Monday, November 30, 2009
Health Awareness and Disease Prevention
Acupuncture 101 – Concerns of the Heart
part 2 of a 5 part series
Under the scope of acupuncture as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), pathways or meridians of Qi flow traverse the body and influence specific body regions, organs systems and functionality. Qi is considered a vital life force loosely translated as energy. When Qi is obstructed health imbalances result. The Heart meridian influences blood and blood vessels, manifests on the face and opens to the tongue. Some western medical conditions that obviously affect the Heart system are hypertension, high cholesterol, and arterial sclerosis. There is an age-old idea that the spirit and the mind are housed in the Heart. We know today that the mind is more appropriately associated with the brain, but I’m sure we are all aware of an increase in heart rate or the sense of heartache when emotional outbreaks or mental disturbances occur. Some signs and symptoms of imbalances in the Heart system include chest pain or pressure, palpitations, anxiety, sensations of heat, and a malar flush or red facial complexion.
- Dominates Blood & Vessels
- Manifests on Face
- Houses the Mind / Spirit
- Opens into the Tongue
The Heart, like the Liver is tied closely to mental-emotional imbalances. Interestingly, a condition called Heart Fire often manifests with signs of rapid movement and speech. The Heart is the fire element in the body in contrast to the cooling and nourishing water element embodied by the Kidney system. The heart is the one organ that is in constant motion and can be adversely affected by heat or a fiery or overactive lifestyle. Qigong, an exercise based on the principles of TCM, can specifically benefit different organ systems in the body. There are specific exercises that can help engender balance in the Heart system. Traditionally the Heart was comparable to an Emperor of antiquity. Communicating with the Emperor directly was forbidden. Only indirect communication was allowed through an envoy or messenger. This analogy holds true when treating heart conditions. Treatment requires leading heat away from this fire element. In Qigong conditioning the lungs helps to vent and cool down heart fire. Breathing deeply relaxes the body and cools down the Heart fire.
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