Matters of the heart

Across cultures the heart is a symbol of love and this is true in Chinese medicine too. It is at the centre of our relationships with others, allowing us to give and receive love, both human and divine.

The ancient Chinese used the analogy of the person as a kingdom, with the heart as the Emperor.


’The heart holds the office of Lord and Sovereign.

The radiance of the spirit stems from it’’ Su Wen, Chapter 8, 24 B.C.


The other organs and energy systems of our bodies are ministers or officials, who work busily to keep the kingdom of your being working well.

When your heart energy is strong, you have at your centre a place of calm contentment from which love flows effortlessly. In order to love, a person’s heart needs to be open but this of course makes the heart vulnerable to hurt and damage. The protection of the heart falls to the official called the Heart Protector, and it is key to us forming positive relationships, including romantic and sexual ones. The Heart Protector works out who were are safe with and who is likely to harm our precious heart. A damaged or weakened Heart Protector may leave us open to relationships where we are manipulated or hurt as we are unable to close the door on people who are not good for us.

Acupuncture treatment can strengthen the Heart Protector and its defences of the heart by helping us understand who will enrich our lives and who is likely to break our hearts.

The Heart Protector works closely with another official, known as the Triple Heater, which is important in setting the temperature of our relationships. When a person’s Triple Heater is out of balance they will ‘blow hot and cold’ or they may burn themselves out in a relationship by being too hot and passionate. Acupuncture can help the Triple Heater balance this emotional temperature, whether that be warming someone up and defrosting a cold heart or cooling someone down.

If the officials protecting the heart are unable to perform their tasks well, then the heart energy may be depleted leaving the person feeling anxious, panicky and unable to sleep. Too much emotion can also agitate the heart and this can manifest in excessive talking, someone having an unrealistic high regard for themselves and not wanting to listen to others, as well as the desire to live life in the fast lane.

Chinese medicine encourages us to treasure our hearts, for it is the seat of joy and love in our lives.


Thank you to the fabulous Little & Large Lite Bites in Saundersfoot for allowing me to include a photo of their Valentine’s Day display

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