Heart Health

The Heart, according to Chinese medicine, is the king of all organs. This means that all the other organs will sacrifice for the Heart. In other words, they will always give their energy to help the Heart maintain its balance. The Hearts partner is the Small Intestine.

The Stomach is the “child” of the Heart.  If the Stomach is functioning well then the mother, the Heart is happy or less impacted.  In this simple analogy we understand that Stomach energy must be in balance for Heart energy to be balanced.

The Five Element chart also shows us that the Liver is the “mother” of the Heart. When a person is under continual stress, Liver energy becomes compromised because one of its energetic functions is to smooth and regulate emotions. So when chronic stress or excessive emotion is experienced, the Liver cannot offer proper support to the Heart.

Because of these important relationships as described by Five Element Theory, if you want to really take care of your cardiovascular health, it’s crucial to take care of your digestive organs, the Liver and the Stomach!

How to Read Your Body from the Five Element Perspective

  • Perspiration is the “fluid” of the Heart: Perspiration comes from body fluid, and the Heart controls bodily fluids. If you find you are perspiring excessively, it can signal a Qi or energy deficiency of the Heart. On the other hand, if you engage in activities that make you to sweat too much, this can cause a Qi deficiency of the Heart.
  • The tongue is the sense organ related to the Heart: The condition of the Heart can be seen by observing the tongue. The tongue will be a healthy red color when this organ is in balance. If there is insufficient blood in the Heart, the tongue may appear pale. If there is blood stagnation, the tongue will reflect this with a dark purple color. Cracks or lines down the center of the tongue also indicate a potential Heart function issue.
  • The blood vessels are considered the “tissue” of the Heart: Because the face has many blood vessels, the complexion reveals the state of the Heart. Like the tongue, a pale complexion can indicate insufficient blood, and an overly red face can signal excessive heat.
  • Bitter is the taste associated with the Heart: If you find yourself craving bitter foods your Heart may be asking for support. Foods beneficial for the Heart are watermelon, plum tomatoes, broccoli and broccoli rabe.

Use these basic guidelines to listen to the body.  In the case of the Heart, if you constantly crave bitter foods, or have difficulty sleeping it may be a sign that your Heart function needs support. Use these “signs” to re-balance yourself.

Simple Tips for Everyday Hearth Health

  • Smile: Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Do this multiple times until you feel a true smile emerging. Can you feel the difference between a pretend smile and and heartfelt one? Feel gratitude for yourself. Smiling stimulates the Heart and brings a sense of internal peace.
  • Place your hands, one on top of the other over your chest area.  Make a connection with your heart. Feel it beating. Make small circular motions.
  • Before going to bed, allow your mind to wander. Begin to let all the business of the day drop out of your mind. Replace it instead with an image that is peaceful to you. With the palms of your hands placed gently over your heart, and a slight smile on your face, use this image to help you drift into a peaceful sleep.
  • Go for a slow but steady walk.  Place both hands behind you as you walk so your hands meet at your lower back.

Emergency First Aid for the Heart

If you experience any difficulty that may be associated with the heart, while waiting for help to arrive, try this simple tip, which provides stimulation to support your heart function. Open and close both hands, making sure your fingers curl down to touch the palms of your hands. Your middle fingers are the most important fingers to make a connection with the palms. Continue to open and close your hand for at least five minutes or as long as possible.


TCM’S UNDERSTANDING OF HEART HEALTH-WHY YOU NEED A PEACEFUL HEART: We all know what the heart is – or do we really? How many of us truly know or fully experience the miraculous power of the heart?

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE? HOW STRENUOUS WESTERN FORMS OF EXERCISE IMPACT THE HEART: Cardiovascular exercise is good for you—or is it? Now that a new paradigm has emerged in the midst of mainstream Western medicine, one that views the individual as a whole being with body, mind, and spirit interconnected and supported by an underlying energy system, isn’t it time to take a closer look at those strenuous, sweat-it-out exercise routines?