the frustrations of construction everywhere during the short summer weather when every project on every municipality’s list becomes a reality. Living in a big city of close to three million has its pleasures but certainly its drawbacks! All the more important then, is the learning of ways to attain the calmness and serenity of a day in the country. Feeling peaceful and attuned to the world becomes far less elusive when we gaze out over blue water and feel a gentle summer breeze than when we are stuck in a traffic jam!

Breaking the stress cycle is essential for maintaining health. Ways we discover to lower our stress, to revitalize our energy and to recover from daily frustrations are ironically enough easy to forget in the heat of the moment unless we make a habit of using them on a daily basis.

I have been relearning (and reminding myself to use) a daily energy routine developed by Donna Eden, author of Energy Medicine, teacher and speaker who has been spreading the word about energy work for more than twenty years. This routine takes far less time than meditation or yoga, and no special set-up or mat or silent space, and can be done anywhere. So I think it is especially valuable for the busy and stressed individual. (Is anyone not, you may well ask?) Once this routine becomes a habit, its effects are similar to the calming and centering effects of other practices such as Qi Gong or Yoga.

So I am trying to make sure I do it every day, or even several times a day, so that it becomes quick and automatic and I stay focused, calm, serene and happy as though I am on the porch overlooking the lake…

Here is my version of the steps involved:

1. The three thumps: Do each of the following for about a count of 20: Rub the K-27 points, located in the indent below the clavicle. Then rub or tap the thymus, that is the breast bone. Then thump, tap or massage the spleen points, located near the bottom of the rib cage below the nipples. You will feel where the K-27s and the spleen points are because they hurt when you massage them. That means there is blocked energy there and you really need this exercise.

2. The spinal release: Put your hands on your thighs, lean into them with your knees bent, and dip your shoulder forward, stretching the spine. This releases built up stress along the sides of the spine. You feel this one almost instantly release tension.

3. The one minute relax: Breathe deeply into the abdomen region, using a square breath: four counts each of inhale, hold, exhale, hold.

4. Energy flow: Moving energy (I imagine like a luminescent jelly fish for those of you who have seen them in aquariums) from stem to stern. Simply hold the point under the nose, and at the same time hold a point on the spine (either at the base of the skull or at the waist). Breathe in and out with three sharp breaths.

5. The Zip up: Moving the hand from pubic bone up to lower lip, trace the central vessel meridian, ending just below the lip and turning an invisible key. Then move one hand from waist up the spine (use intention as you lose physical contact) and then over the head to the point just under the nose. Turn an invisible key. This strengthens my energy field and protects me from others.

All this takes just a few minutes. I am energized but calm and ready for the next challenge of the day.

Did you know that when you become ‘upset’ or feel a spike of emotion, that your limbic brain takes over from your thinking brain. You can do something about it quickly and easily. Bring your hand or finger pads up to your frontal eminences (the bumps below the hairline) and breathe until you feel the blood pulsing. Some people find a more effective way of doing this on yourself is to cross your hands over, with left hand touching the right side of your forehead and right touching the left. You will feel the blood come back to a steady state and your functional rational brain kick back in.

My emphasis on calming down is no accident, I know you realize! Anyone like myself who has been through adrenal burnout as I have (you may be post cancer treatment or you may have had too much intermittent stress for too long) has continuing evidence of sudden mood swings that we sometime do manage to hide or more often don’t really hide well…

So now you know or are reminded of concrete ways to ‘stay cool’ or ‘calm down’ whenever you want to. Use them!

Yours in health,

Wellness Woman