Mind-Body Connection?

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Homeskillet

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I started reading this book tonight: https://www.amazon.com/Sinatra-Solution-Metabolic-Cardiology/dp/1591202914

This (well known) cardiologist mentions how important a positive mind is in conjunction with the supplements he touts (CoQ10 as hydrosoluble ubiquinone, D-Ribose, Broad Spectrum Magnesium, L-Carnitine). He goes into great detail regarding innumerable clinical trials concerning these nutrients—but that’s not the point of this thread. But I will just state that, while I do use them, I have generally slighted supplements in favor of rigorous analytical science (however, Dr. Sinatra DOES provide said studies in this book).

It’s my understanding that when stress levels are chronic & on-going, the constant release of cortisol “definitely affects the heart” (the words of my surgeon & cardiologist). I have generally been one to chalk up such maladies as merely “in the mind”—but am beginning to alter my views a bit.

I can DEFINITELY see a trend in my own life of health failings commensurate with chronic stress, anxiety, etc. However, in the words of my surgeon (who was trained at Cleveland Clinic & is very straight forward), “But who lives a ‘stress free’ life???”

What is the consensus of the forum guru’s? Can a positive mindset really aid in heart recovery on a chemical basis? I would be interested in seeing what y’all have to say on this topic as time allots.

Thank you in advance!
 

KatherineA

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I’m a serious believer in reducing stress and seeing the difference in my general health and heart. I come at this from my yoga practice with meditation perspective. This may be too whoowhoo for some.

I used to take things like Prozac 15-20 years ago. But, they caused some pretty radical side effects. I tossed them around 2005. I had started , a regular yoga practice of about 2 classes per week in 2001. I upped that around 2003 2005 by adding a Saturday class and home DVDs twice more each week. Since 2015ish I began meditation the same way. Now that’s daily. I practice yoga breath or movement daily - (currently on my own and restricted with the surgery for 2? More weeks).

When practice is consistent, I feel well. I can’t recalll the last time I had even a cold or flu. No more migraines, no digestive issues, no nothing. In recent years, I’ve even gotten better at reducing my white coat syndrome and lowering BP in physicians offices if I can find a quiet spot for 10-15 min to breathe and meditate.

The best stress example I have occurred about a year ago or so. I had a very stressful month or so caring for my brother with brain cancer, then, handling his messy estate. I was so consumed with his care, the estate mess, I hadn’t consistently practiced yoga or meditation while I was there. I got shingles the weekend he died. Migraines and digestive issues returned. My aortic valve that had been stable for the last couple years suddenly spiraled down. Everything was the same, except super stress and I did not practice yoga and meditation for a several weeks

Yoga is my way. Others I know find the calm in walking, running, biking or building model ships, whatever etc. I do think it is very important to find a personal path to reducing unnecessary stress and worry.
 

Freebird

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I’m a serious believer in reducing stress and seeing the difference in my general health and heart. I come at this from my yoga practice with meditation perspective. This may be too whoowhoo for some.

I used to take things like Prozac 15-20 years ago. But, they caused some pretty radical side effects. I tossed them around 2005. I had started , a regular yoga practice of about 2 classes per week in 2001. I upped that around 2003 2005 by adding a Saturday class and home DVDs twice more each week. Since 2015ish I began meditation the same way. Now that’s daily. I practice yoga breath or movement daily - (currently on my own and restricted with the surgery for 2? More weeks).

When practice is consistent, I feel well. I can’t recalll the last time I had even a cold or flu. No more migraines, no digestive issues, no nothing. In recent years, I’ve even gotten better at reducing my white coat syndrome and lowering BP in physicians offices if I can find a quiet spot for 10-15 min to breathe and meditate.

