When heart is more than the sum of its parts!

This blog is by Pamela Savage, a valued member of Kate’s blog team.  Enjoy!

@Glowimages MKP07154

@Glowimages MKP07154

It used to be we all paid attention to February because, it was “heart” month-meaning we prepared ourselves for Valentine’s Day.  But for those suffering from heart disease, attention to the heart has taken on a different meaning. During this month, the American Heart Association asks us to pay special attention to the causes of heart disease and the search for a cure.  The costs for research into ways of fighting this disease are estimated to be in the billions.

Increasingly, studies indicate that stress is a primary cause for heart disease.  If that’s the case, then minimizing, managing or ending stress in our lives, say experts, is key to keeping our heart healthy.

June 2005 issue of the Harvard School of Public Health research concluded that a positive attitude on life can protect your heart from disease.  “How you think, feel and behave can affect heart disease for better or worse.” The Harvard Heart Letter, published by Harvard Medical School stated “Depression, loneliness or positive (or negative) outlook on life and other psychological factors…reach into the heart.”

A study of a small town in Pennsylvania offers some thought provoking evidence.  Roseto, Pennsylvania, is a town whose residents have been found to be the most consistently healthy in the United States.  They are so healthy, compared to all the other towns in the United States that researchers studied every aspect of the resident’s lives.

Joe Stampone, a resident of Roseto, Pennsylvania, explains what early researchers found: “Virtually no [resident] under 55 died of a heart attack; for men over 65, the death rate from heart attack was half that of the United States as a whole; and the death rate from all causes was 35% lower than it should have been. There was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addiction, and little crime to speak of. No one was on welfare and no one even suffered from peptic ulcers. These people died of old age. That’s it!”

The findings revealed that the residents’ good health and longevity was not due to diet or location or lifestyle, as evidenced by investigation into all the variables.  Rather it was due to their close knit nature of community.

Dr. Pasitano said, “Rosetans were nourished by people.  In all ways, this happy result was exactly the opposite expectation of well proven health laws.”

Challenging “health laws” of her day that put total emphasis on well-being depending entirely on the body, Mary Baker Eddy explored the spiritual nature of health.  She understood that treating one another with love and feeling the love of God was crucial to our health. She wrote: “The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father’s loving kindness.” Science and Health (1)

Today, researchers are using increasingly sophisticated technology to verify the effects of love on the heart.  Eva M. Selhub, M.D., states,  “In the state of love, the body’s biochemistry changes such that the stress response is turned off, feel good chemicals are released into the bloodstream and brain, quieting the mind and body, enabling you to access positive thoughts and emotions as well as the belief that all will be well.”  The Love Response

Most Rosetans probably don’t know all these technical details.  What they do know is the impact love has on them. They feel it in their hearts and their health.

1) Science and Health with Key to he Scripures, by mary Baker Eddy, Page 365, Line 31

Pamela enjoys writing and learning about health, spirituality, and the importance faith and prayer have on maintaining a healthy body and spirit.  She is in the full time practice of Christian Science.  She lives in Nottingham, Maryland with her husband and Siamese cat.  She enjoys hiking and the outdoors.