The Heart Meridian and Summer

Since the heart meridian is so important, I’d like to talk a little more about it before discussing the other summer meridians.

The warm weather of summer encourages us to be physically active outdoors.  It is a time to enjoy the weather and our friends.  Summer is a time for laughter, vacations, and fun. The heart meridian, which is most active in summer, is closely aligned to the mind and is considered the emotional center of the body.  This is not that that far-fetched for us.  We say someone who has difficulty hiding their emotions is “wearing their heart on their sleeve.”

In TCM the heart commands all the organs and tissues, houses the spirit and controls the emotions. When the heart is peaceful and strong it controls the emotions; “when it is weak and wavering, the emotions rebel and prey upon the heart-mind, which then loses its command over the body.”

Internally, the heart is functionally associated with the thymus gland which plays an important role in the immune system.  Extreme emotions such as anger and grief have a suppressive effect on the immune system by hindering thymus function.

The heart (fire energy) is also closely related to the kidney (water energy).  When the kidney gets depleted by excess work, exercise or sex it is unable to nourish the fire of the heart.  Symptoms of insomnia, heart palpations and anxiety may occur.

If the heart energy is scattered by too much physical activity, mental overstimulation or over-socializing, symptoms of insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, anxiety, palpitations, and aversion to heat may occur. The key is to find balance in all things work, rest and play.  Meditate, have fun, enjoy your life.

Some tips:

Red foods resonate with the heart: tomatoes, radishes, beets, red pepper, and watermelon are good choices for summer meals