I've talked a lot about the heart in recent posts. Here are a few more things to understand about the heart from a practical perspective. The heart is affected by many day to day activites and choices. They say the heart has an average of 2.5 billion beats. If you push the heart to beat faster you use up your heart's life span sooner. Chinese medicine calls this burning up the heart yin or the heart's resource. Coffee stimulates the heart. The caffeine drives the heart to beat fast. Drugs like cocaine and methanphetamines have the same effect but much stronger! Alcohol also burns up the heart yin. The firey spirits burn up the heart yin in that drug/alcohol blaze of energy and delirium. It makes the heart tired and the heart energy weak. A yin deficient heart tends to make people feel insecure, empty hearted, unloved and anxious. Heart Yin deficiency people can sometimes have a hard time sleeping and suffer from insomnia.
Over exercise can also use up the heart beats more quickly. I frequently see athletes who have used up their heart and body yin reserves and are suffering from various symptoms of deficency, but refuse to reduce their exercise routine. What they really need to do is to moderate their exercise routine and renourish their body. Foods that nourish the heart yin are organ meats, nuts, dairy, black beans and black sesame seeds, seaweed, eggs, bone marow, sardines and fatty fish.
Medicines that regulate blood pressure and heart rhythm also injure the heart. If you can change your diet and lifestyle enough to change your blood pressure you can help your heart by avoiding heart medicines that carry with them many side effects.
Stress of course injures the heart. Emotional stress releases cortisol which engaes the fight and flight response. The heart reacts to the cortisol levels by increased heart rhythm.
There are ways to renourish the heart yin. Essentail fatty acids like fish oil or flax oil help renourish the yin. Good quality organic corn helps nourish the heart. Bamboo juice, chinese sour jujube seed or 'zizyphus" and akebia caulis a memeber of the clematis family are herbs prescribed help clear heat fromthe heart and renourish heart yin. I use Dao Chi Wan, a Chinese formula to help clear heart heat when people have stress, a hard time sleeping with crazy dreams. I use Suan Zao Ren Tang for Insonmia with night sweats, heart palpitations and iritability. You need to check wiith your herbalist to see which formulas are right for you.
Of course meditation, moderate exercise, good social relationships and a healthy diet are all good for the heart. Happiness is important for the heart. Keeping good rhythm interms of not rushing or hurrying in your life is also important. It helps keep your heart calm and nervous system relaxed.I BELIEVE SINGING IS GOOD FOR THE HEART! Musicians are known to live long lives. And birthdays are good. They say people with many birthdays live long lives! ;0) I hope you've enjoyed our long look into the mysteries of the heart. With Spring coming I'm going to share my knowledge about the Liver. It's time to detox the liver from our long winter's nap and hibernation. That's coming soon..in good health..Be well!