HEALTHY HEART PROGRAM
Reflections by Patty Johnson, licensed Acupuncturist L.Ac. on Catherine Winters article in Prevention Magazine
Heart health is something that has been on my mind for a long time. Since my husband had two heart attacks in the mid 90's, I have been developing modalities utilizing acupuncture, herbs, Tai Chi, Qigong exercises and positive emotion refocusing to lower and stabilize his blood pressure which was extremely high. When I say extremely high that is an understatement! His B/P became dangerously high, 228/150 was his norm; after his second heart attack. His B/P medication reduced his B/P to 205/120 which was still unacceptable, so I started utilizing acupuncture, herbs,exercises and positive emotion affirmations and it made a world of difference. He no longer needs to take his B/P medication his B/P is now 130/82 and his heart is stronger and healthier than ever.
I believe as an American that all the people who live in this country suffered heart trauma from the 2001, 911 attack. The reason I believe this is based on the ancient literature in Traditional Chinese Medicine that states the emotional aspect of the heart when it is balanced is joy. When the emotional aspect of the heart is imbalanced there is a lack of joy. Each year since 911 occurred, I've felt that my family, friends and patients are missing many of the qualities of life that produce the feelings of joy. Our country suffered wounds and scars that produced and created animosity, a lack of trust and loss of collective self confidence.
To help our people return to our pre 911 status, I decided to develop a program that would address all of the issues that occured in our body, mind and spirit due to this world shaking trauma. I've refined my treatment over the years and would now like to offer my "Healthy Heart Program Package to my friends, relatives and clients for the entire year of 2014.
At the beginning of this year, I read an article in Prevention Magazine, titled "3 Ways to Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof," By Catherine Winters outlining some good heart health care tips.
In order for us to be heart healthy again, we need to utilize several different healing modalities. Here are three therapies that can have big heart payoffs according to Prevention Magazine with a few of my own tried and true methods highlighted:
1.) John Longhurst, MD, PhD, a cardiologist and director of the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, states that stimulating a few key acupoints near the elbows and knees, releases neurotransmitters that travel to areas of the brain that regulate the cardiovascular system. He also states that electroacupuncture, which uses battery driven needles is especially effective and it lets the acupuncturist standardize the amount of stimulation and adjust the frequency. If you do this treatment on a weekly basis it can slash systolic blood pressure by up to 20 points, producing results on par with prescription medications such as ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers. He states that you can do these weekly acupuncture treatments with very few side effects or risks.
2.) The positive payoff: Stopping stress in its tracks sounds good, but can people really learn to change the way they react to upsetting situations? If so can this response lower B/P? Yes and yes, according to a study by Heart Math, a nonprofit research and education organization. the researchers showed that practicing "positive emotional refocusing"--a technique that teaches you to interrupt your typical stress response by redirecting your attention--can significantly lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients after just three months of daily practice. The results were promising: all participants saw their blood pressure drop, 12% were able to reduce their dose of blood-pressure-lowering-medication, and one went off the pills altogether. Stress triggers a cascade of hard on your heart hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline--and positive refocusing sparks a counter flood of energizing feel-good hormones, short-cutting the stress response.
Positive refocusing is easy to learn. When you feel anxiety coming on, identify what you're stressed out about, then hold the thought in your mind like a freeze-frame of a movie. As you do this, breathe deeply for several minutes and focus your attention on your heartbeat. Now identify a positive feeling such as appreciation for a pet or loved one. this calms your emotions and shifts your attention away from negative thoughts,"says Deborah Rozman, PhD, a behavioral psychologist. Though it can be tough to let go of negative thoughts when your fuming, regularly practicing this positive refocusing technique can result in fewer stressed-out moments overall. Even if you can't find the recommended 10 minutes a day for positive thinking, a couple of minutes here or there helps.
Stress relief is a big part of taking a load off of your heart. Acupuncture has been known for thousands of years as a way to retrain your brain to be in parasympathetic mode, instead of sympathetic mode, which is your flight or fight syndrome. Once we insert the filaments in the specific points for stress relief, your body will start to calm down and your parasympathetic nervous system will actually kick in. When this happens you will feel cool, calm and collected. Acupuncture treatments will lower stress, alleviate anxiety, rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit and bring you to a balanced state.
3.) According to Prevention Magazine, by practicing the ancient disciplines of Tai Chi (a Chinese meditation in motion) combined with Qi Gong (a deep breathing exercise), and Qi Gong walking exercises, you can reduce stress and have a powerful effect on metabolic syndrome (a cluster of five conditions that ups your risk of heart disease). It can work by reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure and trimming waist size by at least an inch, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
In conclusion, I feel that a weekly session of these three modalities along with taking customized herbal prescriptions will improve your heart health. To stand behind my convictions, I am going to offer a "healthy heart program package" at my office, beginning January 2015 through December 2015. The total program will include weekly stress relief and B/P controlling acupuncture, Shyun style Tai Chi, Qi gong walking, and customized herbal formulas.
Making your heart healthy is a personal choice, but one that will pay big dividends in the personal joy that you experience with your life. Taking back your self confidence, and your sense of trust, along with relieving your animosity will finally be available through our all inclusive program. We will do our best to help all Americans return to a heart healthy status in our Wellness Center.
Call today (909) 989-3223 or stop by for an appointment at 8645 Haven Ave. Suite 550, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. Total price for this program will be $200.00 per month.