The society in which we live consumes us psychologically. Noise, rush, stress and everyday problems end up undermining our mental balance, so it is not surprising that we also develop many different physical illnesses. We cannot go live in a cave on top of a mountain, but there are many different techniques to improve the quality of life and find the peace we need, even in the midst of chaos. One of these techniques is the ” Inner Smile “.

The inner smile is a Taoist art , a philosophical system that can also be adopted as a way of life. Many of the Taoist techniques have a long history, although they have only recently been discovered in the West. These techniques are based on the concept of “Chi”, and the objective is to circulate the energy of life through the various meridians of the body to improve health, vitality and emotional and spiritual balance.

What is “Chi”?

The word “Chi” has different meanings, but it could be translated as energy or essence. In Taoism, Chi is the energy that activates the universe, flowing in alternating cycles of positive and negative energy.

In fact, Chi is what keeps us active, every day we use a part of this vital energy in our activities. However, when Chi weakens, we feel exhausted and our health deteriorates as well. When some emotions persist over time, such as anger, sadness, and fear, they can block this energy and lead to illness.

But improving our Chi is very simple: we just have to learn to relax our body and let the energy flow. It is enough to keep in mind the basic rule: “the mind leads and the Chi follows the mind, and the Chi leads and the body follows the Chi.” In fact, applying the internal smile technique we will do nothing more than direct the energy to different parts of the body, to benefit each organ.

In this regard, it was discovered that the problems of some organs are linked to specific emotions. For example, people with liver problems tend to be prone to anger and bad mood, heart problems are related to violence and cruelty, anguish and sadness cause a malfunction of the pancreas, and fear or uncertainty generates renal problems.

The power of a smile

When we smile, the brain acquires the feeling of satisfaction and emits positive vibrations throughout the body. In fact, it has been discovered that when we are smiling, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin are released, which help relax the body and lower blood pressure. Also, serotonin acts as an antidepressant. It is no coincidence that many of the antidepressants on the market today do nothing more than act on serotonin levels in the brain.

We also cannot forget that the smile is related to the thyroid gland. The act of smiling will increase the activity of this gland, relieving stress. So it’s not surprising that a study by Wayne State University found that people in smiling photos live longer.

For its part, Taoism ensures that the cells that make up our bodies have a very sensitive membrane that is sensitive to smiling. In fact, when we smile, a feeling of well-being invades our body and we feel more relaxed.

About this, a study conducted at the University of Kansas makes everything clear. The researchers involved 170 people and divided them into three groups. In one group, participants had to imitate a smiling assistant to activate the same muscle groups that are activated during a genuine smile. Another group of people had to fake a smile and the third group simply had to maintain a normal expression. In doing so, they had to solve a series of complex tests designed to increase the stress level.

The researchers tracked their heart rate before, during and after the test, and also asked how they were feeling. Obviously, the heart rate increased during the task as the participants were stressed, but in the smiling people it quickly returned to normal levels. In fact, those who mimicked a genuine smile had lower heart rates and were reported to be less stressed and happier. This experiment shows that a smile protects us and reduces stress levels, especially a genuine smile.

The internal smile technique

The internal smile technique proposes to direct the smile to all parts of the body, including the internal organs and the nervous system. The smile transmits positive energy, which has the power to motivate, calm, heal and generate well-being.

In fact, it is an ideal technique if you experience any kind of physical discomfort or are stressed, tense and upset. It will help you transform negative energy into positive energy and feel more vitality.

Basically, it consists of closing your eyes, relaxing your mind and remembering something beautiful that makes you feel at peace and will generate a smile or a situation that has caused a lot of grace. The idea is to focus on that feeling of joy, with the mind’s eye focused on the smile and transfer it throughout the body.

With the help of your attention and imagination, you can transfer this vitality and the feeling of gratitude to each of the organs of the body. At that moment you are creating and emitting an inner feeling destined to relax, nourish and refresh the organs.

You will know that the technique works when you perceive a different sensation in the area you focused on, whether it be tingling, heat or slight pressure.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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