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11. Heart Disease and Stroke

Sweere DC, Joseph J Basic Health Publications ePub

11. Heart Disease and Stroke

ardiovascular disease, affecting the heart and blood vessels, is the number-one killer in America today. Heart attacks and strokes kill almost 1,000,000 people every year, and more people die from coronary heart disease and strokes than all other causes of death combined. Currently, 63 million Americans (about 25 percent) have some form of cardiovascular disease.

By far, the major cause of heart attack and stroke is inflammation and hardening of the arteries, which results in a buildup of hard, fatty plaque deposits on the inner lining of blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the heart and the brain. There are many different factors that contribute to the blockage, breakdown, hardening, and inflammation of these critically important blood vessels.

The Golden Rules outlined in this chapter will provide important information to help you avoid becoming a casualty of the most fatal health disorder known to humans.

UNCONTROLLABLE FACTORS IN CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

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25. Your Attitudes and Belief Systems

Sweere DC, Joseph J Basic Health Publications ePub

25. Your Attitudes and Belief Systems

This final Golden Rule considers the importance of your attitudes and beliefs.

 

Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen. And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

—KAHUL GIBRAN, THE PROPHET

GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS

“Be careful what you think about, for what you think about you will attract.”

“Whatever you label something, it will become.”

“If you claim an impediment, it is yours.”

“Fear not, for your fears shall be realized.”

“As a man thinketh and believeth in his heart, so it shall be.”

“What you think about and dwell upon will come into your life.”

You may recognize these familiar sayings, all on the same theme and all offering valuable advice. The central message of each is to pay careful attention to your thoughts. Prayer must also be included when we focus on our thoughts, because it can be a powerful form of thought energy. For many people, the natural inclination during prayer is to focus on problems. Doing so, however, tends to magnify these issues rather than reducing them. As such, in our thoughts and prayers, it is best to focus instead on gratitude for what you have, and not let anxiety, fear, guilt, or worry about our problems get in the way.

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9. Choosing Your Doctors and Care Providers

Sweere DC, Joseph J Basic Health Publications ePub

9. Choosing your Doctors and Care Providers

ven if you are healthy, it’s essential to have access to healthcare providers, and you should be selective when choosing them. The difference in the skills, experience, and attitudes of healthcare professionals could either save or threaten your life. This Golden Rule focuses on the next area of importance in preserving your health: the selection of healthcare professionals when you need them.

HOLISTIC HEALTH CARE

When possible, try to find holistically oriented physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who believe that the body is more than the sum of its parts. These practitioners embrace the notion that all living species, including humans, possess innate intelligence that serves to maintain the body’s health and integrity, and that the role of the doctor or health practitioner is to facilitate and enhance this response.

Ideally, any healthcare provider you choose should also subscribe to the following practices and beliefs:

• Optimal health is a manifestation of harmony within the body, mind, and spirit.

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13. Headaches

Sweere DC, Joseph J Basic Health Publications ePub

13. Headaches

t’s estimated that one out of every five Americans uses pain-relieving drugs daily for the management of headaches. Headaches can have many different causes. If you experience severe, recurrent headaches, it’s very important to schedule an appointment with your doctor so you can get an accurate diagnosis to rule out a more serious condition such as a brain tumor, a weakened blood vessel, an infection, or high blood pressure. Once these conditions have been ruled out and your doctor has determined the probable source of your headaches, you can explore appropriate treatment options.

TYPES OF HEADACHES

To weigh your treatment options, it may be helpful to understand exactly what type of headaches you have. The following are the principal types of headaches.

Tension Headache

Tension headaches, in which pain is experienced through the back of the skull, the forehead, and above the eyes, are perhaps the most common type of headache. People who experience tension headaches often complain of accompanying stiffness, fatigue, and tightness in the neck and upper spine, which is usually caused by the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and upper-back being tightly contracted. In fact, tension headaches are often referred to as muscle-contraction headaches.

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23. Common Sense

Sweere DC, Joseph J Basic Health Publications ePub

23. Common Sense

uch human suffering results from events that could have been avoided had the application of common sense preceded the occurrence. The old saying, “Everyone has twenty-twenty hindsight” may be worth reflecting on as you proceed through this chapter. “If only I had …” is a common expression used by people who are feeling the remorse, guilt, and regret of not having exercised better judgment in matters relating to their personal health and safety and that of the people they love. The Golden Rules and themes outlined here can bring about a peace of mind that will help reduce stress, improve your health, and may even save your life.

AUTOMOTIVE AND VEHICULAR SAFETY

The statistics on automobile accidents are staggering. Are you aware that every fourteen seconds someone in the United States is injured in a traffic accident, and every twelve minutes someone is killed? Or that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death between one and thirty-three years of age? That approximately 40,000 people are killed each year on American highways and that, among these, eight children are killed and another 900 injured every day? That the majority of all automobile crashes happen within twenty-five miles of home?

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