Nowadays, heart surgery is commonly performed on patients suffering from heart disease, which is often a threat to longevity. But does heart surgery make you live longer? Is Oriental medicine a better approach to heart disease?
According to the most recent report from Journal of the American Medical Association, at least 12,000 Americans die each year from unnecessary surgery, and tens of thousands more suffer complications as a result.
Every year in the United States, surgeons perform 1.2 million angioplasties, during which a cardiologist uses tiny balloons and implanted wire cages known as stents to unclog arteries. This Roto-Rooter-type approach is less invasive and has a shorter recovery period than bypass, which is open-heart surgery.
Nevertheless, a surgery is still a trauma, and the body responds to it with major blood loss and swelling, and all manner of nerve and pain signals that can plague the patient for months, if not years.
Research has indicated that angioplasty did not appear to prevent heart attacks or save lives among non-emergency heart subjects. If that is the case, then why the surgery?
Dr. William Boden of the University of Buffalo School of Medicine, Buffalo, New York, and author of the study also added: “If you have chest pain and are stable, you can take medicines that do the job of angioplasty.” Medicines used in the study included aspirin, and blood pressure and cholesterol drugs, and they were taken along with exercise and diet changes in patients participating in the study.
Dr. Boden did have a point about not opting for surgery. But do medicines, such as aspirin, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol drugs, save lives and prevent heart attacks, or are there better alternatives? Heart health is longevity health. Conventional medicine offers no miracle cures. Healing the heart has to be wholesome because it is the “residence” of the body, the mind, and the spirit. Therefore, medicines play only a minor role, if any, in the cure of heart disease. Modern Western medicine addresses only the symptoms, not the causes, of heart disease. According to the Oriental way, your heart is the “emperor” of your whole being, and the health of your entire system depends upon the normal functioning of your heart. According to Chinese philosophy, heaven and earth merge to make a human being, and the place where they merge is in the heart, which is the “center” of the human body, hence the importance of the heart.
Disturbances in the heart affect your whole body. The movement of blood throughout your body (circulation) is managed by multiple organs, which in turn interact with one another. A failure in any one part of this system can result in pathology.
If there is a circulation issue, all the organ systems in your body will be deprived of the nourishment supplied by your blood, which include nutrients and oxygen. Your heart has a dramatic effect on everything else in your body.
The force that keeps life going is “qi” (internal vital energy), which is determined by the balance of “yin” and “yang.” Poor diet, stress, and lack of exercise can cause your “yin” and “yang” to become out of balance, thereby disrupting the flow of “qi.” One symptom is “thick” blood, which is the root cause of heart disease.
Severe stagnation in “qi” and in the blood may produce internal heat, which goes into your blood and steams your body, drying out your blood vessels as well as raising your blood pressure.
In Chinese medicine, the basic cause of chest pain is obstruction of the circulation of “qi” and blood. Chest pain may be due to either deficiency or excess patterns of “yin” and “yang,” resulting in imbalance and discord. Accordingly, the Oriental medicine focuses on using different foods not only to nourish the body but also to clear any blockage in the flow of “qi.”
Truly, foods are directly involved in many of the risk factors for heart disease. Paying attention to what you eat is one of the most important preventive measures you can take.
The foods that best protect you against heart disease include the following: oily fish, fruits and vegetables, fiber from whole-grain breads and cereals and unrefined carbohydrates, nuts and seeds, and green tea, among others.
In addition to the different types of food to protect your heart, you need to understand the importance of energy balance. You need enough calories to maintain your energy level, but no more than what you can burn off. This is energy balance.
Even when you are dieting, you should not drastically cut back your calories such that your energy needs are not met. The number of calories you need depends primarily on age, gender, and activity level.
Essentially, the Oriental medicine employs foods and acupuncture to maintain smooth flow of “qi” and blood.