The Breath of Heaven

Deep breathWe continue our autumnal amble through the points of the Metal Element, this time pausing to examine the first point of the Lung meridian, Middle Palace. Most acupuncture point location books begin with this point as the first in the great cycle of all the points. This is because the ancients believed that when a newborn takes its first breath in life, the Heavenly Qi enters the body at this point. It represents the beginning of life.

This connection between the Lungs, the breath and heaven continues throughout our life. For with each breath we take, we inhale not only air, but also heavenly Qi. It is thought that while most of our Qi intake is gained through food, 30% comes from the breath. Middle Palace is a useful point for helping to open up the chest, making it easier to collect this free source of energy.

Lung 1 helps with any breathing difficulties such as asthma, coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion and throat obstruction. By opening the chest, it eases chest pain and allows a more upright stance. An open chest helps us to be open to all that the world has to offer us. It supports us to let come what may, to breathe in the world in all its richness. Last time we saw that Large Intestine 4 helps us to let go of that which no longer serves. Lung 1 helps us to take new things into the space thus created.

One of the things that causes congestion at this point is the suppression of emotions. To hold in emotions, there is necessarily a constriction in the breathing. Over time this can produce tightness in the upper chest. Treating Lung 1 with either static pressure or vigorous massage can help to loosen such constrictions and let the emotions come forth for expression. Grief is the particular emotion of the Lung and there are sometimes tears stored away in this point. It is supportive of those who are grieving.

At the level of spirit, this point can help to reconnect a person with his spiritual nature. It helps him to see the quality and value in his life. It provides access to inspiration, that which is both the taking in of a breath and the divine spark that makes the spirit soar.

Chest1Location of Lung 1

Lung 1 is located on the outside of the upper chest. Firstly find the large hollow directly under the outer third of the collar bone. This is known as the delto-pectoral triangle. From here, go down by a thumb’s width and move slightly further out on the side of the chest. Roll around till you find an area of sensitivity. This sensitivity may be subtle or strong. Hold the point for 2-3 minutes, first on the left side, then on the right. Tune into it as you also pay attention to your breathing. Notice whether there is a change in the sensation. Notice if there is a change in your breathing. Notice if there is a change in your emotions.