The Heart “Official” In Chinese Medicine
By Michael Kowalski, A.P., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)
@ Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center, Jacksonville, FL
The Ancient Chinese understood that each organ in our body has associated functions related to our body, mind, and spirit. The functions of each organ are described as if they are government officials. Each has a different task to perform at each level of our being. The associated “official” represents these functions on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.
Since February is American Heart Month, let’s consider the Heart Official. The Ancient Chinese likened the Heart Official to their Emperor, and called this official the Supreme Controller. To them, the Emperor was God’s representative on Earth. The happiness and well-being of all the kingdom’s subjects was dependent on the benevolence and compassion of their Emperor.
Like an Emperor, the Supreme Controller is the official who issues proclamations the other officials must follow. By this analogy, it may seem like the Supreme Controller is the most important official – more important than any other official associated with the other eleven organs/functions. This is not the case, because the Supreme Controller is completely dependent upon the other officials to carry out his proclamations. All twelve officials are equal contributors to the health of our body, mind, and spirit.
Just as we in the West consider the Heart the source of our love, the ancient Chinese understood that love is the spiritual quality of the Heart Official. The Supreme Controller rules over our inner kingdom with love and compassion. When we use terms like “warm-hearted” and “open-hearted” to describe a person’s nature, we are actually describing the spirit of that person’s Heart Official. When this official is out of balance, we use terms like “cold-hearted” or “hard-hearted.” Our capacity to love deeply and fully depends upon the health of our Supreme Controller.
With every beat of our physical heart, life-giving blood circulates throughout our body kingdom. The steady rhythm of our heartbeat provides order and control throughout our inner kingdom. When our Supreme Controller is out of balance or dis-eased, our heartbeat may become irregular, creating chaos within our body/mind/spirit. We may develop other diseases of the heart, such as coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, etc. The correct supply of energy to the Heart Official is vital to our heart’s healthy function.
When our Supreme Controller is ruling the inner kingdom of our mind and emotions with love and compassion, we are joyful and calm. There is order and peace within our mind and emotions when we are in control of ourselves. However, when our Supreme Controller is out of balance, we don’t feel in control of ourselves, and may feel overwhelmed and chaotic. In an effort to regain a sense of inner control, we may attempt to control those around us. If someone in your life acts like a “control freak,” have compassion – they may likely feel out of control within themselves.
Are you or is someone you love out of balance? Schedule an appointment today! Just call the Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center at (904) 296-9545. If you refer a friend, you’ll help them regain control and you’ll get a discount off of your next treatment!