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Emotional Release Through The Inner Smile

by Doug Hilton

Emotions are Here to Stay

Emotions are a part of life. Some situations lead us to feel emotions that are hard to let go of, so we end up carrying them around with us. They take up space in our minds and bodies, like clutter in the attic of a house. This practice is designed to help you clean up your inner clutter.


My name is Doug Hilton. I have a Masters degree from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am certified at Level Two in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. I have been training and working in the field since 1984. At one time or another I have specialised in working with each age group and have worked with individuals, couples, families and groups in a variety of settings. I have mostly focused on working with addictions, but have also specialised in treating trauma and psychiatric issues. I am really excited about working with Master Chia. Master Chia is the founder of the Healing Tao in the U.S.A. and Tao Yoga in Europe. He has also established the Universal Healing Tao Center and Tao Master School at Tao Garden Health Resort. This is his worldwide center for Taoist training as well as for holistic healing, detoxification and rejuvenation. It is in the northern Thailand countryside near Chiang Mai.

His practices of the Tao to combine with what I consider to be the most effective counselling approach that the West has to offer with the incredibly effective Universal Tao practices. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, called EMDR for short, was discovered in the United States by Dr. Francine Shapiro. It involves alternating stimulation to the senses while people focus on key aspects of old problems that still plague them. Its use has spread around the world and has been used to treat emotional upsets of all kinds, including such traumas as people experience from going to war, from being in a car accident, and from being abused physically, emotionally, or sexually.

A Powerful Way to Heal

In my clinical work I quickly found out that EMDR worked much quicker and more effectively than any of the other approaches that I had used previously. Just as promised in the training, using EMDR brought about permanent releases of emotion even if a person was skeptical about the process. It required no interpretation and little clinical intervention. I have used EMDR on close to one thousand clients, including using it in a drop-in group where none of the participants were required to share what issues they were working on, and I have found that it works for most people. However, the aspect of the treatment that focuses on clearing out any emotional effects on the body due to being upset about the issue seemed to me to be less systematic and thorough than the rest of the protocols. People still seemed to have hard or sore spots in their abdomens after completing all of the EMDR protocols. Typical of the way the West views how the mind and body are connected; EMDR seemed to put more emphasis on the brain, the top part of the body.

Taoism has used eye movements for 5000 years to help balance and create cooperation among the emotions. Taoist practices create that balance through knowledge of how emotions are created and stored in the internal organs. Negative emotions are not seen as sinful and positive ones are not seen as holy. The practices emphasise creating an environment where positive and negative emotions can work together. Their practices view the entire body as connected.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3642″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]The brain is seen to operate similarly to the hard drive of the computer while the organs contain the software. If there is a virus in the system it is important to fix the hard drive and the software or the virus will keep coming back. The Inner Smile is a basic Taoist practice that is used to transform negative emotions that are stored in the internal organs into positive virtues. By combining EMDR with the Inner Smile a practice has been created that you can do yourself that will effectively heal emotional wounds in both the mind and the body.

Why Eye Movements Work

The eyes are an outer extension of the brain. They have a close connection to both the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. in fact, the eyes are so important that 4 out of 12 of the cranial nerves are involved solely with vision and eye muscle movement.
Your eyes provide information to your brain in the shortest and most direct route possible. At many points in the practice you will be asked to move your eyes in particular ways so that you can work through your emotions more effectively. If you have eye problems or experience discomfort while trying to perform the eye movements, you can use the Butterfly method instead. Simply cross your arms over your chest so that your fingers reach your shoulders. Then alternate between tapping on your left and right shoulders instead of looking left and right with your eyes.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3641″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

