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Thriving with Heart Disease - Live Happier, Healthier, Longer

by Wayne M Sotile PhD with Robin Cantor-Cooke

listed in heart

[Image: Thriving with Heart Disease - Live Happier, Healthier, Longer]

The author considers the steps that can be taken to prevent and manage heart disease, the biggest single killer of men and women in the UK.

Dr Sotile, a cardiac psychologist, advocates an integral approach to recovery. He promotes medication, regular exercise, healthy eating and the elimination of smoking and drinking, and profoundly emphasises emotional management. He believes wholeheartedly that the key to a healthy heart is a healthy mind. The evidence for this body-mind connection is indisputable as stress and anger produce the release of the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, which increase heart rate and blood pressure causing direct damage to blood vessels. His approach is in agreement with the European Society of Cardiology, whose studies have shown that patients who learn how to cope with emotions live longer and happier lives.

The author empowers the sufferer to take charge of his/her own recovery and encourages lifestyle changes. He guides the sufferer through the stages of heart illness focussing on surviving the crisis, creating coping strategies and learning to live with heart disease. He also provides help for loved ones of the sufferer, thoughtfully writing about the struggles that they face, and discussions of what can be done. He highlights the importance of family communications and that loving relationships may be the strongest ingredient in the prescription for living well with heart disease.

In his in-depth information on the 'whys' and 'hows' of embracing this newer, healthier lifestyle Sotile examines the following issues in detail: cultivating positive attitudes, managing stress, dealing with depression, defusing anger, reclaiming sex life and physical intimacy, and seeking a higher purpose in life.The section on stress is particularly informative presenting detailed information on understanding and managing short and long term stress and how it affects the heart, case histories, the role of sleep and questionnaires to help the reader define their levels of stress and exhaustion. He suggests ways of identifying stress and managing stress reactions, avoiding stress boosting behaviours and massaging mental muscles with stress shrinking techniques.

He adds further chapters on living well with heart failure and with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and presents a comprehensive appendix, and a resource and reference section.

This book is packed with expertise, knowledge, wisdom and motivational techniques, and is not only of benefit for sufferers of heart disease and their loved ones, but is also valuable for sufferers of other diseases. Dr Sotile writes with empathy and compassion, and with a sincere focus of making a difference to heart sufferer's lives. The book is a 'gift and in his words, the wisest response to a gift is "to accept it wholeheartedly and gracefully".

June Butlin
Published by Newleaf. 2003
0-7171366 9-8

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