Some research evidence suggests that relaxation therapy (specifically Transcendental Meditation)60, Tai Chi65, and yoga66 may improve functional capacity and quality of life in people with congestive heart failure.
In addition, it may be worthwhile to consider your relationships and relationship skills. Dr. Dean Ornish, a well-regarded physician, has pioneered a comprehensive program for reversing coronary artery disease.1-3 His program is based on lifestyle modifications, including a therapeutic diet, stress management, and group support for improving relationships through better communication. Dr. Ornish believes that the love and support we give and receive through relationships is essential to our health, and a great deal of research on social support and health supports this claim. To learn more, read Dr. Ornish's books, including Love & Survival and Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease.
Note: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious disease that absolutely requires conventional medical evaluation and supervision. No one should self-treat for CHF. However, natural treatments such as relaxation therapies may complement standard medical care when monitored by an appropriate healthcare professional. Consult with your physician.
- Ornish D, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, et al. Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease. JAMA. 1998;280:2001-2007.
- Ornish D. Avoiding revascularization with lifestyle changes: The Multicenter Lifestyle Demonstration Project. Am J Cardiol. 1998;82:72T-76T.
- Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, et al. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. Lancet. 1990;336:129-133.60. Jayadevappa R, Johnson JC, Bloom BS, et al. Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on functional capacity and quality of life of African Americans with congestive heart failure: a randomized control study. Eth Dis. 2007;17:72-77.
- Yeh GY, Wayne PM, Phillips RS. Tai Chi exercise in patients with chronic heart failure. Med Sport Sci. 2008;52:195-208.
- Pullen PR, Nagamia SH, Mehta PK, et al. Effects of yoga on inflammation and exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure. J Card Fail. 2008;14:407-413.
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