5 ways to a happier heart
In TCM the heart is the space that houses your Spirit so it is considered the king of the organs. This means that all the other organs will sacrifice themselves for the health of your heart. The small intestine is the partner organ of the heart on the fire element.
In Chinese Five Element Theory, the 'mother' of the heart is the liver. The liver organ is related to the wood element and wood feeds fire. When the liver toxic, there isn't enough energy for the heart.
The fire element is the 'mother' of the earth element - spleen, pancreas and stomach organs. When your digestive system is compromised, this will impact the functioning of your heart. It is vital to look after your liver and stomach in order to have a happy heart.
The tongue is the sense organ of the fire element. Stick out your tongue and observe. If you have low heart energy, you tongue may appear pale. If there is stagnation, your tongue may be dark purple. If there are lines and cracks, this can indicate a heart issue. If your tongue is a healthy red, well done - your fire element is balanced.
Perspiration is the fluid related to the fire element. Excessive perspiration can lead to a deficiency in heart energy. Those high intensity workouts that make you sweat a lot might not be so good for you after all. The wood element also relates to the tendons and ligaments.
When they are under strain from excessive exercise, the liver has to send more blood to repair them. This depletes wood energy so that there isn't enough for fire energy, compromising the heart.
Qi or energy is the vital life force. When there is a deficiency of Qi, there is a deficiency of life. Your true strength comes from cultivating strong Qi or energy within your body. Slow movement exercise systems like Yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi help to build stamina, resilience and internal energy giving you strength and energy from the inside for when it's truly needed.
Tips for creating heart health:
- Practice smiling until you feel your smile throughout your whole body. This brings about a feeling of deep joy and peace.
- Place your hands over your heart, feel your heartbeats. Become aware of all the things you have that you are grateful for.
- Walk often, at a steady pace. This helps to move your blood around your body efficiently.
- Eat bitter foods like radish, broccoli, dandelion greens, bitter melon, ginger, limes, raw cacao to aid digestion.
- Use meditation and visualisation to reprogram your thoughts and emotions, assisting you to feel calm and balanced regularly.