In honor of Valentines Day, I thought I would talk about the “heart” in Chinese Medicine terms. Like western medicine, the heart propels the blood throughout the body. It also houses the “mind” or “spirit,” or “shen.” This is not a separate entity or religious in nature. Instead this is your life force, an outward expression of Qi. This is also a reflection of the higher moral and spiritual realm, as well as a connectedness and a sense of compassion for fellow beings. When the spirit is strong, it means that the psyche and personality are functioning well. You often see this in a person’s eyes. When someone is vital, loving life, their spirit s strong, their eyes sparkly, however, when it is the opposite, when there is a lot of physical, emotional distress, they look duller, lifeless. Things that can disturb the heart energy are overwhelming emotions (over a period of time), a blood deficiency, stress, and lack of movement to name a few. What do imbalances look like? Forgetfulness, restlessness, disturbed sleep, disturbing dreams, disjointed thinking, weird behavior, anxiety, palpitations (where you are feeling your heart beat), withdrawal, melancholy, a feeling of too hot or cold, and memory loss (what did she say?). What keeps the heart happy and healthy you might ask? Well, it’s pretty basic. The obvious, a healthy balanced diet, exercise, good sleep, and managing the stress that comes up in life (aren’t these the things that keep everything happy and healthy J). The emotions are a biggy with the heart, I always emphasize that ALL emotions are valid, it is important to acknowledge and express them as they come, however if there is a shock, or a period where they are hanging on too long, controlling your life, it can cause an imbalance. The heart is the emperor of the body, it is all-knowing, ever present, and spreads its joy and warmth for the good of the whole body. Enjoy and honor it J
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