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The Importance of Balanced Anger

Apr 04, 2021

 

I find it so fascinating to talk to people about anger. Everyone has such a rich history with this emotion ranging from packing it away and not feeling it to bursting it out with every irritation. And there's a huge spectrum between these disparate responses.

If we think in terms of energy or qi, anger can be powerful. As it builds like a kink in a hose, it can move us to take action quickly when the kink is released. The buildup of anger can drive us to speak up, be heard, and finally own our space. Anger can drive a country or nation to protest oppression and shift legislation.

Anger is simply the buildup of qi. 

But if we can only take action or let anger release when the pressure of blocked qi gets to a blowing point, we've got an issue. Blowing up because someone driving in front of you isn't going as fast as you want isn't a good use of your qi. Sitting at home stewing over an unresolved argument and building frustration by creating stories in one's mind isn't a good use of your qi. Raging over the tardiness of a friend simply is a waste of qi.

Because much of the time, when we are raging over something small, like a friend who is late, it's because we haven't dealt with the daily irritations in life that have now built up into a rage. 

Anger is the emotion tied to the Element of Wood in the 5 Element Theory. It makes sense. It represents spring, not just the season, but the spring of our life when things are growing, changing, shifting, pushing through expanding! We can feel this growth in all of the new endeavors we take on: projects at work; developing a garden; planning a trip. It's exciting!

 


This internal voice is always there. We just don't always listen because it's slow, quiet, and passive in a culture that is fast, loud, and aggressive.

 

 

 

 

But when we find ourselves hitting walls - like when planning a trip, realizing there is no convenient airport near the area you want to visit, then finding the local hotels are booked for some bizarre salamander conference, and soon after booking a rental car you find your credit card information has been stolen.

This is the stuff that when we aren't mindful, can throw us into a rage. But taiji and qigong teach us that these irritations are simply cues. They are there for us to listen to, like the qi we use to direct our push hands. It's from a sage, connected voice that is guiding us to perhaps slow down or be open to another choice.

This internal voice is always there. We just don't always listen because it's slow, quiet, and passive in a culture that is fast, loud, and aggressive.

So, as you continue practicing your mindful movement, here are a couple of points to consider for keeping the qi flowing and you feeling more like a free and easy wanderer.

 

LIVER 2 - Zing Jian - Moving Between

This point is located on the top of the foot in the web between the first and second toes. It's 1/2 of a thumb width below the base of the toes. The width of a thumb is a standard measurement called a "cun."

Massage this point with deep and slow pressure. 

It helps to dissipate the effects of anger. It helps ease a hot temper, lower blood pressure, and hot flashes. A great point to consider when you aren't feeling so free and easy.

 

 

LIVER 3 - Tai Chong - Great Rushing



Very close to the previous point, Great Rushing is powerful. It's a huge point because it is a Ma Dan Yang Heavenly Star Point, a Yuan Source Point, and one of the four gates that one can use in combination with Large Intestine 4 to really move qi in the body.

When it comes to stagnation and anger, this is a go-to point to massage or hold.

This point is at the top of the foot, also between the first and second toe but closer toward the ankle. If you slide your finger between the bones of the first and second toe toward the ankle, you'll feel a depression and for most, it's pretty tender. Go easy.

This point is known for breaking up stagnation wherever it happens to be. It eases stress that presents as anger and it helps nurture the liver so that it can do its job in keeping the flow of qi going smoothly through the body.

If you are massaging the points, go slow, steady and deep because these are yin meridians. If you are simply applying pressure, go deep but not deep enough to cause pain. Hold or massage for three minutes, while clearing your mind and breathing.

It's helpful to have a qi journal. Try these points and write down what you notice. This will give you insight into what works best for you when working the points.

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