03 July 2006

Rhythm of the Heart

I stumbled upon a magazine today that I'd never heard of (even though it's apparently been around for 10 years), called ODE. I found this week's featured article very interesting. Here's a link:


What I found most intriguing was the idea that heart rhythm is connected to stress levels. Of course when we read things we see them through the lens of our own experience. I have a mild mitral valve prolapse and have been officially diagnosed with 'Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome.' Basically meaning that when I get even a little stressed out or overtired, I have chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath, not unlike an anxiety attack. The problem with this 'syndrome' is that no one seems to know why a problem with the anatomy of a heart valve can cause anxiety symptoms. I had a proverbial 'lightbulb' moment when I read

“There is a constant exchange between the heart and the brain. Research shows that a coherent heart rhythm is able to bring the emotional brain to rest. When your heart is beating in a healthy way, you can heal stress, depression, tension and other mental afflictions.

So maybe it's not the stress causing the symptoms, but the heart causing the sensitivity to stress.

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