In the last post in this category, I wrote about some common emotional undercurrents and thought programs that are responsible for manifestations of heart problems in the body. It’s important to look at the thought patterns and emotions first, when examining any health challenges. Whatever low-frequency (aka “negative”) thoughts we think, we create emotions in reaction to these thoughts, and the emotions literally get trapped into our bodies. And it’s not even always our own thoughts that create these emotions. Often it’s someone else’s thoughts that generate the emotions that get trapped in our bodies. Perhaps when a parent or sibling or teacher or preacher or some other person said something mean to us, when we were children – and we believed them. Societal programming is also a major culprit in our thought patterns and subsequent emotions. And also, as many of us are empaths, we take on other people’s emotions as our own, and they get stuffed in our bodies. The important thing is not to blame yourself for any harmful thought patterns or harmful emotions – just find them, recognize them, and help your body to heal.
In this post, I’m going to cover some physical root causes of heart troubles, as well as some physical and energetic means to support your heart.
In most cases, heart disease has a physical root cause that goes to the liver and thyroid dysfunction (for more on this you can read Dr. Broda Barnes’ book here). It is, in effect, a metabolic issue, aside from the cases of actual heart mechanical issues, like birth defects, etc. When heart disease comes slowly on, the first place to look is into your thyroid and liver. The thyroid and liver health and emotional undercurrents will be covered in future modules. Please remember to come back to read those when they are posted.
So onto some diet and lifestyle means to help support your heart…
Diet and Lifestyle
Adequate sleep. This cannot be overstated. Without sufficient sleep, the body cannot heal. Our bodies and our organs follow what’s known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the “Horary Cycle.” What this means to us, is that there are specific organ functions that activate during our sleep hours, whereas some others activate during our waking hours. All organs are working all the time, but as these are Earth bodies, they follow Earth’s circadian rhythms. This is why our digestion is strongest in the morning to early afternoon hours of the day; why we go to the bathroom when we wake up in the mornings (if our bodies are working right), why we start getting sleepy and yawning when darkness sets in (again, if our bodies are on proper schedule). Ideally, regardless of what time zone we’re in, our bodies are best served by going to sleep at 10PM, rising at 6AM, sleeping for 7-8 hours as adults (about 9 hours for children), having a light breakfast, a substantial lunch, and a light dinner, followed by no snacking or eating after dinner, and especially not after dark, as our digestive processes slow down naturally, later in the day and evening, in preparation for the gall bladder’s and liver’s other healing processes to begin. The gall bladder activates its biggest functions between the hours of 11PM and 1AM; and the liver does it’s heavy work during the 1AM – 3AM hours. If the gall bladder and liver are bogged down with having to digest food because we stayed up too late eating and snacking, then these organs don’t have an adequate time slot to do their major body-healing work. Our bodies need to be asleep during these hours so that our organs can do their jobs efficiently. As the liver is so often the culprit behind any kind of heart or cardiovascular disease, this is of utmost importance.
It’s also important to switch off the lights at night, as the light frequencies of the blue and green spectrum keep us awake, whereas the red, orange, and yellow light frequencies do not. That’s why our modern-day computers even have a nightlight option to set, to warm up the screen colors, so as to remove the blue and green lights while we work at night, to help us to be able to fall asleep more easily. It’s that important.
2. Diet. What we eat is important, but what is equally important is when we eat. As mentioned above, if we are up late eating when our digestion isn’t strong, we are depriving our livers of the time and space they need to do their body-healing work during our sleep, because the livers are busy working on digestion instead. Our hearts are best served by eating healthy whole foods that are rich in nutrients, healthy fats like real butter, coconut oil, ghee, and olive oil, high quality proteins (like collagen found in bone broths – you can get that here, gelatin and collagen powders – you can get that here), some meat (like organic grass-fed meats like what you find here), organic free range poultry, wild fish, and plant proteins – those found naturally in vegetables, or in supplemental plant-based powder form, like this soy-free blend, especially if you choose a vegetarian or a vegan diet, all fruits, as well as green and also root vegetables which contain micronutrients and fiber. Choose foods as best you can that are anti-inflammatory in nature. Too many refined, processed grains, too much dairy, too much muscle meat, corn, soy & vegetable oils (including store-bought mayonnaise and salad dressings, margarine, unnatural trans fats, and fried foods), and too much processed white sugar all tend to be highly inflammatory.
