I have decided to be happy because it's good for my health – Voltaire

 

What if you were already the person you always wanted to be? What if you only had to look inside yourself to make peace with the most overlooked, yet paramount part of the body: your heart. Take the time to listen to what it has to say. It's a much better judge than your mind or ego!

 

So, still not convinced that this is the best path or the greatest gift you can offer yourself? What if I told you that the reward for connecting with your heart was a previously unimagined state of happiness? A happiness born from an inner fire of love that is more powerful than anything you ever dreamed of. Once discovered, you will regret not having taken this route earlier!

 

Say goodbye to ephemeral pleasures, illusions of happiness and serenity, and false feelings of accomplishment, wellbeing, tranquility and fulfillment. By connecting with your inner self you will never be disappointed; its nature is to concern itself with your happiness and is genuinely invested in your success.

 

Light the fire, it's within you. It's waiting for you and is often left waiting a long time due to your lack of understanding and practice of how to ignite its power. This is a light that resides within your heart and constantly emits sweetness and love. It whispers wisdom to your consciousness and you must learn how to listen to it. Why not be healthy and happy? It urges you to take control of your health and happiness, here and now! The best doctor in the world is you! The remedy for your malaise is within you; all the tools needed to differentiate good from bad exist in the form of your body’s own healing mechanisms. Your doctor's job is to activate or reactivate these healing mechanisms when they have lost their autonomous capacities.

How many times have I told my patients that their heart is a muscle pumping blood to all organs 100,000 times a day? Yet, when it comes to our emotions, we refer to the heart as something that makes us feel. Did you know that patients with symptoms of post-stroke depression die more often? This phenomenon was demonstrated by Dr. L'Espérance, a psychiatrist at the Montreal Heart Institute. Moreover, we know that our heart rate is linked to our emotional state. You're aware of your heart racing in a fearful situation or in a state of anger, right?! Still don't believe me? BOO! Is your heart beating faster? I thought so ;)

Studies have shown that negative emotions or stress produce a pattern of disorganized heartbeats, while positive emotions result in a more consistent pattern. Positive emotions activate the parasympathetic (PS) division of the autonomic nervous system and therefore can inhibit the stress response. The PS division is, in short, the antidote to the sympathetic division, which is responsible for the “fight or flight” response we experience when faced with stressful situations. So, how can you positively influence your heartbeat and therefore activate the parasympathetic nervous ystem? The answer is simple, breathe! Make sure to b-r-e-a-t-h-e. The speed of your breathing is directly related to your heartbeat, a link known as “cardiac coherence”, which was popularized in France by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber through his book, The Instinct to Heal.

The technique is very simple, just take a deep inhale for about 5 seconds and then exhale for another five seconds. For best results, practice this way of breathing for 5 minutes three times a day, I recommend doing it before each meal. In this way, you will also become more conscious about what and how your are eating.

 

Here are some benefits of this relaxation technique:

  • Immediate sensation of wellbeing and calm (zen)
  • Stimulation of the immune system (less colds/flu)
  • Increase or improvement in attention and concentration (focus)
  • Decrease in pain
  • Decrease in emotional reactivity (good for the health of your relationships, especially if you're about to "choke" your lover)
  • Reduces sleep disorders (good sleep isn't only for babies)
  • Better stress and anxiety management 
  • Helps with weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight (love it!)
  • Large increase of DHEA levels (youth hormones), which may retard the aging process
  • Lowers blood pressure (don't worry, it won't become too low)

 

In conclusion, your heart has the power to increase your brainpower and intuition, while reducing stress, anxiety, anger and blood pressure. It's the influence of the heart on the brain and nervous system that explains, in part, why you will feel generally better once you integrate this technique into your daily routine! Sometimes, the heart knows things that logic can't explain! While you're breathing, be conscious of your body sensations and emotions without judgment, restraint or fear.

Here's my monthly prescription:

When I say go, B-R-E-A-T-H-E! GO! 

 

With love,

 

Andréanne Dussault, MD

“Doctor LOVE”