Do you ever feel like you can’t say what’s on your mind? Maybe you have a strong opinion, but you keep quiet to maintain the peace. Or perhaps you want to speak, but it feels like the words get stuck in your throat.
You’re not alone. I used to feel this way every day. People would always comment on how quiet I was. They’d say, “You’re so quiet. You’re so quiet.” In my mind, I would think, “That’s so annoying. That’s so annoying.” But I wouldn’t say a word.
At some point in your life, you have a realization that you’re tired of monitoring your words, thinking of how to phrase things so that they’ll be well received, and of trying to please everyone else instead of voicing how you really feel.
Then you’re faced with a type of chicken or egg conundrum. You’ve been holding back for so many years that your qi (your life force energy) is congested and blocked in your throat. But, because the energy is stuck in your throat, it makes it harder for you to speak up. So how do you get unstuck so that you can speak what’s on your mind and in your heart?
That’s where this article can help. There’s a Chinese Reflexology point that can clear the stuck energy in your throat so that your qi is flowing smoothly, and you’re able to express your words, thoughts, and feelings more easily and spontaneously.
Eek! Did the idea of speaking spontaneously without filtering your words first make your throat tighten up? You. Need. To. Read. This. Article. 🙂
Why This Matters to Me
I’ve written about sore throats before, and I even mentioned about the energy and emotions at the root of stuck energy in the throat. But speaking up—this is personal for me. Growing up as an Asian woman, I’ve always felt like I had the baggage of my culture AND the baggage of my gender to shut up and be quiet. When I was growing up, girls were supposed to be seen, but not heard, and this expectation was doubled for a little Chinese girl.
There’s a Japanese saying, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” When a Japanese friend told me this, I knew exactly what she was referring to. I’ve always had this pervasive background fear of being hammered down, which resulted in an almost visceral need to try to blend in and not stand out.
It took me a long time to overcome this, and I’m still working on it every single day. But you can see my progression in this blog. There’s a huge difference between the first article I ever wrote for this blog to one of my most recent articles about Chinese Medicine and cancer. I’ve grown immensely in my capacity to speak and share.
Lately, I’ve been pondering a lot about women and speaking up because I’m partnering with the Shift Network to teach a course on Chinese Reflexology for Women’s Health. Unlike the workshop I taught several years ago, this one is going to delve deeply into the mental and emotional roots behind energetic disharmonies that affect women’s health. And that’s because I’m no longer afraid to be the nail that sticks up. It’s going to be a
The Times When I Didn’t Speak Up…
There were many times when I stayed silent, when I should have spoken up—like the time when a man grabbed my butt in a pitch-black darkroom while his wife was three feet beside him. Or the time in college when someone I considered a friend was reading a book that talked about Asian women like they were horses.
I was totally disgusted at how women were described by their body parts, like how you’d differentiate between horse breeds. Vietnamese women were praised for having the largest breasts of all Asian women. I should have said something to my “friend,” but I didn’t. Now, I’m much more likely to say something, but could I guarantee I would in every situation? That, I’m not so sure.
Speaking Up is an Ongoing Process
In just a few weeks, I’ll be speaking on a telesummit that’s going to be announced to a half million people. But I still have to work at speaking up, and I still catch myself filtering words in my mind to avoid ruffling feathers.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s in my genes to be quiet. There’s this field of study called epigenetics that looks at how the environment and life experiences can affect your genes, and consequently these gene alterations can be passed down through generations. So something your great great great grandmother experienced could affect who you are today. What if I have the genetic code from generations of Asian women who learned that the nail that sticks up gets hammered—or more likely beaten or killed?
If you’re like me, and always fighting against years of cultural conditioning, there’s a Chinese Reflexology point that can help clear blocked and congested energy in your throat so that you can speak up and express your thoughts, feelings and opinions more readily and with more ease.
How Do Energy Blocks Affect Your Body?
It’s so important to express yourself because that qi congestion can affect your physical health. To understand how this works, here’s a question to consider: Why does hypothyroidism affect women more than men?
The medical community has a number of different theories, but the truth is that they don’t really know the exact reasons. Most of the ideas center around hormonal differences, but that doesn’t account for why men are also affected by hypothyroidism.
But here’s another way to look at it…
Which gender has traditionally been expected to be quiet? When you’re not allowed to speak, the energy of those unspoken words doesn’t dissipate. It gets congested in your throat. Picture a wild herd of horses running through a field, and then they suddenly encounter a fence that funnels them towards a paddock. There’s going to congestion, confusion, and chaos. Like my alliteration? 🙂
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is under-functioning and not producing enough hormones. Guess where the thyroid is located? If you guessed the throat, give yourself a prize!
Picture a young girl raring to speak and express herself, but then she’s told to be quiet. What happens to all of her energy when she holds back? What happens when the girl becomes a teenager, and then a woman, and she’s been holding back her words for decades? Could this suppression of energy affect the thyroid—suppressing its ability to function?
The throat is also a thoroughfare for energy to travel from your body to your head and back down again. If your throat is constricted because you’re holding back on your words, this could create a traffic jam of qi through a very important energy pathway. It’s just like a traffic jam where cars have trouble passing through a six-lane highway that’s been reduced to just one lane.
Constriction in the throat disrupts the smooth flow of energy between the head and body. Over time, this can cause an assortment of health issues—everything from headaches and migraines to eye problems and tinnitus.
Thus it’s really important to clear energy blocks and congestion in the throat. And in order to do this, you need to stop holding back on your thoughts and feelings. You need to speak your mind and share your ideas. Expressing yourself has a very beneficial effect for the flow of qi.
And did you know it can also work in reverse? When you start shifting things in your body, this can also shift things at the emotional level. So the Chinese Reflexology point I’m going to share with you can help shift the energy in your throat, which can then help you to speak up.
Chinese Reflexology Point for the Throat
I’ve shared the throat reflexology point in past articles to help with sore throats—for the physical symptoms. Now I’m sharing this point to help you clear stuck energy at the emotional level, and this can lead to shifts in your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Or in other words, help you speak up.
And then, we no longer have a chicken or egg conundrum!
How to Locate and Massage the Throat Reflexology Point
This Chinese Reflexology point is located at the tip of the webbing between your big toe and the second toe. To massage the throat point, use the knuckle of your index finger to massage this point with a pressing and twisting motion—like if you were wiggling a loose doorknob.
As you do this, breathe in and out, bringing your awareness to the breath as it passes through your throat. Notice any tightness or constriction, and do your best to relax this area as you breathe. Massage the point on your left foot first for three easy, relaxed, and deep breaths. Then practice it on your right foot for three breaths. Massage the throat reflexology daily to help clear energy blocks in your throat.
You can also practice this quick massage whenever you encounter a situation where you feel like you didn’t get to voice your opinion, or where you felt shut down by others for speaking up. And by all means, if you’ve got an opportunity to speak and shine, practice this quick massage to help get the qi flowing easily, and then go out and nail it! Notice how I’m circling back to the hammer and nail, only now you’re in charge :).