Tend to your heart on all levels- SoMEBo

blood pressure cholesterol diabetes heart disease natural naturopath naturopathic prediabetes stress


Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US with a higher rate in men. 1 in 4 men die each year from heart disease with an average of 700,000 deaths or 29% of all deaths in the US. What’s even more surprising is that for most people, symptoms aren’t felt until it’s too late. This is why heart disease has been dubbed the “silent killer,” in that when symptoms are felt, they are generally the result of a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI). Symptoms are usually chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, and pain anywhere between your belly and your chin. A heart attack is the sudden result of years and years of misuse and mistreatment of the heart causing adaptations which eventually backfire. With proper understanding and care, your heart can remain strong and carry you to long life and health prosperity. Click here to get my free Simple 3 Step Plan and take action to recover your health and learn more about your heart.


The heart is an interesting organ, because not only does it serve a vital function in the body, but it represents love and acceptance on a different level. Take a moment and point to yourself. You more than likely place your finger on your chest above your heart rather than somewhere else. This is an indicator of how much we identify with our heart. In fact, on a human level, this means that we are our heart. Because the heart represents so much more than just a physical pump, it’s crucial to discuss the heart in other terms. Here we must discuss the other levels that impact our health in general. I’ve created a word to help us remember all the levels: SoMEBo. You may have seen this on my social media and website and wondered what it was. SoMEBo stands for Soul, Mind, Emotion, and Body. The ME is very important and is directly in the middle of the word, because all of this is what makes you. With the identification of ourselves with our heart, this is a great opportunity to explore how SoMEBo works. 


Looking at the heart from a physical or “body” standpoint is easiest to understand and what most of us primarily think of when thinking of the heart as an organ. Essentially the heart is a large bundle of muscles that contracts 1-2 times per second in response to an electrical stimulus. Its primary function is to provide de-oxygenated blood to the lungs to get rid of carbon dioxide (CO2) and get oxygen (O2) to the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) so they can distribute it to all the tissues of the body. Because of the contractions, it has been likened to a pump that pushes the blood through arteries to get to all those tissues. There are 4 chambers of the heart; 2 atria and 2 ventricles. The atria, being on top of the ventricles, push the blood down into the ventricles, and the ventricles push the blood to either the lungs (right ventricle) or the rest of the body (left ventricle). This is a basic physiology review, but it becomes important when we talk about the effects of long-term disregard of our heart’s health.


From the “Emotional” level of thinking about the heart, we usually associate it with love. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart is a fire element that is associated with joy, and houses our emotional and spiritual being. Regardless of the philosophy, there is a strong connection with our heart and emotions. This is also seen when we lose our love or our joy when we talk about being heart-broken. Our emotions have a profound effect on our bodies and our states of health. If we feel physically unhealthy, we tend to become emotionally unhealthy, and vice versa. Unhealthy emotional states drive inflammation in our body as a way to cope with whatever is occurring. On a side note, inflammation is not inherently bad, in fact it’s a really great mechanism that the body has created to help restore a healthy environment. Inflammation becomes a problem when it lingers and remains constant in the body causing damage without allowing the body to heal. Poor emotional states drive persistent inflammation. 


So, what drives our emotions? Our thoughts are the primary influence on how we feel, which brings us to the level of the mind. Reality is created through our perception of the world both on an individual and collective level. Perception is reflective of our thoughts which influences, filters, and alters our reality. If I am already thinking that a certain day will be difficult, my thoughts are priming my emotions to prepare for a rough day. The same is true if I think that a day will go well, my emotions are primed for a good day. This is also why it is difficult to manage our emotional expectations when things don’t go as planned. It is so important to build and strengthen our resources to be able to manage stressful situations such as disappointment. The more resources we can commit to our thoughts and maintain expectations, the better equipped we will be to process our emotions. It’s interesting to ponder that the heart and cardiovascular system doesn’t rely on conscious thought to operate, but rather works automatically. 


Our resources are replenished from outside of us and reinforce our thought processes. This is where our souls play an important role in our health. Allowing our souls to connect with a higher consciousness, God, puts our corporeal thoughts into perspective. We see the world on a much grander stage and have an understanding that this day, this moment, this problem is part of the grand design but not the totality. This connection is denied when we lose our connection to God. Our souls need this connection and denying it has a negative impact on our thoughts, which influences our moods and eventually our bodies. This illustrates the importance of staying in alignment with our soul, mind, emotions, and bodies, or SoMEBo. Notice that the ME is in the middle which signifies your need to be engaged in all aspects of the work necessary to maintain healthy function and alignment with all levels. No level is more or less important than the other and they must all be addressed at to see true, consistent, and sustainable growth and healing. 


