Updated: Nov 15, 2022
Overall trajectory of the Heart channel:
The Heart channel starts at the center of the Heart. It descends through the diaphragm to connect with the Small Intestine. One branch ascends along the throat and connects with the eyes. The other branch traverses up through the Lung and exits in the armpit, the axilla. Then it traverses the medial aspect of the arm down to the tip of the pinky finger.
The loose muscles of the upper arm (butterfly wings) and Heart 4-7 are the most common areas of stagnation in the Heart channel.
Working on the Heart channel can potentially help with:
Chest fullness and tightness
Shortness of breath
For many people above age 40, we start to have loose muscles and tissues on the upper arm. We may notice them hanging when we raise up the arm to salute. If we use the thumb and index finger to massage the loose muscle, we may find some nodules that are very tender and painful to palpate. This is a sign of stagnation in the Heart channel. You may feel it more intensely on the left side. By massaging this area daily, we can slowly dissolve the nodules and increase muscle tone. As a result, we promote free flow of Qi and Blood to the Heart. This is a great method to not only prevent potential cardiovascular illnesses, but also get rid of the butterfly wings! Win win!
There are four acupuncture points along the radial side of the tendon of flexor carpi ulnaris of the wrist. They are very close together, within 1.5 inches of the wrist. These four points are called Spiritual Path 灵道, Penetrating the Interior 通里, Yin Cleft 阴郗, and Spirit Gate 神门. These are important points to nourish the Heart and calm the Spirit. We can press them with our thumbs.
The best time to work on the Heart channel is 11AM - 1 PM. However, the actual best time to work on any channel is whenever you have time. What matters most is to do it consistently and daily.