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Heartburn, Acid Indigestion and Heart Attack

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  • Michael Meredith
    Three years ago I had an episode of severe chest pain that resulted in me being hospitalised for 3 days, while the doctors tried to unravel whether my symptoms
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 25, 2006
      Three years ago I had an episode of severe chest pain that resulted
      in me being hospitalised for 3 days, while the doctors tried to
      unravel whether my symptoms were of digestive and/or cardiac origin -
      not an easy task because laboratory tests revealed that my
      cholesterol level was raised, plus my age was regarded as
      a "significant risk factor" and I was also under significant
      financial and work-related stress.

      Digestive and coronary thrombosis/narrowed coronary arteries
      symptoms often go together. A heart attack was quickly ruled out in
      my case because heart muscle enzyme levels in my blood (from death
      of blood-starved heart muscle cells) were not raised and my ECG
      trace was not obviously disturbed.

      In the end it was concluded that I had "acid reflux oesophagitis" -
      acute inflammation of the gullet from regurgitation of stomach acid.

      Links Between Heart and Stomach
      The experience prompted me to reflect on the close anatomical and
      physiological relationship between stomach and heart, and the many
      common factors that influence both e.g. diet, exercise and stress.

      I have been prompted to recall this unpleasant experience this week
      as a result of watching Disk 2 of the 2005 Channel 4
      documentary "Anatomy for Beginners". [I have posted here before
      about Disk 1 in this series, see "Human Anatomy comes to Life - On 3
      Levels!": http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/cheal/message/517%5d

      Disk 2 focuses on the digestive and reproductive organs (including
      an eye-watering dissection of the penis and testicles and an MRI
      scan of a couple having sex - how on earth did they both squeeze
      into an MRI scanner without losing their passion?)

      The demonstrations (on cadavers, live models and artistic diagrams)
      brought home to me just how amazingly close the fundus of the
      stomach is to the heart and Professor John Lee gives an excellent
      account of how the opening to the oesophagus can be influenced by a
      gas pocket in the fundus and exacerbated by, in particular, alcohol,
      coffee and chocolate.

      This fits well with what happened to me. I had been indulging in
      wine, coffee and chocolate in the days before my "acute chest pain"
      incident. I had also been eating quite a lot of full-fat cheese,
      which may have been a factor (probably also a factor in my raised
      cholesterol level).

      Healing Unhealthy Cravings
      The incident set me on a "healing journey" of working on my symptoms
      and their "unhealthy lifestyle" implications. I partly worked on
      the "raised cholesterol" aspect, but also worked on the "subtle
      energy" symptom of "congested/constricted" heart chakra, which I had
      opportunity to tune into during the long hours of hospitalisation. I
      recalled a couple of previous "congested/constricted heart chakra"
      incidents of similar symptoms, the first being after the death of my
      father in 1998.

      Interestingly, the "healing journey" that I embarked upon as a
      result of this dramatic hospitalisation incident, resulted in me
      entirely losing my craving for coffee - it began to taste
      increasingly bitter and when I finally quit coffee, 2 years ago, it
      took no effort at all. I still love the smell of coffee and love to
      hang around coffee shops or make cups of coffee it for other people,
      but I have no desire to drink it any more.

      Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I have not lost my love of chocolate
      or cheese, but I do avoid excess consumption (usually a warning sign
      of deeper issues going on!) now - well, mostly!

      Shamanic Healing Aspects
      I progressed my "Healing Journey" away from recurrence of these symptoms by means of basic healthy lifestyle knowledge combined with cognitive therapy techniques, but also used a "Shamanic Healing" approach in which, via focussing on the symptoms, I received an inner archetypal image ("power animal" in the Native American tradition) - much to my surprise, this was a turtle.

      During the acute episode this turtle was fighting for its life in a dark polluted sea. As my healing progressed, this image progressed to the point where the archetypal turtle struggled onto land and released its creativity (a buried nest of eggs)onto the world. In the final scene a horde of newly hatched turtles rushed joyously into the sea!

      Educational Entertainment
      I would really recommend "Anatomy for Beginners", which is available as a 2-disk DVD set: http://www.Amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007SME7M/sunflowerheal-21).
      Not only is it educational about basic (non-technical) human
      anatomy and physiology, but it is also a good way to confront any
      hang-ups we have about death and dead bodies - helped by the
      amazingly funny eccentricity and enthusiasm for cadavers of the
      German "Professor of Plastination" Dr Gunther von Hagens combined
      and contrasted with the "down-to-earth" matter-of-factness of
      English pathologist Professor John Lee.

      The combination of art, technology, live models, corpses and
      preserved specimens is unique and very powerfully instructive. You
      have never had an anatomy lesson like this one!

      Enjoy your coffee break or glass of wine (may be your last chance
      before watching this DVD!)
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