How The Heart Works
You live with it daily, you feel it beating, but do you know how the heart works? You should. The heart is the most important muscle in the body because it keeps life sustaining blood and oxygen flowing through the body’s circulatory system.
To understand how the heart works, it is essential to look at the structure of the heart. The heart is divided into four chambers. The two upper chambers of the heart are the right atria and the left atria. The two lower chambers of the heart are the right ventricle and the left ventricle. The vessel from the body to the upper right side of the heart is the superior venacava. The vessels from the body to the upper left side of the heart are the pulmonary veins.
The four valves between the chambers lets the blood flow through the heart by using sets of flaps like a small doorway that open in one direction only. The valve between the right atrium and the right ventricle is the tricuspid valve. The valve at the bottom of the right ventricle is the pulmonic valve that pushes blood flow from the heart to the pulmonary artery. The valve between the left atrium and the left ventricle is the mitral valve. The valve at the bottom of the left ventricle is the aortic valve that pushes blood flow out of the heart to the coronary arteries. The valves are forced open as pressure builds up in the chamber.
The body has a natural built-in pacemaker that sends an electrical impulse to the chambers of the heart causing them to contract. It is the synchronized contracting of the chambers that makes the heart beat as it pumps blood from chamber to chamber. As pressure builds in the upper chamber, it forces the valve to open and allows the blood to flow to the lower chamber. As pressure builds in the lower chamber, another valve opens, sending blood flow on a trip through the body.