POINT # 36
H E A R T
Location of Point: This Point No. 36 is only found on the left palm and left sole. In hand this Point is located 2 fingers width below from the base of the little finger on the inner mount of the palm. In foot this Point is found 2 fingers width below from the base of the little toe and on the vertical line of point No. 24. This point is effective if pressed in the indications mentioned below.
The heart found on the left side of the chest is a powerful muscular pump through which blood flows in a forward direction only. It rest on the upper surface of diaphragm and is flanked on either side by the lungs. The adult heart is about the size of a clenched fist and lies in the chest cavity. The heart is hollow and is composed almost entirely of muscle. The typical weight of the normal heart is only about 250 to 350 grams yet it has incredible power and stamina, beating over 70 to 80 times every minute to pump blood around the body. Due to strong contraction of the heart it takes about one minute for blood to circulate around the body. The adult heart beats over 100,000 times and pumps about 8,000 litres of blood in 24-hour period.
Position of the heart:
Roughly the shape of a pyramid on its side, the heart is said to have a base, three surfaces and an apex. The heart lies behind the body of the sternum (breastbone), extending from the second rib above to the fifth intercostal space below. About two-thirds of the heart lies to the left of the midline of the chest, with the remaining third to the right.
Layers of the heart wall:
The heart wall is made up of three layers: the pericardium, the myocardium and the endocardium.
The pericardium is the outer most layers of the heart and its acts like a shock absorber.
The middle layer myocardium makes up the bulk of the heart wall and is composed of specialized cardiac muscle fibres. This type of muscle occurs only in the heart and adapted for the special role it plays there. The myocardial layer is responsible for the contraction of the heart. The myocardium of the left ventricle is much thicker than the rest because grater pressure is needed to pump blood into all parts of the body.
The inner most layer endocardium is a smooth, delicate membrane.
Chambers of the heart and circulation of blood inside it:
The heart is divided into four chambers: two thin-walled atria (singular: atrium) which receive venous (deoxygenated) blood, and two large, thick-walled ventricles, which pump blood into the arterial system. The atria are the upper chambers and the ventricles are the lower ones.
Atrium (plural-atria): The atria are the two smaller, thin walled chambers of the heart. They sit above the ventricles separated by the right atrio-ventricular (tricuspid) valves and left atrio-ventricular (bicuspid/mitral) valves. All the venous blood from the body is delivered to the right atrium by the two great veins, the superior vena cavae (SVC) and inferior vena cavae (IVC).
The SVC, which receives deoxygenated blood from the upper half of the body, opens into the upper part of the right atrium. The IVC, which receives deoxygenated blood from the lower half of the body, enters the lower part of the right atrium. The left atrium is smaller than the right, and receives oxygenated blood from the lungs via the four pulmonary veins.
Ventricles: The two ventricles make up the bulk of the muscle of the heart, the left being larger and more powerful than the right. The right ventricle receives blood from the right atrium, back flow being prevented by the tricuspid valve. Blood is then pumped by contraction of the ventricular muscle up through the pulmonary valve into the lungs. The blood after being oxygenated at lungs comes to the left atrium. The left ventricle receives blood from the left atrium. The opening between these two chambers is guarded by left atrio-ventricular (bicuspid/mitral) valve. Powerful contractions of the left ventricle then pump the blood up through the aortic valve into the aorta, the main and largest artery of the body.
Valves of the heart:
Each of the two sides of the heart has two valves. On the right side of the heart, the tricuspid valve lies between the atrium and ventricle, and the pulmonary valve lies at the junction of the pulmonary artery (trunk). On the left side, the mitral valve separates the atrium and ventricle while the aortic valve lies between the ventricle and aorta.
During its contraction, the normal heart makes a two-component sound (often described as ‘lub-dup’) which can be heard using a stethoscope. The first of these sounds is louder and comes from the closure of the atrio-ventricular valves while the second sound is softer and is due to the closure of the pulmonary and aortic valves.
There is an electrical system present in the heart that is responsible for the contraction of the heart walls or chambers. “Sinoaterial node” also commonly known as the ‘pace maker’ along with Atrioventricular node is the main unit of the hearts electrical system that generates electrical impulses that spreads into the muscular wall of the heart for its contraction. When this electrical system becomes weak it affects the contraction and function of the heart.
The heart must pump out blood at sufficient pressure to supply the body’s tissues with oxygen and nutrients. Blood pressure is defined as “force per unit area exerted by the blood in the arterial system” and it is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Precisely speaking blood pressure is the result of the discharge of blood from the left ventricle into the already full aorta.
Blood pressure is expressed as two figures, for instance 120/80 mmHg. This is the normal blood pressure of a human being. When the left ventricle contracts and pushes blood into the aorta (the3 largest artery of the body) the pressure produced is systolic blood pressure. Thus the first, or upper figure i.e. 120, represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting (systole) – the systolic pressure.
When complete cardiac diastole occurs and the heart is resting following the ejection of blood, the pressure within the arteries is called diastolic blood pressure. Thus the second, or lower figure i.e. 80, represents the pressure in the arteries while the heart is relaxing (diastole) – the diastole pressure.
When the heart beats, the impact of the blood being forced into the aorta from the left ventricle causes a pressure wave to travel down in all the arteries of the body. When an artery lies close to the skin, this pressure wave can be felt as a pulse. The easiest points at which a pulse can be felt are at the radial artery in the wrist and the common carotid artery in the neck.
High blood pressure
Low blood pressure
Heart valve disorders