Heart Health

Health Solutions — Heart Health — Your Heart is More Than a Pump, it is Also a Brain! | by Oliver XII | Dec, 2021

Oliver XII

Did you know that opening your heart to heal your emotions, thoughts and physical body can help you have a healthy heart? Focusing on heart disease provides a model for addressing the lifestyle link in all the major killer diseases, such as cancer (prostate, breast, colon and lung being the most common), arthritis, HIV/Aids, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. The heart-lifestyle link is best understood and well researched, at this point in time, and the heart is after all, the place where the body, the mind, emotions and soul converge.

Up to fairly recently, heart disease was regarded as a male health challenge. This is no longer so. As more and more research also focus on women and their hearts, it has become alarmingly clear that women over 45 years of age, especially in the peri- and post menopausal period, have the same, if not higher, risk for heart disease as men.

A positive family history and symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, unproductive chronic cough, blue or painful extremities, extreme sensitivity to cold, leg ulcers, swelling of the ankles, pain over the chest, left arm or up the neck at rest or during exertion, have to be thoroughly evaluated with a complete physical examination, basic blood tests and an exertion or stress electrocardiogram. A thorough heart evaluation should form part of everybody’s yearly preventative medical examination, whether or not you have symptoms or a positive history. The natural and wellness treatment options are aimed at improving energy metabolism inside the heart’s cells, as well as blood supply to the heart, while simultaneously facilitating the release and surrender of blocked emotional and mental energy.

As one patient who participated in the world renowned Heart Disease Reversal Programme lead by physician, Dr Dean Ornish, said: ‘Even if the tests showed my arteries hadn’t opened up (which they did!), I would still follow this program, because I’ve opened up!’
Hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol and cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) disease risk factors
Major well-known risk factors for cardiovascular disease:

Smoking
Elevated cholesterol levels
High blood pressure
Diabetes
Physical inactivity
High stress / distress
Positive family history
Other very important, lesser known risk factors:

Low antioxidant status
Low levels of essential fatty acids
Low levels of magnesium and potassium
Increased platelet aggregation (stickiness)
Increased fibrinogen formation
Elevated levels of homocystein

Stress associated with the type A personality, worry, anxiety
Hostility
Heart facts
Research shows that the heart does have an effect on our health and happiness:
– If, for instance, you focus on or visualise feelings of love, peace and gratitude, your breathing and heart rate slow down, and become synchronised and harmonious.
Meditation has a similar effect.

Feelings of love also have a positive influence on the immune system, hormones and cognitive brain function.
Heart research
More and more research studies show the link between the heart, the emotions, stress and the fact that the heart also functions as brain:
‘The abyss between the emotions and physiology narrowed in 2005 as researchers discovered that emotional stress can indeed, produce symptoms of a heart attack. Although the research team concluded that the mechanism remains unknown regarding reversible left ventricular dysfunction precipitated by emotional stress, it was suggested that stress hormones might temporarily overwhelm heart cells. Nicknamed the ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’, the cause might best be described as ‘adrenalin poisoning’.

Heart as brain
The heart has receptor sites for, and manufacture, peptides that are identical to the neurotransmitter message carrier molecules inside the brain. It is now crystal clear that the heart is a very important endocrine gland, making and releasing the major hormone, ANF (atrial natriuretic factor). ANF has a profound effect on the brain’s limbic structure and function. The limbic system is the seat of the emotions and stress survival reaction, and is also called the emotional brain. The limbic system includes the hippocampus where the memory, learning and control centres for the entire hormonal system resides. 60–65% of heart cells are neurons (nervous system cells), and not muscle cells as previously believed. These neurons are identical to brain neurons. 50% of the heart neuron cells translate information from the whole body to keep it functioning as a harmonious whole. The other 50% have a direct, unmediated neural connection with the emotional brain inside the head, with a 24/7 heart-brain-heart dialogue we are completely unconscious of. The heart is a powerful electromagnetic generator that creates an electromagnetic field that encompasses body and extends 3–5 meters away from it. One can actually take an ECG (electro cardiogram) reading 1 meter away from the body, with no wires attached! This electromagnetic field has a profound effect on the brain, furnishing radio wave pattern from which the brain draws material to create an internal experience of the world. Ultimately everything in our lives depends on our emotional (i.e. feeling) response to events.

