Care for the Heart
Our heart is a highly sophisticated organ that is responsible for pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood around our bodies. The heart is the main organ of the cardiovascular system, made up of a complex network of arteries, veins, and capillaries that supply our entire body with blood. Our heart is controlled by electrical impulses that cause contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle that creates the pumping action that circulates blood around our body.
Our heart and cardiovascular system is an absolutely integral component of our body’s overall operating system and needs to be well maintained in order for us to experience health and vitality.
The quality of what we put into our bodies determines how well its different systems are able to function. If we eat a lot of poor-quality fats and oils, for example, the lipid layer surrounding our cells will also be of poor quality, which will weaken and undermine the integrity of our cells leading to problems with cellular functioning, reduced immunity and weakened arteries. This potentially leads to the build-up of plaques in the walls of the arteries as the body sets about trying to repair the damage caused by poor quality fats, oils and a variety of circulating toxins derived from poor dietary and lifestyle habits as well as environmental pollutants. This build up of plaque and subsequent narrowing of the arteries, called atherosclerosis is an underlying factor in heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
It’s pretty common knowledge these days that regular exercise is also essential for helping us to maintain the health of our cardiovascular system. This is due, for the most part, to the biochemical changes that occur during exercise and physical activity. It is, however a matter of balance – if we under exercise or over exercise the health of our heart and body in general may suffer.
Supportive foods for the heart and cardiovascular system include: antioxidant-rich fruits such as berries and cherries, pomegranate, garlic and tomatoes. Heart-healthy fats such as those found in avocado, virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil and nuts and seeds are beneficial for keeping the cardiovascular system running like a well-oiled machine. Oh, and high-quality dark chocolate – we mustn't forget that!
Just as important as the quality of our diet and lifestyle habits is the quality of our relationships – how we relate to ourselves, others and life in general will have an impact (either positively or negatively) on the health of our heart. Cultivating a healthy, honest and nurturing relationship with ourselves is essential for us to be able to cultivate relationships of the same calibre with others. When we are compassionate, loving and kind to ourselves, we are able to extend this compassion, love, and kindness to others.
At an energetic level, our hearts are the centre through which our soul self expresses itself and through which we experience our soul as the driving force in our lives. Physical conditions affecting the heart or cardiovascular system can often be linked to issues around trust – not trusting ourselves, trusting others, trusting life. When we have experienced betrayal or loss of trust we may have shut our hearts down to some degree. While it may not be something we have done consciously, at an unconscious level the memory of this loss or betrayal of trust has been recorded and stored in our cellular memory. The unconscious memory of trauma, betrayal and loss of trust may then drive behaviours and ways of relating to ourselves, others and life that are essentially dysfunctional. This dysfunction may express in ways that are overcompensating or undercompensating rather than healthy and balanced.
The heart chakra, located at the centre of our chest is the gateway through which we give and receive love. The heart chakra influences the functioning of our physical heart, circulatory system and thymus gland – the master gland that regulates our immune system. When our heart chakra is healthy and balanced we experience compassion and the free-flow of love and empathy along with a deeper sense of connection with our true self.
First Light® Tree essence No 47 Kauri is our heart chakra ally. No 47 Kauri balances and strengthens the heart chakra, supporting the healthy functioning of our immune system and our physical and energetic heart and cardiovascular system. This essence is excellent for supporting the heart and lungs and to strengthen the connection with our soul self. Kauri helps to bring the heart chakra back to a state of balance if it has been operating in either an overcompensating (e.g. giving too much, smother love) or undercompensating (e.g. shut-off, hard-hearted, conditional expressions of love) manner.
First Light® Flowers of Transformation essences No’s 13-15 correspond to the zodiacal sign of Leo which is associated with the sun and rules the heart. These essences help to support and balance the physical heart and circulatory system. At another level, these essences stoke our creative fire, helping us to tap into the wealth of creativity that resides within each of us that seeks to express itself out in the world. They are excellent essences to use to help boost our confidence, igniting the fire of our hearts and experiencing the joy of connecting and expressing our ‘inner child’.
Flowers of Transformation essence No 13 Kanuka, for example, supports us when we may be experiencing performance-related anxiety or fears. Essence No 14 Rengarenga Lily helps us to express our creativity with style and flare, without needing to be the centre of attention or behave like a drama queen or king. No 15 Mingimingi helps to give our creative energy grounded and practical forms of expression and find creative solutions to life’s problems.
— Lana Raill
Lana holds diplomas in Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine and New Zealand Native Flower Essence Therapy, and is a First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand® Registered Practitioner. Lana specialises in working with vibrational plant medicine in the form of First Light® flower essences and is available for consultations in Grey Lynn and Avondale on 021 02468952 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org