Maintaining Heart harmony in summer’s Fire

The Shen, the spirit of the Heart, doesn’t like shocks but we have certainly experienced a few over the last 18 months.

Shocks in the form of changes to routine, obstruction to the close supportive contact we need with friends and family, and a threat to life that the majority of us have not faced before. How is your Heart holding up?!

Hopefully the sun is shining wherever you are, bringing joy, vibrancy and bountiful energy to your Heart!

As flowers bloom and early fruits ripen, June is a great time of abundance. At the summer solstice, we can give thanks for the sun’s warmth and the completion of our accomplishments at this midway point of the year.

“When we are at ease and filled with the warmth and light of rich sunshine, our hearts can open like summer roses with great love.”*

Summer means Fire element in the Chinese Medicine Five Element cycle, and the Heart (or Emperor) is one of four organs of the Fire element.

The Heart as Emperor is responsible for ‘ruling’ over us, performing many energetic functions that are vital to the working of the body, mind and spirit. On a very deep level, it is not possible to have true health without a peaceful Heart (according to TCM World).

The Emperor needs harmony so that he can rule with fairness, patience and compassion. Ancient traditions believe that an open Heart is a sign the Shen (the spirit of the Heart) is at peace.

To help him carry out his many responsibilities, the Heart needs protection. The Triple Heater, Small Intestine and Heart Protector are the three other Fire organs, or ‘government officials’, that work in service to the Heart. As ell as offering protection, the officials also act as “messengers which help to extend its influence”**.

A disturbed Shen

An unstable Heart may manifest psychologically as anxiety, agitation, insomnia, poor concentration and memory and paranoia. These may manifest physically as sweaty palms, palpitations and nervous stomach.

It is therapies like Shiatsu that can re-balance the ‘garden of our body’ to calm the Shen. To do so, the Shiatsu Practitioner acts like a gardener who will nurture an ailing plant by changing the conditions in which it is found, rather than treating a specific symptom of the sick plant.

In contrast, the Western medical approach is to act like a mechanic fixing a machine, where the focus is on the symptom rather than addressing the root cause.

Body as garden

Chinese Medicine views life as a constant flow of yin and yang energies. If we are balanced and in good health, we are able to navigate life’s ups and downs, and return to balance.  

 “Know the Yang but keep to the Yin.”  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Suggestions for Heart harmony

  1. What makes your Heart ‘sing’? Movement, walking in nature, socialising, alone time, painting, writing, singing, exploring somehere new – what is it that makes you feel alive?! Do more of it!

2. Align with nature’s energy At this most yang time of year, get outdoors and absorb nature’s vibrant energy. Open your arms wide to open your Heart a little more! Stretch your arms out in front of you to open the Heart chakra in the back.

3. Maintain balance with acupressure We can calm the Shen by stimulating the cooling qualities of yin, found in the Kidney meridian of the Water element. Kidney 1 acupressure point on the sole of the foot is easy to find – work the point on both feet for a few minutes to release tension across the chest.

4. Try some Qi Gong Stand in the Qigong meditative posture, The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth for as long as you are able. Challenge yourself to quiet your mind and open your Heart as you hold this posture.

5. Stretch your Fire meridians! Check out this video from Shiatsu co-operative New Energy Work for guidance on opening up your Heart meridian, chakras and the use of acupressure points to alleviate lower back pain, anxiety and palpitations.

shiatsu reiki acupressure

Book an online Guided Self-Shiatsu Session to explore the root cause of any symptoms you’re living with, or to discover effective natural practices to help you maintain your good health. I work with people online around the world. Regular sessions may help you prevent dis-ease from arising. Enquire here.


* Debra Kaatz – Characters of Wisdom, 2001, Fire chapter

** Carola Beresford Cooke, “Shiatsu Theory & Practice”, Third edition, 2016

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About Me

I founded SJA Holistics to help people get well, feel great, and stay well using the power of practices derived from Eastern Medicine including Shiatsu, Reiki, Acupressure and Qi Gong.

For over a decade I’ve worked with Ki and have first-hand experience of how energy- and body-work can lead to positive health. Working with the energy body as well as the physical can bring profound changes to mental, emotional and physical issues.

After completing three years of study for the Professional Shiatsu Diploma, I honed my experience working voluntarily for six months in a national UK charity giving Shiatsu to people recovering from substance misuse.

It is my mission to help you recognise your own self-healing ability and to empower you with the skills and knowledge you need to dramatically improve your self-care.

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Intelligent Energy

Every one of us has a universal energy, also known as lifeforce, chi, prana and Ki, that underpins our whole existence, and within that, our health. Stimulating the flow of Ki is how you can get well, feel great and stay well.

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