Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term used to define diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels. They are generally caused by a reduction of blood flow in the heart, brain or body.
This can be caused by an obstruction in the blood vessels, a blood clot. It is called a thrombosis in medical terms. It can also be caused by a build-up of fatty deposits that causes atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
There are four main types of cardiovascular diseases:
According to the HSE, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Ireland. In 2010, one third of death in Ireland were caused by a cardiovascular disease.
What is the cause of cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular diseases are principally caused by an inadequate lifestyle. It will cause the apparition of risk factors that predispose towards CVD.
Here are the main risk factors:
- High Blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Being overweight or obese
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
Heredity and ethnic backgrounds can also be risk factors. People with a history of heart disease in their family can have a predisposition to CVD. And people from an African, Asian and Caribbean background have a predisposition too.
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture for cardiovascular diseases can be beneficial as a preventative therapy and in the post-disease phase. In Ireland, acupuncture is not used in case of emergency as acupuncturists are not primary carer and conventional medicine deals very well with those situations.
However, acupuncture can be beneficial to people presenting some of the risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, being overweight, diabetes, stress and alcohol addiction. Acupuncture not only improves the patients’ well-being but it also reduces the risk of CVD.
Acupuncture can also be extremely beneficial after the CVD happened during the recovery phase. This is particularly the case for post-stroke patients.
Here at Equilibre Acupuncture, every patient receives diet advice if appropriate based on Chinese medicine dietary therapy.
If you would like help with some of the risk factors listed above, we would be happy to help you. We are here to help!
Benefits of acupuncture for CVD are the following:
- It reduces inflammation
- It reduces sensitivity to pain and stress
- It Regulates the autonomic nervous system
- It increases cerebral blood flow
- It improves relaxation
Of course, the benefits for each conditions are slightly different. Please, have a look to the page related to each condition for more detailed information.