The Second Heart of the Body

How can one tell the condition of the body by massaging the calf muscles? (Image:  pexels /  CC0 1.0)
How can one tell the condition of the body by massaging the calf muscles? (Image: pexels / CC0 1.0)

How can one tell the condition of the body by massaging the calf muscles? Try gently massaging your calves.  Do the lower legs feel stiff and cold, or warm and flexible? For a healthy person, both mentally and physically who enjoys good quality sleep, his or her calves should be warm, tender, and flexible. On the contrary, if the calf is colder than the palm, stiff, and swollen, or if it has lumps in the muscles and traces are left in the skin after being pressed with the fingers, then the body may be experiencing some discomfort; for example, feeling upset, stressful, and so on.

Now, massage the calf for about one minute. Many people may feel that the toes are warming up right away, or they may feel warm on the back. How does the body become warm by just massaging the calves? This is the higher level function of the calf — to let the blood run smoothly.

The calf reflects the health status of the whole body

Seventy percent of the blood in the human body is pumped back to the heart from the calf. Hence, the calf muscles are said to be the “second heart” of the human body, as they transport the blood of both legs upwards. Without healthy calves, people can’t maintain normal blood circulation. Our blood circulation is via arteries and veins. For arterial flow, the heart is the most important, while the contraction of calf muscles is important for venous blood flow. Taking good care of the calf muscles is the equivalent of adding a pump to the lower part of the body to help the heart circulate blood. Seventy percent of the blood in the human body is pumped back to the heart from the calf.

Seventy percent of the blood in the human body is pumped back to the heart from the calf. (Image: pexels / CC0 1.0)

Seventy percent of the blood in the human body is pumped back to the heart from the calf. (Image: pexels / CC0 1.0)

How to strengthen the calves? Moderate exercises help a great deal, such as walking a few steps by scrunching up your toes. It also helps to massage the calf muscles and spray the lower legs with hot or cold water when taking a shower. According to medical research, people with a stable body temperature, who do frequent physical activity and have a pleasant mindset, will not decrease their lymphocyte percentages even when they become old. By keeping a kind and peaceful mind and massaging the calves regularly, you can maintain a healthy body and live a long life.

The calf is the private doctor of the body

For middle-aged and elderly people, particularly with cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases, kicking the calves not only relaxes the muscles, but also improves blood circulation to the heart.

Method: Stand on one leg and use the foot of the other leg to kick the Chengjing (承筋) or Chengshan (承山)  acupuncture points of the calf of the standing leg. The Chengjing point is at the highest point of the muscle at the back of the calf, and the Chengshan point is located at the bifurcation of the muscle at the back of the calf. These two acupuncture points on the calf assist the body to remain healthy. Massaging the Chengjing point helps relax the muscles and strengthen the waist and knees, while massaging the Chengshan point helps to get rid of fatigue and eliminate body moisture.

How to strengthen the calves? Moderate exercises help a great deal. (Image: pexels / CC0 1.0)

How to strengthen the calves? Moderate exercises help a great deal. (Image: pexels / CC0 1.0)

Use the above method to kick and swop over on both legs with as much effort as one can tolerate. You may alternately accelerate and then slowly decelerate when kicking the leg each time, thereby enhancing the contraction ability of the calf muscles. Each time, 5 to 10 minutes is sufficient.

Massaging the calf helps get rid of fatigue

After a busy day, we often feel tired and our backs ache. Chinese medicine suggests that you may massage the Chengshan point located in the middle of the back of the calf. Regular massage of the Chengshan point helps relieve muscle tension and eliminate the fatigue caused by sedentary work and standing for long periods of time. Massage the Chengshan point for about 10 minutes with some strength so that you feel a little sore. Do once or twice a day

Translated by Jade Li and edited by Helen

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