Strengthening Heart Qi for Congenital Heart Defects

About two months ago, a fellow mom told me that her 2-year old daughter had a congenital heart defect and was about to head into the hospital for an invasive procedure on her heart. I asked her if she would be interested in learning how to massage a Chinese Reflexology point that could help to strengthen her daughter’s Heart Qi. Heart Qi is the energy that flows through the Heart meridian as well as the heart itself.

She was very open to the idea, so I promised her that I would write an article on my blog for April.  So, here it is.

Chinese Medicine Perspective on Birth Defects

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, birth defects are often associated with weak Yuan Qi. Yuan Qi is also known as congenital qi or primordial qi. The best analogy to describe Yuan Qi is to think of it as a trust account that a child inherits from their parents. When a child is born, their parents make a deposit into their trust account of Yuan Qi.

If the parents are “rich” in Yuan Qi, then the child will have a very large amount of Yuan Qi to draw upon during the course of their lifetime. Conversely, if the parents did not have a lot of Yuan Qi at the time of conception, then the child will have less to inherit and this would affect their development.

There’s a school of thought in Chinese Medicine that if a child receives regular treatment for weak Yuan Qi at a very young age, then there is a very good probability that the child can develop normally.

While Chinese Reflexology isn’t going to cure a birth defect, it can certainly help to strengthen weak Qi that is related to the birth defect. You’re not likely going to notice any immediate changes, but over time (think months or years), the Qi can become stronger.  And when energy is strong and flows as it should, the physical body follows and can become stronger and more resilient.

Important: Before Practicing Chinese Reflexology

I wrote this article for a child with a congenital heart defect, not an adult with an acute heart condition. Massaging the Chinese Reflexology heart point moves energy through the Heart meridian (and the heart organ). Thus, if you have an acute heart condition, it is best to avoid reflexology until your body and condition have stabilized.

As well, if you are pregnant, please do not practice Chinese reflexology. The heart reflexology point is located near the acupuncture point, Kidney-1, which can stimulate labour. If you are not sure whether it is appropriate for you to practice reflexology, please consult your medical practitioner.

Please note that the information and materials contained here are intended for informational and educational purposes only, and are not in any way intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or care.

Heart Reflexology Point Location

Heart reflexology pointFirst, I’ll describe how to locate this point on yourself.  The Chinese Reflexology heart point is an oval-shaped area located on the sole of the left foot only.

To locate this point, imagine your foot divided into four quadrants. Imagine a line dividing your foot in half horizontally (Line C). Measure from the tip of your big toe (Line A) to the base of your heel (Line E) and note the halfway point on the sole of your left foot.

Then, imagine a vertical line dividing your foot in half vertically (Line D). The crossing of these two line creates four quadrants. On your left foot, the Heart reflexology point is located in the top right quadrant.

Imagine another horizontal line drawn that follows the bottom of the ball of your foot (Line B). The Heart point is located just below this line and slightly above the halfway horizontal line. It’s about the width of your thumb.

Place one thumb on the center of the middle vertical line just below the horizontal line on the bottom of the ball of your foot. Then, place your other thumb next to it on the right. This second thumb is a good approximation of where the Heart reflexology point is.

How to Massage the Heart Reflexology Point for Children

To massage this point on a child, use your thumb to press on the area and rub in an up and down direction. Massage very gently and for a short duration of time. You might even want to start off with just 5 to 10 seconds.

This is especially important when you first start massaging your child’s foot.  Parents tend to want to get in as much massage as possible, but this is actually counterproductive because as you know, kids don’t like holding still for very long.  If they start associating reflexology with an unpleasant experience, then they’re less likely to allow you to rub their feet again.

I recommend explaining to the child what you’re doing and what’s going on (e.g. “I’m going to rub your heart reflexology point on your foot.  This will strengthen the energy in your heart”).  It’s also good to ask the child if it’s okay for you to rub their feet for a few seconds. When you approach children calmly and with an open heart, they are usually very receptive to having their feet rubbed.

Chinese Reflexology for Children with a Congenital Heart Defect

It would be beneficial to rub the heart reflexology point daily, working up to about 60 seconds a day.  For a 2-year old, the maximum pressure to apply is about the amount of pressure you would use to wash marker or crayon off their hands.

Over time, massaging the heart reflexology point can help to strengthen Heart Qi.  While Chinese Reflexology is not going to cure the condition, it will help address underlying energy deficiencies in the Heart meridian. In turn, this can help the body become more resilient.

Additional Point to Massage to Support Weak Yuan Qi

In Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys (kidney meridian) are considered the “root of life” and thus, are very closely associated with Yuan Qi. Thus, it would be very beneficial to massage not only the Heart reflexology point, but also the Kidney points on the feet. 

I describe the Kidney reflexology point in detail as part of a series of complimentary online lessons that I give to subscribers of my online newsletter (which by the way, is also free). If you would like to learn more about the Kidney point and how to locate and massage this point, I invite to subscribe to my newsletter by filling out the form below.

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1 thought on “Strengthening Heart Qi for Congenital Heart Defects”

  1. Holly,

    What an informative and enlightening article! I honestly never knew there was so much to Chinese reflexology only because I wasn’t open to learning more. Thank you for giving me tools to work with. I fully intend to introduce a daily foot massage using these techniques starting ASAP. XOXO, Reese

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