I enjoy reading books from time to time that challenge everything I think I “know” about a particular subject. Not only is this interesting (at least to me), but I find that it helps me think outside the box, consider new angles, and achieve deeper understanding than I had before. One book that has really blown my mind of late is by Thomas Cowan MD, Human Heart Cosmic Heart: A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Prevent, and Treat Cardiovascular Disease.
In particular, the chapter on What Does Cause Heart Attacks is a must read for anyone with existing or potential heart disease. Dr. Cowan identifies a simple, noninvasive intervention for angina treatment instead of stents or bypass surgery. This alternative is an option for those suffering from the spectrum of angina and unstable angina as well as blocked arteries and/or heart attack itself!
Conventional Angina Treatment
Angina, or chest pain, is discomfort caused by the heart not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. According to the American Heart Association, angina usually feels like pressure or squeezing in your chest. It might even be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Sometimes, angina pain might be experienced as indigestion.
It is important to note that the various types of angina are not a disease. Instead, they are symptoms of an underlying heart problem. These symptoms occur usually because one or more of the coronary arteries have become narrowed or blocked.
Conventional treatment for angina primarily involves the use of numerous drugs. These include statins, nitrates, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, oral antiplatelet medicines, and/or blood thinners. If symptoms aren’t controlled with meds or if a heart attack is likely or has already occurred, surgery is the next step:
- Angioplasty is used to improve blood flow to the heart by placing a small mesh tube called a stent inside the artery to keep it open.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) uses healthy arteries or veins taken from other areas in the body. These are used to bypass the blocked coronary arteries. Bypass surgery can improve blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain. It does not prevent future heart attacks. This surprising finding was published in a large report by the Mayo Clinic in the journal Circulation (1).
Angina Treatment Using Enhanced External Counterpulsation
What if there was a way to help more than 80% of people avoid coronary bypass surgery or stenting? Do you think patients would prefer this instead?
Of course they would if only they were only told about it and given the option by their cardiologists!
Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) is a technology that is highly successful at treating heart disease noninvasively. This means no surgery. Why does conventional medicine ignore this approach? Perhaps this is because it challenges the notion that blood circulation is mostly dependent on the four major coronary arteries. Dr. Cowan’s book thoroughly debunks this long held idea in very convincing manner.
Angina treatment with EECP is simple. The patient simply lies down on a bed while balloons are placed externally on both legs and around the pelvis. This contrasts with angioplasty where balloons are inflated inside the artery.
The pulsation device then synchronizes the timing of the inflation of the balloons with an electrocardiogram (EKG). The timing is adjusted so that the balloons are squeezing the legs and pelvis at the same time the heart is relaxed and not contracting. This phase of the heart is called diastole.
This synchronized squeezing is performed repeatedly for a little longer than an hour, five days a week for seven consecutive weeks. The goal of this timed external pressurization of the legs and pelvis is to induce the body to create a new collateral circulation to the heart. In essence, instead of cutting a person open, EECP encourages the body to create its own bypass without the risk of anesthesia, the use of a surgeon’s knife, and a long recovery.
The Best News of All ….
When a new major blood vessel is physically inserted into the body via bypass surgery, it ends up getting blocked again eventually. The reblockage occurs much faster for venous grafts than arterial ones. However, by allowing the body to naturally create its own collateral circulation using EECP, the majority of patients experience a resolution of angina symptoms with no drugs or surgery required. These benefits last for 3-7 years. EECP can be used again to further expand collateral circulation if necessary at that time.
In addition, enhanced external counterpulsation helps blood vessels become stronger and more flexible. This is something that stents and bypass surgery don’t offer. In fact, the Mayo Clinic concluded in a major report that bypass surgery only relieves chest pain. It does not prevent future heart attacks. The report also stated that only high risk patients whose lives are in immediate danger actually benefit from bypass surgery.
If you or someone you know is facing a surgical procedure – either stenting or bypass surgery – for coronary artery disease, it would be a wise move to consider noninvasive angina treatment using enhanced external counterpulsation instead. Check out Dr. Cowan’s book for more in-the-trenches ideas for preventing and treating heart disease in a holistically managed way.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Hi Sarah, think a tried and tested remedy of teaspoon Cayenne powder(red chilli powder) in hot–warm water as used by the famous Dr Christopher, Herbalist Extraordinaire! Should open blockages and prevent further complications. Apparently Dr Christopher never lost on Heart attack patient on home visits?! A wrist magnet would also keep blood thinned and free flowing(bioflow). Plus a Phi personal harmoniser would keep the water(blood) vital and fresh.
