Dr. Terry A. Rondberg
Special to Valley News
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S., taking the lives of over 600,000 people each year – that’s one of every four deaths.
Yet, according to conservative estimates by the American Heart Association, 80 percent of heart disease and stroke can be prevented. The World Health Organization agreed that addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, diabetes and raised lipids could prevent most cases of cardiovascular disease. Many cardiac experts say the figures are even higher and that. Rather than treating the disease after the fact, it would be better to make use of the knowledge and ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones from heart problems before they begin.
The way to do that is to live a healthy lifestyle that incorporates scientifically validated wellness techniques including nutrition, exercise, meditation and other drug-free, non-invasive approaches to well-being.
“There is much more to the prevention and treatment of heart disease than pills and procedures,” preventive cardiologist Stephen Devries said in an article for Prevention magazine. Devries is co-editor of the medical journal, “Integrative Cardiology.”
Naturally, the first step to preventing cardiovascular problems is to eliminate any obviously dangerous areas, like obesity, excess alcohol consumption, smoking, or failing to get sufficient physical exercise into the person’s daily routine.
After removing danger areas, they should look at the quality of their diet and nutrition. While this is a major factor in heart disease, much of the information people receive about a healthy diet is contradictory or confusing. First, people are told to eat dark chocolate; next, the superfood recommended is flaxseed and chocolate is out. Few people really understand the differences between good and bad cholesterol; soluble and insoluble fiber; saturated, unsaturated and trans fats causing confusion. Working with wellness professionals who can provide guidance into real life eating choices and special approaches like purification programs, detoxing, eliminating processed foods and sugar, eating whole foods is essential for those wanting to maximize their wellness levels.
Probably the most important factor in heart disease and heart attacks is stress. Stress causes a cascade of internal reactions including muscle tension, increased heart rate and blood pressure and elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Occasional short-term periods of stress are normal. Human bodies have the amazing power to regulate themselves and return to a normal state. But, as the Mayo Clinic explained, “the long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol, adrenaline and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes.”
While meditation, yoga, relaxation, traditional massage, deep breathing and visualization are useful in managing stress, many other techniques have proven less than effective in recent years, possibly because of the increased levels of stress experienced in society.
Another problem is that most people today associate stress strictly with emotional or mental distress. Yet, physical tension, caused by everything from poor body alignment and posture to non-ergonomically designed furniture, can be just as harmful to the system and can create a loop that produces more stress. The body tension triggers pain and further constriction in nerves and blood vessels. The pain results in more emotional and mental stress, which tenses the muscles, which causes pain and the cycle continues.
The fact is, before resorting to drugs or surgery; people can take proactive steps to protect themselves from heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many other health issues.
For more information on wellness care, visit www.temeculawellnesscenter.com or call Temecula Wellness Center at (951) 699-5000. For over 40 years, Dr. Terry A. Rondberg, owner of the Temecula Wellness Center and bestselling author, has utilized chiropractic, acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine to heal people. He earned a diploma in energy medicine, where he developed a cutting-edge system using the latest technologies in neuroscience, bioenergy and nutrition to help people of all ages achieve maximum health and fight chronic illnesses and pain.