In February, we not only celebrate the heart but we focus on creating and maintaining heart health. In Chinese medicine, the heart is the emperor of the body. Not only does it house the mind (also known as the shen), but it is arguably the source of health for the rest of the body.
We've all heard about how important it is to maintain the physical health of the heart but have you been informed how emotions create or devastate the physical aspects of heart health? On some level, you probably have some experience with this already... the sensation of heartbreak, the warmth and joy of love, or simply experiencing laughter. Remember how your body felt after experiencing these emotions?
If you've answered yes to any of these questions, than you know well how emotions correlate with the heart on a physical basis. The heart is the organ of joy and laughter. It influences speech, sleep, and governs how the blood flows through the body. Emotions such as excess joy, dull thinking, and somnolence are directly related to the health of the heart. In the Guanzi, a Daoist classical text, it is said that as along as the heart remains on a worthy path other orifices (there are 9 in Chinese medicine) will follow suit. However, if the heart becomes too weak or too abundant with over- emotion, the eyes (a way to measure the health of the mind/shen) will become dull and the ears will lose their sense of sound.
In other words, keep your heart healthy and the rest of the body will follow.
So what's the best way for you to take care of your heart, your emotions, and your physical self? Keep your heart open, warm, and soft. Empty it of negativity and of attachment. Fill your heart with the emptiness of love and the stillness of clarity. Or as the GuanZi states, "Do not race your heart like a horse, or you will exhaust its energy. Do not fly your heart like a bird, or you will injure its wings. Keep your heart empty-this is the art of the heart through which the orifices can be mastered."
Lastly, get yourself some acupuncture! Acupuncture can help you regulate the heart and all of it's functions by regulating your energy (qi) and blood. Treatments can help soothe a broken heart, a heart that fails to warm your hands and your feet, and a heart that has many dreams or hardly enough sleep.
To your heart and your health!
The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace medical advice from your physician. If you have questions regarding your health, seek medical advice from your doctor.