What To Expect

By following the instructions on this CD you will be guided through the questions you need to answer in order to be prepared. Then you will go through two of the sections of the Inner Smile, which involve clearing out and energizing nervous system and your digestive system. Then we will use the EMDR practice to reprocess your feelings about a problem you have had by first helping you create a secure place inside yourself, then build up your inner sense of being supported by others in your efforts, then remove your negative feelings and beliefs about the problem, and then build up your positive beliefs and feelings toward it. In the last part of the practice we will return to the Inner Smile and transform any negative feelings or body sensations in your internal organs into positive ones. Despite the effectiveness of the combined practice, be aware that you could still have negative feelings come up in the process and people sometimes feel a bit emotionally drained after it is over. Use this CD on a day when you are confident that you will be able to take whatever time you need for the rest of the day to recuperate. Keep in mind that you should stop the process and repeat the Safe Pl ace part of the practice if you feel overwhelmed at any point. The purpose of the practice is to help you remove emotional wounds, not add to them.

Please also remember that you are the one in control of this practice. This process taps into your ability to heal yourself. The practice just guides you through the process. It is also important to know that each person will have a unique experience of the practice. You may experience thoughts, feelings, body sensations, or some combination of those experiences. Your mind may also seem like it is jumping around a lot. Some people experience nothing at times. Sometimes people are quite emotional at the beginning of the processing and then their emotions quickly subside. Others take some time to access emotions and then they dissolve slowly. Avoid judging whether or not you think the process is working or you are doing it right. Whatever happens is the right experience for you. All of those experiences are natural in this process. Please do not stop the practice if you are questioning whether or not you are doing it right.

The purpose of this practice is to produce permanent relief from the emotions that you have had toward your problem. It does not require that you believe it will work in order for you to benefit from it. If you are skeptical, just suspend your judgments while you follow the instructions as best you can and judge the effectiveness of the practice after you have completed all of the activities.

The Preparation

Before you begin the practice, please take out a sheet of paper and write down your answers to the following questions. You will be using your answers in the practice.

First, what issue (if any) would you like to work on? If this is your first time doing this practice, you may want to listen to the CD with no particular issue in mind or choose a relatively minor issue in your life so that you will be more likely to have an experience that is not too emotional the first time. However, having said that, be warned that issues can sometimes seem small at first but end up being quite emotional once you start examining them, in a similar manner to how the tip of an iceberg that pokes up out of the water can give one a deceiving impression of how big the entire iceberg is.

Now write down your answer to this next question: What picture represents the worst part of that issue? Describe the scene as if it is a snapshot of a moment in time. If you cannot decide what the worst part of the issue was, take a moment to sit back with your eyes closed and allow your mind to float back in time as you think about the issue until you remember your first memory about it and write that down as your answer instead.

This next question might sound like it implies that you are to blame for your problem, but that is not what it is trying to determine. Part of the reason that we have difficulty letting go of an issue is because somewhere deep down inside of us there is a faulty belief that we should have been able to prevent or stop the problem from happening. You know that you should not think that way, but you still do. The following question tries to find out what belief is keeping your problem stuck to you: When you think about that picture of the worst (or first) part of your problem, what negative belief do you have about yourself now? Please write down your answer. Usually this type of deep-rooted belief can be written in very few words and starts with “I am…”. If your answer describes something about the situation or another person instead of describing you, try again. Examples of suitable answers would be: “I am stupid”, “I don’t deserve…”, “I am not loveable”, “I am not safe”, “I cannot stand up for myself”, or “I am not good enough”.

Now write down what, ideally, you would rather believe about yourself now when you think about this issue after the practice is over. You may not be able to believe that statement yet. Again, your answer should be in the form of “I…”. Your answer might be the exact opposite of the negative belief that you wrote down before it, or it may be a whole new statement.

Next, please write down the numbers one through seven across your page from left to right. This scale represents how true the ideal belief statement that you just wrote down feels to you right now. Circling the number one would mean that you do not believe your ideal belief statement at all. Circling the number seven would indicate that the statement feels totally true to you already. Circle the number that suits your feelings the best. If your choice is the number seven, your ideal belief statement many not be ambitious enough. You can change it if you like. Feel free to aim for the best belief about yourself that you could possibly have when you think about that picture.

