I often hear from my patients about the health assessment done at milestone years, such as colonoscopies, mammograms, blood tests, stress tests, PSA testing and the list goes on and on. The purpose of this testing is early detection of disease and disease prevention but I have learned some sobering facts about the effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness, of some of these screenings. Of particular concern to me are those tests dealing with cardiovascular disease.
According to John Hopkins School of Medicine, cardiovascular disease is the cause of more deaths than cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and accidents combined. And the latest data tell us that about one third of all cardiovascular deaths could be simply prevented. We know that there have been successful natural interventions that will work when disease is caught early. I have uncovered some little-known testing tools and procedures and applied our natural treatments and it works.
One of the most important first steps in the process of disease-proofing your heart is to identify risks. There are many tools but one of the more unique risk prevention tools I discovered is Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) and Digital Pulse Analysis. This is an exciting, non-invasive method of looking at heart physiology backed by more than 25 years of advanced research in medical physics. By using something called pulse oxymetry and advances in software, this system can measure risk of arterial stiffness and blood flow. According to the Framingham Heart Study, adding PWV technology to assessment contributes to significant reclassification and identification of those at risk, leading to better interventions.
These are just a few of the tools we use in an advanced integrative medical practice. Some other tests you should know about are the Boston Heart Diagnostics, which is the best of the best at looking for inflammation and various damaging cholesterol particles that can harm your heart, medical Infrared Thermography, which looks for inflammation anywhere in the body, especially carotid arteries and breast cancer risk, hormone testing for excess estrogen or deficient hormones and various other tools that will give us far more information than the basic stress or cholesterol tests.
The best part of all this testing is that when the problem is uncovered, you can develop a specific plan to restore function and reverse risk. One tool that may not be considered but should be is acupuncture. By inserting fine pins into specific points on the body, we can increase flexibility in the vessels, reduce blood pressure, increase blood flow and stabilizes hormones in the nervous system that damage the heart, such as cortisol and adrenaline. With the use of targeted supplements and herbal formulas, inflammation can be reduced and coronary plaque can be addressed. There are many, many other usual treatment strategies that are safe and non-invasive, such as plenty of essential fats, CoQ10 and more. The key is to have an organized assessment and know the tools that can help. Seek out professionals skilled in the use of these tools and let them design a program that addresses your needs.
Dr. Kenneth Hoffman, DACM, L.Ac., CCH, is the Medical Director for SOPHIA Natural Health Center, located in Brookfield CT. He is co-author of the book “Essential Remedies for Women’s Health” and host of the radio talk show “The Natural Medicine Connection” on 800 am WLAD. For more information, call SOPHIA Natural Health Center in Brookfield, CT at 203-740-9300 or visit www.inm.center.