Meridian of the Month | Heart

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Nancy Nelson

The meridian lines of the body are energetic highways that provide a path for Qi and other substances to flow. This year, we will learn details about one of the meridians each month as they coordinate with the time of year / season that we are currently in. For May, let’s discuss the Heart pathway!

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The Journey of the Heart Lines

The heart meridian begins at the heart organ and moves out through the blood vessels surrounding the heart to the diaphragm and small intestine. Another internal branch moves up through the throat, to the eye and to the tongue. An additional branch moves through the lung before traveling to the armpit.

This is where the more superficial meridian begins (what we stimulate through acupressure in yin!). It descends along the inner aspect of the arm (opposite to the lung channel – which is on the biceps side of the arm). It then passes the inner end of the elbow crease before continuing down to the tip of the little finger by the corner of the nail on the thumb side.

The Heart Meridian | King

Heart energy encompasses the command of all organs and viscera, the Shen (spirit) and the emotions. The physical heart works to keep blood circulating through the body, therefore it is an organ that is incredibly crucial to all other organs in the body. This is one reason why the heart is the “King”.

In Chinese, the word for heart also indicates the mind which highlights the connection between the heart, emotional health and thoughts. Our thoughts and emotions influence the performance of the organs of the body by way of the pulse and blood pressure. If we have nourishing and calming thoughts, these rhythms will reflect that physically. However, if our thoughts are anxious and depleting, we will see physical evidence of this in our blood pressure levels and pulse.

In TCM, the Heart is directly connected to the muscle of the tongue. Therefore speech and words have a direct impact on Heart health. The color and texture of the tongue may reveal the status of the Heart. The Thymus gland is also a part of the Heart family as it is within close proximity of the heart at the center of the chest. This gland deals with immunity and functionality of all the body’s meridian lines. To stimulate, try a little EFT by tapping gently on the sternum at the center of the chest. Repeat as you tap, “I am open, I am calm, I am connected.” Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a wonderfully healing practice for heart energy!

There may be an imbalance in your heart meridian if you are experiencing shortness of breath, cold feeling in the chest and/or limbs, palpitations of the heart, cold sweats, inability to speak, memory failure or restless sleep. Emotions that may indicate imbalance are sadness, absence of laughter, depression, anxiety, and jealousy.

There are 9 points along this meridian line and the element of the Heart channel is fire. The heart meridian is the most important meridian for healing thought, feeling, and personality. Every meridian has a yin or yang counterpart or complimentary meridian. The Heart lines are yin and the Small Intestine lines are the yang counterpart that also share the fire element. The active season for the Heart meridian is summer and the time of day the meridian is most active is between 11am – 1pm. The color that represents this meridian is red with a slight blue tint.

Low Self-esteem“I like who I am.”
Feels ForgottenFeels loved / Seen
Difficulty Expressing LoveExpresses Love Openly
Low EnergyEnthusiastic

Beyond yin yoga, balance your heart by practicing Qigong in the summer, face the south with gratitude, swim in cool water, laugh and wear red.

Yin Postures for the Heart Meridian
More Resources…

Blog Posts


These one hour webinars focus on the meridians in a bit more detail if you want to learn more.

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Nancy Nelson
Nancy Nelson
Nancy is the fearless leader here at Nancy Nelson Yoga! She has been instructing yoga since 2012 and is certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500, YACEP) with Yoga Alliance. She loves guiding yoga classes in all forms – from sweaty vinyasa flows, to slow mindful movement - but her favorite style to practice and teach is yin yoga. She attended a formal 50-hour Yin Yoga training with Bernie Clark and Diana Batts in the fall of 2018 and it truly propelled her into developing her yin focused website, webinars and trainings.

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