One theory is a Catholic priest, Valentine, was imprisoned for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. While he was imprisoned, Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him. Allegedly, before his death, Valentine wrote a letter and signed it, “From your Valentine.” Thus, the first Valentine’s Day card was created, or so it is reported.
However, like many contemporary holidays, Valentine’s Day probably has pagan roots. The pagan celebration of Lupercalia, celebrated at the ides of February, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus- the Roman god of agriculture. So it can be derived that from the pagan fertility festival, this was later watered down by the Church and turned into a festival of love. By the 1800s it had become common for friends and lovers to exchange gifts as tokens of affection. Shortly after that, the holiday became commercialized.
Heart health is extremely important. Without a healthy heart, the body does not function properly. Just as equally important is the state of the mind. This is where TCM can be extremely beneficial. Acupuncture, the main modality of TCM, has been shown to help lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate and calm the mind. There are specific acupuncture points and point prescriptions that can help the mind and the heart, which can strengthen the mind-body connection.
The emotion associated with the heart in TCM is joy. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to experience joy, and it doesn’t have to be from a significant other. Sharing special moments with those who are closest to us- friends, family, etc., helps to keep the heart full of joy. Even acts of “selfishness” can have profound effects on the mind, body and soul. Spending time alone can also keep the heart healthy, as it gives us time to reflect, relax and take in the beauty all around us.
So this year, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, don’t fret over trying to find the perfect card or gift. Instead, try focusing attention on the people, places and things that bring joy to your life. Your heart will beat a little slower and your mind will be a little calmer.