The Heart - Our Second Brain
By Dr. LuLu Shimek
The heart and cardiovascular system are key players and protectors of our physical and emotional health. I like to think of the heart as the actual brain behind our amazing and beautiful bodies, ruling with a sea of deep, rich, red blood. By knowing how and why systems work in our body, we can embrace our powerful, inner healer. There are easy tools to connect with this intricate system and reduce the risk of cardiac disease.
Each year there are new drugs introduced to cure heart problems. Yet, these are not helping to discover the root cause of cardiovascular problems and cardiac death rates continue to rise. Cardiovascular health is possible and heart disease is even reversible! Alternative medicine can help even the most dire of health conditions, once we get to the root of the problem.
What makes your heart tick?
Once you understand the anatomy and physiology of the heart, it’s easier to make informed decisions, and chose which alternative treatments can guide you to improve your cardiovascular health. Your cardiovascular system is a network of systems and organs running throughout the body transporting blood and nutrients in order to keep everything in balance. This system is made up of blood, blood vessels and your heart. It’s one of the strongest working systems in the body, and if it pauses to take a break even for a second, it can lead to catastrophic consequences. Cardiovascular issues are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and the CDC states “about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths” 1 These conditions include: high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, peripheral arterial disease and stroke. All of these disorders are related to high inflammation in the body and by reducing inflammation, you are able to provide a favorable environment for healing.
What Causes Cardiovascular Disease?
There are many factors that can affect the function and health of the cardiovascular system. The most common factors we hear about are nutrition, exercise, and stress, but there are many other aspects that come into play, including our genes, gender, age, tobacco consumption, toxic environment and emotional toxicity. In addition, we are now discovering that overall systemic inflammation, free radical damage, Omega-6 fatty acid imbalance and high homocysteine levels also play fundamental roles in the onset of heart disease.
What are the Signs of an Unhealthy Cardiovascular System?
First off, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your primary care physician for a check up.
Fatigue - especially in women
Dizziness or loss of consciousness
Sudden and severe anxiety, including a sense of “impending doom”
Irregular or rapid pulse
Pain in your legs, while exercising or walking
The Intelligence of the Heart
The heart is the ruler or brain of all the organs in the body. This means that all the other organs will sacrifice for the heart, and they will always give their energy to help keep the cardiovascular system in balance. This innate heart intelligence is in balance when you have understanding, intuition and awareness. Your mind and emotions create a meaningful alignment with the heart. As you bring this intention to your heart and can sense the cardiovascular system guiding you, the greater your ability to tap into this intelligence more frequently. What does this mean at a cellular level? The cells of the cardiovascular system communicate at a deeper level and create a more cohesive healing and functioning environment for the whole body.
Today, we have a deeper understanding of the intelligence of the heart:
The heart sends intuitive and emotional signs to help govern the body.
The heart has its own independent nervous system known as “the brain in the heart.”
The heart is able to make many of its own decisions but also has a two way communication system with the brain
The cardiovascular system aligns the other systems in the body to create a harmonious environment.
Natural Solutions to Cardiac Problems
There are many natural treatments including nutritional support and supplement. These help heal the cardiovascular system both physiologically and emotionally - it’s all connected, right! Always be sure to check with your naturopathic doctor or primary care physician before taking new supplements for heart conditions.
The use of Omega-3 fatty acids can aid in reversing and preventing further heart damage. 2
Magnesium supplementation can improve the shape and condition of heart valves. 3
B vitamins can help rebuild the cardiomyocytes, the cells of the heart.
100 mg of CoQ10 per day has been particularly effective in significantly reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure. 4
Proteolytic enzymes can provide nutritional support for your body as it works to clean out the coronary arteries and repair damage to epicardial tissue surrounding the heart.
Using heavy metal chelators such as cilantro and chlorella can reduce the risk of an acute coronary event. (I usually recommend a hair analysis in with my patients who are having cardiovascular symptoms to detect any possible heavy metal toxicity.)
Using a tincture containing Hawthorn berry and cayenne pepper can rebuild the strength of the heart.
Using regular immune support can decrease the risk of severe inflammatory cardiac disease related to bacterial and viral infections.
Ginkgo is a circulatory tonic that may reduce arrhythmias and improve blood flow.
Tuning in to the Beat
Take a moment, take a deep breath in, close your eyes, and tune in to the beat of your heart. How often are you connecting to this fabulous heart and listening to it? Do you take time out of your day to appreciate this system and the work being done second after second? Start making changes in the way you view and communicate with the hardest working system in your body. By taking simple steps, you can prevent and even reverse cardiovascular disease.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed Feb. 3, 2015.
Association between omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and risk of major cardiovascular disease events: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2012 Sep 12;308(10):1024-33.
Clinical symptoms of mitral valve prolapse are related to hypomagnesemia and attenuated by magnesium supplementation. Am J Cardiol. 1997 Mar 15;79(6):768-72.
Treatment of essential hypertension with coenzyme Q10. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:S265-72.