Heart and emotions

February 28, 2012

Acupuncture, Anger, Depression, Inflammation

A direct link exists between negative emotions and heart disease, and between emotional health and heart health.

by Dr. Steven Cooner — 

In these stressful and emotionally charged times, it is imperative to calm down, relax and enjoy life — doing these things can literally save you. Stress, depression, anger and worry can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.

A direct link exists between negative emotions and heart disease, and between emotional health and heart health. There is a 50 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with emotional stress and depression, including risk of death due to heart disease. Depression can lead to atherosclerosis, which blocks the flow of blood to the heart and brain, and can cause a stroke or heart attack.

Acupuncture helps free up obstructions and blockages so blood can flow properly through the heart and brain, preventing heart disease. Acupuncture calms down the central nervous system; reduces psychological, physiological and adrenal stress; and gives you a sense of total relaxation, especially when it is done by a licensed acupuncturist versed in internal medicine treatments.

Acupuncture also helps combat depression, anxiety, insomnia and fear, thus preventing further heart disease and helping repair some of the existing damage to the heart caused by negative emotional stress.

People who are depressed and stressed often don’t take good care of themselves and also tend to eat and sleep poorly. Constant stress affects the circulatory system, increasing blood pressure. Depression increases inflammation and has an effect on the immune system. When we get stressed, our hormonal system produces more cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal gland that has been associated with heart disease and diabetes.

To stay heart healthy, it is important to get treatments like massage or acupuncture, take time for relaxation, listen to soothing music and meditate — all of which help combat the effects of negative emotional stress.


Dr. Steven Cooner is a doctor of oriental medicine and a licensed acupuncturist, with a master’s degree in counseling psychology and 25 years of clinical experience. He practices in Scottsdale, Ariz. or 602-625-6612.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  5, Oct/Nov 2009.

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