Grief is an emotion that can lodge in the body tissues and the spirit. Although we usually think of grief as having to do with loss of a loved one or something highly valued like a job, grief can take less recognizable forms. Some common underlying sources of grief are mourning of one's own lost childhood, mourning lost opportunity, mourning the loss of good health and mourning the loss of innocence. One thing that is worth noting is that it is possible to hold grief for something one never actually possessed, but longed for. Long after the causative event that lodged, grief still exacts a price.

Grief can affect those who carry it in several ways. It causes the heart to be shut down and removed from life. This has a negative impact on relationships. Deep internal sadness prevents healthy empathetic connection. It also reduces the capacity to enjoy life and can result in depression. In addition it robs motivation and well being. Many people report that it's effects, sometimes only recognized in retrospect are exhausting. Deepak Chopra talks about how grief and asbestos can both affect the body in similar ways at the quantum level. It is literally a heavy dense energy held in the heart lungs, and ribs.

Many people can feel the grief as physical sensations. The symptoms most often associated with grief are heaviness in the chest, frequent sighing, and feelings of deadness in the heart region. Other signs can be painful inflexible ribs, a lump or tightness in the throat and shoulders hunched protectively forward to protect the heart. This results in postural changes as well. Frequent lung problems can also be traced to stored grief.

If you recognize that you are holding grief there is much you can do. First you can try lying down and gently relaxing. Then focus on the physical region of the chest. Notice how the heart feels. Is it heavy or light? Does it feel intact? Is part of it sagging or feeling thick and tired? Notice as you tune in what feelings and issues surface. Pay attention to any memories that come up for you. Notice themes that might unify emerging information. Ask your inner being to help in this process.

This process will often stimulate emotion to start moving. People often get stuck in grief because they feel they have already cried enough. Yet sometimes deep grief is expressed in wracking sobs that originate in the solar plexus region. It's as if the deepest expression of it allows for release, and milder expressions may actual keep emotion stuck and recycling. The deeper releases come more easily when breath is involved. Breathing deeply in and out without a pause between the in and the out will often flush the feelings.

There are several aids to this process that can be employed. The first is to simply put a small, hard pillow between the shoulder blades and feel the pressure gently opening the chest from behind as you lie on the floor. Another aid is flower essences, a vibrational remedy. A carefully blended grief formula can be taken over a period of time which is ideal, or only when working with the feelings. This releases the congested emotional energy that really comprises the block.

Music can be of powerful assistance in releasing grief. Piano, harp, violin, and cello all stimulate the heart. Many people find the album Somewhere in Time to be perfect. Also effective is anything by Ray Lynch, particularly No Blue Thing and Deep Breakfast. If you know a certain piece affects you by bringing up tears, you can tape it a number of times in a row and use that. With music the rule of thumb is whatever moves you.

Many people who carry great grief can benefit from Somatics exercises for breathing. The ribs tend to function as a unit when the body is held in ways that reduce awareness of grief. Yet, in reality the bottom ribs are supposed to move independently in order to accommodate internal organs when crunching and twisting. Additional benefits from the Somatics exercises include calmness and feelings of well being. The Somatics tape entitled Calm and Energize will open things up in the chest.

If themes or memories do come up its best to adopt the attitude that what comes up is relevant to your life as well as your grief. Themes often tell us where we are stuck. If for example a theme is feeling abused by others, consider what might change that pattern. It might be recognizing that others are reflecting your own disregard for self or it might mean you need to take better care of yourself when it comes to setting boundaries. Sometimes self forgiveness is what is called for, this is particularly common around death and loss. Guilt about unfinished business can easily result in grief. If you can learn the lesson you will be less likely to repeat the same pattern, the grief will be less likely to lodge and negatively impact you again.

A final note is that in our culture tissues have become a subtle cue that shuts down the process of weeping. It's best not to resort to tissues until the release is well under way.

If flower essences are used for a period of time they may cause teariness to spontaneous erupt throughout your day and week. It is best not to try to stop the process. One way to assist the process is to avoid suppressing sound. Another is to notice how you tighten the throat and eyes in order to suppress emotional expression of grief. This can be reversed by softening the tense parts and allowing gasps, strangled sounds or whatever needs to move. The deepest kinds of grief have a wracking quality and are accompanied by a wailing sound. Whenever releasing it pays to breathe, allow, express and let go.

A powerful release of grief can change your whole view point. You might feel lighter, freer, more optimistic and loving. That is because the heart freed from constriction can energetically open again. That kind of opening is characterized by feelings of well being, connectedness and wholeness. All of the tools mentioned in this piece are available at LightSeed.com. May you find your own grief relief !!

Bobbi Gay is trained in more than half a dozen alternative methods of healing and personal growth. For twelve years she has been working intimately with people who are letting go of stuck emotion. She is the author of an extensive web site dedicated to helping people to empower themselves and heal. All of the tools mentioned above and many more are available at The Self Empowerment Center @LightSeed.com.

Author's Bio: 

Bobbi Gay is trained in more than half a dozen alternative methods of healing and personal growth. For twelve years she has been working intimately with people who are letting go of stuck emotion. She is the author of an extensive web site dedicated to helping people to empower themselves and heal. All of the tools mentioned above and many more are available at The Self Empowerment Center @LightSeed.com.