What’s a healthy heart?

This is part 2 of the organ series.

I’ve explained before how our yin and yang organs are paired. It might surprise you to know that your heart is paired with your small intestines. Maybe this connection explains why many people call strong, intuitive feelings “gut feelings.”

Each of our organs are like a small universe with its accompanying emotions, colors, functions, etc. Heart and small intestines are more related on an emotional level than on a physical one. But, I’ll get to that in a moment.

Our Western way of life takes a heavy toll on our hearts. In fact, heart-related diseases are the number one cause of death. We power, power, power through our lives, but we never stop to consider the ways we can nourish our bodies and our souls by going inward, until disaster hits.

Whether you realize it or not, all of us have yin and yang qualities within us. When your yin and yang are balanced, you feel good. What I mean is, you feel good deep, deep down. You feel grounded and secure.

But, what typically happens is that we feel anything BUT grounded and secure. In fact, we push ourselves until we are living on the last drop of fuel. We are numb to the haze that we don’t notice the burn out until we run out of energy.

In Chinese medicine, as in Western medicine, the heart is responsible for circulation. All our organs are connected to our hearts’ circulation functions. It’s like a the conductor that orchestrates a symphony. The music is the miracle of our bodies working effortlessly.

What this means is, your heart is affected by the rest of the organs in your body, and vice-versa.

More often than not, your sick heart is caused by a stagnant liver, overtaxed kidneys or exhausted lungs. That’s why taking blood pressure medication might help to lower the blood pressure, but it doesn’t address the real issue that’s behind it.

In addition, there are several qualities attributed to the heart that many normally connect with the brain. It’s a certain kind of calmness that comes from being happy. Happiness is the emotion that’s close related to the heart. Happy means feeling calm, fulfilled and stable. In a state of happiness, you can easily decide what’s right and wrong for you.

The small intestine as the yang partner for the heart is responsible for digestion and for dividing good and bad. And that’s where the connection between the heart and your gut lies: decision making from the heart guided by the small intestines. Sounds strange – I know. The main quality of the small intestine is an inner knowing about decisions that support or might hurt your way of life.

What can you do to support your heart and gut health? Turn to a whole foods diet. Cut down on meat, diary, eggs, sugar and white flour. Go off coffee for a while and see how your body responds. Go inward, meditate. Take a long, slow walk.

Be still.

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