With stress relief as the goal, Dr. Willy Ong provides 10 tips that go beyond the pale of Western medicine in guarding against the physical travails of a sick or broken heart:
1. Raise household plants. Plants give off oxygen, remove toxins in the environment and provide a focus for your affection.
2. Get a pet dog. Dogs provide companionship and may increase your lifespan. Cats are not as effective. As one dog lover says, “When your dog sees you, he says ‘here’s my master.’ But when a cat sees you, he says, ‘here’s my slave.”
3. Be charitable. Do various kinds of good deeds. Post-heart-attack patients who are charitable tend to live longer.
4. Floss regularly. Good oral care will reduce heart infections and heart disease. Studies show that gum disease is associated with heart disease and may reduce your lifespan by three years.
5. Try nasal breathing. Breathe through the nose to stimulate and increase the production of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that dilates the blood vessels and is then good for the lungs and the heart.
6. Have supportive friends. Talking one hour with a friend is as effective as drugs to relieve headache. Good friends can reduce your stress level by up to 90 percent.
7. Be in love. It increases the dopamine levels in the body and may increase your life by seven years, according to gerontologist David Demko.
8. Eat two bananas daily. Bananas has tryptophan to make you feel happier. The potassium and vitamin B are good for the heart too.
9. Use mind-body techniques. Meditation, yoga,visualization, and bio-feedback.