Complementary practices for heart wellness
Specialists in our Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program recommend complementary practices for people with heart disease.
Massage therapy relies on soft tissue manipulation through stroking, kneading, friction and vibration to provide relaxation and improve health. It is good for mind and body and has a low risk of injury.
Massage sessions usually last 30-60 minutes and costs start at about $40. Many private health insurance funds cover the costs of a massage given by an accredited massage therapist.
Ask friends for any recommendation or go to professional associations of massage therapist's websites, such as Australian Association of Massage Therapists or Association of Massage Therapists for the name and number of a massage therapist near you.
Meditation is a technique which helps to relax and train the mind to perceive situations differently, by learning to focus thoughts without distraction by outside disturbances.
Daily meditation can enhance feelings of control, reduce stress and alleviate pain, anxiety and depression. It is usually practiced by sitting upright and focusing on the breath.
There are many different forms of meditation and many books and classes for instruction. For audio books, CDs and DVDs try looking at websites such as Mindfulness Meditation.
Yoga involves gentle stretching and controlled breathing practices. It is a slow and gentle practice that is quietening to the mind, helps build strength and stamina, and has a low risk of injury. Once you have learned some basics from an instructor you can practice it at home for no cost.
Look for a yoga class in your area by asking at your Neighbourhood House, local gymnasium or recreation centre or looking on Natural Therapy Pages.
Ask about age-appropriate classes and tell the instructor if you have any health conditions so they can modify your practice accordingly.
Tai chi uses slow, controlled movements of the body to achieve a more balanced state of body and mind. It has positive effects on circulation, breathing and brain function and helps to reduce the incidence of falls in older people. It is safe, with a low risk of injury and, once you have learned the movements, it can be practiced anywhere as it requires no special equipment.
Check in your local paper or Neighbourhood House to see if any classes are on offer. To find an instructor in your local area, go to Tai Chi Australia or check in your local paper or at a Neighbourhood House to see if any classes are on offer.