It’s a scary fact that heart disease remains the leading cause of American deaths. Almost 650,000 Americans die each year from it, which is about 1 out of every 4 deaths.
Of course, there are conventional approaches to improving or maintaining heart health. But as the stats show, we can probably all be doing a little more to take care of our hearts.
So, what integrative and holistic therapies exist for heart health?
In this article, we’ll look at 3 possible interventions, from an alternative health and wellness perspective, that you can use to improve your heart health.
What Is Integrative and Holistic Therapy?
Looking for a holistic nursing definition? You got it.
Holistic nurses are registered nurse that focuses on healing the whole person through promoting health and wellness and primary prevention. The holistic nurse supports clients in new ways of seeing health and illness with the use of complementary alternative and integrative modalities that not only increase physical health, but emotional, spiritual, and mental health, too.
And when it comes to heart health, there are at least 3 things an integrative nurse coach that specializes in this area can help with.
1. Meditating Is Good For Your Heart
One of the perceived drawbacks of holistic medicine is that it can’t be verified or quantified by science. However, that’s not true when you talk about meditation.
For example, one study found a 48 percent reduction in one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) if they meditated regularly.
Not only can meditating have long-term, lasting effects on the brain, but it can also improve some of the biological indicators that point to heart disease, too.
2. Certain Herbs And Natural Supplement May Help Your Heart
Instead of using medicines that alter your body’s chemistry, most holistic practitioners use herbs and natural supplements. These help promote better health and don’t have side effects like some traditional medicines do.
And at least a handful of these herbs may improve your heart’s health. For example:
- Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish or oral supplements, reduce inflammation caused by a hardening of the heart’s blood vessels.
- Green tea is full of antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals in your body. This can help lower your risk of several diseases, not just CVD.
- Coenzyme Q10, a chemical in the body that can also be supplemented, reduces oxidative stress which can relieve possibilities of heart disease.
- Cannabis plant, supports the regulation of the endocannabinoid system through enhancing the signaling of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors are naturally in the heart tissue. Marijuana (THC) may enhance CB1 signaling to regulate blood pressure, heart rate, and offer cardioprotection. A 2004 study in Fukuoka City, Japan reported that CBN and THC significantly reduced heart attack size in mice. CBD may enhance CB2 receptors with prevention of inflammation and offer protection from any restrictive blood flow and lack of oxygen to the heart muscle in conditions such as atrial fibrillation and atherosclerosis.
As you can see, over-the-counter medicines or prescriptions aren’t the end-all-be-all.
While most traditional medicine focuses on maintaining or managing symptoms, alternative methods like exercise and breathwork may reverse or actively prevent things like heart disease from happening.
According to a 2014 study, yoga, which incorporates physical activity, coordinated breathwork, and flexibility training, is a promising technique for managing or reversing the possibility of CVD.
Practicing Asana yoga is a special practice in the cannabis industry because it has the potential to boost your anandamide levels naturally supporting regulation of the endocannabinoid system.
Heart Health and Holistic Therapies: Wrap Up
There you have it—integrative and holistic therapies aren’t just “maybe” helping prevent CVD. Science is confirming that alternative methods can actually have a positive effect.
If you’re looking for heart health interventions or other information, take a look at our holistic nursing offerings.