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Heart Functions According to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Western Medicine views the physical responsibilities specific to each organ in our body. Traditional Chinese Medicine views the signs and symptoms of the energetic bodies of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual functions of each organ. Our incredible Acupuncturist  Michaella Rezanoff explains:

The Heart is the Ruler or Monarch of all the internal organs by ensuring blood flows smoothly throughout the body.

TCM functions of the Heart include:

  • govern blood circulation
  • control blood vessels and sweating 
  • can manifest in the complexion
  • opens into the tongue and affects speech
  • it oversees our happiness
  • houses our mind, mental activity, memory, and sleep.

The TCM Heart also referred to as “Shen,” is the spirit-soul-mind of a person; it is the most important as it controls our mental activity, consciousness, thoughts, ideas, ability to focus, intelligence and memory. 

When our Shen is not in balance, symptoms of dream-disturbed sleep, poor concentration, racing thoughts, forgetfulness and “brain fog” may manifest.

When our tongue is red, it may bring symptoms of insomnia, heart palpitations, a red facial complexion, and a bitter taste in the mouth. Or if our tongue is pale, it may bring symptoms of shortness of breath, spontaneous perspiration, dream-disturbed sleep, and being easily startled. 

Nonstop talking, speaking rapidly, inappropriate laughter, stuttering, or an inability to speak, can be seen as a heart imbalance.

The “root of the heart” is the tongue and is reflected at the tip and should be light red in colour with a clear, moist coating without any cracks, teeth marks or deviations. 

The colour associated with the heart is red. Nourish your heart with red foods such as hawthorn berries, watermelon, raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, beef, red beans, red apples, beets, radish, rhubarb, red lentils, red dates, cherries, goji berries, and strawberries. Other foods such as organ meats, lean red meat, dark leafy greens, garlic, basil, green tea, avocados, walnuts, fish oil, reishi mushrooms, and seaweed are also beneficial.

Nourishment for our body, mind/spirit also includes proper rest, diet/portion size, exercise through daily rituals/habits, and activities that bring out our honest emotional expression.

Joy and happiness have a positive effect on the heart; when the heart is balanced, the mind is also balanced.

How vibrant is your Shen when you look into your eyes?

Yours in health, Michaella


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