With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought it was a good time to review The Heart Channel of the Hand Shao-Yin. The Heart Channel is located along the arm. The internal pathway originates in the Heart, emerges and spreads over the “Heart system”. It passes through the diaphragm to connect with its paired organ, the Small Intestine. The ascending portion of the channel rungs along the esophagus to connect with the eye while the straight portion goes upward to the lung then turns downward to emerge from the axilla and descends down the arm and ends at the tip of the little finger.
As we have discussed in previous posts, the TCM organs do not reflect their western physiologies, and instead have their own unique characteristics and functions. The Heart’s main functions are to Govern Blood and House the Shen ( Shen is your spirit consciousness). It is said that during the day, the Shen goes out and interacts with the world and returns to the Heart where it rests while we sleep at night. If a patient presents with inability to fall asleep or excessive dreaming, the practitioner may identify pathology of the Heart and treat through the Heart Channel. The Heart is also said to govern all of the emotions. Although each individual organ is associated with a certain emotion, the Heart processes all of the emotions. When someone is feeling scattered, chaotic, and overwhelmed it is incredibly taxing of their Heart Qi, and can trigger symptoms of palpitations, restlessness, and agitation. A practioner may choose to tonify or strengthen the Heart Qi and Calm the Shen. A wonderful point which can address these symptoms is Heart 7, whose name is Shen Men which means Minds Door. Heart 7 calms the mind and nourishes Heart blood. It can be stimulates with acupressure as well. See the image below for location.
Feel free to press on Heart 7 next time you feel depressed, sad, fearful or restless. If you feel as though you may be suffering from any of these symptoms or are interested in what acupuncture can do for you, please call (708)636-5555 and set up an appointment!
Erin Covotsos, MSTOM