Maintaining Heart Health
It's February. Between Valentine's Day and National Heart Awareness Month, it's a good opportunity to give attention to our hearts and relationships. And, since it's still winter, from a Chinese medicine perspective the bladder and kidney energies are currently amplified. Kidney energy in particular is important for our heart health.
The kidney energy channel travels through the genitals then up through the torso and both sides of the energetic heart center (middle of the chest). While physically the kidneys clean toxins and waste from the blood and excess fluid from the body, energetically they store our life essence and have a lot to do with feeling safe enough to connect intimately, enjoy quiet togetherness, and playfully engage with others and life itself.
Have you ever snapped at a loved one when what you really wanted was to feel close, seen, connected? While shame and regret may show up afterward, in the moment it can feel almost impossible not to snap or yell. That's because when we feel like we're not being heard or respected or that something is amiss in a romantic or other relationship, our body's security system turns on - heavily drawing on kidney energy.
When the sympathetic nervous system response is engaged, our heartbeat increases, blood pressure rises, breathing is short and shallow, stomach knots, and our large muscles are flooded with the energy to take action (fight or flee). This can feel like the jitters, anxiety, nervousness, a flush of anger or great energy, or being seconds away from imploding/exploding.
Certainly, this is all very taxing for the heart (and kidneys), especially when it occurs often. If you're starting to get in touch with these sensations as you're reading these lines, hum. Yes, hum! Hum a little tune or just the sound h-u-m. We're all biologically wired to connect and resolve any conflict within connection. Humming is one of the quickest ways to mechanically shift our nervous system towards a ventral vagal state (our calm and cordial state), return to connection, and repair.
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Shira Oz-Sinai provides guidance and instruction to individuals pursuing a deeper level of physical, mental and emotional health. An expert in the tools of acupressure and trauma integration, she offers on-demand one-on-one appointments and group events in a safe, relaxing virtual environment with the focus on living life with greater ease and a deeply loving friendship with self.