By Dr. Liliane Papin
February 2017 promises to be a Fire month! it is marked both by St Valentine, love Fire day, and by the Chinese New Year, starting January 28th, which this year is a year of the Rooster, a Fire sign according to the Chinese zodiac. The Heart, in Chinese Medicine, also belongs to Fire energy.
From an energetic point of view, we all know that Fire is a positive radiating energy that brings warmth, love and reaches out to others. No fire ever keeps its warmth for itself. It naturally spreads. Its positive heart qualities in human beings therefore are love, enthusiasm, generosity, zest for life and gentle joy and compassion. Fire is also a purifying energy as we know when we burn anything we want to get rid of. Scorching is a way for the earth to renew itself. Fire can burn obstacles, boundaries and knows no frontiers. Fire purification ceremonies or simple “cleaning up” are therefore good practices to get rid of clutter in our environments and hearts.
When Fire is out of control however, as we also well know, it brings destruction. Fire is a very volatile energy that easily changes direction with the wind and gets strength from it. It is unpredictable and easily uncontrollable. It needs to be balanced by water, humidity and gently monitored. When Fire is out of control in human hearts it can, on a physical level, bring strokes and heart attacks. On an emotional level it can wreak havoc and turn love into destructive passion or obsessive desire to control everything and everyone. On a spiritual level, love can turn into fanaticism.
Lack of fire can just as destructive as it kills enthusiasm, love and compassion and makes us blase and cynical. Lack of passion kills creativity and dries up our life juices. On a physical level, a “cold” heart becomes stagnant, blood turn viscous and can also lead to a heart attack or stroke.
So, this month make sure you tend to your Heart fire: keep your cool but make sure you stoke your enthusiasm and zest for life. Watch for burn out and make sure you dispose of what does not serve you anymore. Open your heart to others and to the world. Fire is always generous!!
Good acupuncture points to help our chest and “heart Fire”
PC 6: Nei guan (Inner court)
This is one of the most common points we use at the clinic because it is so versatile and has so many applications. It is great for all cardiac problems as well as all digestive issues such as nausea, stomach pain or vomiting. It is therefore a good point for morning sickness and for transportation sickness.
At home, gently massage it with the thumb of your other hand. OF course, if someone can do it to you or you can do it on someone, it is even better. Apply gentle pressure. For cardiac issues of chest pain or palpitations use yilang ylang, chamomile or Frankincense. For anxiety and panic attacks those oils also work well. For digestive issues, vomiting or nausea, use ginger essential oil, peppermint or chamomile. Those three are probably the three oils we use the most at the clinic.
Situated in the center of the chest and between the 2 nipples, Dan Zhong (“Center of Chest”) regulates the Qi of both Lungs and heart. It is therefore good for asthma, pain, shortness of breath and oppression of the chest as well as cardiac pain and palpitations. We use this point at the clinic for both conditions and often use essential oils.
Gently massage with a spiraling movement. You may also use essential oils. YlangYlang is particularly good for palpitations and hyperventilation and panic attacks. Some other great oils for anxiety include Frankincense and Chamomile. Please note, however, that for a medicinal use, oils need to be great quality.
The Rooster is a Chinese symbol of honesty, as well as physical and moral courage. Rooster represents fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing meant the beginning of the day, time to get up and start to work. It signifies fortune, courage, spirit to go forward, luck, fidelity and protection. You can count on the rooster everyday to greet the sun and the new day. It is also, therefore, a symbol of joy and welcoming newness. It can, however, easily become bossy, aggressive and belligerent.
The rooster was also the totem animal of the Gauls, an ancestor tribe of the French who have adopted it as their national animal.