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Stress accelerates your heart rate through secretion of the adrenal stress hormones adrenalin, noradrenalin and the long term stress hormone cortisol. Stress is initially experienced as emotions or feelings within the limbic system of the brain. ANF influences not only the heart muscle contraction, pressure in blood vessels and kidneys, but also the mood-influencing adrenal glands, as well as the brain. In the brain, parasympathetic or sympathetic impulses coming from the heart help trigger the onset of either calming or excitatory thoughts and emotions. Research also shows that by focusing on, or visualising feelings of love, peace and gratitude, breathing and heart rate slow down, and become synchronised and harmonious. Regular meditation practice has a similar effect. In emotionally healthy people, there appears to be a strong tendency for the heart and brain to have a smoothly functioning dialogue, and to remain synchronised, or entrained. Entrainment reflects a positive frame of mind, but also helps create it, in part by enhancing the balance of the autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic / relaxing, and sympathetic / excitatory system). The body, clearly, can help heal the mind. But what gets this healing process started? The mind itself! Your mind, when focused on appreciation, love and peace, has a limitless power to trigger physical and emotional healing.

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According to Candace Pert in her new book ‘Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d’, neural nests that form pathways after repeated firing in specific patterns (compare this to wild animals treading the same pathway to the water every single day), form memory not only in the brain, but also in the heart, spinal cord, immune system — actually all systems linked by autonomic ganglia and part of the psychosomatic network. This information network comprises the firing between neurons in the nervous system (only 2% of the information system), the link of ligands (peptides, hormones, neurotransmitters) to their receptors (98% of the information system), and the matrix, or intricate spider web of collagen fibres that link throughout the bodymind, and extending into every single cell. According to James Oschman in his book ‘Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis’, the living matrix can be compared to a liquid crystal and it is a physical entity explaining how energy healing works, and also instantaneous, or miraculous healing. Through instant transmission along the matrix, new molecules of emotion can bind to receptors, with an immediate healing effect. On the surface, this is the benefit of repeating positive affirmations and on a deeper, spiritual level, the epiphany or transcendent moment the mystics talk about, of finally being able to let go and release old, buried emotions of past core emotional trauma, from the cells of your body, especially the heart, and creating new pathways of health and wellbeing, new ‘elsewheres of thought’ as Ramhta (JC Knight) said in the movie ‘What the Bleep do we Know?!..’.

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Heartfelt feelings

We often say: my heart’s not in it anymore; my heart is sore; my heart is breaking. This is much more literal than we thought! In all cultures and religions, the experience of peace, love, healing and harmony are seated in the heart and thymus (responsible for immunity) region in the chest. Feelings of love also have a positive influence on the immune system, hormones and cognitive brain function. In his book, ‘Love & Survival’, Dr Dean Ornish says that the most important contributing factor to heart health, is the love and intimacy found in close relationships. Research has shown that people in Japan and France (both countries with low heart disease risk) have very close family and friendship links, signifying the perception they have of having a support system in times of trouble. Lack of love and intimacy has been shown to be the most consistent predictor of heart disease! This is a more consistent factor than genetics and risk factors such as obesity, too little exercise, high LDL-cholesterol, poor nutrition and smoking.

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Even some of the risk factors can be attributable to lack of social interaction and feeling isolated and alone! People smoke, drink, or overeat as an ineffective, harmful way of stilling the mind from the stressful monkey chatter, to try and prevent the emotions from surfacing.

Other feelings associated with the heart:
oIssues with unconditional love
oHeart not in it anymore: work & relationships
oPerfectionist, driven, workaholic — type A behaviour
oHarshly judgmental of self and others
oDifficulty expressing emotions or feelings
oDenying feelings
oDifficult relationships — cannot cope with needs of others
oSelf control issues — the inner drive to always be in control of situations
oFear of failure — empathy with yourself and others
All these are stressors or triggers for the stress reaction where the heart and cardiovascular system are constantly put in red alert to react in the classical stress response: fight or flight!
This does NOT imply that you CAUSE your disease on purpose! The process occurs on a deeply unconscious level in cell memories. You can however, become consciously aware of these issues and through process work, help your inner self to heal, leading to personal power and inner peace.

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Written by Dr Arien van der Merwe, medical doctor, specialist corporate health & wellness service provider and author of Stress Solutions, ‘Relax & Unwind’ relaxation CD, Health & Happiness and Training manuals on Wellness/Peer Education, Stress Management and Workplace Wellness.

For more info & to order:[https://bit.ly/24-heart-health]


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