Cardiovascular Disease: The Silent Killer!
Although the word “cancer” can induce terror in our minds, Heart disease is actually the number one killer in America. In fact, for every woman that dies from breast cancer, 11 die from cardiovascular disease. No other disease can strike so many people with such a lack of warning signs and symptoms- up to 60% according to some sources.
While the function of the heart in biological terms is to pump blood, its symbolic function according to mythology is that it carries the soul of the person, including the emotional states and past memories. While a cardiologist will just look at the heart in isolation from other organs, holistic practitioners combine their knowledge of the heart as related to the person’s entire body wellness, encompassing both mental and emotional as well as physical.
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that physical states can be closely correlated with emotional states. For example, heart disease can well be related to depression, anxiety, insomnia, and emotional imbalance. By looking at the body as a whole, one can help address the related factors that conventional medical specialists often overlook.
Lets look at some of the causes of heart failure , namely cholesterol and high blood pressure. Atherosclerosis is a buildup of cholesterol, usually the bad kind (LDL), which forms on the side of a coronary artery that supplies blood to the heart. This is a slow cumulative process that may take decades to develop. It may go asymptomatic for a long time, while the heart compensates for the damage, but once dangerous symptoms begin to manifest themselves, it can be too late to repair the damage. When the buildup is severe enough, a person can get angina pain, which is the typical chest pain that is caused by exertion and relieved by rest or with Nitroglycerin. Sometimes, however, the plaques can clog up the arteries to an almost full extent, or even break off of the coronary arteries and lodge further down in the system, forming a worse blockage than before. This is called Acute Corornary Syndrome, classified into Unstable Angina and Myocardial Infarctions (“heart attacks”). High blood pressure can make the chance of getting heart attacks even worse.
Allopathic medicine focuses on controlling the symptoms; that is , lowering the cholesterol, reducing the renin ( a hormone that makes blood) level, and thinning the blood. Yet they never examine the body systems as a whole, incorporating other aspects of a person’s lifestyle into their consideration.
One of the most important ways to fight heart disease lies in preventing it before it even starts! Diet, exercise, and weight loss – these are the three main factors that any type of doctor will tell you about lowering your risk for cardiovascular attacks. These are all your own lifestyle choices – things YOU can control. Exercise is cheap, and without drug interactions. That should probably be your first choice! Secondly, a good diet is low in cholesterol and high in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be procured by eating fish twice a week or taking fish oil capsules, are one of the best cardiac risk reducers available. They reduce inflammation, boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good cholesterol”), and act as a mild blood thinner to prevent blood clots.
Key risk factors for heart disease that you should be aware of are: a family history of heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high levels of fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides), smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Conventional medicine would treat heart disease with the use of prescription blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering pharmaceuticals, angioplasty or stenting, and in extreme cases, coronary bypass surgery.
Alternative or integrated medicine has a somewhat different approach, but can also be combined with conventional medicine treatments to produce strong effects. Both approaches do believe in patient education and prevention before problems ensue.
In addition to the traditional risk factors that are scrutinized by conventional medicine, holistic therapy also looks at other factors that may contribute to worsening coronary disease. Some of these include inflammation, infection, vasodilation, hormones, antioxidants, stress, toxicity, and deficiciencies of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Detoxification can include treatment of bowel issues, heavy metals, or chronic infections. Holistic medicine maintains that these can affect your cardiovascular health, even if appearing to be in different organ systems. In addition, holistic medicine stresses blood vessel rehabilitation. This can be accomplished by reducing inflammation, reducing infection, reducing calcium and other mineral clogging deposits, and then reducing fatty clogging accumulations.
How can this be accomplished? Integrative medicine makes use of both non-invasive procedural approaches as well as homeopathic treatments that can all serve to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Some examples of these non-invasive procedures could include micro-current, cupping, acupuncture, and Reiki.
At Amita Holistic Healing Center, we care for you as an entire person, not just treating individual symptoms. Therefore, we assess whether other conditions may have an impact on your heart health, but also take measures to reduce the risk of cardiac factors directly affecting your heart. The good news is that with the correct diet and treatment, plaque build-up can be reversed, especially if detected at an early stage. From the holistic perspective, atherosclerosis can be successfully managed and prevented. That is why its so important to speak to Dr. Yakovleva now about how to prevent heart disease and also discuss an individualized plan to treat the symptoms if they already appear. Call 718-375-1144 to schedule an appointment today!