Stress and heart health go hand in hand, but sometimes not always in a cohesive and aligned way. Too much of a good thing is often bad…you’ve heard that many times! It goes the same for stress; sometimes small amounts of stress may help the body. With higher levels of stress, the body reacts in negative ways, and the heart suffers.
A healthy body requires a healthier heart. Think about it: the heart constantly works day in and day out. With adverse effects, the heart suffers and causes mechanisms in the body to break down. Stress is one such adverse effect.
When stress impacts our sleep patterns, our ability to breathe calmly and meditate, and our mental state of mind, the body slowly and surely wears down. This means the heart may beat erratically and cause blood pressure to spike or there may be increased anxiety causing heart palpitations or struggles to breathe. Inside the body, the arteries may be affected with poor circulation.
One common signal of heart health is blood pressure or hypertension. With stress comes higher blood pressure; beyond the new normal of <120/80 mm/Hg. Blood glucose levels also become affected with higher stress. Fasting sugars are higher instead of the preferred <100 mg/dl. With chronic stress, the physical body begins to feel the negative results. We already mentioned several symptoms of high levels of stress hormones, and here are several others:
Many years ago, EECP came into being. The letters stand for Enhanced External Counterpulsation. A company called Soulaire in Santa Monica became an early pioneer in offering EECP to people for their cardiovascular health.
EECP, also known as circulation therapy, helps the body circulate and improve blood flow from lower extremities to the heart and all other areas of the body.
When you lie on a comfortable Soulaire Circulation bed, technicians wrap your legs, thighs and buttocks with cuffs like those for blood pressure. The cuffs tightly strap onto calves, thighs and lower area of your hips. With an EKG, the cuffs rapidly inflate when the heart is at rest; when the heart pumps, the cuffs deflate rapidly.
Essentially, this mechanism is a passive exercise. We all know that exercise helps with overall heart health and stress reduction. Therefore, Soulaire Circulation aids in healthier hearts and reduction in stress and blood pressure.
To learn more about Soulaire Circulation and to schedule a free trial at the Santa Monica center, call 310-473-3030.
1. Take a look at your lifestyle. What kind of risk factors are you experiencing that may be contributing to more disease or unhealthy physicality? When we say risk factors, we regard those as smoking, alcohol consumption, poor eating habits, little to no exercise, little hydration, little sleep, pills to calm, procrastination, and others. These risk factors, when out of control, each contribute to disease over time. Importantly, you are your body’s ticket to heart health and stress reduction. Do take a look at each of these factors so you’ll stop patterns that negatively affect your overall heart healthiness.
2. Review eating habits and make a note whether you binge eat, eat many carbohydrates and fatty junk foods, or whether you’re eating properly. Do you read labels on foods? Where do you shop in the grocery store? More and more, processed foods like those in a box contain soy and other preservatives. High amounts of soy contributes to unhealthy diet and poor nutrition causing hormone imbalance. Shopping on the outer edges of the grocery store means you’re in the produce section and the fresh and organic food area. We don’t advise a meat-based diet, by the way.
3. Are you exercising? We mean really and truly exercising to push your heart into a cardiovascular load so it pumps at a higher rate and gets exercise. This means your heart, a muscle, strengthens and your capacity for longer endurance increases.
When you do Soulaire Circulation several times a week with its passive exercise and the circulating of oxygenated blood throughout the organs, you benefit with stress reduction, feelings of rejuvenation, less muscle fatigue, more endurance and less anxiety, and you’ll also experience improved sleep patterns.
All in all, understand the effect of stress on your body. Look at your lifestyle habits and risk factors and make changes to improve. Then, contact Soulaire and schedule a free trial to see what we’re talking about. Call 310-473-3030 to get Soulaire Circulation on your calendar.
One important component of stress management is to set aside “me” time. Remember–nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors.
Schedule in leisure time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule–even write it down on your calendar. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
Do something you enjoy every day. Create a Stress Relief Toolbox with small activities that you enjoy doing. Make an effort to do one of those things every day.
Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The very act of laughing has a therapeutic effect on your body and mind.
Do relaxation techniques on a regular basis. Activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate your body’s relaxation response.
1. AVOID Unnecessary Stress
This includes learning to say “No” and making a conscious decision to prioritize your To-Do List.
2. ALTER the Situation
Some stressors–such as illness, the death of a loved one, the economy– are simply unavoidable. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, you will see how much energy and frustration it saves.