Massage the Chest
One practice for opening the Heart is to use self- massage to loosen tightness in the muscle and tissues surrounding the heart. We can use finger tips, knuckles, or the palm of our hand. We don’t want to be too rough, but massaging knots in and around the sternum can move and release stick emotional energy.
Between the ribs in the chest can also be a place where we hold and hide emotions. A tickle reflex where we don’t want to be touched between the ribs can be a way to protect and avoid trapped emotions. I once had a Taoist healer dig his knuckles in between my ribs for hours. It took a day or two of feeling terrible to process all the emotional stuff that came out, but I felt lighter afterwards.
The heart is called the emperor of the organs, so we don’t want to be too rough on the heart or the sternum itself. The emperor stays inside the throne room and sends its ministers to do the work. So it’s best to approach gently. After the self-massage, we can do some healing sounds (HAAAAAAAAA…), exhale dark red clouds, and smile bright red, loving energy into our hearts.