Few people alive today are old enough to remember the beginning of the coronary heart disease (CHD) epidemic in the 1920s and 1930s, when physicians in the U.S. and U.K. began sounding alarm bells that an uncommon disease was rapidly becoming the leading cause of death. By the 1950s, their predictions had come true. A decade later, a new generation of physicians replaced their predecessors and began to doubt that heart attacks had ever been uncommon. Gradually, the idea that the disease was once uncommon faded from the public consciousness, and heart attacks were seen as an eternal plague of humankind, avoided only by dying of something else first.
According to U.S. National Vital Statistics records beginning in 1900, CHD was rarely given as the cause of death by physicians until after 1930. It used to be uncommon and now it is such a common occurrence that it’s an epidemic. It happens so often it’s like the common cold.
Did you know that 80% of heart attacks and stroke can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes. Here we are almost 90 years later and the medical interventions still being used are pharmaceuticals, stents and bypass surgery.
Doctors aren’t taught about natural supplements and nutrition as an option. It was natural supplements that save my life as far as I am concerned. What is considered a heart healthy diet is far from heart healthy.
When I was in the hospital after one of the heart attacks, they brought me a menu and I order the things that would fit with the Paleo diet I had been on. Lots of veggies and a hamburger without a bun, no wheat and no dairy. Soon after my food arrived a nurse ran into my room and grabbed my tray and told me I couldn’t eat that and that my food needed to come from the Heart Healthy Menu.
She arrived a few minutes later with a large plate of spaghetti, covered in sauce with meatballs! I was stunned! If this was what was being fed to heart patients as heart healthy, it would appear they were trying to kill people off! This wasn’t the exception. All of the heart healthy food was like that. If it was low sodium and low fat you could eat it. Nothing else was taken into consideration.
I wrote my book to address what wasn’t being address. Things you can do to prevent heart disease in the first place .Mystick Creek Publishing
I hope my heart health tips for Heart Month are helpful to some of you. I am sharing things that I did to return to wellness. The tip for today is about the importance of gratitude. We all have probably experienced the power of gratitude in our lives, but it is important to remember it when you are not feeling well.
From Resilient Heart
“An Attitude of Gratitude”
“The natural state of the heart is joy and gratitude.
Since ancient times, philosophers and sages from every spiritual tradition have taught that cultivating gratitude is key to experiencing deeper levels of happiness, fulfillment, wellbeing and abundance.
One of the fastest ways to empower our body and move toward health and wellness is through an attitude of appreciation and gratitude. What you focus on and appreciate creates more of the same. By concentrating on how much you appreciate your body, no matter what state it is in, the more likely you are to activate miracles. Even when you are not feeling well there is so much about our body that is working and the more you appreciate that, the more you will feel better over all…
In my own healing journey being grateful would get me out of a funk and refocus me on what I wanted to create. If I paid attention to the little things that were happening, such as being able to walk to the end of the block, where before I could only go a few feet, I started to see the progress I was really making. The more I focused on progress, the more progress I made. When I started to worry about what wasn’t improving to what seemed to be getting worse, I went backwards. When I changed my focus to gratitude and sending love to my heart, the worry would subside. “
When you are sick, especially when you are in a life threatening situation, this is not easy to do. It was a daily practice for me. Some days I did better than other days. It was especially difficult during the months that I had PTSD. I believe this practice helped me move through and out of PTSD.
Most of you know, if you have followed my journey, that I love trees and that I even adopted a tree named Grace. This tip is about trees.
Introduction to Chapter 40 from Resilient Heart…Hug a Tree
“It used to be that hugging trees was something that only hippies practiced and that it had little value aside from how humorous it looked. Now it has been validated by science to have incredible benefits for both people, the trees and the planet. Contrary to popular belief, hugging, leaning up against or being near a tree can boost your health in several ways.
Part of the healing power of the forest is due to various oils, called Phytocide which are found in wood plants and some some fruits and vegetables. Trees emit them to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher, inhaling Phytocide improves immune system function.”
In Japan walking in the woods is called Forest Bathing and it has been prescribed by Japanese medical practitioners for a long time.
“The scientifically-proven benefits of forest bathing includes:
Boosted immune system functioning
Reduced blood pressure
Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
Increased energy levels
I experienced all of these things and forest bathing was a huge part of my recovery
Painting is from my series of 32 paintings I did to heal my heart.
Buy the book #Resilientheart
“Yoga will boost your heart health! The heart wants to stretch, breathe, move and dance and yoga helps you do that.
When you enter a typical yoga class you will often hear some reference to the heart. Backbends are often referred to as “ heart openers.” You will hear things like “lift your heart” or “shine your heart forward.” Many teachers will talk about the heart chakra, which is the energy center in the middle of your chest. This kind of metaphysical heart-language is common in yoga classes but rarely do teachers talk about the benefits of yoga on balancing the cardiovascular system.
In December 2015 the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology published a review of yoga and cardiovascular disease indicating that yoga may help lower heart disease risk as much as conventional exercise, such as brisk walking. Exercise that increases your heart rate like cardio, isn’t the only kind of physical activity that can help prevent or manage heart disease. The calming, centering, integrating exercise of yoga is good for the heart too. Combine aerobic exercise and yoga and you get even more benefits. “
Excerpt from Yoga of the Heart in the book Resilient Heart.
There are so many yoga videos on YouTube that you can start out with a 10 minute, easy practice and build up to 30 minutes or an hour from there. Even 10 minutes a day will make a difference.
All the paintings in this series of heart healthy tips is from my series of 35 paintings to heal my heart.
It’s National Heart Month and I will be honoring that all month. Not in the way the National Heart Association honors it, but in my way. Why do I even care? I care because heart disease is the number one killer of women. No 1! I might share something that might make a dent in the statistics.
I am alive because I healed my heart. I think we take our heart for granted. I did.
I learned so much about heart health through my journey that I want to share because it could help you some day.
I wrote two books about my experience and more importantly, what I learned through hundreds of hours of research. There are 60 chapters in my book…yep, that is a lot. I didn’t want to leave anything out. ❤️
I will chose 28 snippets from the book and share one every day this month along with one of the 32 paintings I did to support my healing.
Today’s post is on my wall in my article in the Edge called Sounding the Heart Song.
I hope someone finds it helpful.
Resilient Heart and Resilient Heart Art is available at Mystickcreekpublishing