A note on sugar: There’s a lot of hype out there about sugar being bad for you, but it’s important to understand that our bodies need some sugar. Have you ever noticed how many people might have multiple food allergies, but virtually nobody is actually allergic to sugar? There is a reason for that. Our brains, our eyes, and our livers require glucose. Sugar is a 50-50 blend of glucose and fructose. If glucose levels are too high, we can develop resistance to our insulin; fructose actually lowers the body’s need for insulin secretion. That’s why fruits are so healthy for us. Our brains require a minimum of 100mg of glucose every day. Our livers require glucose for thyroid hormone conversion – and as previously mentioned, thyroid and liver dysfunction are the major culprits behind heart disease. For those of us who do spiritual work, we actually tend to have a higher caloric and glucose need because spiritual work takes a whole lot of energy, brain power, heart power, and focus.
So always do your best to eat healthy foods, and if you add a spoonful of raw sugar to your morning coffee, all the better. Rather than to judge the foods we eat, and judge ourselves for eating them, how much better to bless and give thanks for the foods we eat, and the wonderful sustenance and energy that food is providing for our bodies.
I recommend giving yourself an eating window during the day – a period of time in which you eat as much as you need. Personally, I start with a light breakfast of fruit, 2 slices of buttered sprouted whole grain toast, and two cups of organic coffee with collagen protein, raw sugar, and half and half creamer. Some days I might have a couple of eggs with my coffee and fruit, and skip the toast. I eat a large lunch, full of protein and healthy fats, and vegetables. For dinner I might have something light, like a salad, or fruit with cheese, or nuts like pistachios or cashews. Whatever my body tells me it wants. I begin eating around 8:30AM and finish all eating for the day by 6PM, and the rest of the time, I fast. I focus on eating enough calories to give my body all the fuel it needs for the day and to do its body-healing work while I sleep at night. Body-healing takes fuel. Food is fuel. I recommend that you experiment, yourself, with what works best for you, as far as listening to what your body wants and needs, and eliminating snacking and eating after dinner.
Note: if you have blood sugar issues, it means that your liver is unable to store sufficient glycogen, and you will need to provide glucose to your liver every hour or two until your liver learns how to store glycogen again. For you, snacking, or “grazing” through the day is essential. Do not attempt any kind of intermittent fasting until your blood sugar challenges are resolved. Keep a small glass of orange juice mixed with gelatin or collagen and pink Himalayan salt on your nightstand, so that if you are prone to waking in the night with low blood sugar, you can sip the orange juice and get right back to sleep. Again, remember, sleeping well is of utmost importance, not only for full health, but also for heart health.
3. Stress reduction. Stress comes in many forms. Eating inflammatory foods stresses our bodies. Exercising too much and too often, without sufficient rest between exercise sessions stresses our bodies, especially too much cardiovascular exercise. Suffering abuse from others stresses our emotions and mind programming, and also stresses our bodies. The same goes for our own self-abuse which we unwittingly do to ourselves every time we engage in negative self-talk, ruminating on painful things in the past or present, or projecting our catastrophic fears onto our innocent futures. Doing things you don’t want to do, such as working at a job you despise, having to meet deadlines, dealing with traffic, not making enough money, and not giving yourself sufficient time to nurture yourself due to the overwhelming number of tasks to do just to survive – these are all stresses on the body – and on the heart. The pain of a broken heart, such as when we’re grieving a significant loss, be it a breakup, divorce, or death of a loved one – it also takes a toll on the heart.
