Heart Health

The heart, like any other structure in the body, requires space and energy for optimal functioning. If given what it needs, it will be able to sustain your health until the moment of your last breath. Unlike the brain where if it dies your body can still survive, once the heart stops doing its job, your time on this beautiful planet will end.

The heart and the breath are infinitely tied together. Of course, the heart’s job is to pump oxygen infused blood to every cell, ensuring they can perform the myriad of jobs necessary for survival. Even better, if cells can freely receive optimal oxygen, they do more than survive, they thrive. The diaphragm muscle is also the floor of the heart, creating a solid foundation for its support if strong. If weak on the other hand, the heart and the aorta, the main artery leaving this organ/muscle, are impacted and their ability to perform with ease becomes compromised.

A weak diaphragm does more than compromise the space for the heart’s alignment, it also creates a cooling of the environment. When strong, the mechanical aspect of the diaphragm moving up and down in the core creates a continual massage, adding heat and energy. However, like most people do, breathing through the muscles of the upper chest limits the heat in the core and dramatically changes the environment to be one that is cooler. This has devastating effects on the heart’s ability to perform at its highest level.

A weak floor causes the weight of everything above to come crashing down. In the case of the diaphragm, this means that the ribcage and everything above collapses into the abdominal cavity. As the aorta gets compressed and twisted from the pressure, there is less space for the blood to flow. Like trying to breathe through a straw where you have a decreased diameter, a restricted aorta also has less capacity to allow the oxygenated blood to travel to cells. There is also less oxygen in the blood as someone who is an upper chest breather doesn’t pull the air deeply enough into the lungs for optimal oxygen absorption.

Everything in nature is a mirror of itself. I have lived over a river for almost 16 years, seeing the freezing and thawing of the water and how it affects the banks. Each year when the temperature changes enough for the water to begin its journey to becoming ice, the same patterns appear. First, the ice begins to accumulate on the sides of the banks, decreasing the diameter of the space for the water to flow. You also see the formation of ice pockets travelling down the center of the river, growing until inevitably there is no observable flow left. 

Now this is where it gets even more interesting. Atherosclerosis occurs when cholesterol deposits, or plaques, line the walls of the vessels leading to the heart. The sticky fatty substance adheres to the inner lining, taking away even more space. When a person is breathing through the muscles of the upper chest, the body is cooler and will cause the fats to become solid, resulting in this condition. This will eventually lead to coronary artery disease, where the heart doesn’t receive enough blood flow to function.

This may sound dire, however, no matter what state of this common condition you may be in, there is always a way out. By turning up your body’s temperature and supporting the foundation of the heart, and by becoming a conscious diaphragmatic breather, you can begin to reverse your situation. This approach initiates the melting of the plaques  formed due to the cooling of the blood,concurrently strengthening the floor of the heart to provide the muscle/organ the space it requires to thrive. No matter your age or how far along your condition may be, you can begin to reverse the effects by learning how to tap into the intelligence of your breath.

To your heart’s health!

Listen to this week's episode of The Fascia Masters below.

Breathe & Believe,


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