Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Take some time out to protect your heart this summer

Summer is a perfect time to relax, have fun and enjoy nature—full of family barbecues, trips to the beach, and lots of time spent in the great outdoors. But it’s also an important season to take stock of your heart health.
In Chinese Medicine, summer relates to the fire element—and in terms of your body, this season emphasizes your heart and circulation. As daylight increases, your energy and activities will naturally expand, reaching further away from your core—and that’s where a strong, healthy heart and circulatory system come into play. After all, they’re your pump, and the vehicle you rely on to get nutrients and information to every part of your body.

So what can you do this season to make sure your heart stays strong? For starters, you can take advantage of the abundant fresh produce that’s always at your fingertips this year—not to mention the opportunities for outdoor exercise that spring up at every turn. But if nothing else, make sure that you schedule that vacation—and take plenty of time to recharge your batteries every single chance you get.

Chronic inflammation has been receiving widespread attention in mainstream medicine for several years now—and most especially where your heart health is concerned. Inflammation represents heat. We know from basic physics that heat is a manifestation of an increase in kinetic movement—and when you live a high-pace lifestyle with no time to relax, “cool”, re-hydrate and lubricate your body, your “engine” is going to heat up.

The problem here is that heat—and the inflammation it causes—degrades your body through wear, tear, and oxidative stress. This is one of the primary mechanisms of the aging process—and of degenerative diseases, including heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

Slowing down and making sure that you allow your body to cool, regulate, and regenerate is a necessary preventative measure for a long and healthy life. Drink lots of fresh clean water. Take time to eat mindfully. Get adequate sleep and enjoy regular exercise (especially walking) whenever you can. And of course, meditation and relaxation can work wonders in keeping your heart (and your entire body) as strong and active as it can be.

Heart-nourishing, inflammation-fighting supplements can also make a critical difference. Cardiovascular and circulatory conditions are a big focus in my clinical practice—and for my patients, I use a Tibetan-based herbal formula that embraces the principles of both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine for a unique, natural, and very effective approach to fighting heart disease and circulatory issues.

Its traditional applications are to cool and regulate the movement of “wind” and to enhance the movement of bile. In other words, it regulates the inflammatory process and naturally thins the blood—and its benefits against anything from peripheral artery disease to multiple sclerosis are well-documented, and the subject of numerous published clinical trials.

The genius of this ancient herbal formulation never ceases to amaze me. In my practice, I find that patients who use this formula on an ongoing basis enjoy gradual, gentle, and sustained benefits. And compared to any single agent drug or supplement (which may give rapid—but short-lived, and often side effect-ridden—benefits) the advantages of this type of treatment are truly undeniable.

You can find out more about this powerful formula by reading my health report, Overcoming Cardiovascular Disease, available for free here. In the meantime, I hope you’ll take full advantage of the many wonderful health-boosting opportunities the season has to offer—and by all means, make time for that summer vacation!

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