Everyone knows what cardiology is-the study of the heart or more specifically doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the heart. Their primary avenue of treatment is medications and surgery. Now add the word “integrative” and you do not just add something to cardiology but produce a completely different meaning, a whole new field. Integrative cardiology is the treatment of the physical and mental/emotional aspects of imbalances of the heart. The treatment is not primarily with medication or surgery but instead with diet, lifestyle and natural therapies designed to balance all systems, organs and glands together as a symphony of total health. The field of integrative cardiology combines the best of both worlds: standard medical diagnosis and treatment with an alternative medicine mindset whose desire to bring the heart function back into balance by treating the cause and not the effect.
Take an example of a patient that has palpitations of the heart, this is where the heart beat seems to speed up and then skip a beat or two. Most people that have this symptom think they have something wrong with their heart but the fact is most all of these symptoms are caused by some type of stress to the system. The most common stressors are diet, lack of sleep or mental/emotional stress. When these are naturally balanced the palpitations leave. The patient is overjoyed because they did not have a “heart” problem and they did not have to take medication with a possible 7-500 side effects for the rest of their life. This is what integrative cardiology is all about. It is being a detective to find the true meaning of the heart issue.
Always remember what you do to the mind you do to the body and vice versa. So if a person is under extreme mental and emotional distress then the heart will be affected. On the other hand if a person is eating a lot of sugar, caffeine or food that they are sensitive to, the heart can also race, palpitate and skip beats. Integrative cardiology always sees the heart as a part of the big picture which is complete wellness. It does not see the heart as an individual part but one of many parts that work together for the common good. When all the other organs and glands are in balance and harmony then the heart will function as God created it to- in perfect health.
The doctor who specializes in integrative cardiology is one who will find the underlying causes of your health issues instead of trying to just make the symptoms go away. This doctor understands how the body and mind work together so his last resort instead of first would be medication and if medication were needed it would be the smallest dosage for the least amount of time with the fewest possible side effects. This doctor would first seek to balance your diet, your lifestyle and your physical along with mental/emotional stress factors. He would also recommend treatments to balance your nervous system, hormonal system, immune system, digestive system and eliminative system along with balancing your body’s biochemistry. He would desire you to be a healthy and whole person in every respect instead of only trying to alleviate your heart symptoms. His ultimate goal would be total health in your body, mind and emotions.