Cursed by Genetics; Guided to Health by iHeart

I’m a medical doctor with a mission to give people an ability to help people ‘look inside’ and see health in simple and effective ways that lead to long life. Yesterday I used the iHeart Internal Age system to test a father and his two daughters. The father, who was in his early 50's, was admitted to hospital for angioplasty to treat critically narrowed coronary arteries causing Angina. He and his two daughters all had Internal Age scores more than ten years above their chronological ages. Although they looked perfectly healthy they all shared a tendency to develop increased stiffness of the spine and body’s core regions leading to deceased Core Mobility.

iHeart is a revolutionary health assessment tool able to assess overall health with a fingertip pulse sensor, a 30 second test and a mobile app. Analysis of the fingertip arterial pulse signal allows iHeart to determine Stiffness of the Aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel running from the heart through the chest and abdomen. Aortic Stiffness is accepted by medical scientists to predict risk of death from all causes. Aortic Stiffness has been shown to identify individuals in their 30's at risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia.

The Aorta runs immediately in front of the spinal column. Aortic Stiffness is a measure of stiffness of the spinal column. The rib cage and diaphragm muscle are intimately related with the spinal column and with increasing stiffness of the spine there is decreased mobility of the rib cage and diaphragm. With increasing Stiffness of the spine, rib cage and diaphragm muscle, breathing becomes less effective at promoting circulation within the Internal Organs and there is less circulation of cerebrospinal fluid up the spinal column that nourishes and protects the brain.

Aortic Stiffness is a unique health metric, able to assess overall health and estimate lifespan. Yoga and Tai Chi have for many centuries promoted spinal movement, core mobility and breathing as important for health.

With each breath in the rib cage expands as the diaphragm muscle contracts and descends. This draws air into the lungs and encourages return of blood to the heart. The diaphragm muscle compresses the soft and spongy internal organs below that include the liver, spleen, adrenal glands, kidneys, stomach and pancreas. Breathing related compression/ release cycles promote circulation of blood and other fluids deep within the internal organs, assisting with organ function and promoting overall health.

Each breath also acts as a pump, propelling cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) up the spinal column to the brain and back again. There is about 250ml of CSF that is completely replaced four times every day. Scattered deep within the brain are frond like areas called chorionic plexi that filter blood to create new CSF and return old to the blood stream. To function well CSF needs breathing related pumping to circulate CSF past the chorionic plexi.

The father and his daughters I tested have increased spinal stiffness and decreased Core Mobility. They have higher risks for development of heart disease and a wide variety of other illness. However, with exercise such as hiking and Yoga, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and reduced stress they will be able to reduce Aortic Stiffness, feel better and live longer. Genetics is only part of the equation. Insight and attention to personal health can make a big difference.

iHeart offers a simple and easy way to assess Aortic Stiffness and follow improvement in Aortic Stiffness with exercise, good diet and stress management.