The summer has always been a special time of the year for me. It’s the most yang time on the planet (in the northern hemisphere) and I’ve invariably felt it as a potent time to listen to my heart to guide me in spending as much time camping and hiking in nature as possible, cleaning up unfinished projects that may be weighing me down, and creating something new and/or starting a new project that feeds my Soul.
In Chinese medical theory summer is the time of the Fire element and the time when the organs associated with Fire (Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestine and Triple Warmer) are most “active.”
The Heart is considered the king of all the organs. At the physical level the Heart is the organ that pumps blood throughout the whole body, bringing oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body, while carrying away carbon dioxide and other waste products to be removed by other organs. It works with all the other parts of the body to regulate Qi and blood production and movement and in regulating the other systems in the body. In Chinese medical theory we say it regulates the Circulatory System, it opens up into the tongue and oversees speech as well as opens up in the face and governs facial expressions.
On an emotional and spiritual level, The Heart IS the connecting point to the Soul, to the Universe, what the ancients called the Tao (the way).
The Heart is the most healthy when it's able to be peaceful. When one achieves this, the body, mind and spirit co-exist in harmony and one is able to be in a state of “wellness” or balance. When the Heart is in balance one experiences love of the Universe, of others and oneself. In that state of unconditional love, respect, acceptance, connection, awareness, being centered and fulfilled are natural byproducts. One also feels joy and sadness when appropriate. Intimacy and intelligence are also regulated by the Heart.
When the heart is out of balance one can experience anxiety, depression, pride (comparing yourself to others to try and make yourself feel better), disconnection, insomnia, palpitations, hypertension, shortness of breath, confusion, poor memory, rash behavior, and feeling unfulfilled.
What causes the heart to be unbalanced? Growing up in non-nourishing environments, lack of love (from family, from self), letting oneself be distracted by unimportant things, being unclear, letting “stories” dictate how you react to everyday “stressful” situations. There are also things like not exercising properly, overeating, eating too much spicy or sugar foods, over-working, not letting self rest..
Perhaps the more important question is how to balance and nourish the heart. A daily meditation practice, a daily gratitude practice, a daily Qigong practice are all elements to bring balance to the physical and spiritual Heart. Surrounding oneself in a nourishing environment, with open-hearted people, feeling your feelings, following those intuitive calls and gut instincts nourish the spirit which leads to a healthy heart.
As you’re enjoying your summer ask yourself:
Are the projects that I can finish up to feel more complete and fulfilled?
Is my heart calling out to try something new?
Follow your heart. It always guides you to a healthy, fulfilled life.
I’m here to assist you in keeping your body in balance with acupuncture, Qigong, health coaching, wellness classes, etc. during this time. Treat your body, mind, and spirit with love and compassion. You are worth it!