The heart and small intestine, happiness and Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine the heart is not only an organ that pumps blood throughout the entire body, but it is one of the most important organs for securing and distributing vital and central energy for any living being.  This amazing pump works incessantly, silently, and even mysteriously.

Heart Beat monitor buttonThe heart beats approximately 72 times per minute, which equal 103,680 pumps per day, and over the course of an 80 year life it beats more than 3,003,142,400 times.  It has a close relationship with the small intestine, and is said to be its entrails partner because it maintains the Yin-Yang relationship, even though, within any pair of organs, the hear is more Yang than all others.

This pair with organ (the heart) and entrails (small intestine) is considered by Oriental Medicine to be the Emperor of the body, and is also associated with the seat of the soul.  The heart seats the deeper feelings in a human being which is why it is related to love and sublime feelings.  It is of the element Fire, its color is red, and its season is summer.  It is energy, a source of all life, it branches into two within the body, heart-small intestine and pericardium-Triple heater.  The pericardium is a protective layer around the heart that, among other things, cushions emotional impacts so that they don’t arrive directly at the heart.  The pericardium is known as the Prime Minister that filters everything before it arrives before the emperor (the heart).

The tongue is the door to the heart.  In regards to the heart’s exterior, its taste is bitter, it secretes sweat, its sound is laughter, and its emotion is happiness, being affected by euphoria and also dread.

Heart functions

  • Irrigates blood, blood vessels and blood circulation.
  • Manages formation and regeneration of blood.  The heart’s energy directly intervenes in blood formation, transferring subtle substances from foods to blood, by using the heart’s Fire action, which guarantees it to be constantly renovated.
  • In charge of transporting nutritive substances and oxygen to the entire body.  In Oriental Medicine, the heart’s Yang energy is what truly moves blood.  If this energy is weak it creates a lot of problems; those symptoms are listed below.
  • Governs mental, emotional and spiritual activity.  The heart’s energy governs mental and emotional activity, objective information receipt form outside and response or reaction.  If the heart’s activity is health, the mind is firm and stable and thoughts are clean and lively, which sensitivity and reactions are normal.  When the heart is altered or is weak, one experiences disorderly thoughts, a confused mind, lessened sensitivity and reactions.  If the weakness is severe one can lose self-control and place all internal organs at risk.  These organs will lose their organization and coordination.

Symptoms of a weak heart:

  • Problems with the cardiovascular system.
  • Poor blood circulation.
  • Anemia or blood problems like leukemia, deficient or excessive coagulation, etc.
  • Pallid and dim skin color.
  • Short and weak pulse.  If the weakness is accentuated this could produce energy stagnation.  This could lead to obstructions in the blood vessels in certain areas and it could manifest as a grey/violet colored skin, tongue and  lips, pain in the precordial region.
  • Cold extremities is one characteristic symptom, both in the upper and lower extremities.  Then energy flow is accentuated, the person may become sensitive to cold, even comfortable exterior temperatures.  They could also experience cramps or very intense muscle cramps.
  • Unstable mind with pessimism and depression.
  • Extreme or poorly coordinated sensitivity.
  • Euphoria or excessive happiness.

Happiness and the heart

The heart is headquarters to happiness and sublime feelings, but it is also related to anger and sadness (the liver and lung), and fear in the kidneys.  You could say that happiness is the result of a positive stimulus that acts favorably on life activities and the heart.  From the spiritual point of view, happiness is a state of peace and pleasure as a consequence of deep understanding.  When peace of understanding are perturbed or confusing, the heart suffers from it.  It is most susceptible to anxiety, fear, and anger.  When one lacks happiness it is because of a lack of deep understanding.  There is a feeling of not flowing or growing, and the body, in general, then will externalize that, beginning with the blood.  The blood is intimately related to happiness, an emotion that nourishes life.

Lack of happiness also affects the weakest areas of the body; those parts that have more difficulty absorbing this enlivening emotion.  For example, if you don’t like something you see in life, the eyes might characterize this by a lack of energetic flow.

Cure the heart with happiness

All cardiovascular diseases, and the afflictions previously mentions, should be treated primarily by appraising one’s life philosophy.  States of discontent, pessimism, or lack of enthusiasm for life are absorbed by the body until reaching these manifestations.  Reevaluating your philosophy and attitude with which you live is a basic element for wholesome heart curing, and to heal its related conditions.  You must consider new ways of living that truly bring you enthusiasm, and have the courage and patience to follow what you truly love.

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