Nourishing the heart is about celebrating that which you love in the world – people, places and ideals.
As we approach the holiday season it is important that we make time for ourselves during the chaos. The holidays mean different things to everyone. For some they may be a time of joy, and for others they may bring stress or sadness. Whatever it is that the holidays mean to you, it is important that your heart is supported both emotionally and physically.
In modern medicine the heart is not viewed as an organ responsible for anything besides pumping blood to the body.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the heart is not just an organ but an energetic manifestation that affects us mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The heart is an energetic system we often treat in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The heart is an incredibly important energy system in Chinese medicine, often said to be the emperor of all the other energy systems. The most important role of the heart in Chinese medicine is that it houses the Shen, or spirit.
The Shen in Chinese Medicine is referred to as one of the three treasures of the body, and it encompasses consciousness, the emotions, mental acuity and thought, as well as the ability to process incoming sensory information. Prolonged emotional upheaval, mental illness, personality disorders, emotional imbalance, processing disorders and sensory disorders all are manifestations of a disturbed, ungrounded or weakened Shen.
Four Ways to Nourish your Heart
1. The heart is nourished through activities that bring you cheer and joy.
Nourishing the heart is about celebrating that which you love in the world – people, places and ideals. As the heart governs our relationships with other human beings, it is nurtured by feeling connected to those that we love.
2. The heart is also nourished through beauty.
Take time to appreciate the beauty of your natural surroundings, as well as music, poetry, art and dance.
3. Lastly, the heart is nurtured by ritual.
This can be a long-standing religious or cultural ritual, or one that you create for yourself. Some examples of heart-healthy rituals include writing down five things you are grateful for each night, incorporating some sort of gentle exercise during each morning, practicing 10 minutes of sitting meditation each day, or grab a coloring book and start coloring!
4. Nourish the Heart through Food
The heart is nourished through red foods, such as cherries, strawberries. The heart is closely tied to appreciation of beauty and aesthetics, so the heart system is also nourished by food for which care has been given to present artfully, with beauty and grace, and a wide array of colors on one plate.
Take time this holiday season to support your heart both spiritually and mentally.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
If you or someone you know needs some heart healing during this time of year, take advantage of our New Patient Special, and see if Chinese Medicine is right for you.