The Western Medical Viewpoint of Heart Disease
In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of disability among women and the number one killer of women, as well. Women in the US are five times more likely to die of heart disease than of breast cancer. This disease is especially deadly among women aged 65 years and above and kills more of these women than all cancers combined. Men experience heart disease seven to eight year earlier than women. But by the time a woman reaches 65, her risk of developing this disease will be almost the same as a man’s. Heart disease should be a huge concern for both men and women.
A blockage or narrowing the coronary arteries is the most common cause of heart disease. This blockage occurs slowly over time. The coronary arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart. This is the blood that nourishes the heart itself. Prevention is a key factor to surviving heart disease. Statistics show that about 67% of women fail to make a full recovery after having a heart attack. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, to help prevent the rise of this deadly condition all should practice healthy lifestyle habits.
Men have a higher survival rate of heart attacks than women. No one knows why this is so. It is believed that women don’t soon receive or look for treatment as men. However, there’s no doubt that preventing heart problems before they start makes a lot of sense. Age, family history, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking are some of the biggest factors that can give rise to heart disease. Western medicine understands that there are several risk factors that can be changed like smoking, too much alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes mellitus, obesity, cholesterol levels, and hypertension.
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Perspective of Heart Disease
Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, for short includes Chinese Herbal medicine and acupuncture. This type of medicine classifies heart disease as “Chest Painful Obstruction” whose underlying cause is phlegm, cold, heat, or stagnation of Blood and/or Qi. In TCM, excessive “desire” and physical and emotional strain are deemed factors as are aging, poor diet, and invasion/infiltration of coldness. When Blood or Qi are not flowing properly, disease sets in. They are interdependent and if either blood or Qi gets “stuck,” obstructions arise. Practitioners of TCM resolve these obstructions with herbal therapy and acupuncture. When assisting patients, these practitioners also take into account nutrition improvement, and the critical aspects of lifestyle (overwork, and stress).
The goal of TCM practitioners for restoring the normal functioning of the body is to clear out obstructions, repair the blood system, and balance or regulate the flow of blood and Qi. Besides that, they treat panic attacks, palpitations, and irregular heart beats.
One patient of mine recalled that after undergoing a successful bypass surgery, he felt dizzy, tired, and short of breath. His legs and feet were cold and numb. His surgeon was unable to address his problems but he (the surgeon) was so elated about the success of the surgery his only advice to the patient was to exercise and watch what he ate. The patient heard that acupuncture can help increase his energy so he decided to give it a try. He was I was captivated to the TCM explanation of how his energy channels had been disrupted and what had happened to his. I explained to him that the Qi and Blood were not enough bring adequate circulation to his feet and legs which explained his weakness. His treatment of herbal treatment and acupuncture supplied him with have enough energy left over to give him much needed vitality.
The Liver, Kidney, and Heart systems can be affected by surgery which can disrupt the circulation of Blood and Qi. After eight sessions of acupuncture and herbal treatment, he felt a lot better. Now, he does not get winded after exercising and walking. After the fourth the treatment, he reported being free of dizziness and cold feet.
Integrating Eastern medicine with Western medicine is the best way of treating heart disease. It can lead to very good results and improve patient care significantly.
Willow Tree Wellness
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232