By way of reminder, let us state that the body possesses vast recuperative powers which, if not abused, are of tremendous help even in the most difficult cases of heart disease. Here is a summary of the essentials that must be followed if we are to obtain maximum benefits in these cases:
1. Plenty of rest and sleep is imperative. In heart disease we are dealing with an overworked and badly injured heart, and its work must be reduced to a minimum if it is to become strengthened and rebuilt.
2. The food of the sufferer from heart disease must be carefully controlled. The meals should be composed of simple, natural foods, the live foods, the foods that contain all the protective elements, including vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, in addition to all other essential nourishing elements required by the body. All processed and preserved foods, rich, concentrated, fat foods, seasoned foods, as well as foods of a stimulating or irritating nature must be strictly excluded.
Furthermore, the combinations must be the simplest possible, since a mixture of too many foods at any one meal interferes with digestion, overtaxes the digestive organs, and places an added burden on the heart.
3. The quantity of food must be limited in these cases since this lessens the work of the heart and gives the body a chance to control weight, a factor of great importance in these cases. We are in complete agreement with the French proverb quoted by Bogomoletz, that to get fat is to get old.
4. Regular bowel functioning must be maintained. The many dietetic abuses extending over many years have made us a nation of constipated people. It is well to remember that the bowels act as an important organ of elimination, and when unable to function normally lead to the retention of waste products that produce putrefactive poisons and cause the formation of gas. This leads to pressure against the diaphragm, which is directly underneath the heart, producing a strain on the heart as well as all other adjacent organs.
5. The use of drugs to induce sleep should be avoided since natural physiological methods can induce restful sleep without impairing our vital functions.
6. That a happy and cheerful disposition can do much to prolong life and keep us healthy is now well appreciated. Fear, insecurity, depression impair the functions of our body, create much unhappiness, and increase the burden on the heart. Cheerfulness, contentment, and a peaceful outlook, on the other hand, promote good digestion and keep the body young and healthy.
7. Avoid all habits of a dissipating and health-destroying character. This includes the discontinuance of tobacco, liquor, an overindulgence in sweets, overeating, late hours, overstimulation, excitement of various kinds, and excess of all types.
8. Choose a sensible and relaxing hobby. It contributes to a serene and contented outlook and promotes a well-balanced life.
9. Dont overlook the benefits of exercise. While total or complete rest may be necessary during the acute stage of the disease or when the heart is at a very low ebb, properly regulated exercises or activities adjusted to the needs and the ability of the patient can be of great help in strengthening and rebuilding the heart and circulation.
10. Finally, when in need of help, make sure that you avail yourself of the services of a doctor who is versed in the physiological approach and who possesses the knowledge, experience, and skill to help you through the difficult period successfully. In addition, he must also recognise the importance of teaching you to adhere to a sensible, well-balanced way of living, as protection against the possibility of a recurrence of the condition.