In Chinese Medicine, it is not the brain that rules the body, but the heart. It is referred to as the emperor, and rules the entire kingdom. The heart commands the flow of blood, the substance that nourishes every cell. The heart is also a portal for all of our emotions, but it is specifically related to our capacity for joy and laughter. When our heart qi, or energy, is imbalanced we may experience symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, depression, palpitations, pain in the chest, high blood pressure, confusion, poor memory, loneliness, lack of inspiration, or even lack of meaning in our lives. Drinking too much alcohol, stress, late nights, violence (including what we see on screens), over-thinking, poor health habits, and heartache are all things that are harmful to the heart and can cloud it’s ability to rule.
When the heart qi is balanced we sleep well and feel in alignment with ourselves and life. We spend less time doing things that don’t really matter to us or being with people who aren’t part of our path. We enjoy life, smile often, and feel a warmth and lightness in the area of our heart. We take inspired action and feel fulfilled. In my opinion, we all need a little heart medicine now and again. We all deserve lives where we can be fully present, loving ourselves & others, and experiencing joy.
Consider a few of the tools and techniques below to help balance Heart Qi.
–Hawthorne & Hibiscus: These beautiful pinkish-red herbs are believed to have many heart-health promoting benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research even indicates they may help lower blood pressure and help the body digest fats. Sip them in tea, take in an herbal formula prescribed by your herbalist, or use as a flower essence (be sure to check with your practitioner for safety and to see what would best serve you). The flower essence of Hawthorn is spirit settling and holds the heart during times of emotional stress. It opens channels, moving and releasing feelings and allows one to access hope, trust, love, and forgiveness.
-Rose essential oil: Roses have long been associated with love and romance. The scent is emotionally soothing and known to help improve mood, relieve anxiety, and can boost your confidence. It helps bring out the best feelings in your heart so you can connect with yourself and others in a deeply loving way. Place one drop on acupuncture point CV-17 or Hrt-7. Be sure the oil you choose is therapeutic grade. Ylang Ylang, Geranium, and Palmarosa essential oils also help soothe and elevate the heart.
–Meditation: A meditation practice supports your heart in many ways, from changing how you cope with stress to lowering high blood pressure. Enjoy this Heart Medicine Meditation.
–Placing your hands over your heart: The simple act of placing your hands over your heart can help deepen your breath, ease anxiety, and soothe distrust. Research shows that when we do this we become more honest with ourselves and others. Let the warmth from your hand penetrate your heart as you breathe slowly in and out. I know it sounds too simple, but give it a try and see if you feel a shift in how you feel. The gesture helps you reconnect with the deepest parts of you and helps you to honor your own magnificence.
–Puppy Pose: Begin on your hands and knees, walk your hands forward and stretch your arms long on the mat until your forehead, chin or chest meets the floor. Keep your hips high over your knees and pull your front ribs in to lengthen your whole spine. Breath three breaths, then return to all fours. This pose opens the heart and encourages surrender. More heart opening poses can be found by visiting yogajournal.com.
–Acupuncture: Our bodies store past traumas and acupuncture can be an amazing tool to help you release, rebalance, and open your heart. I have treated patients with one gentle point and seen them cry beautiful tears as they let go of a heartbreak they no longer needed to hold onto. Our past, and the associated emotional pain, can move out and we can heal. Body work, breath work, and acupressure can also be used in this way.
–Love: Give it to yourself, give it to others. Practice it unconditionally. Receive it. Be open to it in all of its forms. In his book, Healing and Recovery, Dr. David Hawkins affirms: “A loving thought then heals and a negative thought creates illness. Choosing to become a loving person results in the release of endorphins by the brain which has a profound effect on the body’s health and happiness.” Explore love every chance you get.
I hope you give yourself a little heart medicine today. Please share this with anyone you think may benefit. Who doesn’t want to be more connected with their own emperor? Their own incredible, loving, compassionate, heart…?