Emotional Heart HealthJan 31, 2022 11:00AM ● By Amy Wiesner
For thousands of years, we have been attributing emotion to the heart—love, hurt, grief, fear, sadness. There is even the word heartache, which was first used in 1578, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Why is the heart so affected by emotion?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), emotions are an important symptom. Chinese medical practitioners realized thousands of years ago that our emotions can affect our physical bodies and vice versa. In TCM, the heart stores all the emotions. Therefore, treating the heart can treat emotional imbalances.
What the ancient medical practitioners did not know, because of the lack of modern technology, is that there is a direct link between the brain and the heart neurologically in the body. The heart also releases hormones, so it can affect the body in other ways than just in the cardiovascular system. It responds to different stimuli and therefore can direct the body to respond to different reactions. That’s why stress and depression, for instance, can negatively affect our bodies, while love and relaxation can positively affect our bodies. When we have negative emotions, the body releases stress hormones. When we have happier feelings and thoughts, this causes our bodies to be less stressed and therefore function better, including less stress on the heart and cardiovascular system.
In a different area of research, the HeartMath Institute found that the heart has its own electromagnetic field, like the brain, only much bigger than the brain’s. The data showed that “when people touch or are in proximity, a transference of the electromagnetic energy produced by the heart occurs”. We know that being around and physically close to other people, as well as the sense of touch, is needed for physical and emotional health. It releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes us feel good and has beneficial effects on our bodies.
What kind of effect, then, does someone else’s electromagnetic field have on us? Knowing that there is an exchange of energy, it is logical to believe that someone exhibiting more positive emotions, which then causes the heart to function more regularly, would have healthier results on those around them, rather than someone who is expressing aggression or anger, causing stress to the body, which would then affect the heart and its electromagnetic offering.
Therefore, taking care of our hearts takes a multi-pronged approach.
We need to eat healthy foods to give our bodies the nutrients and phytochemicals it needs and to avoid ones that are harmful, like processed foods. Making healthy choices is nourishing both physically and mentally.
We need to exercise so that our hearts and brains are functioning optimally. As stated previously, the heart and brain are intimately connected, so taking care of them both through exercise is important.
We need to take care with our thoughts, not only to give our minds peace, but to minimize the effects negative feelings and thoughts have on our physical bodies. We can do this through therapy, meditation and exercise.
Working on having loving, positive relationships around us is also important. Not only because of the electromagnetic field of our hearts, which affects and can be affected by others, but also because difficult relationships can cause emotional stress, which then causes physical stress. Tempering our reactions to others can help us to cope in situations that we are unable to change. Once again, therapy and meditation can help us in this regard.
Additionally, therapies such as acupuncture, which works on the physical, emotional, mental and energetic levels at the same time, is a wonderful choice to help balance the body so that we can lower physical and emotional stress—which in turn helps to make the body healthier.
Taking care of our physical body also means taking care of our emotional and mental health, as they are intertwined. Being mindful of the link between the heart and our thoughts and emotions can greatly influence our entire body, and thus our physical health and quality of life.
Dr. Amy Wiesner has been practicing Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture for nearly 20 years in Norwalk. She combines compassionate listening with modern technology and other techniques to help address your mind and body so that you can live a better life. Connect at 203-962-5887 or HealthfulHarmony.com See Community Resource Guide listing, page 36.
Dr. Wiesner, practicing for almost 20 years, uses acupuncture, lifestyle medicine, nutritional supplementation and homeopathy to help her patients achieve health and well-being. Infertili... Read More »