Between Movement and Stillness – Dr Jacqueline Heng

​In Chinese medicine, the Heart house the Mind (Shen), the seat of consciousness and intelligence. What we think, feel, express and sense are manifestation of our Shen.

Fire TCM


The Heart is also the ‘monarch’, ‘ruler’ or ‘emperor’ of all our internal organs.  It circulates blood around our body, feeding essential nutrient and nourishment to our skin, muscles and tendons, and mental thoughts.

The Shen is the flame that resides in the Heart, the Heart is the lighthouse that illuminates the outside world, guiding us in our journey on earth.  Thus, the element of the Heart is Fire – exuberant, yang in quality and moving in nature.

​The Kidneys are the root of our pre-natal Qi and stores our Vitality (Jing) which we inherit from our parents.  The quality of our Pre-natal Qi and Jing that we inherited is shown in our ability to reproduce, the growth of our bones and bone marrow and, vibrancy and strength of our hair. 

Will power, determination and the power of our memory resides with the Kidneys.  The Kidneys is the ocean of our body.  All fluids pour down into the Kidneys where it is separated as waste and essence.  Fluids that are not needed are excreted via the Bladder and the essence is stored in the Kidneys for reproductive activities, to nourish the marrow and strengthen the bones. Hence, the element of the Kidney is Water – cooling, yin in quality and still in nature.

Both the Heart and Kidneys share a mutual relationship and forms an important connection by balancing the yin and yang, upper and below and ascending and descending function of the body.  The fiery and moving nature of the Heart is settled by the cooling and stillness of the Kidneys and, the balance of stillness and ambiance temperature water of the Kidneys are controlled by the warmth of the Heart. 

The balancing act between the Heart and Kidneys is fundamental in keeping this life force moving and growing with calmness.

​If one or both of these organs are energetically challenged due to poor diet, lifestyle, emotional and aging factors, we may experience:

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    Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and/or insomnia
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    ​Gynaecological health issues such as infertility, severe menopause symptoms and loss of period (amenorrhea), irregular period. 

In the case of infertility, the Heart and Kidneys plays an important role.  The uterus resides between the Heart and Kidney making it the Heart-Uterus-Kidney axis.  The Heart house the consciousness, emotions and Shen and, the Kidney secure and keeps the treasure (Jing) within.  It is this intimate connection between the Uterus linking the Heart above and Kidneys below that contribute towards the success of conception.  

​Often in the treatment of infertility, there are a lot of emotions involved.  These emotions generates Heat, therefore adding more Fire to the Heart, which then ascends to harass the Shen which can cause symptoms of insomnia, frustration and irritability.

This affects the Kidneys as the descending warming function from the Heart is hindered and, the Kidneys will exhaust its treasure (Yin) by sending up Water to cool the Fire of Heart.  This disrupts the balance of Yin and Yang in the Heart and Kidneys.  Thus, disrupting the flow of the Heart-Uterus-Kidney axis resulting in infertility (this is one of the many patterns that can cause infertility).

Fire water balance


​To restore this equilibrium, harmony needs to be re-established by restoring the yin and yang, warming and cooling and the ascending and descending function of the Heart and Kidneys.  This will return the Heart to a state of a nice warm glow which calms the emotions and Shen and, the Kidneys to store its treasures for a successful conception.

​Thus, it is important to always maintain peace, calmness and let the Qi in the Heart flow for the Kidneys to maintain its resources and treasure to help with reproduction.

About the Author Dr Jacqueline Heng

Dr Jacqueline Heng is an empathetic, thoughtful and calm practitioner with a holistic approach to the health of her clients. Her quiet confidence and competent knowledge on all areas of Chinese Medicine stem from eight years of studies and clinical experiences at the Southern School of Natural Therapies