Patience and Prevention: Taking a Holistic Approach to Heart Health

Holistic nursing can help guide one to healthier choices and discover natural ways to heal
Holistic nursing can help guide one to healthier choices and discover natural ways to heal

Holistic Nursing and Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, accounting for about 25% of all deaths. People who are at risk for the disease or other heart-related issues may wish to take a proactive and holistic approach to their heart health and treatment. Research into preventative strategies has come a long ways in recent decades, so people have access to more knowledge and more ways to stay healthy than ever before. Holistic or integrative medicine is one of the choices that healthcare professionals should know about.

Traditional Medicine

Heart disease treatment or prevention generally focusing on lowering blood-pressure and reducing bad cholesterol levels. This is frequently accomplished through the use of medication. In general, these remedies are quite effective for many people, although certainly more so for some than for others. Those who are not achieving healthy heart goals with medication alone are the most likely to benefit from a holistic approach.

Mind-body Practices

These include a wide variety of interventions ranging from therapeutic massage to meditation to mindfulness. The goal for the majority of these practices is to reduce stress and induce a higher degree of relaxation, both of which can reduce the amount of strain on the heart and lead to lower blood-pressure and improved quality of life for the patient. Participation in guided medication or mindfulness training can be very helpful as a component of a holistic program designed to improve heart health and prevent blood-pressured-related medical conditions.

Nutrition and Exercise

According to a specialist from ICE, Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence, a person’s diet and activity level can both impact their heart health. Following guidelines and meal plans created by a nutritionist or dietitian can help reduce the likelihood of these complications. One frequent piece of advice is to reduce sodium intake to help manage blood-pressure and kidney function. With the approval of a physician, a program or light to moderate exercise can help as well. Walking and yoga are popular activity choices for heart health.

Treating the Emotions Behind the Disease

Negative emotions like anger, frustration, resentment, and so forth are linked to heart issues. Learning to effectively recognize and manage these feelings can be an important component for preventing heart disease. Counseling, whether individual or in a group setting, can help teach ways to express and manage these emotions in an adaptive or positive way. Therapy can be an important component in an integrated approach to managing heart conditions.


Holistic approaches to treating modern diseases and conditions have made great strides in recent years, demonstrating that traditional medicine alone may not be the most effective way to manage every condition or treat every patient. When patients are interested in pursuing holistic treatment options with regards to their heart health, practitioners should be aware of these and how to best apply them to each individual case.

About the Author: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia.

If you would like to learn more about holistic nursing and other holistic approaches to health then please review our holistic nursing program

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