For your next response, ask yourself “When you think about the negative picture, what emotions do you feel now?. Write down your answers.

The next question you need to answer in order to be prepared to do the practice is “On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is no disturbance or neutral and 10 is the most disturbed that you can imagine feeling, how disturbing does the picture feel to you now?”. Write down the number that fits your feelings the best.

The last question is: “Where do you feel those emotions in your body?”. You may feel it in more than one place. Write down your answers.

Congratulations. You have answered all of the questions. Now keep your answers close by so you can read them when they are required during the practice. Now find a quiet and comfortable place to sit and we will start the practice.

Three Minds into One Mind

Now we will bring three minds into one mind. We will begin by synchronizing the two sides of the brain, the First Mind. Hold the bridge of your nose with your thumb and middle finger. Let your index finger rest on your third eye, between your eyebrows. Move your eyes left and right for ten sets, looking left and right inside your brain.

Now you can bring your hand down and relax with your hands clasped in your lap. Sit on the edge of your chair so that your sexual organs are able to receive energy from the ground more efficiently. Now smile. Lift up the corners of your mouth and eyes. Allow yourself to feel the warm, energizing energy of your smile as it starts to flow throughout your face and head and throughout your whole body. Smiling has been shown to produce incredible healing effects on the body. Bring your focus to your forehead, the Center of Happiness. Allow that feeling to flow down your face and neck, over your thymus gland just below your sternum notch, and then flow over your heart. Sink your mind slowly down to your heart. The heart is the Lord of all the Organs. It is also the Center of Peace and the Second Mind. Smiling to your heart reduces feelings of hastiness, impatience, and hatred and increases feelings of love, joy, gratefulness, appreciation, and respect. Look left and right inside your heart for ten sets. Always move your eyes at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Keep the pace even and move your eyes as far in each direction directly left or right as you can without straining your eye muscles. Keep your head still while you move your eyes.

Now move your smiling energy and your mind down the center of your chest toward your navel. The region about 1.5 inches behind your navel, just in front of your kidneys, is your Third Mind. It is referred to as the lower tan tien. There are actually more neurons in your lower tan tien than there are in your head. The lower tan tien is the Center of Control. Breathe deeply. Allow your focus to sink deeper and deeper into your tan tien, exploring your inner universe.

The Inner Smile – The Digestive System

You can use the Inner Smile to heal, energize and protect your digestive system. Smile and move your tongue around in your mouth along your gums, massaging your gums until you get a mouthful of saliva built up. Then tighten your neck, exhale, and then swallow down hard so that the saliva is pushed down your esophagus. Follow your saliva as it travels down your throat, through your esophagus, through all the bends of your small and large intestines, and then ending up at your perineum between your sexual organs and your anus. With practice you can see and feel more and more of what happens inside of you. Feel the saliva warming and lubricating your entire digestive system.

The Inner Smile – The Nervous System

Now you can direct the smiling energy all the way down your spinal cord and throughout your nervous system. Smile and focus at the base of your skull. Now slowly move the warm, smiling energy down your cervical vertebrae to your neck. Keep flowing the energy down, moving through all of your thoracic vertebrae. Then you can keep going down through all of your lumbar vertebrae, and then all five bones of your sacrum. You stop at your coccyx, your tailbone. Now breathe deeply in and out and feel the energy moving throughout your whole nervous system.

Creating Inner Safety

Now we are going to start building you up inside for the work to come. This first short exercise is called the Creating Inner Safety. Picture a time when you felt safe and happy. Picture the image outside of you and then breathe it into your forehead. Be careful to pick a place that was not ever the scene of something upsetting for you, or those upset feelings might resurface when you do the processing. Now close your eyes and move them left and right for about ten sets and then stop. Good. Now reflect on what happened in the processing. Now go to where you left off at the end of the last set and move your eyes for ten more sets. That’s it. Again, reflect on what happened in the last process. How do you feel? Okay, let’s do it one more time. Return to wherever you left off in the last set, then move your eyes back and forth for another ten sets. Go ahead. That’s good. Now reflect on what happened while you were moving your eyes. How do you feel now? Often people feel quite relaxed after doing this exercise. This gives you a sense of what happens in the processing. Now that you know how to do this part you can do it whenever you want. In public you can tap on your knees instead of moving your eyes or tapping on your shoulders. Remember to stop after about ten sets each time.

Creating Internal Support

Now we will move into the Creating Internal Support phase. Think about the people you would like to bring into your safe place for support and inspiration if you could. Your support network can be any number of people. The people can be real or fictional, alive or dead, famous or not. Bring in anyone you like. You can also bring in symbols, words, or other objects if they will help you feel strong and confident in your safe place. Put them wherever you want in your safe place and imagine that whatever you want to feel or acquire from them is automatically transmitted to you when you start the processing. Now go ahead and start the eye movements again, moving your eyes left and right for about ten sets and then stop. Reflect on what you experienced during the processing. If it seemed like the presence of one or more of your supports upset you instead of inspired you, take them out of your safe place before you start the next set of eye movements. Now return in your mind to where you left off during the last process and move your eyes for another ten sets. Good. Now stop again and take a little time to reflect on what happened. If you have been looking at the situation from your eyes up until now, switch your perspective now so that you are looking at yourself in your safe place. See yourself looking strong and confident. Good. Now start the processing again, moving your eyes left and right for ten more sets. That’s good. Take a moment to reflect on how you feel now. Often people feel quite good at this point. Congratulations. You have completed another part of the healing process.

Now we will move on to the part that people are often anxious to reach, where we remove the negative feelings that are associated with a particular event from your past and replace them with more positive ones. From this point forward you will need to refer to the answers that you wrote down to the set of questions that were posed at the beginning of the CD. Remember as we go into this part of the practice that everyone has different responses to the processing, none of which are wrong. Try not to judge your experience. Please also remember that if you feel overwhelmed you can stop at any time. If that happens, stop the processing and quickly focus on your safe place to calm yourself down. You can do the eye movements to enhance the effects of the Safe Place if you like. Also, if at any point in the processing you seem to get the same results over and over you can return to your original image when you start the next set of eye movements. That often helps to start your mind sorting out a new area of your problem.

Negative Emotional Release

The first part of that process is called the Negative Emotional Release phase. It involves removing the negative feelings you have toward the problem you chose. You will notice that the sets of eye movements are longer in this phase, using sets of twenty movements instead of sets of ten. In order to set up the processing properly you need to recall all the negative aspects of your problem that you listed in your responses to the questions that were asked of you earlier. These include the picture of the worst or first part of the issue, the negative belief you have about yourself when you think about the picture, the negative emotions that arise when you think of the picture, and the location of those feelings. Hold as much of those four aspects of your issue as you can and then start the eye movements, this time moving your eyes left and right for about twenty sets instead of ten. Good. That’s it. Now stop, blank out the image and take a deep breath. Reflect on what happened during the processing. Some people will experience little or nothing for the first couple of processes. Now return in your mind to where you left off in the processing and start the eye movements for approximately another twenty sets. That’s it. Good.

Now blank out the experience and take a deep, cleansing breath. Reflect on what happened while your eyes were moving. Now keep repeating this process until you are sure that when you think about the negative image that you started with you feel completely undisturbed by it. If you notice that you have negative feelings in your body when you are doing the eye movements you can help remove those feelings by putting one or both hands where the discomfort is while you do the eye movements. Remember, if you seem to get stuck in the processing where you get the exact same experience each time you do the eye movements, you can go back to the original picture when you start the next set. You can pause the disc now while you complete the Desensitization Phase. Go ahead and pause the CD now.

Increasing Positive Emotions

The next phase is called the Increasing Positive Emotions phase. This is when you build up the thoughts and feelings that you would like to have when you think about your problem situation in the future. First you need to check to make sure that the positive belief that you wrote down that you would rather have about yourself is still the one you would like to enhance within you. If you can think of a belief that you would rather have now, go ahead and change it. Just make sure it fits the criteria that were described earlier for a suitable belief for this exercise. It should be as short as possible and start with “I…”. Rate how true the desired belief statement that you wrote down earlier feels to you now on a scale from one to seven, where seven means that the belief feels totally true to you. If it is already rated a seven, go on to the next section, the Body Scan. If it is less than seven, you will proceed with the Positive Installation Phase. Think about the original negative picture that you started with in the last section and also think about the positive belief that you have chosen. It might be difficult to see the original picture now. Just do the best you can. Now you can start the processing again using the eye movements, but this time only move them for about ten sets. Go ahead. Good. Reflect on what you got when you did the processing, then return to where you left off and move your eyes for another ten sets. That’s it. Keep repeating the process until the positive belief feels completely true to you when you think of the original picture that you chose. You can pause the CD now and complete the process before moving on to the next section. Go ahead.

Now we will start processing the event out of your body in this next section, which is called the Body Scan. Close your eyes, think about the original picture that you chose, and mentally scan your entire body. Take note of wherever you feel anything, positive or negative. If you have a positive feeling, touch that place in your body with your hands and do the eye movements using sets of ten. If the feeling is negative, touch where you feel it and then process it with your eyes using sets of twenty eye movements. Then reflect on what happened in the processing and then do another set of the same number of eye movements. Keep repeating the process until the negative feeling is completely gone or the positive feeling does not improve with any more processing. Do not be surprised if the feeling in your body moves around during the processing. Well done. You have accomplished a lot already.

Inner Smile – The Heart

The next section of the practice has to do with ensuring that all of the places where your upsetting memory was recorded are cleared out so that there is no way for it to affect you again in the future. We will start by focusing on your heart. Look, listen, and feel inside your heart as you breathe slowly and deeply. Think about the original picture you chose that represented the worst or first part of your problem. The color of the energy of the heart is red. Look for any cloudy color and pay attention to any bad memories that come up when you focus on the heart. Experiences in which you felt impatience, hastiness, or hatred tend to be stored in the heart. Whatever you find, once you notice it just focus on it, smile to your heart and move your eyes, looking left and right inside your heart for about twenty sets. Then stop and look to see if there is anything negative left there. If there is, process it away with the eye movements for another twenty sets. Keep repeating the process until nothing else comes up when you focus on your heart other than the bright red energy and feelings of joy and love. Pause the CD now if you need to in order to complete the process. Go ahead.

Inner Smile – The Spleen, Pancreas and Stomach

Now focus on your forehead, move your attention slowly down to your heart, and then blend the energy you have collected with your spleen, pancreas and stomach. Your spleen is located under the left side of your lower rib cage. Memories that involved feelings of worry, over-thinking, and negative thinking tend to be stored in your spleen. The energy in your spleen, pancreas and stomach is a bright yellow. By blending the energy from your Center of Happiness and your Center of Peace with them, you can transform some of the worry and dark, cloudy color into the virtue energies of openness and trust. You can process away any remaining negativity by using the eye movements. Think about your original picture and then look, listen, and feel inside your spleen, pancreas and stomach. Move your eyes left and right as you look inside your spleen, pancreas and stomach for sets of twenty movements. You can pause the CD now in order to completely process away any negative energy in those organs. Go ahead.

Inner Smile – The Lungs

Good. The next organs to be reprocessed are the lungs. Breathe the happy energy into your forehead, then move it slowly to the region of the heart and blend the happy energy with the loving energy there. Then move the energy from the heart so that it’s radiance is shining into your lungs. The energy of the lungs is white. Bad memories tend to be stored in the lungs if they involved feelings of grief, sadness, loss, or depression. Now think about your original picture and look, listen, and feel inside your lungs for any negative feelings or experiences or any dark and cloudy color. Process away anything negative that you discover using sets of twenty eye movements, looking left and right inside your lungs, until all that is left is a bright white energy around the lungs and feelings or courage and righteousness. Healing your lungs will help you to know what the right thing is to do and to have the courage to act on that knowledge. You can pause the CD now until you have completely transformed the negative energy in your lungs. Go ahead.

