Although heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, mainstream medicine has not pursued a vigorous approach for its prevention and treatment by holistic means. Patients who wish to optimize heart health, therefore, have to be strongly motivated to take action on their own. They have to seek out holistic health care providers who are familiar with the diverse areas that influence heart and vascular health; be willing to make dietary and exercise changes, and be willing to participate in supplementation to provide what is lacking in the body.
The symptoms of heart disease often include chest pain, nausea, dizziness, palpations, increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, indigestion like symptoms, and shortness of breath.
There are several conditions that fall under the heading of “heart disease,” and they are clearly presented on the Mayo Clinic web site. They are as follows, listed first in order of the afflictions that are treated regularly by holistic chiropractic physicians, and second, conditions that may not be amenable to natural healing. (Heart disease in the broadest sense also includes cardiovascular disease that can lead to chest pain (angina), heart attack, or stroke.)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Arrhythmias (irregular heart beat)
- Early stages of coronary artery disease (narrowing and blockage of blood vessels)
- Non-acute recovery stages of angina, heart attack, stroke
Second order (the domain of heroic medical intervention: emergency care/surgery):
- Heart defects at birth (congenital)
- Acute heart infections
- Congestive heart failure
- Advanced coronary artery disease with major vessel blockage
- Advanced heart muscle, valve, or beating rhythm problems
A carefully controlled study of the effect of adjusting the uppermost spinal vertebra, C1, saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number.). The lead medical supervisor of this study, George Bakris, MD, who monitored the chiropractor doing the adjusting, was astonished at the outcome, finding it hard to believe. The therapeutic adjustment basically had the same effect as a combination of two antihypertensive drugs that carry harmful side effects. Read More…
Over the years, chiropractic practitioners and researchers have noted that a normalization of cardiac rhythm often follows chiropractic adjustments. A heart rate variability monitor or HRV instrument (similar to an electrocardiogram) can measure balance in the sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation to the heart. A recent study made use of a specialized type of electrocardiographic HRV measurement, which is a sensitive indicator of sympathetic/parasympathetic balance in the control of heart rhythm. In this study chiropractic adjustments significantly improved balance in nerve supply to the heart and lowered overall pain in the subjects that were adjusted. Read More…
Coronary Artery Disease (closely linked to cholesterol and triglycerides)
Chiropractic physicians Cress and Karm of the ACCR center aptly comment: “Cholesterol has been given the blame for causing heart disease but it is merely one of the culprits. Eliminating or dramatically reducing cholesterol is not the answer. Eliminating cholesterol from your diet will do little or nothing to reduce total serum levels since the majority of cholesterol is made in your liver. Currently, a lipid panel consists of total cholesterol, HDL or good cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol, the cardiac risk ratio which is the total cholesterol divided by the good cholesterol and triglycerides.
There are independent factors that are major contributors to heart disease and are even more important than cholesterol in the assessment of the risk for heart disease and stroke. High Sensitivity C- Reactive protein measures inflammation of the vascular system. Homocysteine is a substance that scars the arterial wall so that the passing fats have something to adhere to as the pass through the artery (homocysteine can be lowered with specific nutrients). Fibrinogen can be measured as an indicator of potential clot formation. LDL cholesterol should be broken down into more specific categories to reveal a more accurate potential threat. Triglycerides are one of the easiest lipids to get under control and elevation of these could also be an indicator for the potential for diabetes.
The whole question of the significance of high cholesterol and its management is dealt with brilliantly in an article by Dr. Mercola found on our site. Dr. Mercola points out that it is critical to control the level of triglycerides in our diet, which is terribly out of balance due to high consumption of sugar. This and stressed liver function are the main culprits of elevated cholesterol which is associated with coronary artery disease. At Healing by Design, dietary coaching and use of selected high quality nutritional supplements can put you on the path to better heart health!
It is worthwhile to note that many herbs, especially Hawthorne Berry, have a wonderful effect on improving heart muscle tone and function. Generally Hawthorne Berry, Co Q 10, vitamin E, C, A and anti-inflammatory nutrients are a vital part of the recovery of heart health in the event there has been a heart attack or stroke.