The best stress example I have occurred about a year ago or so. I had a very stressful month or so caring for my brother with brain cancer, then, handling his messy estate. I was so consumed with his care, the estate mess, I hadn’t consistently practiced yoga or meditation while I was there. I got shingles the weekend he died. Migraines and digestive issues returned. My aortic valve that had been stable for the last couple years suddenly spiraled down. Everything was the same, except super stress and I did not practice yoga and meditation for a several weeks

Yoga is my way. Others I know find the calm in walking, running, biking or building model ships, whatever etc. I do think it is very important to find a personal path to reducing unnecessary stress and worry.
I'm with you. I gave yoga a try probably 5-10 years ago. I eventually settled into specifically Yin Yoga. Over time I realized that savasana was meditation, albeit a 5 minute one. Thus, yoga eventually led me into meditation. When I got my bicuspid diagnosis out of the blue (I'm still in the waiting room) more than a year ago, I truly panicked. After a month of this I went on antidepressants because I was just so miserable. However, it led me to deepen my meditation practice. It's a daily stress reliever at this point. I found a fantastic app called Unwinding Anxiety and invested maybe $100 in a 3 month subscription to it. It's based on meditation and science. Within a few months I was able to quit the antidepressants and continue on with my meditation (and of course Yin Yoga). I don't know where I would be without yoga and meditation. I wish you a continued smooth recovery. Thanks for sharing your story.
 

Homeskillet

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Thank you both—very helpful input. I will definitely check into the app. mentioned above.

As I stated earlier—I can certainly tell when I get majorly stressed out.

My shortness of breath is FARRR more pronounced & I just feel generally compromised constitution-wise.
 

KatherineA

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@Homeskillet if you are looking for an App check out The Daily Calm. It has a daily 10 min meditation and lots of other things like music and additional meditations geared towards specifics like anxiety or grief. One feature I love are the Sleep Stories. These are 20-40 min long and are just what they say. Stories that encourage listening because they include a lot of visual descriptions- like walking along a river or ocean in the moonlight. They also have excerpts from things like Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland. If I can’t sleep or know I should rest but my mind is busy, these are particularly relaxing for me.
There is a yearly charge for the app. It starts out saying something like $80 but then says something like special “today” @ $59.99 🤭
 

Protimenow

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Gee. I was thinking of writing scripts for those apps. A leisurely stroll alongside a sewage treatment plant. A calming drive up the I-5 in California, past 100 miles of fragrant cattle ranches - deep breaths will certainly calm you down. Calmly dangling your bare feet into thje waters of a chemical overflow pond.

Relaxing on a calm drive down a narrow, winding road - feeling the wind softly blowing through your long hair, inhaling the sweet fragrance of the trees that you're passing at 90 miles per hour, and realizing that you have no brakes. There are dozens of relaxing meditations that I can think of.

I don't know if there's too big a market for these particular meditations, unfortunately.

FWIW - I'm a 'certified' hypnotherapist, and I've completed a number of courses. I can occasionally convince myself to do some relaxation/self hypnosis things. These may be helping me with certain pains that I don't seem to feel as acutely as I might otherwise feel them, but I'm constantly stresed, and none of this seems to help me a whole lot. What DOES help is coming up with relaxing scenarios, like the ones I listed earlier.
 

Homeskillet

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Thank you Katherine. Planning to spend some time this week researching some of these apps. I don’t mind spending the $$ if they really work.

Protimenow—your concept of envisaging relaxing scenarios is very intriguing. I used to really try to practice that for help sleeping...and I do recall that it seemed to work. I think you’re absolutely correct in your summation. It’s just been a long time since I thought of that👍.
 

Protimenow

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Homeskillet -- I used to use Self Hypnosis to block pain and, occasionally, before short naps (that were neither all that refreshing or helpful for focusing). What seems to work for me, at bedtime, is to have a TV going with a 30 minute timer. I cover my eyes with a black shirt, bunched up so it keeps the light out of my eyes. If the show isn't of much interest, I'm usually asleep before the TV turns off.

Even if I don't fall asleep, and I'm listening to the show, laying back, with my eyes covered, is still usually relaxing.

Music, or GoogleMini crickets or rainfall or thunderstorms or dogfarts or other 'environmental' sounds don't seem to do much for me.
 

