What is Heart Disease?
In the simplest of terms, heart/cardiovascular disease, the No.1 cause of death in the United States and in most countries today, is any condition that adversely affects the heart muscle or its blood vessels, ultimately resulting in the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to maintain the body’s systems. There are many types of heart disease, among them coronary artery disease, the most prevalent, atherosclerosis, angina and arrhythmia. All are greatly exacerbated by the presence of hypertension, which is simply the medical name for high blood pressure; the terms are used interchangeably. (See our Recommendations).
Connecting the mind, body and emotions, HeartMath offers a quickly learned scientifically validated approach to decreasing stress and impacting cardiac risk factors such as: high blood pressure, diabetes, arrhythmia and chest pain. Everyone needs to learn these techniques.Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, Medical Director Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
Hypertension: The Silent Killer
One of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke and a major risk factor for developing heart disease is hypertension, widely known as the “silent killer” because the majority of people who have it don’t know it since there are no apparent symptoms. If you know you have high blood pressure you must act now to control it. If you don’t know whether you have it, see your physician to find out. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease.
Nearly 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure.Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, Medical Director Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
The numbers are straightforward: Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80, with the first number representing the force of pressure exerted on the arteries, veins and heart chambers when the heart is contracting, or pumping blood out; and the second number is the pressure when the heart is not contracting, or filling with blood. If your blood pressure is 120-139 over 80-89 you have pre-hypertension. If you’re at 140/90 or higher, you have hypertension. There are a number of places where you can have your blood pressure checked, including doctors’ offices, clinics and drugstores.
Your risk for high blood pressure is greater if any of the following apply to you:
- High level of anger, stress, anxiety, worry or fear.
- Overweight or your diet includes foods high in salt or fat, and you’re not physically active.
- Your family has a history of high blood pressure.
Although the medical community is aware of the predictors such as the above risk factors that contribute to high blood pressure and the dangers it poses, there is no known cause of high blood pressure in a large majority of cases. It is only in a small percentage of hypertension cases that causes are known, among them other medical problems and the medications people take.
If you are concerned about stress, anxiety, worry, fear or anger in your life or someone else’s, check out the following HeartMath books, which are also available as ebooks and audio programs:
- Transforming Stress: Childre, Rozman, 2004. Learn about the warning signs of chronic stress and how your “intelligent heart” can help you immediately begin reducing the stress in your life.
- Transforming Anxiety: Childre, Rozman, 2006 – Gives an in-depth look at why anxiety disorders are plaguing so many in today’s fast-paced world and how you can use the HeartMath System to overcome fear and worry and create more serenity in your life.
- Transforming Anger: Childre, Rozman, 2003 – If you’re unable to control your anger, this book offers practical tools to help you succeed. Your own heart has an intelligence all its own that you can tap to manage anger, stress and much more.
- Transforming Depression: Childre, Rozman, 2007 – Are you feeling hopeless and uninterested in things that you used to enjoy? You may be depressed. This book teaches you HeartMath techniques that help you lesson and eliminate feelings of depression.
The HeartMath Institute has been conducting scientific research and demonstration studies over the past 2 decades and has found a direct link between high blood pressure and stress. It works like this: The stress we experience activates our sympathetic nervous system, which increases adrenaline. The adrenaline makes the heart beat faster, causes blood vessels to constrict and prompts the production of cortisol, known as “the mother of all stress hormones.” Cortisol causes blood-vessel constriction as well as salt and water retention in the kidneys. The end result is elevation of blood pressure.
At the same time that HeartMath has been researching the connection between stress and high blood pressure, we’ve also been busy developing and demonstrating programs and tools to help people manage stress, anger and anxiety and transform their emotions using their “heart intelligence.”
Chris, a 45-year-old business executive whose family had a history of heart disease, was feeling extremely stressed, fatigued and generally in poor emotional health. After reviewing test results, his doctor told him it was critical for him to reduce his stress. He recommended practicing emotional restructuring techniques developed by the HeartMath Institute. First, his wife noticed a transformation, then his co-workers, staff and friends. New tests six weeks after undergoing the initial analysis confirmed his stress level was down and his blood pressure, which had been dangerously high, was now near normal.
After practicing HeartMath techniques, Chris began getting along with his family, colleagues and staff better than he could ever remember and he felt much more clearheaded and in command of his life.
A HeartMath TIP:
Use the Quick Coherence Technique®, a rapid three-step tool, that will help you start new heart and emotional coherence patterns so all of your body’s functions synchronize and you are able to respond to stressful situations more intelligently and ultimately reduce the stress that’s raising your blood pressure. Whenever you feel your stress buttons being pushed try the following:
- Heart focus: Shift your attention to the area of the heart and breathe slowly and deeply.
- Heart breathing: Keep your focus in the heart by gently breathing – five seconds in and five seconds out – through your heart. Do this two or three times.
- Heart feeling: Activate and sustain a genuine feeling of appreciation or care for someone or something in your life. Focus on the good heart feeling as you continue to breathe through the area of your heart.
Benefits of Reducing Blood Pressure and Stress
Lower risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease and complications to other health problems.
- Fatigue less quickly or as often and have more energy to do things, including physical activities.
- Less irritability and anger, think more clearly.
- Get along better with family, friends, and coworkers, feel connected.
- Revitalize your body, mind and spirit, feel happier.
Tools for Reducing Hypertension
Learn how to regulate your blood pressure at the source – the heart – and reduce the stress that causes high blood pressure.
- What you and your doctor need to know about high blood pressure: Read what cardiologist Bruce Wilson, MD, co-author of The HeartMath Approach to Managing Hypertension, has to say about stress and high blood pressure, especially for people who have had a cardiac event.
- Impact of a Workplace Stress Reduction Program on Blood Pressure and Emotional Health in Hypertensive Employees: This study examined the impact of the HeartMath Inner Quality Management stress-management program on blood pressure, emotional health and workplace-related measures in hypertensive employees at a global information technology firm.
Take me to the HeartMath Store now to learn more about HeartMath’s products or call us: 1-800-450-9111