There are ways to help fight heart disease naturally starting with eating a proper diet and getting regular exercise. Chiropractic care will also help to improve nerve flow throughout the body, allowing the body to function at its best.
How does exercise help someone with heart disease?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Well because I always say, youth is movement, so the heart is a muscle and any muscle that is not used, tends to atrophy and it does not work as well and it weakens; so by exercising it helps the heart pump more, pump better, it gets oxygen throughout the body and it is better to use it than not use it. We know that people who are active and lead an active lifestyle, are much better off than people who are couch potatoes. But you have to be careful, if somebody has heart disease, if they are at risk, then it is important for them to be thoroughly checked out and be guided by their physician to exercise in a manner that is safe with their condition, and not try to overdo it, too much too soon, too fast.
What are the most important foods to eat if you have heart disease?
Dr. Ken Freedman: It is important to eat low fat foods, foods that are low in sugar, foods that are high in energy, and it is important to eat the right … not only choose the right foods, but in the right quantities, so you are not eating too much and you give your body the ability to be able to digest your foods and have better levels of blood sugar throughout the course of the day.
So a varied diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, foods that are not processed, avoiding fried foods, fatty foods, things that would clog the heart up, or especially foods that cause systemic inflammation. The real danger to the heart are foods that produce systemic inflammation throughout the body. When I talk about systemic inflammation I’m not talking about, “I slipped on ice, I fell down, banged my elbow, it got inflamed.” Systemic inflammation is a condition where the cells of the body become so irritated because of the chemicals that are floating through the bloodstream, that they actually become inflamed. In the heart it causes the vessel wall of the heart to become sticky and that is what causes fat to stick to the vessel wall, occlude the arteries and can result in a heart attack.
Some of the foods that are most inflammatory would involve wheat, dairy and sugar. So by limiting your intake of wheat, dairy and sugar, you reduce systemic inflammation, and that definitely helps the heart function much better. Fried foods are a big offender as well.
Can lowering stress help someone with heart disease?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Absolutely. When a person is subjected to emotional stress, the sympathetic nervous system, which is the fight or flight part of the nervous system, kicks in. Your heart rate goes up, your blood vessels dilate, your muscles tighten up and it is stressful to the heart. By being able to identify what is emotionally stressful, by choosing thoughts that serve you best, by meditating, by receiving professional help if you need it, by receiving Reiki care. We have a terrific Reiki Master that practices in my office, named Heidi Scanlon. She is a certified Reiki Master and teacher, with over 15 years of experience. She says she helps get the issues out of the tissues and help people handle stress much more effectively, without psychotropic drugs and without needing a psychologist.
Are there chiropractic or other natural treatments that can help someone with heart disease?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Yes. Now, I want to be very clear about this. Chiropractic care is not a substitute for proper medical care for a person with a heart condition, but I do recommend it wholeheartedly. I think it’s crucial that in addition to being under the care of a good cardiologist, it’s important to also be under the care of a great chiropractor. Because the heart is an organ, and like any organ in the body, it is controlled by energy that is coming through the nervous system. There are nerves that travel close to the spine that control the heart, like the vagus nerve, but that vagus nerve can be affected when the upper bone in the neck, the first vertebra in the neck can misalign; so even though the vagus nerve doesn’t go through the spine, it can be irritated and affect cardiovascular function as a result of misalignment of the spine.
There are also nerves inside of the spine that affect cardiovascular function, that can be irritated and affected when the spine misaligns, irritates those nerves and causes a condition called vertebral subluxation complex, which is a major energetic disruption between the brain and body, and impairs the body’s ability, including the organs and including the heart, from being able to function as effectively as it can.
Regular chiropractic checkups detect whether or not these subluxations are present and when detected, we locate where they are and then using a variety of chiropractic techniques, and I can use techniques that involve the traditional twisting and popping techniques that a lot of people love, I can also use techniques that involves absolutely no twisting and popping and cracking of the spinal joints. We can reduce pressure off those nerves and enable organs like the heart and the lungs and all of the other parts of the body to be able to function a lot better.
This way, if a person needs to exercise in addition to their heart working better, their muscles and joints can work better and a lot more balanced, so the chances of injury are less and it keeps them being able to maintain an active lifestyle and a healthier lifestyle.
We have a phenomenal weight loss program called The Doctor-Supervised ChiroThin Weight Loss Program. It is important. Anybody who has a cardiac issue, who is carrying too much weight on their body, needs to check this program out.
Fat is highly vascularized. Every extra pound of fat has a mile of blood vessels in it, so if you’re 10 or 20 pounds overweight, that means that your heart has to pump blood through 10 to 20 extra miles of blood vessels. That is a lot of stress on that heart, which doesn’t need any more stress on it.
By removing excess fat, by lowering excess fat, you not only take the pressure off your joints, but more importantly, you take the pressure off the heart. My ChiroThin Program enables the average client to lose 20 to 35 pounds in six weeks eating real food, with no drugs, no exercise, no prepackaged foods. They eat real food that they buy at the supermarket within the dietary guidelines that I show them, and there’s no drugs involved. They get great results with it, and they keep the weight off.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Ken Freedman, visit www.freedmanchiropracticcenter.com or call (732) 254-6011 to schedule an appointment.