How to keep your heart healthy

How to keep your heart healthy

In my nearly 30 years of clinical experience, I realise that some Heart problems build up slowly and others occur suddenly.

Even the sudden Heart issues (for example a heart attack), have a certain period of time beforehand before they occur.

Most of the time, ongoing Heart issues are due to not paying attention to symptoms which leads to a more serious Heart issue

In this article, I will give you an idea about how to pay attention to your ongoing health issues with your Heart, explain what is the normal Heart function and how to protect your Heart through diet and lifestyle.

Common ongoing symptoms related to the Heart

1) Shortness of breath, paleness, tightness in the chest, lack of energy, dizziness, cold hands and feet, sweaty palms and soles of the feet, irregular heart beat, scanty periods (women).

These symptoms can indicate that you may have a Qi and Blood deficiency of your Heart. Long term, these symptoms could lead to physical heart problems.

2) Tightness and pain in your chest and/or upper backs and shoulder blades. Pain radiating down the inside of your left arm and tingling or pain in the little, ring and/or middle fingers. The lips, fingertips and nails may be purple and bruised looking in colour. Period pain with dark bleeding and large clots (women).

These symptoms may indicate Blood stagnation in your Heart and Heart channel. It may increase the risk of a heart attack if not treated.

3) Emotional and anxious, insomnia, vivid dreams or night terrors, red face and headache, palpitations.

These symptoms are associated with Heat and toxins in your Heart or Heart channel. This can lead to depression and anxiety issues, even suicide, if not treated.

Functions of the Heart

Everybody is aware that the Heart is very important for our body and our health, but not many people understand what the Heart does for our body.

If you understand the certain functions of the Heart, you may be more aware of any ongoing problems with your heart.

1) The Heart dominates circulation
Generally, the Heart pumps blood and energy (Qi) throughout the body. If Heart and Heart channel has Qi and/or Blood deficiency or stagnation, it will lead to circulation issues for the body as mentioned above.

2) The Heart dominates the mind
The Heart, mind and emotions are closely linked. Chinese Medicine considers that this is a very important function of the Heart. Many of our thoughts and emotional issues are associated with Heart function such as depression, anxiety, post-natal depression and insomnia.

What does the Heart like and dislike?

The Heart’s associated colour is red (based on five elements theory). This means that red colour supports the Heart function, and the Heart and Heart channel gets their energy from red colours.

This works especially with Heart Qi and Blood deficiency, so I suggest that you can add the colour red to your living areas (such as soft furnishings) which will bring your Heart energy up.

I also suggest some foods that are red in colour – this will support your heart. For example, Chinese red dates, red beans, beetroot, tomato, red capsicum, red onion, strawberries.

As the Heart dominates the emotions, over-joy will affect the Heart function. Sometimes it is common to see spectators watching sport get very emotional (with stress and excitement) which can lead to a heart attack. This usually happens to someone with the constitution of Heart Qi and/or Blood stagnation and Heat in the Heart.

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers that to maintain good heart health, you require a quiet and peaceful environment and mind. No matter whether good or bad things happen to you, don’t allow yourself to become too over-joyed or over-excited.

Five ways to maintain good Heart health

1) Clap the palms of your hands or rub your palms together 50 times per day. The centre of the palm has very important points of the Heart channel. Stimulating the palms regularly will help with Heart circulation.

2) Gentle rubbing or kneading to the inside of the elbow with the opposite hand. With the thumb, gently rub or knead the inside of the elbow 30 times per day (when the elbow is bent – locate the point at the end of the elbow crease). This will clear the mind, calm the emotions and rebalance your heart yin and yang.

3) As mentioned above, eat a certain amount of foods that are red in colour.

4) Put yourself in a quiet environment for at least 30 minutes per day. For example, you can take 30 minutes to relax, close your eyes, meditate, or visualise a quiet environment.

5) Surround yourself with red colours. Decorate your living areas with red or pink colours. Choose red or pink flowers to decorate your surroundings.

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture help your Heart function?

1) We will find out the cause of your symptoms using our Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis method.

2) When we know the cause we will find a suitable treatment to assist with rebalancing the Heart.

3) Depending on your constitution and your Heart condition, we will suggest dietary and lifestyle choices that will assist with your well-being.

Your Heart will be with you for your whole life… it cannot stop beating for even a minute. You need to look after your Heart to enjoy a long and healthy life.

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Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.

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