When looking to address heart disease, one of the modalities we’ve had immense success with is an integrated protocol using lifestyle, specific nutritional interventions paired with enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) – this holistic and integrated protocol is known as Integrated External Counterpulsation (IECP). By doing this, the typical EECP procedure, which is already highly effective as demonstrated by hundreds of published research papers, is augmented, enhanced and made even more effective in dealing with cardiovascular disease. Previously reported clinical outcomes of EECP treatment include:
- Improved collateral circulation (additional backup blood vessels)
- Reduced lipid peroxidation (reduced free radical attack of fats – this oxidation of fats is what causes blockages)
- Increased nitric oxide levels (nitric oxide encourages blood vessels to widen, this is how viagra works)
- Increased exercise time and reversed ST depression (this means the electrical activity of the heart is improved)
- Improved quality of life and energy (you can very quickly see this firsthand in patients before and after)
- Decreased endothelin (ET-1) – ET-1 causes blood vessels to constrict and narrow
- Heart hypertrophy is reduced (reduction in the increase heart size that can be a part of heart disease)
- Improved radionuclide stress perfusion (this is a procedure where we inject a tracer into the body and study how your circulation carries the tracer in the body)
- Decreased atrial natriuretic peptide and brain natriuretic peptide (these are markers used to diagnose and assess the severity of heart failure)
EECP therapy has been in use in the USA since 1995 and has been approved by the US FDA since the 1960s. Locally, EECP is classified for the treatment of cardiogenic shock, acute myocardial infarction, angina and congestive heart failure by the Ministry of Health. While frequently considered only AFTER patients have had bad experiences with angioplasty, stents and other expensive AND invasive treatments, EECP should be considered BEFORE such measures as it is non-invasive and relatively more affordable. Listen to what Dr. Ozlem Soran has to say about it (apologies if it takes awhile for the frame to load – keep refreshing if it doesn’t show at first):
Interestingly, because the cardiovascular system is so key to the optimal performance of the other bodily systems, EECP has been used by medical professionals for a wide range of conditions which has yielded success in improving:
- Loss of memory
- Poor vision
- Sudden deafness
- Renal failure
Granted this is largely anecdotal evidence but it should be heartening to patients or people with loved ones suffering from heart disease that a simple non-invasive protocol can create a better quality of life beyond the immediate concerns about the pathology.
Is EECP A Cure-All Then?
Of course not.
The thing is, heart disease is a progressive chronic disease that is surrounded by a range of contributing factors and is not easily just “cured”. If you eat mountains of rice everyday, smoke a pack a day, drink everyday and work a stressful 18 hour day 6 days a week, then EECP isn’t going to just magically make your blood vessels unblocked. If you have Type II Diabetes or a any other kind of metabolic disease, the situation is even more dire.
And that’s why IECP, Integrated ECP, protocols were invented – to tie in tailored nutritional and lifestyle interventions with an already very effective protocol to address deficiencies that get in the way of healing. By looking at nutritional interventions, we can breakdown and identify individual road blocks. And this is how you save yourself a lot of time, pain and money in the long run – by being efficient, effective and systematically intelligent about your health.