There is a good reason why February is American Heart Month. Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death, and Valentine’s Day lands right in the middle of the month. Combine those two and we have the perfect recipe for increasing heart health awareness this month.
Heart disease is the cause of 25% of the deaths in America. 715,000 Americans will be diagnosed with heart disease each year, and 600,000 of us will die from heart attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular disease cost the United States $312.6 billion dollars every year and are a leading cause of disability.
These are frightening statistics, and hopefully it hits home with everyone reading this. Heart disease is preventable and controllable. You don’t “catch” heart disease. It is not necessarily genetic. With the exception of congenital heart issues that occur before birth, heart disease is a direct result of your lifestyle choices and the way you perceive and handle stress. Heart disease IS preventable and controllable. We have been aware for many years that diet, activity and proper sleep play a huge role in the health of our hearts. The CDC recommends these and other tips to help control and prevent heart disease.
As a chiropractic office that practices Functional Neurology, one of the many concerns we address is how well your brain and nervous system are performing. This includes testing to see how efficiently the brain is receiving and sending signals to the body, including the heart. An unbalanced brain results in an unbalanced body, a mental disconnect.
At Crevar Chiropractic, we also measure the balance of your Autonomic Nervous System and your Heart Rate Variability. The ANS is what controls your heart rate, blood pressure and your EKG patterns. It is extremely important for this system to be fine-tuned in order to perceive the safety and stability of your body at all times. If the balance is off, stress is put on the heart and it will have to work overtime. If it detects stress inappropriately, it will put your body into a state of defense and will put your body on high alert. Blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension will increase. Cholesterol, sugar and free fatty acid levels spike in the blood.
Maintaining this type of physiology for any period of time over 30 minutes is dangerous. This combined with poor diet, poor sleep and lack of exercise is the true cause of cardiovascular disease. While blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medications may control the number that is measured, it does not correct the reason your body is causing those numbers to rise. Medications don’t improve the function of your ANS, which is what tells those numbers to rise in the first place. The medications are merely a cover-up of the symptoms resulting from an unbalanced nervous system.
Functional Neurology can help restore the balance to your nervous system and body. Gentle, non-invasive treatments and exercises can reduce the amount of stress on your cardiovascular system. Studies have shown that chiropractic treatments can have a greater effect on lowering your blood pressure than prescription medications.
“This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination,” study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. “And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.
You do not need to be one of the 25% of Americans that dies from this illness; take control and responsibility for your heart health.
The first step is knowing how your nervous system is perceiving and handling the stress you have on a daily basis. Our Stress Response Evaluation is a painless, 15 minute, seated exam that measures how your nervous system is performing and how it communicates to your heart. If inappropriate stress is found, we have gentle, non-invasive methods to improve Heart Rate Variability and the overall health of your Cardiovascular system.
Ready to take your health in your own hands? Take advantage of our Heart Health Awareness special: Stress Response Evaluation, Heart Rate Variability Test and Consultation with Dr. Crevar for $49.99. Available through March 14th, 2014.