Nan Lu, OMD explores the causes of heart disease in women.

by Nan Lu, OMD

My Heart Will Go On …

“My Heart Will Go On” from the movie, Titanic, moves us with its evocative melody and words. It reminds us that love transcends time and space. The heart can indeed overcome many barriers. When someone ends a relationship, what does the saddened party say? It’s “He broke my heart,” not “He broke my mind.”! Does the mind control the Heart … or, does the Heart control the mind? (In this article, we capitalize Heart to denote its energetic and emotional functions as well as its physical properties.) If your Heart is truly broken, watch out! Eventually your body will manifest conditions that signal this magnificent organ is indeed energetically fractured. Better fix these conditions quickly or suffer serious physical consequences.

The Center for Disease Control ranks heart disease as America’s No. 1 killer of women and men. Sadly, it seems to claim more women yearly. Why? From the TCM perspective, something vital is missing from women’s lives, particularly in a culture like ours that is itself so fractured. From one angle, women are abused in this society. It’s almost impossible for them to be their true selves. They bear the crushing burden (oftentimes financial too) of stress and worry – about husbands, children, aging parents, community, environment, and more! From the TCM point of view, many women suffer from broken Hearts. The root cause is not superficial; neither is the cure. If we open our minds, we see that the deeper cause of heart disease is spiritual in nature with unbalanced emotions causing the Heart to break. Our unbalanced society plays a serious role in causing heart disease, but it’s rarely discussed in these terms.

We’ve been told many kinds of physical exercise help prevent heart disease. At the energetic and spiritual level, and even the emotional level, this is not accurate. Broken hearts are not just a metaphor. There are different degrees of being broken and different ways the body indicates a broken Heart. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, because the Heart is the Monarch or King of Organs, the other organs serve as its bodyguards. Each will sacrifice itself to keep the Heart alive. Often other conditions present themselves before heart disease, which delivers the final blow.

To avoid heart problems, pay attention to physical problems early. Often they are indicators of future heart trouble. TCM practitioners know it’s difficult to treat heart disease, so they look for signals from the Heart’s bodyguards. What conditions need attention to avoid heart disease? Often in the clinical setting, we see Stomach problems, but these are not only related to the Stomach. They can indicate Heart dysfunction because these organs share a relationship. The same is true of a Lung dysfunction; even Kidney conditions can affect the Heart. Each organ has its own ingrained emotions and consciousness. Every physical problem, large or small, presents a snapshot of the underlying messages the body is sending the mind. The message is you must change to survive. Early on the organ whispers; later it may scream for dear life.

While presenting conditions should be addressed, if the underlying emotional condition is ignored, then treatment remains symptomatic and superficial. Even using TCM instead of Western treatments to address symptoms only minimizes side effects and causes the body less damage. It does not heal the root cause and problems can re-emerge. The only person who can fix a broken Heart is its owner. Broken Hearts must be fixed from the inside out. The practitioner provides comfort and alleviates symptoms. When a practitioner encounters a patient with a broken Heart, the highest treatment in TCM is to help that patient move on, to help her or him find a way to recover self-love and rediscover joy. 

Sooner or later, we will all reach beyond the mind for deeper answers to health issues. Energy is everything and everything is energy. The energetic fields of consciousness and subconsciousness are always the first ground of disturbance. Artery damage? Muscle damage? Elevated triglycerides? The physical merely echoes the first cause. The body is intelligent, ingenious, creative  … and persistent. Without rebalancing the emotions, it will continue to manifest various health conditions until there is an awareness that the root problem remains unhealed. These reminders challenge us to decipher the lessons to be learned, the purpose of our time here and the unique mission to be achieved. What do you need to discover to make yourself whole? With heart disease, the hole in the soul is that life is missing love and joy. The cure is finding something that brings true happiness and joy. Then, your Heart can go on.  For more information on the Eastern perspective,  please visit

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