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Get Your Spine Checked for Healthy Heart Month

woman-holding paper heart on chestWhen my children were young, I would stimulate a bit of debate at dinner. I would, on occasion, ask what was more important, the spine or teeth. As a dental hygienist, my wife would line up with her support for the importance of teeth. Part of my argument for the importance of the spine over teeth was that you could live without teeth. Also, false teeth or implants were possible, yet there was no such replacement option for the spine,” said Dr. Les Davidson.

The outcomes of this discussion were divided. “My daughter is now working as a hygienist and my son is completing his education at chiropractic college,” added Dr. Davidson.

The Importance of a Healthy Brain and Heart

In a similar vein, with patients, he sometimes encourages conversation with a question. “What is more important, the circulation system represented by the heart or the nervous system represented by the brain?

Dr. Davidson could give a similar argument for the brain versus the heart. We have heart transplants and valve replacements but no comparable option for the brain. “Having said that, much like both healthy teeth and spines are important to good health, brain and heart health are both important,” he added.

According to Dr. Davidson, the health of each has reciprocal benefits to the other. How? The heart provides the nutrients in blood for the brain. The brain controls the nerve impulses and hormones that manage heart function.

He recommends positive lifestyle choices that benefit both. “It is common knowledge that movement is good for our hearts. Also, the motion of the spine was suggested by Roger Sperry to be like a windmill energizing our brain,” said Dr. Davidson.

If you sit for a prolonged time, your ability to focus your brain on tasks diminishes. A diet with healthy fats, limited refined carbohydrates, and rich in phytonutrients is good for both. Chronic stress is harmful to the brain and heart.

Measuring Heart Rate Variability

The relationship between our nervous system and the circulatory system is best quantified with measurement of heart rate variability (HRV). “A healthy stress-free individual has a high degree of heart rate variability. That is the randomness of our heartbeat—determined by our autonomic nervous system,” said Dr. Davidson.

If you are constantly stressed, your body is less resilient. Low HRV is linked in many studies to poor health and increased mortality.

Keep Your Spine and Ticker Healthy

If you want a healthy, resilient heart and circulation system, you need a healthy brain and nervous system. Make sure your loved ones have their spine checked for healthy heart month.

The Super Bowl is a good example of the type of teamwork that is required for success. Can you imagine #15 Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback “Brain” of Kansas City Chiefs, thinking he would survive, let alone win without his offensive line “heart” supporting him?

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