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By Dr John Barnett

It’s February and that means 3 things, Valentine’s Day, National Heart month, and the coming of spring as celebrated by the Lunar New Year. What a wonderful time to explore these 3 celebrations and grow into a more fun, loving, and healthy year!

This year, 2024, is the year of the Dragon. The Dragon symbolizes strength, vitality, growth, and expansion, so it is an excellent time to cultivate and expand our physical health and vitality. Besides projecting physical strength, the image of the dragon flying through the sky is also an image of powerful emotional expression.

Emotional expression is what Valentine’s Day is all about. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to express our love to people that we truly care about. There are many ways to do this from gifts such as chocolate, strawberries, or roses, to written or spoken words of connection and acknowledgement of the talents and blessings that others bring us. Both men and women enjoy being “seen” or recognized for the joy and other contributions that they bring to life. Whether this is being a good provider, or listener, or bringing a joyful or calming presence. Recognizing, and communicating these positive traits to our partner or loved ones is an excellent way to embrace your inner dragon, and goes a long way to fostering a deeper connection and relationship.

The connections we cultivate on Valentine’s day and the growth of spring season also encourages an abundance of love and sexuality. It is important to remember that it is the depth of our connection to our loved ones that empowers a fulfilling and healthy sexual relationship. So, a Valentine’s gift does not have to be expensive to be powerful, it must be from the heart, and connect to the special traits and virtues you see and value in your partner. When your partner knows that you recognize and value their unique gifts, that can inspire a deep trust and magnifies your sexual chemistry.

Sexual chemistry is important, but where many couples can really use a boost is physical sexual stamina and desire. That is where National Heart Month comes in. Sexual strength and stamina is an excellent barometer for heart health, especially for men. Now when we talk about “heart health” we are actually talking about the entire circulatory system, all of the blood vessels, as well as the actual heart muscle. If men have trouble getting or maintaining an erection it’s a good bet that there are problems with his cardiovascular system.

For women, difficulty with arousal or orgasm may limit their Valentine’s experience. While this may be related to heart health, it more often involve what Chinese Medicine would describe as problems with the Liver or wood element. Western medicine would describe this as related to the quality and quantity of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other vital substances in the blood as well as the proper flow and circulation of these nutrients.

Now for some GOOD NEWS; for both men and women who would like increased sexual vitality the same lifestyle hacks can help to improve all of these symptoms. Let’s start with the most obvious; regular physical exercise. Any regular physical exercise or activity will help your love life. Whether you enjoy swimming, biking, running, HIIT, rowing, or lifting weights, all of these activities will improve your cardiovascular health, and can have a positive effect on both male and female sexual performance and enjoyment. If you don’t have an exercise routine here is a video of a very simple cardiovascular exercise that anyone can practice at home to improve their heart health.

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More Good News: being intimate counts as exercise, and is excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health. Possibly the best physical exercise one can do for heart health is healthy sex with your partner. Why is sex so healthy? Besides the heart healthy physical activity you also have a release of beneficial hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Healthy sex can also foster deeper intimacy with your partner, and may be transformative when practiced correctly.

Of course there are so many powerful herbal and nutritional supplements that can improve sexual health and vitality. As always these work best when prescribed by a professional herbalist who can customize them to your specific condition. One supplement to improve sexual vitality that almost everyone can benefit from is our Tibetan herbal foot soaks. These soaks contain imperial grade herbs wildcrafted from the mountains of Tibet that improve circulation in the body and deliver measurable improvement in a variety of health conditions. Here is a video that explains more about the Tibetan herbal soaks available in our clinic.

In summary, make this year your time to Embrace your inner Dragon. Use the coming of the fresh spring season to encourage you to do more of the things you love. Explore the depths of your heart, express your needs and desires with your loved ones, and do more of what brings you joy. Appreciate the beauty of the people around you, and tell them how amazing they are! Get more exercise, of any kind. Nourish and strengthen your heart by connecting with and embodying your true self, and increasing your physical exercise. This will enhance your vitality, yielding a dynamic, fulfilling, and exciting year of the Dragon!