Acupuncture for Emotional Balance (Part 5)

Heart is considered the emperor of all organs in Eastern Medicine. It makes sense because when the heart stops, that is the end of one’s life. For that reason, there is no “Heart deficiency” pattern that we treat in our medicine. There is only the “Heart excess” pattern that is applicable to what we practice.

So, what does “the emperor” do when it comes to emotional balance? It oversees other emotions and assembles them into a comprehensive package. The package is called神 (Shin in Japanese, Shen in Chinese). We, acupuncturists are trained to read patients’ Shen to see if the person is cheerful, sad, stable, etc. What we find observing the person’s Shen gives us some important diagnostic tools.

Chinese classics say that the normal emotional state for Heart is joy. Laughter makes Qi circulate in our bodies. When there is too much heat in Heart, one might show manic behaviors with uncontrollable laughter. I have not seen this in my practice. In a modern setting, such a person is admitted to a behavioral health facility. However, a milder version of this could be a reason for insomnia.

Since Eastern Medicine is very old, its terminology is based on imagery. For Heart, it is fire. It could be a steady campfire or a blazing structural fire. What is keeping the Heart fire from getting out of control is the moisture from Kidney. Kidney is like a pot full of water over a fire, in this imagery. Heart provides the fire for Kidney. It is interesting to note that this process is very similar to the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

*Individual results may vary.