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Natural Awakenings Jacksonville-St. Augustine

Nurturing the Miraculous, Multitasking Heart

Jan 29, 2021 09:17PM ● By Kristy Harvell
We already know that we can’t live without our heart, but let’s take a deeper look at this incredible organ. The heart can paint the picture of the amazing design of the body perhaps better than any other part of the body.

A better understanding of heart health is necessary because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States as well as worldwide. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s one in every four deaths.

Mechanical Heart

Our heart beats about 100,000 times in one day, pumping 2,000 gallons of blood. If one were to stretch out one’s capillaries, arteries and veins, they would reach 100,000 miles in length. All of these mechanics have a very important job—to pump oxygen-rich blood and fluids to nourish the cells and organs of the body, and pump carbon dioxide and other waste materials back through the lungs, kidneys and digestive system along with the lymphatic system.

When circulation slows down, we experience fatigue, swelling, and aches and pains. The signs and symptoms of stress on the circulatory system can be subtle or can be expressed by more serious conditions, such as hypertension, edema, varicose veins or even cancer.

Therapies that can improve the mechanical aspect of the heart include pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy, ionic footbaths, lymphatic brushing, lymphatic massage, rebounder exercises, and various supplementation and herbs. Some of the most common nutrients and herbs include hawthorn, horse chestnut, whole-food vitamins E and C, bilberry, cayenne and cinnamon. Marjoram and cypress essential oils are also useful.

Hormonal Heart

Many of us may not be aware that hormones are also carried around through the bloodstream. Most of us, however, have experienced the effect of the hormone adrenaline on heart function. We have probably felt the rush or fight or flight when we had to stomp on the brakes to avoid an accident, or even during times of excitement. Less obvious might be the effects that estrogen and thyroid hormones have on heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Hormonal health is important for heart health and can often be handled by supporting natural liver detoxification and balance. Adrenal and thyroid glandular products as well as adaptogenic herbs are helpful in moderating the stress response. Stress is related to 95 percent of all disease processes. While we can’t always avoid stressors and responsibility, we can improve our body’s ability to adapt to stress and to build up our reserve levels. The more we have in our gas tank, so to speak, the larger buffer we have between health and disease.

Additional stress-management techniques include exercise, meditation, journaling, daily devotionals and positive affirmations.

Electrical Heart

It is quite miraculous that our heart beats approximately once every second from an electrical impulse, even though we aren’t plugged into an external source. While some electrical problems of the heart are grounds for medical attention, there are some natural considerations. Our body’s natural electrical impulses require hydration and ions. Ionic charges are created by minerals, sea salt and electrolytes.

Emotional Heart

The experience of an emotion results from the brain, heart and body acting in concert. In Eastern medicine, the heart is connected to our vitality and consciousness. It has commonly been associated with the emotion of joy, but the imbalance of joy is expressed as either too much (agitation or restlessness) or too little (depression). In the Bible, it represents the seat of the will, intellect and feelings.

There are many great techniques for freeing up trapped emotions that can lead to physical conditions, including neuro-emotional technique, emotional freedom technique (or tapping), NES, EVOX, hypnotherapy or brain tap.

February is American Heart Month. Let’s celebrate the incredible and miraculous design of our heart by nurturing it through diet, exercise and activities that help with stress management this month and throughout the year. Let’s also remember to honor our emotional heart.

 Dr. Kristy Harvell is the owner of Health by Design, located at 2002 Southside Service Rd., in Jacksonville. Harvell graduated in the Phi Chi Omega Honor Society, cum laude, with certification in Cox flexion distraction technique. She has studied pediatrics and pregnancy care, clinical applied nutrition, and thermographic and surface electromyography (EMG) diagnostics. She is certified in Brimhall’s Six Steps to Wellness, has completed 200 hours of applied kinesiology training, and has hundreds of hours of study in the fields of functional medicine and clinical nutrition through Metagenics and Standard Process as well as advanced clinical training with Ulan Nutritional Systems. For more information or to make an appointment, call 904-363-3374 or visit