KatherineA

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Using the TV is akin to the Sleep Stories on the Calm app. The app auto turns off too and there is a huge variety of topics to choose for listening. Everything from classic stories like Wind in the Willows to a Tour of the Solar System
 

Protimenow

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Calm used to have a commercial -- fifteen seconds of rain sounds. The goal was for you to sign up to the Calm app. My wife liked the visual and sound for the rain sounds, but we didn't go to the site.

Google Home (now Nest Home) can also play these sounds, and there's no charge.

For me, free, over the air TV, tuned to the right show seems to usually work. I've recently started playing 'The Whistler' - a really good old time radio show from the '40s and '50s. I loaded it onto a flash drive that my TV can read and play. The only problem -- my TV sleep timer can be set to 30 minutes - the show lasts 30 minutes - if I don't fall asleep during the show, the TV will turn off just seconds before the twist at the end of the show (and it's that twist that makes the show worth listening to).

I collect OTR - but don't think that I'll EVER have time to listen to most of it.
 

KatherineA

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Mmmmm. The rain sounds are not what you get with investing in the app. It’s too bad they apparently ceased the week or two week free trial. You get a 10 minute different themed meditation. The daily calm. Easy access push one button. If that meditation theme doesn’t appeal, then in another section, there are hundreds more that range from 2 to 3 or 40 minutes. in another section music, from the rain stuff to flutes, whatever, lots of choices. In yet another, the sleep stories.

live dangerously, try the free trial 😳😎🌞 - if they still offer it. If not, I think they need a new Marketing Director.
 

Freebird

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Just my two cents. I tried a trial of Calm and it didn't appeal to me. There are so many great meditation apps so shop around. I currently use Insight Timer and 10% Happier on a daily basis. We're fortunate to have so many choices, aren't we?
 

KatherineA

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Just my two cents. I tried a trial of Calm and it didn't appeal to me. There are so many great meditation apps so shop around. I currently use Insight Timer and 10% Happier on a daily basis. We're fortunate to have so many choices, aren't we?
yes indeed!
 

Protimenow

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Frankly, some of the 'relaxation' music annoys me. My wife has a physical therapist who subscribes to one of those (on Pandora), and most of the stuff is really annoying to me.

As long as it continues to work, my $100 21-inch TV next to my bed will continue to play the news, or TV shows, or things on the USB drive that I've connected to it will probably continue to lull me to sleep. It works for me, it doesn't tie up my phone or a notebook computer, and I'm not paying any extra for it.

I don't like 'free trials' that count on the person having the trial neglecting to cancel a subscription before the trial ends (I suspect that few people cancel - even if they want to - and only realize that they've been trapped when they see a bill on their bank or credit card statements).

No. Not for me.
 

tom in MO

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I started reading this book tonight: https://www.amazon.com/Sinatra-Solution-Metabolic-Cardiology/dp/1591202914

This (well known) cardiologist mentions how important a positive mind is in conjunction with the supplements he touts (CoQ10 as hydrosoluble ubiquinone, D-Ribose, Broad Spectrum Magnesium, L-Carnitine). He goes into great detail regarding innumerable clinical trials concerning these nutrients—but that’s not the point of this thread. But I will just state that, while I do use them, I have generally slighted supplements in favor of rigorous analytical science (however, Dr. Sinatra DOES provide said studies in this book).

It’s my understanding that when stress levels are chronic & on-going, the constant release of cortisol “definitely affects the heart” (the words of my surgeon & cardiologist). I have generally been one to chalk up such maladies as merely “in the mind”—but am beginning to alter my views a bit.

I can DEFINITELY see a trend in my own life of health failings commensurate with chronic stress, anxiety, etc. However, in the words of my surgeon (who was trained at Cleveland Clinic & is very straight forward), “But who lives a ‘stress free’ life???”

What is the consensus of the forum guru’s? Can a positive mindset really aid in heart recovery on a chemical basis? I would be interested in seeing what y’all have to say on this topic as time allots.