Jose Antonio Lugo
Hi Sarah; I’m 53 years of age. Male a diabetic type 1 over 30 years. I also suffer from Thyroid, High Cholesterol and High Blood pressure. I was born and raised in Washington, DC. I’m currently retired on Federal disability. I live now in Florida State. I just started having problems with my heart, Atherosclerosis/Angina I believe due to the cholesterol and poor exercise. I’m about 5″6 in height and 152 Lbs. i’m not skinny or fat but I guess out of shape. Lately I can not sleep due to shortness of breath sometimes I feel my heart being squeezed and pain around it. My ankles and arms are not swollen but I’m also suffering from allot mucous and have like a runny nose usually when lying down. No cough but I feel as if my lungs are filling with water. Anyways I have Cigna High Option Insurance that I get through my US Federal retirement. I do not want to end up with a bypass or any type of surgery is there anything you would recommend ?
Thank you for your time and all you have shared.
If I were in your situation I would start the Root Cause Protocol (electrolytes, beef liver, donate blood) then slowly start a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting every other day and 24hr fast once a week. Thomas Delauer has videos on the benefits of fasting. Ancestral Supplements is a good brand of liver and bone marrow, among other organs. Dr. Sinatra has info on supplements for cardiac support. After a heart attack he recommends taking 200mg of CoQ10 a day. I would opt for supplements in whole form, for example, beef heart is one of the highest sources of CoQ10. If you prefer isolated CoQ10 I recommend Dr. Mercola products or Life Extension. Good luck.
Sarah, I would hope you WOULD research high dose vitamin c before giving out advice about it. Can you please describe the molecular difference in a GMO ascorbic acid molecule and a non-GMO ascorbic acid molecule? Have you read the work of Dr. Thomas Levy? Dr. Sydney Bush? If so, and you can disprove their conclusions and testimonials of their followers, please share your findings, rather than risk misleading people who trust you.
Two words for you: glyphosate residue
Don’t be dissuaded! Do the research, including the work of Dr. Sydney Bush. Lots of info in the vitamin C orthomolecular. Ascorbic acid is what most animals produce within their bodies. They do not produce “whole food” vitamin C. I started taking Pauling’s protocol, along with additional recommendations by Dr. Thomas Levy, and within two weeks my eyesight improved, and continues to improve. Eager to see if my ophthalmologist notices any changes in my retina. I have not had the follow-up ultrasound to check the condition of my arteries yet; that comes in a couple more months. But, in the meantime, my LDL normalized, my high HDL stayed high, trig stayed low, BP remained in the normal range. Never use only one source for information!!!
As an NP with 15+ years experience working in a well respected cardiology practice in the Washington, DC suburbs….EECP was and is indeed a wonderful option. What I found was that many insurance carriers would not pay for this treatment or patients were unwilling to drive out of their way (we had 6+ offices) to get this service. I agree that it can be very beneficial, but it often times was left as a path of last resort, when all other conventional treatments were not working (anti-anginals, beta blockers, anti-platelets, surgical intervention). It is nice to know that this is a treatment that non-medical professionals are becoming more attuned to.
Insurance companies WANT you to use conventional medicine which is why they don’t cover effective, often cheaper and safer alternative treatments. This is EXACTLY why my husband and I ditched traditional health insurance a few years ago and went with health care sharing instead. This way, when we needed treatment, we could use ANY TREATMENT we wanted and it was covered. I should add that we have zero pre-existing conditions in our family and are all very healthy and had no reason to change other than that the system is broken and totally weighted in favor of the pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. You can read more about health-care sharing here: https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/health-care-sharing-instead-of-healthcare-insurance/
Hi Sarah, just yesterday my chiropractor was talking about high doses of vitamin c to remove plaque from the brain arteries as an Alzheimer’s prevention. Would this be effective for heart health also? A question I have that is not on this topic, about pork. We raise our own meat and although not organic we try to feed non desiccated grain and have them outside when possible. On Dr Mercola’s site he suggests not eating pork because of parasite problems. Is this a traditional approach? Do you include pastured pork in your diet?
Hi Angela, I’m not much of a fan of high dose vit C because the vit C used is GMO and synthetically derived. I would only use it in a dire situation. I have not researched whether that therapy might work for the heart.
Yes, our family does eat pastured pork. There are several recipes on this blog using it including how to make pork broth. If you marinade the pork as done traditionally, the parasite issue is apparently not a problem.
Where do you find a doctor who would do this?
Here’s a list of EECP treatment centers. http://www.eecp.com/locate-treatment-us.php