Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. What preventative steps are being taken? Nutrition, exercise and medication are often deemed the best methods for decreasing a person’s chance of a fatal heart event. But there is a viable alternative for heart disease patients.
In recent years the medical community’s consensus on what constitutes “heart-healthy” food has changed, and the benefits of rigorous exercise and cardiovascular medications are being challenged. So where’s the next frontier?
Recent research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that, in concert with Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine can have a positive effect on a person’s heart health. Researchers analyzed the results of TCM studies carried out over the course of 10 years including randomized controlled trials of traditional Chinese medicine used for patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes/pre-diabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and chronic heart failure to assess the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese medicine.
Their findings show acupuncture and herbs were beneficial for the cardiovascular problems treated. Herbal formulas, for example, were deemed a solid alternative for patients who cannot take pharmaceuticals – due to side effects or allergies – and more affordable.
The problem for many years has been the way in which Western medical standards have been applied to TCM. In short, they’re two vastly different modes of treatment. The manner in which Western medicine evaluates research – randomized controlled trials with a sample and control group – simply does not translate to TCM. It’s this which one of the authors addresses:
“Of note, one should bear in mind that traditional Chinese medicine medications are usually prescribed as complex formulae, which are often further manipulated by the practitioner on a personalized basis,” said Yuxia Zhao, senior author of the review and a physician in the Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Shandong University Qilu Hospital in Jinan, Shandong, China.
This is why TCM yields such positive results – every person has a complex array of processes happening in their body at any one time. That’s why bespoke, customized formulas are part of the medicine. These complex formulae can address these unique combinations of processes for each person.
Around 610 MILLION Americans die of heart disease every year. That’s 1 in every 4 deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control. That is a large proportion of the population. Factored in with recent studies from Boston University, showing that around 60% of adults unknowingly have preclinical heart failure – this is a major cause for concern.
However, that doesn’t need to be the case. Here at the clinic, we routinely treat for preventative heart care. There are many ways heart disease can be avoided through various therapies including nutrition and herbs.
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