Now that we have a better understanding of SoMEBo, we can take a look at how misalignment contributes to the high mortality rate of heart disease. We are told that high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension), and ultimately stress are what cause heart disease, and that all of this can be mediated by medication. What more accurately occurs is that medication suppresses the symptoms which are high cholesterol, hypertension, and unmanaged stress and allow them to worsen without dealing with the root cause. For instance, cholesterol is needed in every cell of your body. It is necessary to create hormones and is a building block for your tissues. Cholesterol is your body’s way of storing fat and is part of the innate brilliance of nature. You need fat and cholesterol in your body.  But when there is too much fat in the system, your body creates cholesterol at higher levels. This is not good for the body, but is it the presence of cholesterol that’s the cause or what is creating too much fat? The answer, to look at the root cause, is what is causing the presence of fat. Pro inflammatory foods are the biggest cause of fat buildup in your body. This is foods that are highly processed, contain empty calories, and are high in sugar. Addressing the foods we eat has a lot more overall benefit than taking a pill. 


Hypertension is another cause that we hear about all the time when talking about heart disease. Again, high blood pressure puts extra burden on the heart and contributes to heart disease. Let’s take a step back and look at the root cause. The real question to ask is, why is the blood pressure so high in the first place? We hear about salt and water retention, and we look at stress and even genetic or familial connections as causes for high blood pressure. In reality, the biggest contributor to high blood pressure is the sedentary lifestyles that we live today combined with an increase in inflammation from the foods and drinks we intake. Lowering our blood pressure requires moving our bodies intentionally. Activity at work does not count. We are looking to strain our bodies and put extra stress on our bodies for relatively short periods of time to stimulate healing and foster resilience. This doesn’t happen when our mind is focused on other tasks, even if we have a physical job. Taking the time to intentionally move ourselves for the sole purpose of moving ourselves is vital for maintaining strength and health, including lowering our blood pressure. While there are medications that have a variety of mechanisms for lowering your blood pressure, nothing is as significant, effective, or sustainable as moving our bodies and lowering our inflammation. 


When talking about high blood pressure, we also talk about stress as a cause. Stress causes inflammation to occur in our body, so stress must be the root cause, right? Wrong! Yes, stress contributes to a variety of diseases and symptoms, including heart disease. The real question is why? Stress is another really important aspect that our body needs to adapt, change, and grow. The body does not distinguish between good and bad stress, only the amount of time that we receive a signal that is a stressor. This means that in order to stop the stress, we have to shut off the signal. In the medical world, there are many pharmaceuticals that are used, again, with a variety of mechanisms to either diminish or reduce the signals. Ultimately, these medicines, while seemingly effective to start, begin losing effectiveness over time, with a worse recurrence of symptoms. So, we hear everyone talk about managing our stress, or the importance of managing our stress, or that stress management is key to our health. This is great, but how do we manage stress? We hear great ideas such as yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises can help with stress, which is accurate, but may not be as easy to sustain, especially if we aren’t ready for these activities. This only produces more stress. 


To really deal with stress we need to build resources within ourselves to be able to turn the signals off when they are no longer needed. We must do things that build us up rather than just maintain or even break us down. This involves overcoming obstacles, pushing ourselves just a little further than we thought we could, and persistently mastering our fears. Lifting weights is a phenomenal way to push our body and minds past our perceived limits, while also producing endorphins to improve our mood. Building strength allows us to realistically face stressful situations and have the resilience to allow the stress to have its effect and turn off afterwards. Animals don’t have this problem. We see them covered in scars from attacks from other animals while still maintaining the resilience to continue with their lives. And, they generally don’t die from heart disease. They build strength daily as they forage or hunt for food, protect their young, and remain vigilant to the next attack. This strength allows them to deal with literal life and death stressful situations and go back to normal life without needing pharmaceuticals. We can do this as well. 


All of the symptoms described above are absolutely contributors to heart disease, but not the cause. We must look further into why they occur in the first place to really address our health concerns. While it takes time to get our health back in order, supplementation with vitamins and nutrients can help replenish our depleted stores. For instance, omega 3 fatty acids can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol by reducing inflammation. Vitamin D can be depleted in people with higher stress levels, so supplementing can be helpful to reduce stress while working on building yourself up. Probiotics actually work to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, while decreasing stress through the improvement of the microbiome. The best part about this is that these supplements don’t have side effects and don’t lose their efficacy. They work to replenish your body when it is exhausted. Natural medicines buy you time so you can work on your self care. 


Also, remember to sign up for my free Simple 3 Step Plan here, for more information on how to realign your whole self and begin to take action on the areas of your health, such as our heart. 


Thanks for reading, Dr.Buttler

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