A Very Simple Exercise to Heal the Heart

In a short video that I have included below is a simple Qigong-like exercise to help a heart with any excess condition. Excess conditions are those of too much Yang in the heart, (or too little Yin elsewhere). High blood pressure, angina, tachycardia, and other physical heart issues can be the result. This exercise can also be helpful for such issues as anxiety, insomnia, over-excitement, night sweats, mental and emotional problems and dizziness.

In a two minute video clip, Stephen Sinatra, a cardiologist, talks about how the arms are extensions of the heart. Early in embryogenesis the arms came from the heart area.


“If you want to work with someone’s heart, work with the energy of the arms.”

He makes the point that conductors, who are raising their arms in motion, live healthily into their 90’s.

The key to the video is the little exercise Stephen Sinatra shows. He recommends swinging your arms back and forth a couple hundred times a day to keep the thoracic duct open.

The thoracic duct is the major pathway in the center of the chest where lymph flows from the abdomen and legs back to the heart

The video style is intense (itself a stress on the heart), but short.

The Heart/Arm Connection

I’ve often noticed this heart and arm connection with my healing clients and Qigong students. Symptoms in the chest can often be relieved by opening the shoulders and guiding attention, sensation and Qi down the arms, and off the fingers. In Medical Qigong training we are taught to take a patient’s excess heart Qi out of the heart, down three of the meridians of the arm (Small Intestine, Pericardium and Heart). Dredging down the entire arm, not just the meridians, works quite well also.

The arms and hands can be thought of the external manifestations of the heart. It is with the arms that we create, or hug ,or hold tight, or push away, or fight for our space. A post and video I made for lowering high blood pressure prominently uses the arms to release heart tension.

I almost included arm swinging in my Five Flows Qigong Set, and even made a preliminary video of it. (I put it into Five Flows Qigong Set 2). Here it is:

YouTube Preview Image

The swinging exercise has other benefits to the heart. It opens the thoracic outlet, relaxes the shoulders, sends blood to to the hands to relieve excess, and improves lymph flow from the arms via the axillary nodes and clavicular pathways.

This exercise—like just about everything else in life—works even better with lower abdominal breathing.

Note: Just about any Kidney strengthening exercises can help with excess heart issues. The fiery heart needs to be supported, nourished and controlled some by the water energy of the Kidneys. This is according to the useful (and quite functional) pattern of the Five Elemental Energies.


  1. Judy said,

    June 18, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    Great site! Full of useful information – Thank you!

  2. Michelle said,

    September 11, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    I’m amazed at how intuitive the exercises are. Thanks for sharing!

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