Joy from the Heart - Ondol Oriental Medicine Clinic

Joy from the Heart


Let’s look at how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the Heart and its association with joy, Fire and all things red.

Have you ever “laughed heartily”? Or spoken, “from the heart”? According to TCM, the emotion of the Heart is joy. The associated element is Fire, and not surprisingly, the colour is red. When we experience the feeling of joy, we feed our hearts. The Heart is the most affected when there is a lack of joy in our lives.

This blog is the final in the series, The Emotions, Organs and The Five Elements. This time, we will look more closely at the emotion of joy and how these relate to the Heart.


The authentic you

In TCM, the Heart is at the centre of our ability to be our authentic selves. Self-awareness, connecting with others, having meaningful relationships and living a fulfilling, happy life are the essence of a healthy heart. A traditionally held belief of Eastern philosophies is that “the path to joy is living with wisdom and purpose, seeking truth in all things and having meaningful connections to ourselves, others and the planet.” ( – Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP.)

 In many current and traditional cultures, speech is a powerful force. To speak the truth of the Heart demonstrates the connection of the Heart to expression via the words we apply.


Too much or too little joy

Interestingly, as mentioned in TCM, joy is not seen as an entirely positive emotion. The joy we’re talking about in this case is more of an overexcitement. Too much stimulation can cause us to feel anxious and jittery and even to have other symptoms such as chest pain or insomnia. How do we calm ourselves when the Fire gets a little too hot?

Alternatively, a depletion in Heart energy can also lead to insomnia and dream-disturbed sleep. This depletion can also prevent us from thinking clearly, and cause forgetfulness, lack of concentration problems, and poor memory.


Tongue-tied or loose-lipped

The tongue is the root of the Heart. Therefore, problems with speech are a good indication of an imbalance in the Heart. Talking incessantly, sputtering or laughing inappropriately indicates a Heart imbalance. More severe forms of such imbalance can lead to stuttering or even the inability to speak.

In TCM, examining the tongue can help diagnose various imbalances in the body. If the tip of the tongue appears red, it can indicate an excess of heat in the Heart. Symptoms, such as sleep problems, palpitationsred complexion and bitter taste in the mouth can manifest. Excessive heat in the Heart can be caused by extreme grief or worry, chronic stress or emotional trauma.


Symptoms of heart imbalance

Symptoms of a heart imbalance can appear as:

· A scattered mind

· Rarely laughing or inappropriate laughter

· Avery pale face or very red face

· Issues with speaking – either too little or too much

· Depression

· Memory loss

· Circulation issues

· Aversion to heat


Foods beneficial to the Heart

The sense of taste is also a reflection of the Heart’s energy, so if the Heart is healthy, we will be able to taste all the flavours and enjoy our food.

As mentioned earlier, red is the colour of the Heart, which belongs to the Fire element. Not surprisingly, many Heart-healthy foods are red. According to the famous Mayo Clinic, the red colour in most fruits and vegetables contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, hypertension and high cholesterol. They also lower the risk of developing different types of cancer, including prostate cancer, protect against heart diseases, and improve brain function.

For a healthy heart, try to incorporate these foods into your diet:

· Tomatoes

· Beef

· Cherries

· Saffron

· Red Beans

· Watermelon

· Red Apples

· Beetroot

· Radish

· Strawberries

· Rhubarb

· Red Lentils

· Red Dates

· Chili

· Cumin


A joyful heart

Did you know laughing or smiling can do wonders for your cardiovascular health? Beaming (a genuine smile) and being happy may sound too easy. Still, this time-tested wisdom brings us this simple truth: love is the most powerful way to nurture the visible and invisible aspects of the Heart. Living a joyful life and expressing emotions freely is an excellent way to keep your heart energy full and your body healthy.


How can Ondol Clinic help?

Who doesn’t want to have more joy in their life?

At Ondol Clinic, we offer various treatments to help get that heart energy flowing and balanced. We provide a holistic approach to health, empowering you to lead your best life. We can tailor a program for you and your unique needs through Japanese acupuncturemoxibustionherbsmassage, and dietary support.

If you would like to experience holistic medicine and feel healthy and well, please contact us here at Ondol Clinic to discuss your needs, get your questions answered, or book an appointment.



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