Heart Attack Alternative Treatments

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on October 30, 2014
Medically Reviewed by Kenneth R. Hirsch, MD on October 30, 2014

Alternative Treatments for Heart Attack

Alternative treatment is not appropriate when heart attack symptoms are present. Symptoms of a heart attack require immediate medical attention. A heart attack is a life-threatening event and should be immediately treated by trained emergency medical providers.

However, alternative treatments and lifestyle changes can improve your heart health and reduce your risk of a heart attack. Always consult your doctor before trying any alternative treatments. It’s important to ensure that they will not interfere with medications you may be taking. Remember that a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential in maintaining a healthy heart.

The following treatments are NOT to be used during an actual or suspected heart attack. They might be used to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or as part of a holistic treatment plan after you have experienced a heart attack and received appropriate medical attention and treatments.

Meditation

Studies have shown that daily meditation can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Stress and high blood pressure are risk factors for coronary artery disease and heart attack. There are many forms of meditation, including:

  • guided meditation
  • mantra meditation
  • mindfulness meditation
  • qigong
  • tai chi
  • yoga

Any of these might be beneficial. It’s not necessary to follow any particular form of meditation. You might just sit comfortably, close your eyes, and repeat a word or phrase for approximately 20 minutes. The idea is to quiet your mind and to let mind and body connect and relax.

Nutritional Therapy

A healthy diet is a necessary aspect of heart health and is crucial in preventing coronary artery disease and heart attack. There are many studies that examine the role of specific foods and herbs on heart health. In general, maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is an effective way to maintain a healthy heart. Stay away from processed foods, as well as those that are high in fat and sugar.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. This type of fat may reduce the risk of heart disease. These fats are found in cold-water fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Up to 90 percent of Americans do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their diets. Supplements might be appropriate to ensure adequate intake.

Supplements of omega-3 fatty acids should be taken only with your doctor’s supervision. High doses can cause bleeding. Use with caution if you have a bleeding disorder, bruise easily, or are taking drugs that interfere with blood clotting such as warfarin or aspirin.

Regular Exercise

Exercise is important for maintaining heart health. It helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and control weight. It doesn’t need to be strenuous exercise. Walking for 30 minutes five times a week can make a noticeable difference. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. If you have had a heart attack, you want to be sure your heart is ready for exercise. 

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