Warm and fuzzy is how you want to feel in your soul, not your nerves! It’s important to take care of your heart- both the physical one and the one most people think about when you mention love. This Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about some ways you can improve your heart health, its connection to your nerves, and why it matters to reduce and prevent neuropathy.
The (Physical) Heart
Just like the brain is the central processor and command center for all neurological functions, the heart is the most important muscle you have in your body. It pumps your blood, supplying vital oxygen, minerals, and nutrients all throughout your entire body. Your heart is at the center of your circulatory system. This system is a network of blood vessels, such as arteries, veins, and capillaries, that carries blood to and from all areas of your body. Your blood carries the oxygen and nutrients that your organs need to work properly. Blood also carries carbon dioxide to your lungs so you can breathe it out.
Inside your heart, valves keep blood flowing in the right direction. Your heart’s electrical system controls the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat. A healthy heart supplies your body with the right amount of blood at the rate needed to work well. If disease or injury weakens your heart, your body’s organs will not receive enough blood to work normally. A problem with the electrical system—or the nervous or endocrine systems, which control your heart rate and blood pressure—can also make it harder for the heart to pump blood. -NIH.Gov
The (Emotional) Heart
What the image above shows us is that people who are depressed, distressed, and stressed out are at higher risk for heart disease. Stressors, like the ones you refer to when you say something is “getting on your nerves”, actually DO affect your nerves. Your body releases proteins, becomes inflamed at the site of injury, and increases blood pressure!
You already know that persistent inflammation is very bad for your body and your nerves- and painful! It’s a natural bodily response to resolve an injury. Inflammation is when small blood vessels near the injury site enlarge to allow more blood flow. When they do that for too long, pressure can be exerted on the nerves, which in turn can reduce feeling in the extremities. Chronic inflammation also prevents proper cell regeneration. It could be caused by many things, including stress, infection, allergy, sugar, and the below:
- Physical – can be mechanical as in a car accident injury or assault or environmental like severe cold and heat (burns).
- Chemical – for example, acid ‘burns’, drugs, venom.
- Infection – bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other parasites
- Ischemia – lack of or restricted blood supply which may eventually lead to the death of tissue (necrosis) known as an infarct.
- Immune – autoimmune conditions and allergies.
It’s not the type A behavior pattern (hard-driving, workaholic) that predisposes to heart disease, as was formerly thought, but the type D (distressed to depressed) personality. What does that mean? It means you need to seek love- both of others and of yourself.
Reducing Inflammation- for Neuropathy and Heart Health
So, how do we reduce inflammation when it becomes too much? Answer: take time to love! As we saw in that first picture above, so much is caused by depression and distress! Fun fact: a hug will reduce blood pressure by releasing oxytocin, which in turn helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Treating neuropathy goes hand-in-hand with treating inflammation. Eating foods that reduce inflammation also gives you vital nutrients for nerve support. Mindfulness and meditation help bring the body back to a healthier state and support nerves. Reducing toxin exposure protects your nerves from further degenerating. Removing stressors, correcting your diet, taking time to relax, hydrating, and exercising help, too- all of these help with the production and release of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.
And, so does what we manufacture in Charles Town, WV: the ReBuilder®. The gentle pulses work well to reduce pain, discomfort, and lack of feeling in the nerves, and can even visibly reduce inflammation. Soothing ReBuilder® pulses bring our customers a feeling of peace and relaxation. If you’d like to give it a try, click the button below!