Inner Smile – The Kidneys

You can now move your attention from your forehead to your heart and then to the area of your kidneys. Your kidneys are bean-shaped and are on both sides of your navel just below your rib cage. The energy of your kidneys is a dark blue color. The kidneys tend to store memories in which there are feelings of fear associated with them. Blending the loving and happy energy with the kidneys and processing away bad memories that are stored in them returns the kidneys to their natural, healthy state, producing a beautiful dark blue energy, feelings of strong willpower, and the virtues of kindness and gentleness. Think about your original picture and then look, listen, and feel inside your kidneys. Process away any cloudy color or bad memories with sets of twenty eye movements, looking left and right inside your kidneys. Pause the CD again until you have completely cleared out your kidneys. Go ahead.

Inner Smile – The Sexual Organs

Now that your heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys have been cleared out of negative energy you can turn your focus toward your sexual organs. Allow the happy, smiling energy from your forehead to flow down to your heart, blend with the loving energy in your heart, and then flow down to your sexual organs and blend the energies there as you breathe slowly and deeply. The energy of your sexual organs is a bright pink color. Smile to your sexual organs. Reprocessing the memories stored in your sexual organs using sets of twenty eye movements transforms memories that contained feelings of guilt and shame and a dark, cloudy color into feelings or vitality and freedom. Think about your original picture while you look, listen, and feel inside your sexual organs. Notice any dark, cloudy color, feelings of guilt or shame, or upsetting memories that arise. Process away the negative memories using sets of twenty eye movements as you look left and right inside your sexual organs. Go ahead and pause the CD now until you completely reprocess your sexual organs.

Inner Smile – The Liver

Well done. The next organ to be addressed is the liver. Your liver is a large organ that can store a lot of emotion and experience. It is located under the right side of your ribcage and is triangular in shape, reaching across your chest to just past the middle of your ribcage on the left-hand side. The energy of the liver is bright green. Memories involving feelings of anger, frustration, jealousy and envy tend to be stored in the liver. Processing with the loving and happy energy and the eye movements allows the liver to dissolve any dark, cloudy color around it and to transform any negative memories into feelings of kindness, generosity, and forgiveness. Flow the healing energy down from your forehead to your heart and then blend the happy, loving energy with the energy of the liver. Smile to your liver. Now think about your original picture and look, listen, and feel inside your liver for any negative feelings or dark and cloudy color. Process away any unwanted feelings or any energy using sets of twenty eye movements, looking left and right inside your liver. Repeat the sets of eye movements until the liver is completely cleaned out and energized. Pause the CD while you complete the processing. Go ahead.

Examining Your Abdomen

Now think about your original picture and physically feel around in your abdomen to see if there is any tightness, tension, or any knots or tangles there. Any pain like that is an indication that you may still have emotions locked up in your body. If you find a tight or sore spot, just massage that spot while you focus on it and look inside it, moving your eyes left and right as you look inside the painful spot for sets of twenty movements. Keep doing that until all of the spots have been processed away.

Gaining Perspective

Excellent. Now allow your mind to float slowly up until it is high above you. Now look down at the problem situation that you have addressed in this practice today. Ask yourself, is there another way to look at or resolve the situation that you have not considered? Is there another perspective that you could take that would help you to let go of any remaining thoughts or feelings that you have about the situation? You may want to write down any insights that you have gained as a result of this exercise so that you do not forget them.

Congratulations. You have completed the entire practice. Remember to relax and take it easy for the rest of the day so that the healing you have done can be fully absorbed by your body.

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