The Heart (心) And The Heart Meridian(心经)

Functions of the Heart:

  1. Governing the blood and the blood vessels
    • The heart is in charge of the flow of the blood through out the body, therefore, it is also in charge of the transportation of nutrients through out the body. This is why the heart is thought to be the king of all other organs.
    • The heart pumps blood through out the body, the pumping in turn becomes pulsation and is shown on blood vessels. Pulse palpation is one of the major diagnostic tools of acupuncture/TCM
  2. Governing the spirit
    • Spirit in acupuncture/TCM includes 2 aspects of a person: the inner aspect, which are emotions, mental status, thoughts, etc; and the outer aspect, which is a person’s overall appearance, such as the complexions, voices, etc. These 2 aspects are fundamentally connected and mutually affected.
    • All emotions originate as the spirit in the heart, then differentiate into different types.
  3. The above 2 functions work together to keep a person alive.

The heart belongs to the Yin-organ group, but it is also a Yang-organ by itself. It is the Yang of the Yang, which ultimately governs a person’s life. Therefore, the heart is also called “the sun of the body”.

The heart is related to the season of summer, the taste of bitter, the element of fire, the temperature of heat, and the color of red.

The heart also opens to the outside through the tongue.

The Heart Meridian(手少阴心经)


The heart meridian originates in the heart, and has 3 pathways:

  1. The meridian starts in the heart then travels downward, passes the diaphragm, then connects with the small intestine
  2. The upward branch travels alongside the esophagus and goes up to the eyes
  3. The direct pathway travels into the lung, and then veers downwards to emerge below the axilla. It travels down the medial aspect of the upper arm, and passes the antecubital fossa. It continues down the anteromedial margin of the forearm to the capital bone on the wrist, travelling along the radial side of the fifth metacarpal bone to terminate at the tip of the little finger

There are 9 points on the heart meridian, they treat:

  • Pain in epigastric region
  • Emotional disorders(anxiety, depression, etc)
  • Palpitations(arrhythmia)
  • Sudden voice loss
  • Pain along the meridian pathways