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“Freedom is about being so truly, madly and deeply attached to your own soul that you can’t bear –  if only for a moment – a life that doesn’t honor it.” – Andrea Balt

Most of us in the Bay Area live with a great deal of freedom in our day.  We get to choose our activities, meals, hobbies, employment and the people in our social group.  But as we make our way through the day making our choices, are we truly free?  Are there limitations that we put on ourselves?  Are we afraid to take risks?  Do we undergo some form of mental or spiritual suffering? Are we living our dreams and intentions?

From the viewpoint as a holistic practitioner, I look at all areas of a patient that either aid or block their whole system to determine the state of their health.  These include the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements which form a picture of how they move through their inner world and outside environment.  Getting a clear picture of whether they live with blockage or freedom in these areas is shown by actions around their beliefs, values, patterns, intentions, and specifically how these show up in their lives.

Before setting up an acupuncture strategy to best serve my patients, I try to understand their goals of the session for that day and beyond.  As I form a picture of how to best bring them to a place of health and vitality, I ask questions that pertain to the root of the problem they are experiencing, based on the language of freedom and the flow of energy in their system.

 – Flow or Blockage?

–  Heavy or Light?

– Expansive or Constrained?

– Hard or Easy/Soft?

While reading through the questions below, ask yourself if you  are experiencing potential blockages in these areas that may be keeping you from accomplishing greater things in your life.

Physical –Do you experience pain when doing the activities you love, like running or yoga?  Do you sleep without pain or wake up pain free? When does your body feel great (e.g. swimming) and what brings on pain (e.g. hours at the computer)?

Mental – Do you experience a busy mind that rarely shuts down?  Are there moments of stillness in your day?  Are you frequently planning your next 5 to 6 steps?  What helps you be present?

Emotional – Do you feel that your emotions are balanced?  Are you repressing or afraid to show your emotions?  When faced with challenges, do you always respond with the same emotion (i.e. anger, frustration)?

Spiritual – Do you feel connection with something greater than yourself?  Do you find fulfillment in the way you serve others (i.e. job, volunteer, family)?  At times, do you feel peaceful or filled with gratitude?  Do you feel connected to members of your community? Do you have faith that your life will turn out wonderfully, even with episodes of disappointment and challenges?

If there are areas that you answered positively, then you have an opportunity to clear blockage.  Awareness is the first step in letting go of constraints, whether physical or emotional, and to plan your next step to move into a place of freedom.  These steps can take the form of acupuncture, massage, counseling, planned time in nature, volunteer activities, joining a church or a meditation group. You are not alone in your quest for a fulfilled, expansive life in which you reach your dreams.  And remember, you have a community to support you, and perhaps you can even support another person in their quest to reach their dreams.