February is Hearth Month. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the US. At the same time, breast cancer is the most common cancer among modern women. It is time we started looking at the factors that link these two biggest lifestyle-related diseases. The connections are crystal clear and so are the ways YOU can prevent them both!
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
Besides the obvious answers of poor diet and lifestyle, there is another not so known link between cancer and heart disease. It has to do with what is called heart rate variability, or HRV.
Heart Rate Variability is defined as the time measurement between heartbeats. Medical researchers used to think that a heartbeat had to be steady to be healthy. However, the latest research from Heart Math Institute has shown that healthy heart rhythms are actually quite irregular. The changing rhythm of the heart is measured by HRV, or the “change in time intervals between adjacent heartbeats.”
Scientists have concluded that HRV can be influenced by our thoughts as well as our emotions.
HRV and Breast Health
So what does all this have to do with breast cancer? Your HRV is an expression and measurement of how your body is handling physical and mental stress. HRV is affected by all of your body’s regulatory systems, including the endocrine system and the reproductive system. This is important since hormonal imbalances can set the foundation for breast cancer.
Your Heart Rate Variability especially impacts your nervous system and your brain. According to the emerging field of neuro-cardiology, not only do the heart and the brain communicate with each other, but the heart actually has its own “neural network.” Rollin McCraty Ph., lead researcher at Heart Math Institute, discovered that the heart sends signals and commands to the brain and body through specific hormones.
Your heart sends more messages to your brain more than your brain sends to your heart. This is why the heart is actually known as the “mini-brain”.
A chaotic HRV indicates that there is chaotic energy in your body and that your body is releasing stress hormones. Healing can only take place when your body is in the “relaxation response”. Training your heart and mind to be calmly synchronized, creates an environment conducive to healing.
Monitor and Balance Your HRV for Breast Health
One other way the brain and the heart are linked is through the nervous system.
Our nervous system is intricately connected to your emotional responses. Understanding your personal HRV is a great vehicle in which to monitor how your emotions and stress responses are affecting your physical body.
Too little variation in HRV is an indication that your energy resource are depleted and that chronic stress has impacted your health.
If you have been on a Healthy Breast journey for a while now, this all may sound familiar to you. Essential #4 of the 7 Essentials System® is all about healing the emotional wounds. Healing the traumas that are still lodged in our psyche and body can lead to a greater number of positive, uplifting emotions every day.
“…our sense of control, ability to avoid victim-hood and feelings of hopefulness regarding our experiences, particularly the traumas we face, may affect whether we get sick or stay healthy,” remarks Lisa Rankin, MD in her book Mind over Medicine.
Rankin writes about how science is just now beginning to discover the ways in which emotions affect the body. In a study published in the journal Science in the 1980’s, Yale-trained researcher Madelon Visintainer discovered that emotions such as appreciation, joy, humor, gratitude and love can lower fasting glucose levels and the stress response overall. She even found that these emotions can play a vital part in maintaining vital, cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body.
Monitoring Your HRV
There are many simple ways to balance your HRV: tapping (or EFT), prayer or meditation, exercise or walking in nature.
The best tool to directly monitor and even change your heart rate is the Heart Math App. Click here to learn about Heart Math’s Inner Balance™ app for iPhone, iPad or iPod Android. This is a portable, easy-to-use self-monitoring device that clips on your ear and teaches you to change your reaction to stress.and to get our body into a calm and balanced state.
These monitors have helped thousands lead more peaceful, productive lives. It is definitely one for the healing “toolbox,” in my opinion. I love my app and use it several times per week.
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr V”) is the founder of Breast Cancer Conqueror.com and The 7 Essentials System ™. This step-by-step guide empowers you with knowledge so you Never Have to Fear Breast Cancer Again! To watch a FREE webinar about the 7 steps for beating breast cancer naturally, Click Here.