Did you know that your emotional heart health could have an effect on you physically? Cardiovascular health is crucial for everyone (1 out of 4 deaths in the USA is due to heart disease.) On a Friday Night Live video last December, Dr. Ryan Dopps shares a heart-healthy tool that may surprise you: GRATITUDE.
How is this possible?
When we’re grateful, it is easier to be in a relaxed, peaceful state. In our nervous system, this is called a parasympathetic response, where our body is “resting and digesting.”
Our thoughts and emotions have been shown to have an effect on our physiology through the release of happiness hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. These are all good for our emotional heart and mental health!
Conversely, negative thoughts may release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This is the sympathetic or “fight or flight” response of the nervous system, which is very necessary to respond to threats. But when we are chronically stressed like this, it wears us down, especially our cardiovascular system.
Being grateful is something that all of us can do anywhere and anytime, to ground ourselves back in positive thoughts and calmer responses.
Some easy gratitude practices include:
- Saying what you’re grateful for out loud
- Writing thank-you notes or texts to others
- Focusing on gratitude during breathwork and meditation
- Writing a journal, letting your grateful thoughts flow
- Doing something kind back to someone who has helped you
Heart Rate Variability
Heart Rate Variability measures the milliseconds between heartbeats and is a fascinating way to see how well your body adapts. Check if your smartwatch or FitBit shows what your heart is doing.
A high HRV means that your body is adapting smoothly and quickly to situations, such as increasing during exercise and slowing down as you cool off. Your heart rate can spike because of intense emotion or joy, while certainly negative emotions like anger could also come into play.
You can learn more about Heart Rate Variability here: https://insightcla.com/heart-rate-variability/
Chiropractic and Heart Health
You may be wondering what ANY of this has to do with chiropractic!
This is relevant to chiropractic because we aren’t actually spine doctors.
We identify where there’s disconnection and interference in the neuro system (brain, spinal cord, and nervous system). We call it subluxation; where misaligned bones are putting pressure on the nerves.
What does this have to do with heart disease…or liver dysfunction or asthma, or heartburn or whatever other condition you can think of?
Those subluxated nerves are the connection between the brain and your organs, tissues, glands, and muscles. Nerves aren’t just for pain! Actually the large majority deal with motor and function.
We adjust the bones to remove the pressure, restoring the connection. Now the nerves can function at their full potential, improving the function of the heart or other organs as well.
We don’t treat conditions. We don’t treat pain. We improve function.
Watch this 5-minute video where Dr. Ryan explains more about heart health & gratitude!
Read more about how chiropractic improves your body’s function here: