Myotherapy College Celebrates American Heart Month: Keeping a Healthy Heart this February and Beyond
A symbol of love, compassion, and a pulsating life, the human heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It pumps out blood throughout the body to deliver the needed oxygen and nutrients for our body’s normal functioning. As early as 6 weeks following conception, the heart begins to function and develop, beating approximately 72 times per minute – that is about 100,000 beats in a day and around 35 million times in one year. Even at rest, our heart keeps working hard and pumping twice as hard as the muscles in our legs when we are sprinting.
However, for everything that our hearts do for us, are we doing enough to keep our hearts strong and healthy? Each year, heart diseases kill more than 600,000 Americans, making it the leading cause of death for both men and women. As stated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans of all backgrounds can be at risk in developing heart-related diseases.
Early Detection of the Disease
Since 1963, February has been acknowledged as American Heart Month to help urge Americans to unite in the battle against heart disease. Advocacy on early detection of the disease has been promoted to increase the chances of successful treatment and survival. In accordance to this, the National Heart Attack Alert Program clearly outlines these major signs of heart attack:
- Chest pain and discomfort. Most heart attacks can feel like an uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain. It usually starts at the center or left side of the chest that could last for few minutes, or that may greatly fluctuate in intensity.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. The pain and discomfort may radiate to both arms, stomach, neck, jaw, and the back.
- Shortness of breath. Difficulty in breathing may come along with chest pain, but it could also occur before chest pain.
- Other Symptoms. Other accompanying symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, light-headedness, heartburn or indigestion and breaking out in a cold sweat.
Keeping a Healthy Heart
This February, in celebration with the American Heart Month, we are encouraged to start a heart-healthy behavior that can help prevent and combat the risk of having a heart disease. Poor diet, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and stress are some of the major contributing factors that could put someone at high risk for cardiovascular-related diseases. The CDC has sited small steps that could make a big difference in the heart health of many Americans. These includes:
- Scheduling a visit with your doctor and discussing about setting goals to help improve your heart health.
- Adding exercise to your daily routine.
- Eating more healthy foods.
- Taking steps to quit smoking.
- Taking medications regularly as prescribed by your physician.
Massage Therapy + Heart Health
The American Heart Association considers efficient stress-management strategy as a key in keeping a healthy heart. In addition to the positive lifestyle changes mentioned by the CDC, numerous studies have also proved massage therapy as a safe and effective method in maintaining a healthy heart.
- Massage therapy helps in reducing stress. As proven by numerous research studies, the application of various massage techniques assist in decreasing the levels of stress hormones in our body.
- Massage therapy can help improve cardiovascular health. Massage has proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate as shown in the decreased number f hormone arginine-vasopressin which is primarily responsible for regulating blood pressure and water retention.
- Massage therapy can benefit cardiac patients. Some people still undergo cardiac surgery despite the positive lifestyle changes and regular intake of medications. Recent researches showed that massage therapy can actually reduce the anxiety, tension, and pain in patients awaiting cardiac surgery.
- Massage therapy as a safe and effective medicine. According to a recent survey, 64% of the hospitals have reported the use of massage therapy as a part of their outpatient care and 44% have incorporated massage in their inpatient care. Data have also showed 28% of the doctors have recommended massage therapy as a part of the patient’s holistic approach.
For more in-depth knowledge about the prevention of heart disease, please visit the American Heart Association at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/. If you want to learn massage therapy, massage therapy certification and therapeutic massage programs, visit us at https://myotherapycollege.com/ or call (801) 484-7624.