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Dr. John M. Kennedy

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Recent finding: A University of Southern California study that looked at 735 patients for more than 12 years found that chronic stress and anxiety were better predictors of future cardiovascular events (such as a heart attack) than other risk factors. The researchers estimate that those who reduce or stabilize their stress levels are 50% to 60% less likely to have a heart attack than those who experience increasing stress. All of us have known or know about someone who had a massive heart attack, often while being involved in a stressful situation. Yet we continue to race through life without realizing that the stress we confront daily is increasing our own risk of meeting a similar fate. In his new book THE 15-MINUTE HEART CURE: The Natural Way To Release Stress & Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes A Day, our guest today the distinguished cardiologist Dr. John M. Kennedy makes a powerful case for stress reduction as a key to fighting heart disease and then shows us how to do it. The book was also written by Jason Jennings. Based on extensive research and filled with dozens of anecdotes, THE 15-MINUTE HEART CURE takes readers through the science of how the heart works, highlights the four major types of heart disease, and explains the affects of stress. The “heart” of the book, though, is Kennedy’s innovative BREATHE™ technique that helps people relax and requires only fifteen minutes a day to implement.

John Martin Kennedy, MD, FACC

Dr. John M. Kennedy, co-author of The 15 Minute Heart Cure: The Natural Way to Release Stress and Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes a Day, works as the Director of Preventive Cardiology and Wellness, Marina Del Rey Hospital, Marina Del Rey, California. He is on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association and speaks regularly on their behalf. His special interest, which is highlighted in his book, is stress and how it adversely affects our delicate cardiovascular system. He lectures regularly on the subject and has helped companies educate employees on how to manage stress in the workplace. In addition, Dr. Kennedy emphasizes that heart disease remains the number one killer in America despite advances in technology. He emphasizes that heart disease affects many of us and starts early with early signs seen in our children. Recognizing the growing prevalence of the disease which has been shown to start at a young age, Dr. Kennedy also lectures to children about the importance of diet, exercise and stress management in his lecture entitled, Big Mind, Brave Heart, Bright Future.

Working as an invasive cardiologist, he has seen countless examples of how stress can harm our delicate cardiovascular system. Examples include the trial attorney who suffers a massive heart attack on the day of his important court trial, the school teacher who on back-to-school night develops congestive heart failure while talking with disgruntled parents, and the plumber who develops a rapid arrhythmia when dealing with angry clients. Common experiences such as these led to his fascination in the mind-heart-brain connection and inspired him to write this book which is based on a simple premise—If stress is bad for our heart, then relaxation must be good.

In his quest to understand this relationship between the heart and brain Dr. Kennedy has uncovered a large volume of research that is timely and relevant to today’s stressful and fast-paced world we live in, and has designed an accessible, easy-to-learn stress- management tool that will help you to combat stress and ultimately protect your heart.

“Our global economy, 12-hour work days and pressure to accomplish more in less time make stress part of our everyday lives. Unfortunately, if we fail to recognize stress, over time it can wreak havoc on our cardiovascular system,” says Dr. Kennedy.

In the book, The 15 Minute Heart Cure: The Natural Way to Release Stress and Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes a Day, he discusses the importance of recognizing the constant communication which occurs between the heart and brain and help you to listen to and hear “the conversation” between these two vital organs. (Website: The 15 Minute Heart Cure)

Stress activates a reflex in our body known as the “fight or flight” response which leads to a number of bodily changes. Some people, for example, feel sweaty, a knot in their stomach, and others may feel their muscles tighten. These physiologic bodily changes in response to stress are the “invitation” to participate in the “conversation”, and when you learn to hear the conversation you can quickly call on the BREATHE™ tool to stop stress in its tracks.

The BREATHE™ technique combines two proven forms of relaxation−guided imagery and breath work−and puts a modern spin on ancient wisdom. Both of these techniques elicit the “relaxation response” which is opposite the “stress response”. When practiced regularly, like toning your muscles in the gym, you’ll develop a special neural network that will help you focus and find a sense of calm when faced with one of life’s unexpected stressful challenges.

The BREATHE™ technique can be used to help heal and protect your heart as well as help you focus and concentrate. It has been used successfully in health, business, academics and athletics.


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