Toxic heat is classified as interior excess yang.
Wellness coaching and BodyTrust halt the hurrying-and-scurrying lifestyle in its tracks.
The principles of Chinese medicine teach us to slow it all down and neutralize that excess yang.
Always hurrying, walking fast, talking fast, overwork, sleep deprivation, refusing breaks, multitasking, using stimulants, nursing unrealistic expectations, and being overly busy. . .These are habits of excess yang and excessive friction that violate your body's instincts, that sabotage wellness, and end up burning you out - literally.
Twelve hours of yang and twelve hours of yin are of equal value for omnivores such as us. Fast and slow, working and goofing off, sounds and silence, learning and teaching, winning awards and not winning awards, making lots of money and not making lots of money - all of equal value when it comes to wellness and longevity.
Chinese medicine explains that slower-moving animals like turtles and elephants enjoy long life spans, while the smaller animals who scurry around the most have the shortest lives. For them, the heat generated is normal and healthy. For us, the habit of hurrying generates dangerous degrees of toxic heat.
because Chinese organs are more energy than substance. They represent energy channels, connections, relationships, and functions more than they do anatomy.
both pump blood around to all body parts.. That's where the commonality ends.
They occupy the fire element, which also represents summer, work, joy, red, heat, tongue, and talking.
Shen is one of the Five Substances of Chinese medical theory, the substance that determines behavior based on information received.
and thus is the first organ to attract toxic heat. An agitated and wandering shen points directly to heart heat, a Chinese medical syndrome.
This phlegm is called insubstantial phlegm. It cannot be seen or put into a bottle. It will obscure and distort information trying to reach the shen. The result is behavior inappropriate to the situation - neurosis and psychosis.
clears toxic heat from the body. Wellness coaching also works to clear phlegm from the heart and shen, often in conjunction with other health programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, meditation, psychiatry, acupuncture, Chinese herbology, and fitness training.
which gathers in the heart and disturbs the shen.
An agitated shen seeks calm.
The heaviness of food/yin pushes the heat/yang back down,
as explained through the simple logic of Chinese medicine.
Chinese medicine explains that anything which stagnates can generate heat. This includes food eaten without hunger. When the qi which tries to move the stuck and stored food battles against the barrier, the resulting friction will generate the kind of toxic heat known as "yangming heat.".
Inhaling hot gases from any source on a regular basis
will sabotage your wellness efforts. Chinese medicine describes how lung, heart, and everything above will be attacked by toxic heat.
As liver qi stagnation (worry, etc.) increases in intensity, the pounding against the barrier generates so much frustration, rage, and toxic heat. That "liver fire" flashes upward to attack the head. Suppressed rage, i.e. liver fire, is how
Chinese medicine diagnoses a migraine headache or sudden blindness.
Lou Gehrig, the first baseman for the New York Yankees during the 1920s and '30s, was renowned for being one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived, as well as never missing a single game during his pro career of 17 seasons.
The intense internal friction caused by this over-achieving lifestyle created toxic heat that rose upward into his head and burnt nerve and brain tissue. The tragic result was a creeping and fatal paralysis known as "amyotrophic lateral sclerosis" (ALS), that eventually earned the nickname "Lou Gehrig's Disease."
Pathogenesis of Heart Heat, aka Toxic Heat
By E Douglas Kihn, OMD
Heart heat is the result of excessive internal friction that accumulates over a period of time. “Hurrying” is a general term that describes the varied causes of heart heat.
The heart, alone of all the organs in the human body, is constantly and continuously working as long as we live. All other organs rest from time to time. We can even hold our breath and stop the lungs for a minute or two, but the heart never takes a break. Friction and heat are normal features of the heart, and it normally accumulates enough healthy yin to counter the yang. However, this organ will be the first to be
overwhelmed by excessive friction and thus manifest heat-related pathologies which include inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, and manic personality disorders.
Our Chinese heart (xin) houses the shen, that substance which determines behavior, by gathering information from external and internal sources. Agitated behavior of a chronic nature is usually the first and principle indication of heart heat.
Excessive wakefulness – yang - robs the heart of necessary yin-time that is so essential for wellness and recovery. The human body/mind needs 12 hours of yang – “up-time” – and 12 hours of yin – “down-time,” every 24 hours in order to lead a balanced, healthy life. People who have to drag themselves out of bed every morning or then just work through their fatigue during the day are injuring their heart yin by creating excessive internal friction. Workaholics who won’t take breaks and only make time for work-related activities are flirting with disease and danger. Every battery needs recharging or it dies. So it is with the human body/mind.
Scurrying through life, bouncing from one commitment to the next, is another root cause of heart heat. Over-scheduling, devotion to the “keeping-busy” mantra, multi-tasking, and maintaining unrealistic expectations of oneself fuel this kind of frenzied behavior that inevitably leads down the ugly path to heart heat. This problem is especially true for many single parents, who simultaneously juggle money-earning jobs, child care, and household chores like cooking and cleaning.
Excessive speed generates excessive friction. Driving fast and tailgating, “jockeying for position,” running fast, walking fast, talking fast, working fast, and thinking fast – all the time – build up dangerous formations of heat that will inevitably invade the heart. Constant racing and multi-tasking rattle the shen and confuse judgment, too often causing accidents that can have serious consequences.
As excess yin is lost from shrinking fat cells – weight loss from crash dieting or other means - the yang contained within that yin is also released and will heat up the heart. This is why dieting without shenwork will lead people right back to overeating.
A chronic heat condition generated by other organs can also contribute to heart heat, the most common and serious of which is liver heat. Our Chinese liver (gan) is tasked with maintaining a free flow of qi throughout the body. When qi is blocked by stagnated thinking and/or sedentary living, it slams against the barrier in its attempt to get past. The continuous collision of qi against that obstacle generates tremendous friction. The resulting heat travels upward as all heat does, frequently passing through and injuring the heart and disturbing the shen.