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Heart support for a healthy or damaged heart: Is it really just a pump?

Nature’s Pharmacy: Qualified homeopath Hanli Rautenbach gives advice on how to look after your heart.


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Research done by the HeartMath institute for over 26 years, reveals an almost unbelievable picture. A picture of a massively complex nervous system inside of our hearts — a system separate from the pumping action of this remarkable organ that never stops.

The complex cells, found in our hearts are responsible for 80% of the messages coming from our parasympathetic nervous system and are called sensory neurites.

Research has shown that the messages these cells send to our brain affect our ability to synchronise cortical activity (electrical impulses in your brain). It also shows that the neo cortex (our thinking brain), our amygdala (emotional memory) and our medulla (blood pressure and autonomic nervous system regulation) are affected.

The connection between our brain and our heart

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So imagine you have a stressful meeting at work, and you are unsure how it will go. Would your ability to regulate the signals coming from your heart affect how you approach the meeting? How about how you manage your emotions during the meeting and if you start perspiring?

When we are frustrated and our heart is not in coherence with our brain, research in the the 1970s showed there is cortical inhibition which inhibits our cognitive processes. If we are able to create a coherent state between our heart and brain, all the areas that are affected improve.

So how do we create heart coherence? And can this affect our lives in other ways?

Heart coherence

A heart coherence exercise is a simple, quick and free way of giving you the edge in a stressful situation. This can be anything — picking up fractious children from school, navigating your way in difficult times professionally or even dealing with complicated family situations.

A heart coherence exercise

Simply take a few minutes before the event, place your hand on your heart and become aware of your heart beating. Slow you breathing down to six counts inspiration and six counts expiration and think of something you are grateful for. Hold the thought whilst keeping your breath nice and slow.

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Our emotions and blood pressure

In the vernacular, we speak about our heart as having far more meaning than just the obvious, for example, we say “My heart is broken”.

In her book You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay says the heart represents love and our blood represents joy. Our heart lovingly pumps joy through our bodies. When she wrote this book in 1984, this was seen as revolutionary thinking. Yet today, looking at the research done by the HeartMath institute and the effect the heart has on our brain and especially higher thought and emotional memory, it no longer seems so revolutionary.

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So, what if you have high blood pressure? What if you have had a heart attack or have a family history of heart disease? Can you do anything to help the situation?

It is extremely common for people to develop depression and changes in their personality after a cardiac episode. Is it a stretch to link heart coherence?

Many cardiac sufferers do not go and see the psychologist or take anything for their mental state after a episode. And often partners, children and employees don’t know what to do. If it is at all within your means, going for therapy is a must.

From a holistic perspective you could consider the following

Supplementally, Co-enzyme Q10, Magnesium, Omega 3, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D3 should be considered.

Homeopathically, we look at not only the heart but the whole person; the way they think, preferences and personality traits.

Your homeopath will prescribe with that in mind. Typical heart-related remedies will include Aurum Metallicum, Crataegus, Pulsatilla and Lachesis. If you want to buy something in a formula available off the shelf, Natura makes Chronocord Plus or Dr Reckeweg R3.

For addressing emotions after a cardiac incident, you could consider Natura Nerva 3 or Bach Flower remedies Holly and Willow.

Using colour therapy, you could consider sitting under a green or pink light.

colour therap
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Using herbs to support your cardiac function will need you to speak to your physician. As with everything, the pharmacological action of any substance can enhance or reduce the efficacy of your existing medication, so speak to whoever is treating you.

The herbs you could consider include Hawthorn Berry and Bacopa.

Looking at your heart in a broader light and considering that you have some power in how it works is empowering and gives hope.

Visit Hanli Rautenbach’s Facebook page here to suggest health-related topics.