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  • Writer's pictureRichard Lai

#26 - Heart Functions

Updated: Aug 25, 2023



According to TCM, the heart is not just a physical organ responsible for pumping blood but also plays an important role in emotional well-being and spiritual life.





Governing Blood and Vessels

In TCM, the heart is responsible for governing the blood and vessels. It is believed that the heart stores the blood and then circulates it throughout the body, providing nourishment and energy to the organs and tissues. The vessels that carry blood are also controlled by the heart, ensuring that they are open and unobstructed.


Housing the Mind and Spirit

According to TCM, the heart is also responsible for housing the mind and spirit. The mind refers to the consciousness or awareness of oneself and the surrounding environment. The spirit, on the other hand, is the non-physical aspect of a person that includes emotions, intuition, and creativity. The heart is believed to be the home of the mind and spirit, and its health is essential for emotional and mental well-being.


Controlling Sweat

Sweat is a bodily fluid that helps regulate body temperature and remove toxins from the body. In TCM, the heart is responsible for controlling sweat production. If the heart is not functioning properly, it can lead to excessive sweating, which can cause dehydration and other health problems.


Opening up to Joy

Joy is an essential emotion that is closely associated with the heart in TCM. When the heart is healthy and balanced, it is open to joy and happiness. However, if the heart is imbalanced or blocked, it can lead to feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety.


Communicating with the Tongue

The tongue is closely connected to the heart in TCM, and the two are believed to communicate with each other. The tongue's appearance, such as its color and coating, can provide clues about the health of the heart. For example, a red tongue with a yellow coating may indicate an imbalance in the heart's energy.


Studying for the Acupuncture Board Exam

Here are the other ones you should be familiar with and be able to perform differential diagnosis for:

  1. Yin/Yang Theory

  2. Five Elements Theory (Wu Xing)

  3. Eight Principles

  4. Qi, Blood, Body Fluids Theory

  5. Channel Theory

  6. Organ Theory

  7. Six Stages Theory

  8. Four Levels Theory

  9. Triple Burner Theory

  10. Etiology Theory like External / Internal or Miscellaneous Causes of

God Bless and Happy Studying


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