To quote from the ancient Chinese text, the Huang Di Nei Jing written 4,700 years ago:
“The heart is the sovereign of all organs and represents the consciousness of one’s being. It is responsible for intelligence, wisdom, and spiritual transformation.”
Functions of the Heart:
The Heart is the Emperor of all organs, ruling over the entire being, physical, emotional, mental, and subtle. It is responsible for blood and circulating it through the vessels to nourish the cells. The Heart houses the Shen, or Spirit of the Heart, which radiates and shines from a person’s eyes and face. Your mental ability and consciousness are found in the Heart. Since form and essence are not separate, thus Chinese medicine sees that Mind and Perception reside in the Heart, not the brain, as held in Western medicine.
The Heart dominates sleep. If the Heart is strong, a person will fall asleep easily and sleep soundly. If the Heart is weak, the person’s mind will “float”, causing an inability to fall asleep, disturbed sleep, or excessive dreaming.
The Tongue is the Root of the Heart
Any kind of speech problems are a good indication there’s an imbalance in the Heart. Talking incessantly, speaking inappropriately or carelessly reflect a Heart weakness. It can turn into more serious issues such as stuttering or aphasia, the inability speak at all. Speaking the truth is an indication of a strong and balanced Heart, deeply connected to your inner essence.
Imbalances of the Heart show up as a red tip of the tongue, usually caused by heat. This can manifest as sleep problems, palpitations, red face, or bitter taste in the mouth. It can also be triggered by stress or emotional trauma.
The Heart System rules more than the Heart
It also regulates the Circulatory System, Blood, Pericardium, Small Intestine, Tongue, Speech, Triple Burner, Face and Facial Expressions.
Heart Consciousness Issues:
Acceptance, Awareness, Perception, Centeredness, Self-love, Love of Others, Respect, Joy/Sadness, Depression, Harmony, Peace, Protection, Balance, Connection, and Propriety.
Psycho-Spiritual Aspects of the Heart
The Heart’s element is Fire. Thus emotions, intimacy, thoughts, intelligence, and ideas are ruled by the Heart. Called the “Supreme controller of all Yin and Yang organs”, the Heart houses the body’s Spirit (Shen).
Common Patterns of Heart Excess or Deficiency
Palpitations, shortness of breath, heat or fever, excess sweating or night sweats, insomnia, emotional stress, sadness, pale face, tired, feeling cold, dull complexion, disconnection, anxiety, confusion, poor memory, incoherent speech, rash behavior, feeling under-nourished, sense of loss after a life change, thirst, bitter taste, difficult or incoherent speech, uncontrolled laughter, pain in heart arm or shoulder, blue lips & nails, mental restlessness.
“As long as the heart remains on its rightful path, the nine orifices will follow and function properly. If the heart’s desires become too abundant, the eyes will lose their sense of color, and the ears will lose their sense of sound. ” Huangdi Nei Jing
Heart’s Worst Enemies
Distraction, Unclear direction, Non-nourishing upbringing, Lack of love in environment, Phlegm in upper torso, Stasis or stagnation, Spicy foods, Sugars.
Heart’s Best Friends:
Meditation, Self reflection, Simple diet, Recalling dreams, Journalling emotions, Nourishing environment, Gentle Qigong, Connection to one’s destiny, Balance between all organs and emotions, Good friends.
The Source Point of the Heart Meridian is HT-7
This is called Shenmen or Spirit Door, on the palm side of inner wrist crease, directly down from the pinky finger. Massage this point for emotional issues, disconnection, especially related to sleep, insomnia, or muddled thinking. Relieves Heart & Phlegm fire insomnia, anxiety, mania. Relieves anxiety w/palpitations, panic, fear. Settles the spirit, calm the mind, relieves confusion or anxiety. The Source point is that point that most closely exemplifies the function of the entire meridian.
To Balance the Heart Meridian:
Set a clear intention to build health. Start at the Heart in center of chest, an internal path. Trace up and out to the center of the armpit, the HT-1 point. Trace down the inner arm across the inner end of the elbow crease. Continue down to the inner tip of the little finger finishing at HT-9, the corner of the nail on the thumb side. Trace both sides together, or one at a time. You can optionally trace the inner channels from heart up to chin and under eyes.
To Clear the Heart Meridian:
Set a clear intention to build health. Trace the whole meridian backwards once, starting at the inner tip of the little finger by the nail on the thumb side, up the inside of the arm to the heart. Trace backwards both sides together or one at a time. Then trace forward 3 times as indicated above, one side at a time.
“Keep your heart empty. This is the art of the heart through which the nine orifices can be mastered.” Zhuang Zi, 300 B.C