One of the most important things we can do for our hearts is to actively seek peace and reduce our stress. Taking or making the time to meditate is one of the very best ways you can reduce stress. Taking walks in nature revitalizes you, especially if you slow down, make it a stroll, look around and enjoy the beauty, listen to the birds, feel the breeze, breathe it in. Getting out in nature also gives you sunshine, which is extremely beneficial for your health. Lack of sufficient sunlight is a stress on the body. Darkness is known to be a stress on the body, raising cortisol levels – that’s part of why we start secreting melatonin and start to feel tired at night, so that the body will sleep when it needs to rather than to stay awake through stress-inducing darkness. Breathing exercises are one of the most fantastic ways possible to reduce stress, because when you engage in deep breathing, you literally switch your nervous system over from the fight-flight-freeze-fawn sympathetic nervous system, to the relax & heal, rest & digest parasympathetic nervous system, which immediately starts to de-stress your body, mind, and spirit.
I recommend a meditation which engages a 4-4-4-4 breathing cycle – which is to inhale for 4 heartbeats, hold for 4 heartbeats, exhale for 4 heartbeats, hold for 4 heartbeats, and repeat 3 times for a total of 4 cycles, before resuming normal breathing. You can do this for as many cycles as you wish. It’s also beneficial to utilize the 4-4-4-4 breathing cycle before eating, as it helps your body to switch over into rest & digest mode, which greatly enhances your digestive abilities, and also again before going to bed, as this breathing cycle will help you to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more restfully.
Also, for meditation, I highly recommend utilizing guided meditations or heartwave or brainwave entrainment (get a free BWE meditation audio here) meditations to assist you, if you find that your thoughts go nonstop. With practice, you can step back and do a mindfulness meditation, where you just become the observer of your thoughts, curious about them, allowing them to pop up and float back down again; you can also practice with a body mindfulness meditation, where you focus on feeling what is happening in your body while you meditate. You can also do a meditation in which you observe not only your thoughts, but what effect each thought has on your body, by focusing on feeling in your body, the body’s response to each thought that comes up. You can learn so much with this! I am making guided meditation audios as well, for specific energy healing, so be sure to look for those as I let you know about them.
4. Movement. Our bodies need to move. While too much exercise can result in inflammation and can overstress the body, too little exercise can also stress the body and result in inflammation and stagnation. Unlike animals, who have a pump to keep their bodily fluids moving through their lymphatic system, human beings do not have such a pump. Our blood has a pump – our heart – but our lymph system depends on our movement. When our lymph system stagnates due to lack of sufficient exercise, it causes cardiovascular stress.
Water and solutes pass out of the blood vessels and help form the fluid that bathes your body’s tissues, and the fluid that is lost from the blood vessels is returned through the lymphatic system. If the lymphatic system is stagnant, due to a lack of sufficient movement, or exercise, then toxins build up and are returned to the bloodstream, which causes cardiovascular distress.
Movement doesn’t have to be all rigorous exercise. It can be a daily stroll through nature. Even a daily stroll through a supermarket, with the bending and lifting that goes along with a shopping trip. It can be a little outing, walking your pet, playing fetch with your dog, grabbing a string and dragging it across the floor for your cat to chase and pounce on, or even something as simple as parking a little further away from the entrance to walk a little further, or taking the stairs instead of an elevator. It can be bouncing on a mini trampoline (I use this one personally and love it) Even if you can’t stand up, you can still sit down and bounce on a mini trampoline. It can be 10 squats, or dancing when your favorite tune shows up on your playlist. It can also be lifting weights if that excites you, or going to the gym and getting down with one of those tread climbers.
As we tend to sit for long periods of time in this day and age, even just remembering to stand up and march in place for one minute every hour can change your whole life. Set an alarm if you have to, but get up and move. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a wall or door for support if you need it, rise up on the balls of your feet, lifting your heels for 10 or 12 reps, 3-6 times a day. Stand up and stretch and shake out your arms and legs. Tai chi, yoga, chi gung, y-dan – all are helpful and healthy movement for your heart. Whatever makes you happy, but make no mistake, movement is essential for your physical heart health.
Stay tuned for my next post here on Heart Health, which will cover some nutritional and energetic supplements and tools to assist you with your heart!