Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in America – more than all cancers put together! It is imperative, then, to ensure that your heart and blood vessels are given the best opportunity to stay healthy. From a 4 Element perspective, your cardiovascular system is a Fire – Water system. The heart is its Fire element organ. It energetically pumps the caloric fuel your body requires. Your arteries, capillaries and veins channel the power of Water – connecting each cell to the nutrients that are digested out from your food. The nutritional supports below help these two parts of this system.
There is something about the human heart that seems mysterious to us all. More than any other organ we go out of our way to feel its energies of “heart”, love, empathy, kindness. It’s not something we feel in our brain, we feel these things more viscerally in our heart.
According to various ancient traditions, the heart is at the center of who we are. In yoga’s system of chakras, the heart is the body’s middle spiritual center. In 4 Element Medicine, this heart center is where the cosmos’ two opposite ideals-principles-forces – Fire and Earth – come together. In a primordial way, Fire speaks of our spiritual dimension, Earth of our material one.
In many ways, the heart is where we are meant to balance all the various opposites of our life. Indeed, some might say that love, or “heart”, is that joy-begetting balance of the primal “self and other” of our human condition.
The beating of the heart – and its pumping of blood – should be thought of as one of Fire’s many expressions in us. Fire, the highest of the 4 Elements, is the energy of the cosmos. It exists in the blood energy of sugar and in your heart’s accelerative thrusts of that blood.
On another level, Fire is stepped down in the body and becomes your nervous system. The nervous system – the highest state of our body – relates to Fire’s highest level of operation within us. The highest level of Fire is our spirituality.
According to 4 Element Medicine, the Fire of the cosmos is stepped down in the body and becomes your nervous system. In this way your nervous system state relates to your spiritual state.
If you have a problem with your heart, you may be naturally drawn toward seeing it in a spiritual way, since this spiritual Fire within the heart is so strong.
4 Element Healing Concept: Because the heart is so nervous system driven it is affected by nerve stress.
After your brain, the heart possibly is the body tissue most dense with nerves. This makes the heart more susceptible to nerve stress. That is why stress is particularly bad for the heart. Heart attacks happen more when people are stressed out, their nervous system not able to organize those heart beats, or the muscular tone of the arteries.
Action Step: Take time each day to calm your nervous system down. A simple way to do this is to close your eyes and slow down your breathing. Silently count to 6 as you inhale (deep into your abdomen). Try to breathe slower and slower as your counting gets slower, or count to a higher number. Do this for 1- 10 or more minutes. It is not hard to go from this to a meditation, wherein the Fire of the cosmos is channeled more into you.
The take-away point of this article is to appreciate that your heart (like all your organs) has multiple dimensions. But more than most others, the nervous system is important to it. Keep in mind that even the cholesterol issue that people speak of is almost always secondary to the effect that the nerves to the heart have on this important organ.
Probably more than nutrition, helping your heart with its nervous system is probably the best thing you can do for it. While we do have great nutrition products for the heart, they will work best if you do some of this slow breathing technique discussed above.