Thank you in advance!
Your question "Can a positive mindset really aid in heart recovery on a chemical basis?" is too focused on science and recovery. The goal of some is to live a good life. A positive mindset will always result in a better life.

As a pastor, you have a solution you've probably studied in depth...prayer. It's a tool that's thousands of years old. Let go and let god... You finish the phrase :) Meditation upon how to foster good in yourself and in the world will always result in a better life for you and those around you.

A long life is a gift given to few and denied to many, it shouldn't really be a goal. The medical industry tries to convince you that if you pay them money you will have a longer life. Death is still at the end. Plus you can step in front of a truck tomorrow.

I think Dr. Sinatra's goal is to separate people from their money: https://www.drsinatra.com/
 

rich01

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I think we tend to think of stress as emotional stress, yet that is just 1 type. Eating the wrong diet for you will result in stress. Anything causing inflammation will cause stress such as exercising too extreme or staying up to late.

I doubt if stress is bad. Too much stress is the problem (IMO). We can learn how to reduce stress and we can use tools such as prayer and meditation to reduce stress, but I'm not sure if we can actually prevent stress. I am a very calm person and rarely feel stressed, but sometimes for no obvious reason I will curse another driver who does something stupid. I've gotten where I can laugh it off, but wonder why every so often I appear to be stressed for no obvious reason. Our bodies are a mystery sometimes.
 

Protimenow

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I sometimes challenge callers who are obviously trying to cheat or defraud me. It's fun for me. A mental game of chess with a fool who can barely manage checkers. I have a friend who tells me to calm down if he hears me taking one of these calls. To him, it looks like I'm stressed out - to me, I'm just playing a game. Maybe it IS stress - but this kind of stress is FUN.

So, stress may also be how you perceive it. I just played three games of Othello (Reversi) with a 100 year old nun who plays a pretty good game, beats all her challengers except one (me), sometimes beats me, and feels a mental challenge by doing it. In a way, there's stress on both of us, trying to choose the right move, trying to anticipate the move that opponent will make, and just getting through the game. You may stretch the definition of stress to the mental challenges that we're both dealing with, but this kind of stress is usually pretty good. Neither of us have experienced health issues as a result of this 'stress.'

Sometimes (oftentimes?) we need stress to strengthen us so that when it returns, we're better able to hande it.
 

ddwheeler

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Mmmmm. The rain sounds are not what you get with investing in the app. It’s too bad they apparently ceased the week or two week free trial. You get a 10 minute different themed meditation. The daily calm. Easy access push one button. If that meditation theme doesn’t appeal, then in another section, there are hundreds more that range from 2 to 3 or 40 minutes. in another section music, from the rain stuff to flutes, whatever, lots of choices. In yet another, the sleep stories.

live dangerously, try the free trial 😳😎🌞 - if they still offer it. If not, I think they need a new Marketing Director.
I had a need to use some white noise to help with sleep, a couple of years ago. I found that Youtube has loads of rain sound videos, and many other similar type videos. There are many different types of rainfall videos that are 8-10 hours long. Just run a search for "sleep sounds" and you'll find anything from rainfall to ocean sounds, forest sounds, etc.
 

Protimenow

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Google even has the sound of a fan. And, if you say 'goodnight' to google, it'll start playing a 'soothing' sound for an hour or so. (This assumes that you have a Google device, or an Android phone that supports Google Assistant).

Years - decades - ago, I had a classical music station playing all night. The music was soothing. At aruond 3 AM one morning, they started playing the Star Spangled Banner - the U.S. National Anthem. It immediately woke me up and I sat up straight in bed. I looked at the clock, realized that this was being played on the radio, and tried to get back to sleep.
 

KatherineA

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Years - decades - ago, I had a classical music station playing all night. The music was soothing. At aruond 3 AM one morning, they started playing the Star Spangled Banner - the U.S. National Anthem. It immediately woke me up and I sat up straight in bed. I looked at the clock, realized that this was being played on the radio, and tried to get back to sleep.
I can so relate to this.
 
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