Summer is upon us, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), that means the Fire Element is also in full swing. Triple Warmer Meridian is one of four meridians (energy pathways in the body) associated with the Fire Element, and while Triple Warmer protects us from our outside environment, his sister Pericardium or Circulation/Sex Meridian, (C/S) protects our inner world including our heart.

Sometimes called the “King’s Bodyguard,” the job of the C/S Meridian is to keep our heart safe, physically and emotionally. The pericardium is the area surrounding the heart, protecting it, and removing excess energy from it. It is associated with the hormones and chemical messages related to reproduction and relates to the muscular function of the heart and blood vessels.

Emotionally, an unbalanced C/S Meridian can make it hard for us to open our heart to others and can impact our experiences with intimacy and love. We can become overwhelmed with our choices and the demands placed on us, and neglect our desires and what our heart truly needs. When it is in balance, however, C/S prioritizes the joy of the heart, and we are true to ourselves. We can then make good decisions that support our heart’s needs, whether those decisions have to do with our relationship with others or ourselves. Self-acceptance, resilience, radiance, joy, and openness are all supported by a balanced C/S.

Taking Down the Flame is one exercise that can balance C/S, as well as the other Fire Element Meridians. Take a deep breath in and bring your fingers and thumbs together in a pyramid type position above your head. Rest your thumbs on the top of your head and exhale. Inhale and on an exhale, bring your thumbs to the middle of your forehead. Inhale and on the next exhale, bring your thumbs to your heart area. Inhale and on the exhale, bring your thumbs to your naval and flatten your hands. Inhale, and on the next exhale, sweep the energy down and off of your legs. If you really want to add even more balance to this exercise, you can exhale each time with the “Haaaaaa” sound.

The Source Point of C/S (C/S 7) balances energy within the Meridian but also supports the pericardium itself. I have even used this point to successfully stop hiccups. Working with C/S 7 can also help balance emotions related to a relationship and help you to access the heart’s joy and fun. It is directly in line with your middle finger where your wrist and hand meet. Simply press or massage it (see diagram).

C/S 6 (see diagram) can help to calm the heart and relieve any congestion associated with holding onto too many emotions and not expressing them. It is also commonly used to help relieve nausea, motion sickness, and headaches. It is located on the inside of the arm about three finger widths down from the wrist between the two tendons. Massage and press on this point for a few moments to balance the point and the meridian.

(Published in Front Porch Magazine- June 2020)

Exercises to Balance Pericardium