Prevention is the root of Naturopathic Medicine. Therefore it makes sense that heart disease should first be addressed using a natural approach since it is one of the most preventable chronic degenerative diseases. This terrifying malady causes half of all deaths in the United States. The risk of heart attacks and strokes can be greatly decreased when the principles of Naturopathic Medicine are followed: dietary changes, exercise, stress reduction, correct nutritional supplementation, and energetic balancing, as well as other alternative therapies.
Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), Founder of Homeopathy said, “The highest ideal of cure is the speedy, gentle, and enduring restoration of health by the most trustworthy and least harmful way.” In one of my naturopathic classes we watched a film explaining several different open heart surgeries. You can’t get anymore invasive than having someone split open your chest, crack your ribs, reach in and do some procedure on your heart. After we were all shocked by the graphic display of bodily invasion, our instructor said, “This is what we are sending you out into the world to prevent.” Everyone is amazed at the “miracle” of heart surgery and its ability to save lives, nevertheless no one should have to undergo such a gruesome procedure.
It seems almost everybody knows someone who has suffered a heart attack or undergone some type of invasive heart surgery. This totally preventable condition is enveloping America because of our poor understanding of how to live naturally. W. Lee Cowden, M.D. Co-Author of Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer put it this way, “The average American lifestyle, combining too little exercise, too much stress, and a diet of highly processed foods deficient in essential nutrients, has rendered this nation’s population especially vulnerable to the ravages of heart ailments.” Indeed, the U.S. leads the world in death rates from heart disease and over 60 million Americans currently suffer from the disease.
Satin drugs are flying off the pharmacy shelves with atorvastatin (Lipitor) being the number one selling drug in America. There is an unnatural fear of cholesterol because we believe that cholesterol is the cause of all heart disease. It now appears that the primary culprit in heart disease is not high cholesterol levels or even atherosclerosis, but “vulnerable plaque,” which is estimated to cause 85% of all heart attacks and strokes. Another risk factor is oxidized cholesterol in the bloodstream. It is not cholesterol per say that causes problems but the oxidation of cholesterol. Dr. Garry Gordon, Co-founder of theAmerican College of Advancement in Medicine says, “The fact is that cholesterol, unless it is oxidized, is a valuable nutrient that the body has to manufacture every day in order to help build the membranes of new cells that we must continually form to replace dead and dying cells.” In most people, less that 5% of cholesterol in the bloodstream comes through the diet. Your body makes it and needs it! Oxidized cholesterols enter the bloodstream either from processed foods, from poor metabolism of ingested animal products, from environmental pollutants such as chlorine, fluoride, and pesticides, or from various other stressors like infections, trauma, and emotional stress. Therefore by consuming a diet of fresh natural raw foods, high in nutrition, enzymes and anti-oxidants you have taken a major step in avoiding the oxidation of cholesterol.
Vulnerable plaque is a soft form of cholesterol, proteins, and blood cells that builds up within the arterial wall. This is different than the more mineralized crystalline form of obstructing plaque common in atherosclerosis. Vulnerable plaque is within the arterial wall itself rather than blocking the blood flow. It is contained by a fibrous cap that is thinner and weaker than obstructing plaque. The body tends to view vulnerable plaque as an infection. It sends its defensive blood cells that attack and inflame the fibrous cap. When this cap breaks, powerful coagulants are released into the blood and create massive lethal clots. This explains why there has never been a significant reduction in heart attacks or deaths in surgical patients and why some people with little or no blockage due to atherosclerosis have heart attacks. Treatment of vulnerable plaque is noninvasive nutritional supplementation based protocols that provide immediate protection against heart attacks and strokes.
Energetically the heart plays a major role. When our energetic fields are not balanced or weak often there are direct complications in the physical body. The heart creates complex double sound waves. It is intimately linked to the lungs and nervous system. These sound waves, and impulses from the nervous system and the energy created from oxygen-interchange in the lungs, create the major template of the body’s energetic field. Since the heart is contained in the chest cavity, like all cavities, it is a major area of zero-point energy accumulation. It becomes a compartment for magnetic confetti and e-smog.
The ancient view, both East and West, sees the heart as the source of mental and spiritual integration, rather than a mere mechanical pump. From the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, when the heart is not in order, one becomes scattered, disorganized and unable to experience joy. The heart can be regarded as the energy driver for one’s sense of identity, confidence and ability to function as an independent adult. When damaged, self-esteem may drop to low levels. Erratic emotions will begin to dominate the decision-making processes, rather than common sense. Further, research has shown that the mid-brain, as well as visual and auditory processing, is directly linked to the energy field of the heart. It is interesting on this point, that the Bible also connects heart health to our emotional state in Luke 21:26 where it says: Men’s hearts failing them from fear . . . .
Thus a comprehensive naturopathic plan to prevent or treat heart disease would include energetic, emotional, spiritual and nutritional modalities. By returning to a natural, balanced lifestyle powerful results are achieved in preventing heart disease.