InnerMovement Wellness

230 N. Maryland Ave #309

Glendale CA 91206


Here's to your Heart Heidi,

During the month of February symbols regarding love abound. Images of a red heart can be seen in store fronts, billboards, commercials, TV, or in social medial. Today, I

wish to discuss the heart and self-love ala the 5 (Wu) Phases/Elements (Xing), aka Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

In TCM, practitioners often implement the theory of the Wu (5) Xing (Elements) in everyday practice.

I wish to share some of the wisdom within Chinese Medicine theory, so that you can look at images of red and the heart in a whole new way.

In very simplified terms, the WuXing is about the 5 elements which create and sustain

the cosmos: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. This theory is very complex and yet

simple at the same time. What this means for TCM providers and patients is that each

phenomena in nature such as a body’s organ, a color, a taste, an emotion, a time of

day, a smell, a bodily function, and even a body orifice all correspond to the energies of

one of the 5 elements.

In our bodies and in the universe, these elements interact constantly. Thus, it is no

surprise that the element of fire is associated with the heart because the heart

generates electrical impulses that make it beat over 100,000 times a day. The heart is

hot and sparking and literally on fire with each and every electrical impulse causing

muscles within the heart to contract every second of the day.

In the universe WuXing interaction is observed in the phenomena that water puts out fire. This is a fitting analogy for a complicated disease such as congestive heart failure whereby too much fluid in the cardiovascular system eventually drowns the heart’s ability to fire up enough electrical impulses to keep it contracting normally. It makes sense from both a medical and WuXing standpoint that eliminating water/ is part of the protocol addressing this complex condition from both a Western and Eastern. It is also why those with heart disease are encouraged to eat low salt (salt is the flavor of water in WuXing) DASH diet as per the American Heart Association (AHA).


The Wu Xing is versatile and is not just a philosophical and theoretical model

but also can be made simple and fun.

Anyone can apply the WuXing principles for simple self assessment in order to maintain wellness. For example, the element of fire corresponds not only to the heart but also to the color red. Thus, red foods in moderation can be good for the heart. The taste of fire is bitter. Eating bitter foods are said to dry dampness and disperse obstruction. This is why bitter tasting herbs and foods can be recommended as part of a dietary care plan for those diagnosed with edema. Bitter tasting foods include rhubarb, radicchio, endive, dandelion tea, mustard greens, and kale. However, waking with a bitter taste accompanied by chest pain might indicate the need to seek an immediate medical consultation.

Another example of how this all works together is in the tongue as this is said to be the corresponding orifice to the heart (fire element). The tip of the tongue is dependent upon the heart’s vitality and strength. If the heart qi, blood, yin, and yang are in optimal balance then the tongue will be pinkish-red in color all the way to the tip of the tongue because there was enough fire and force of qi to get the blood to arrive at the tip. That is why looking at the tip of the tongue indicates heart health. If the heart qi, yin, and yang are weak or stagnant then the tip of the tongue may have purple dots indicating poor circulation leading to blood stagnation and/or heat and require herbs that cool heat like peppermint or move the blood like Hawthorn Berry.

The condition of the heart and element of fire also manifests in the face. Healthy heart qi manifests as rosy cheeks while the veins on the nose may indicate coronary vascular disease because there is not enough fire to optimally move out the blood which pools into a dark purple color.

We can see the element of fire in many areas of the body. Take sweat. Sweat is considered to be the juice of the heart manifesting on our skin. The loss of sweat without replenishment especially for people who are already pallor or with palpitation may damage blood even more by excessive heat as experienced in a sauna. Thus, drinking lots of fluids prior to entering a sauna or eating bananas or watermelon before and after sweating promotes heart health because these are two foods that cool heart heat (not to mention have magnesium which helps relax muscles and avoid/decrease cramping).

In sum, a basic understanding of manifestations of fire within our body and in nature can help us give ourselves some self love in the month of February and throughout the year.


Today's discussion barely scratches the surface given that there are four other elements in the WuXing (5 Element/Phases) Theory and so many more attributes to each of the 5 elements. We can talk about this more in depth when you come in for your next acupuncture or cupping session at InnerMovement.


Yours in health,

Veronica Sanchez, LAc, RN

When you look at a red heart you might associate this image with the cosmological element of fire that resides within in each of us but also extend beyond our bodies and resides in nature such as in red foods or even larger connection between fire and water that exist out in the universe.


Chinese New Year

Be FIERCE like a Tiger!

Add the Ancient Healing Technique of Acupuncture + Fire Cupping to your Wellness regimen in 2022.

Celebrate your brave and powerful self!

We promise you will PURR like a kitten after this treatment combo!

Book Now
Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn

Foods to Improve Qi circulation

Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Carrot, Cayenne, Chive, Coriander, Dill seed, Garlic, Marjoram, Mustard leaf, Orange peel, Radish, Star Anise, Tangerine Peel, and Turmeric.

Foods that Improve Blood Circulation

Foods that improve blood circulation

Chestnut, Chilli powder, Chive, Crab, Hawthorn berry, Mustard leaf, onion, Peach, Scallion, and Vinegar.

Foods that Cool Heat

Asparagus, Aubergine, Bamboo shoots, Banana, Chicken egg white, Clam, Elderflower, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lettuce, Millet, Mungbeans, Mungbean sprouts, Peppermint, Potato, Salt, Tofu, and Watermelon.