Joel Kahn

Also By Author

Joel Kahn: The Plant-Based Solution

Dr. Joel Kahn is a holistic cardiologist, clinical professor of medicine, and author who is known as “America’s Healthy Heart Doc.” With Sounds True, he has published The Plant-Based Solution: America’s Healthy Heart Doc’s Plan to Power Your Health. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Joel and Tami Simon discuss why making the switch to a whole-food, vegan diet is the best decision you can make for your long-term heart health—as well as for diabetes prevention, sexual energy, and overall longevity. They compare a plant-based diet to other contemporary methods such as the keto and paleo diets, and Joel explains how to address what’s missing in purely vegan foods. Finally, Tami and Joel talk about how the switch to a vegan diet is especially important for contemporary environmental crises and why a plant-based lifestyle will soon be a social standard. (58 minutes)

6 Stress-Busting Techniques from a Cardiologist

For many heart patients, stress is the elephant in the room – not only around the holidays, but all the time.  When we discuss why they missed their goals for proper exercise, nutrition, abstinence from smoking, and proper sleep, stress is often the reason.  Here are some stress-management tips taken from a series of lectures I’ve given – I share them with the hope that they help manage stresses in your life.

 

Adaptogens                                                                                                                                                                                                           

When I talk to patients about stress, I begin by describing adaptogens, or herbs that appear useful in stabilizing physiology and improving anxiety and stress. I do this because so many of them are already using pills — typically benzodiazepines like Xanax and Ativan — and my goal is to get them off those prescription medications ASAP.  Frankly, substituting one pill for another is something most patients accept faster than any other technique.  I’ve had success in many patients using L-theanine 200 mg twice a day and ashwagandha 500 mg twice daily, usually together. Even elderly patients report they feel less stressed and more functional. Rhodiola is another adaptogen I like because it’s been studied in heart patients and shows benefits for their symptoms. I recommend 100 mg a day.

 

Breath-work                                                                                                                                                                                                             

There are many styles of breath-work, but I find I can teach my patients the 4-7-8 breathing practice in the office in just a few minutes, and they use it right away. I refer them to an online video created for children, and ask them to practice this at home and use it in their daily routine:                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Meditation                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Teaching meditation is a longer process than the first two techniques, but has been shown to benefit heart patients and should be taught routinely. I ask them to study the Kirtan Kriya taught by Dr. Khalsa because it’s only 12 minutes and is supported by great research results at UCLA. When I tell them that they may slow aging and improve their memory while dealing with their stress, they’re eager to use it in their lives.

 

HeartMath                                                                                                                                                                                                               

This is an online program using heart-centered breathing and positive emotions to restore balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It requires purchasing a cable that clips on the earlobe and connects to a smartphone, tablet or a PC. I recommend it to patients because it resembles a game, is easy to learn, and is supported by published scientific studies showing lower blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, improved memory, and better school performance.

 

Yoga                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Different styles of yoga have been studied in a variety of serious stress disorders including cancer, post-trauma, and addictions, and has been found to be beneficial even when tested using rigorous scientific study design. Yoga can be adapted for the elderly using only a chair; it provides a sense of community, and offers some cardio benefit as well.

 

Massage                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

My patients ask me if massage is worthwhile, and when I tell them that medical benefits have been identified for this therapy, including blood pressure and stress reduction, they’re excited.

Will these six tips help offer something for everyone? Unfortunately, there are people who aren’t willing to try and stick with these practices, and others who have unrealistic expectations. There are other approaches to consider, including essential oils, music, exercise proper nutrition, hormonal balance, and improved GI tract function. I refer challenging patients to holistic psychiatrists and counselors.

I remind my patients of a story about a man speaking to a religious leader repeating over and over that he was frustrated with the stresses in life. The leader suggested they take a walk, and stopped in front of a cemetery. The man asked why they stopped there and the leader replied, “They are the only people who have no worries and stress, for the rest of us, we need to manage and work out the issues.”

 

Looking for more great reads?

 

 

Dr. Kahn is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Director of Cardiac Wellness, Michigan Healthcare Professionals PC. He is a graduate Summa Cum Laude of the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He lectures widely on the cardiac benefits of vegan nutrition, mind body practices and heart attack prevention. He writes blogs for MindBodyGreen, OneGreenPlanet, Aloha.com, Forksoverknives.com, and for Readers Digest Magazine as the Holistic Heart Doc. His latest book, The Plant-Based Solution will be released in January 2018.

 

You Might Also Enjoy

Becoming a Trauma-Informed Spiritual Explorer

Mindfulness meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices bring many benefits, but for those struggling with trauma, those practices can actually amplify their symptoms. That doesn’t mean they should avoid these practices. By adopting trauma-sensitive principles, those healing from trauma often have the most to gain.

In this episode, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. David Treleaven, a leading voice in Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM), to explore the five principles of TSM, why the breath is not always a neutral or safe object of attention, how to tell if an intense meditation experience is helping or not, when to lean in to your practice and when to change direction, techniques to re-ground and regulate, guidance for meditation teachers, the importance of supportive relationships in TSM, and much more.

Let Us Make Sanctuary

In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Akomolafe about how sanctuary is where slowing down and healing happens. They discuss: how the function of slowing down in urgent times is not about simply resting so that we can continue forward in the same direction, but about how to engage in deep inquiry about where we are going; pouring drink to earth—an African spiritual technology that expresses our indebtedness to our ancestors and all that makes life possible; standing at the crossroads—how the ground underneath us is going through a seismic shift that is allowing the unsaid to now be spoken and intelligible; the invitation of the slave ship as a place of spiritual contemplation and as a site of renewing our connections with grief, loss, trauma, and tragedy; grieving as a form of activism; and more.

Unshakable Inner Peace: What Does That Mean, and Is It...

 In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Shannon about her new book, Return to You, and how we can embrace every part of ourselves and realize “an unshakable inner peace.” They also discuss the spiritual lesson that “if you don’t go within you go without,” identifying your particular intuitive style and tapping your innate wisdom, working with anxiety and shifting from fear to love, the practice of “alchemizing fear” so as not to bypass it, ways to amplify our sense of love and connection, why in order to really know something you must know its opposite, personal expansion and reclaiming your power, how to “turn your resistance into assistance,” cultivating an “activation mindset” to sustain calm, and much more.

>