The Heart as a CompassJan 31, 2024 11:00AM ● By Wendy Becker
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As a 5,000-year-old art that was once an oral tradition handed down many generations, the principles of Chinese Medicine were memorized like poetry through songs. The threads that connect the web of layered anatomy and fluid physiology has its root in observing how the body interfaces not only with natural surroundings, but also the inner wilderness of the psychological landscape.
There is a phrase, “home is where the heart is,” and in Chinese Medicine the heart is the palace where the Spirit resides. When a person has “good Shen” it means that one’s heart is in harmony and at home in the world and sleeps well.
Archetypally, the heart represents the great controller in the office of the Emperor/Empress and when emotionally balanced, is a positive sovereign personal authority.
In the Five Element tradition, the heart is representative of the Fire element. Resonant patterns that go with the heart are the color of red, odor of burnt, sound of laughter and the emotion of joy. Calibrated by the thyroid and protected by the pericardium, the heart is tireless in rhythm and flow. Interestingly, the small intestine has an intimate relationship to the heart as both advisor and processor of massive nutritional components. In fact, when one part of the heart tissue is damaged, so is a part of the small intestine and vise-versa.
Categorically, while the liver opens to the soul window of the eyes, the heart opens to the tongue. Sometimes stuttering can be a component of emotional tension by not being able to speak clearly from the heart—thus, abdicating heart-felt expression.
In Asian culture, the heart is not separate of the mind. What we think influences how we behave and move through the world. Do we speak our flame of truth or let shadows etch lies that make the compass spin out of control?
While it is possible to logically “think” about solutions for solving the problems with the mind, an unsettled one tends to get stuck on a hamster wheel distracted by squirrel antics. Arriving home to one’s heart is consciously choosing to deeply listen and to function in vibrational frequencies of coherent resonance: a discerning unpremeditated and grounded voice that quietly guides the Spirit on the human path between the spaces of breath and pauses of rhythmic silence.
Wendy Becker, L.Ac, enjoys writing about health and wellness related topics and is owner of Axis Vitality, PLLC in Tucson. As a Neuro-Acupuncturist, she is founder of the new Syner-Qi service at Miraval. Connect at 520-495-8515 or AxisVitality.com.