Do you listen to your heart? I don’t mean when it comes to making a decision but whenever you feel physically uncomfortable? You should because, of course, the heart is the most important organ in the body. It pumps the blood throughout the entire body and thus makes sure that any other organ works properly. If your bloodstream is interrupted, you will very quickly run out of oxygen as the blood accounts for transporting oxygen within your body. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the galectin-3 blood test to be the only cardiovascular screening assay in order to measure the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease and heart failure. Again, it all comes down to a healthy diet, lifestyle and regular exercise if you want to pass this test with flying colors. Even the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) uses herbal remedies to treat various cardiovascular disease manifestations.
“American heart health is struggling today.
Even though we’ve made advances in our understanding and treatment of cardiovascular disease, it’s still the top killer. Most people point to lifestyle issues as the prime risk factors: things like a nutrient-poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking. But statistics suggest other culprits. Above and beyond anything else, chronic stress, anger and other similar issues appear to pose the biggest risk. Physical, mental and emotional stress over time can increase chronic inflammation and trigger a cascade of harmful biochemical reactions that damage the cardiovascular system. Even just living at a fast pace and not getting enough sleep can greatly increase your chances of cardiovascular disease.
Interestingly, however, new research suggests it’s not necessarily the stress, as much as how we feel about it that can be so problematic. Though the studies are preliminary, it’s been suggested that when people believe that stress is not hurting them and that their stress is meaningful for their work or life, then they actually show signs of better cardiovascular health than people with no chronic stress.
This demonstrates another fascinating connection between the power of the mind to influence health and physical states.
Certainly, however, other lifestyle factors play a significant role. One of the best known risk factors of course is diet: too many high-glycemic (high-sugar) foods, too much trans fat, too many calories and too much processed food. Also related to diet is dehydration, which negatively influences the cardiovascular system and can seriously affect the heart. These factors also fuel chronic inflammation and high blood pressure while promoting cholesterol oxidized deposits in arteries and hardening of cardiovascular tissues.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can do a lot for heart health, particularly for addressing the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease. In Western medicine, we tend to look at cardiovascular disease as a general category with different manifestations. In TCM, however, we distinguish different forms of cardiovascular disease and their outcomes.
According to TCM, there are individual energetic patterns that affect the cardiovascular system. These patterns correlate with Western medicine. For example, from a Western point of view, you can have cardiovascular disease because your genes make you susceptible to thickened blood. Similarly, TCM views this state as being “emotionally stuck” — corresponding to Qi congestion or blood congestion.
In conventional medicine, cardiovascular disease can develop because of chronic inflammation. In TCM, this is considered an issue of heat in the liver or heart channels. And while a TCM practitioner may believe you have heart problems because of dryness, lack of fluidity and a lack of nourishment in the heart, these problems correlate with inflammation and hormonal imbalance.
Consequently, TCM offers a different system to diagnose and address various cardiovascular disease manifestations. And while TCM’s observations correlate with Western medicine’s view, it uses different concepts, terminology and herbal remedies to treat what are essentially the same issues.
Heart Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
If you follow a low-glycemic (low-sugar) diet with balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fats, you can go a long way in supporting a healthier heart. You should also eat plenty of phytonutrient-rich vegetables and fruits to combat inflammation to keep arteries clear.”
To read the rest of the article, check it out on the original source over at Better Health Publishing.
Image Source: Olivia Alcock