February is Healthy Heart Month
According to Chinese Medicine the Heart is the king of all organs. It is likened to a benevolent leader that lovingly governs over its kingdom (the other organs). In Five Element Theory, the heart is one of four organs in the fire phase; the heart is so sacred and so vital that it needs three other organs to protect and guard it, ideally allowing only love to enter. In addition to circulating the qi and blood, the heart houses the shen, which is equivalent to the spirit or soul. The concept of Shen includes the mind, and implies consciousness, mental function, vitality and presence. Thus, the heart is considered the center of our human experience representing the fusion of body, mind and spirit. The heart governs the blood and vessels, reflects in the facial complexion and is responsible for joy. Disturbed heart qi can present as palpitations, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, poor memory and restlessness. A healthy heart is a joyous heart. Invite joy into your life by smiling, being moderately active, playing, connecting with others, laughing, and having fun.
Four Simple Tips for Everyday Hearth Health
Smile: Begin by breathing deeply. Invite a smile to the corners of your mouth and hold that smile, allowing it to grow. Begin to imagine your entire body smiling; visualize your heart smiling, your belly smiling, see every cell of your being as a microscopic smiley face. Smiling stimulates the heart and brings a sense of internal peace.
Listen to your heart: Place your hands over your heart. Make a connection with your heart. Feel it beating and smile down on your heart with gratitude for all it does. Open yourself to the knowledge your heart has to offer. Eventually listening to your heart allows you to follow your heart.
Activity: Go for a slow, steady walk in nature. Surrounding yourself in nature and stimulating your heart to beat a little faster every day keeps your heart active and engaged. Stay present to the moment as you walk.
Invite Sleep: 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.