The Heart and Acupuncture

The Heart and Acupuncture

The Heart in Five Element Acupuncture is understood in a fundamentally different way than in Western medicine. Embracing this can help us heal the heart, physically and emotionally.

The heart in Western culture has is understood as a mere biological pump. Though there are many sayings to show that there is an understanding of this, that the Herat is the seat of the soul and ruler of the emotions – love, courage, fear, sadness, joy.  We sense its response to our feelings:  the “skipped beat” when we are startled, the quickened beat of nervous anticipation.  We speak of someone having a “broken heart,” or “wearing their heart on their sleeve.”

The Heart in Five Element acupuncture embraces the physical heart, the emotional heart and much more.  The Heart is the governor of the emotions and the initiator of thought.  It is both the regulator of movement and a place of stillness where the spirit is at rest. 

When we look at the Heart in Five Element acupuncture, it opens the door to new ways of caring for the Heart, preventing and treating heart ailments, emotional distress and much more.

The Heart in Five Element Acupuncture  Unity of Mind & Body

Five Element acupuncture reaches below the level of consciousness and words, treating emotional and physical health as one.  In Five Element acupuncture, unity of heart and mind is built into the language. The Heart is the ruler of the emotions and the initiator of thoughts and ideas.  It is also the governor of circulation and keeper of rhythm throughout the human body. 

Over thousands of years, Chinese medicine has developed a sophisticated system of understanding, diagnosing and treating heart, mind and emotion – body, mind, and spirit – as a unified whole.  The foundation of Five Element acupuncture is in the classical Chinese medical texts. Healing the Heart in Five Element acupuncture addresses all of those levels at once.

The Heart Emperor

The ancient Chinese viewed the human being as a living ecosystem.  They understood anatomy but were more interested in the living organs as a system – something which can’t be learned by dissecting a corpse.  While the English names of body organs may be the same – heart, liver, lungs, etc. –  the organs in Five Element Acupuncture are understood as living entities.  To make sense of it, the Chinese used a metaphor familiar to them – the imperial government; the Heart is the Emperor of the living human being.  The other major organ systems are the officials of the court. Classical Chinese medical theory has developed a sophisticated system of understanding the relationships of the organ systems of the body in terms of the Five Element cycle and the flow of energy via the acupuncture meridians.

As Emperor, the Heart’s job is wise command and leadership.  The wise leader rules impartially, maintaining order in the court without taking sides.  The Heart’s gift is unconditional love, the warmth of the Fire Element within.  Wise and impartial leadership flows from unconditional love, rewarding all the Heart’s subordinates with its warmth.

The Heart is the Supreme Controller.  It literally keeps the beat.  The Heart governs rhythm, harmony, and order throughout the body.  If something goes awry with the Heart, complete chaos is the result and spreads to all areas.  Panic sets in.  It’s not surprising that people with arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, often report anxiety, both as a cause and a result of the medical condition.  Body and mind are one.

Healing the Heart:  Caring for Your Own Heart

The therapeutic value of acupuncture, bodywork, meditation, yoga and other mind-body wellness practices long valued in the East.  All of these practices help regulate the autonomic nervous system, balancing sympathetic (fight or flight) with parasympathetic (rest and digest) response.  This impacts heart rate, digestion, brain activity, and many other metabolic functions. These and other mind-body therapies have widespread mental and physical health benefits.  Depression, anxiety and worry, reflux, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and chronic pain are just a few examples of conditions that respond well to Five Element acupuncture and are related to your heart.

Equally important, and often overlooked, is the value of community, friendship, and connection in healing the Heart, both physical and emotional.  The Heart thrives on love, and love connects.  Human beings are social animals and are part of the web of life.  To be healthy, we need both social connection to others, and connection to the natural world. If you wish to heal the Heart, seek out experiences that feel calm and safe, experiences of friendship and intimacy.  Seek out experiences of beauty, joy, and connection to nature.  All of these bring you into the present moment and can help to heal the Heart.

For help with your heart with five Element Acupuncture, contact Hannah on ;-

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