Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stress and the Heart/Small Intestine System

The energy of the heart is responsible for circulating the blood. When the heart qi is strong the complexion is rosy. The heart also houses the mind which means controlling both the outward appearance of vital activities of the entire body as well as consciousness in terms of spirit and mental activities. Because of this, the heart governs the memory as well as sleep. It is also said that the heart opens to the tongue. When the heart qi becomes imbalanced or depleted one might experience trouble finding words or becoming tongue-tied due to this connection.

The Heart/Small Intestine System also relates to:

Emotion: Joy

Taste: Bitter

Pathogen: Heat

Color: Red

Season: Summer

A few weeks ago we talked about the spleen and worry. The heart system is damaged with over stimulation. This can be easy to do in our high tech, fast paced world. There is the old adage, "all work and no play...." All play and no work can be just as damaging. Even if you enjoy the work you are doing, if all you are doing 24/7 is work this will eventually catch up with your heart and manifest in ways of insomnia, memory loss, restlessness, and other abnormal mental activities. Balance is key so that you can be the best at your job when you're working and the best at play with you're playing. Think about the guy at the office always working that finally "cracks." The heart can also be easily affected by heat and you might see this manifested on someone who has a bright red face, dry mouth or mouth sores.

Nourish your Heart:

Eat red foods especially watermelon that has a cooling affect on the body. Think strawberries, red peppers, radishes, and beets.

Bitter greens like dandelion greens, kohlrabi and collard greens are great additions to your diet to help the heart and cleanse the blood.

Laughter is the best medicine! Laugh and learn to be playful if you tend to be too serious.

To learn more about the heart and building your heart energy check back next week to learn about the heart, summer time and seasonal depression.

Sarah Zender LAc
Whole Health Acupuncture 50 Turner Ave Elk Grove Village IL 847.357.3929

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