Despite years of patient education on heart health, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in America today. However, much of it is reversible and preventable given some lifestyle changes and adding acupuncture and integrative medicine into the treatment plan. While infectious disease and genetics can be involved, the majority of heart issues comes down to a problem with your body’s plumbing or wiring—your vascular or nervous systems. The good news these are issues a person can usually do something about with noninvasive treatments given they have the time and guidance to put a plan into motion.
The following are all common risk factors of heart disease (and acupuncture has been shown effective in treating each of them):
Briefly, acupuncture has been shown to be effective with the following risk factors for heart disease:
- High blood pressure
- Weight control
- Managing stress
- Better sleep
If your doctor considers you to be at high risk for heart disease, getting these issues under control is most important for your hearth health—the sooner the better. Acupuncture can often cause a shift in the metabolism and nervous system where the cardiovascular system is more in balance with the other functions of the body. Some of this involves a change of diet and exercise and ways to relax the sympathetic nervous system. This is part of the Yin / Yang factor talked about in Oriental Medicine. This process can benefit the blood pressure and help keep the stress under control. Doctors tend to forget that there are 11 organs involved in blood pressure and sometimes it can take conventional medicine some time to zero-in on a cause before they get it right. Since acupuncture views the body on a more holistic level it can often treat the disease in a much more comprehensive manner and get to the root of the problem quicker. In the body structure still affects function. Acupuncture is also a proven treatment for addictive behaviors such as smoking and uncontrolled eating. As an added bonus many of these risk factors can be addressed simultaneously in the same treatment session. Overall it might take a number of sessions, but there’s no reason that more than one issue can’t be addressed in the same office visit.
According to the American Health Association, 1 in 3 Americans suffers from some form of cardiovascular disease, usually arteriosclerosis. Cholesterol is usually labeled as the culprit. However, studies also show that 50% of patients who suffer from heart attacks have normal LDL’s. Cholesterol then is not necessarily public enemy #1, and often the statin drugs prescribed for high cholesterol can have a detrimental effect on the body as they prompt the body to dump potassium into the bloodstream and greatly increase insulin levels. If you read the literature on heart health, the whole issue of the effectiveness of statin drugs is open to debate. I often tell my patients that if you want to have normal cholesterol just move to Canada since a normal blood level north of the border is consider 300 in the blood serum. The norms we see in America are often put out by the pharmaceutical companies.
A more beneficial approach is to control heart and cholesterol through the use of Chinese herbs. Certain herbs like Salvia and Suan Zao Ren are usually included in every Chinese herbal formula for heart conditions. Each formula should be individualized for each patient but these herbs are safe and easily obtainable. Your acupuncturist can develop a treatment that’s appropriate for you based on the needs of your body. Taken over a period of time they can help break up the plaque in the arteries and lower your risk.
At Chiropractic Health and Acupuncture we have been providing care to the community since 1986. Among our professional relationships, we are proud of our ongoing relationship with Boston Heart where we can provide sophisticated testing to heart patients locally through their blood test.
If you’re tired, run down or are in need of answers to your heart health issues, call us today at 585.586.7630 or complete our New Patient Survey for a free consultation with one of our doctors. Put yourself back on the road to health. All you have to lose is your pain.
Dr. Sadlon has over 30 years of experience as a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and integrative medicine practitioner and provides treatment to patients in Rochester NY, including Brighton, Fairport, Greece, Henrietta, Irondequoit, Penfield, Perinton, Pittsford, Victor, Walworth, and Webster.