Creativity for the Heart

My Chinese medicine mentor Dr. Robert Johns (author of “The Art of Acupuncture Techniques“) recommends his patients to do soft and creative activities with their hands, especially for those with heart conditions or high levels of stress and too much time spent in their heads, such as desk jobs or just general over-thinking.  There is an additional requirement that the activity is something of their own choice and that they enjoy, not one born out of a sense of “should”.  Bread making, ceramics, brush painting, knitting, Chinese calligraphy…  the choices are vast.

Using our hands creativity can help pull us out of our busy minds and into our bodies.  Creativity can also help create the calm expansiveness needed to free the mind in order to dream.  From a Chinese medical perspective, using the finger tips creatively and softly engages the highly-vascularized and innervated Jing 井 Well points near the finger tips (points used to revive consciousness).  It calms the Shen 神 (spirit, consciousness).
jing well pts & arteries of the hand and forearm
(click on image for larger view)
The steady gradual shift of earlier nightfalls became suddenly more apparent around the Autumn equinox two weeks ago.  During this time of year I often feel a rekindled inspiration to craft – to pick up an old familiar (such as knitting) or to make a new friend (such as doll making).  The crafting inspiration is kindled in part by the desire to create a gift especially for someone, and partly kindled by the desire to spend fluid time awakening to textures of yarn, fabric, wool, paper, watching form emerge from raw materials and ideas.
An article in Time Magazine recently reported, “Increasingly, brain research is showing that in the case of creative people, this mortal cause-and-effect pays powerful dividends — that it’s not just the luck of living a long life that allows some people to leave behind such robust bodies of work but that the act of doing creative work is what helps add those extra years. And that’s something that can be available to everybody.”
So pick up an old creative habit or discover a new one!

3 Comments

Filed under Chinese Medicine, Crafts & Creativity, Lifestyle

3 Responses to Creativity for the Heart

  1. Judy Steinkraus

    Jasmine, congratulations on your new site! I appreciated your article on heart health and value of using hands for soft activities very much. I am curious if typing on a keyboard activates the fingertip points you refer to. Thank you very much!

    • admin

      hi judy – thanks! while writing can have an aspect of creativity, keyboard work is more repetitive and something i think of as being on the other end of the spectrum (perhaps even an opposite of creative crafts with the hands). if there is something being made, the outcome should be a hand-made craft, without the assistance of modern technology. a simple tool like a brush or a wooden knitting needls are ok. while i’m sure working on the computer (or typewriter) does activate the jing well points in some way, i don’t think it would benefit the heart in the way i wrote of. keyboard movements are confined to a small series of repetitive movements and the body is in one position (often not the best ergonomic position, such as hunched forward with the head hanging slightly in front of the spine) ultimately restricting circulation ot the hands and arms. qigong or chinese brush painting would have an opposite effect by opening the area between the chest and arms therefore enhancing bloodflow to the arms and hands. also those larger creative movements tend to be relaxing and have a pattern reminiscent of breathing – contracting and expanding, contracting and expanding.

  2. Judy Steinkraus

    Thank you for replying, Jasmine! I especially like your observation about larger creative movements having a pattern reminiscent of breathing.
    With appreciation,
    Judy

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