On the MayoClinic website re: ablation surgery, in the section titled “after cardiac ablation” the results you can expect are identified, including that repeated ablation procedures are not unprecedented as some need their surgeon to have a second go at their heart. What I found interesting was that in the typical list of suggestions like eating less salt to lower blood pressure, quitting smoking & drinking, etc… was suggestion #7 (see image to right).

Attribution: MayoClinic website

Attribution: Google

Interesting eh…  the MayoClinic suggests that post ablation, patients need to “manage strong emotions, such as anger”; and I believe that along with anger anxious emotions as well as fearful emotions needed to be addressed. Why?

Check the image to the left for the connection between heart disease and unhealthy emotions (aka – a lack of emotional stability).

How exactly are our emotions and heart health related?

Through an hormonal connection.

Emotions – especially anger, anxiety & fear – trigger your protective aka survival reflexes, launching your sympathetic nervous system into its flight-fight-freeze mode.  This mode gets its supercharge from these two primary inflammatory hormones…

Attribution: Google

Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation (attribution: Google).

Adrenaline acts to increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, expands the air passages of the lungs, enlarges the pupil in the eye, redistributes blood to the muscles and alters the body’s metabolism to maximize blood glucose levels (primarily for the brain) (attribution: Google).

You don’t necessary ‘feel’ cortisol, but you definitely feel adrenaline pumping through your system as symptoms include:

This explains why an athlete doesn’t ‘feel’ their HR at 200+ bpm, why athletes seek ‘adrenaline surges’ in order to elevate their performance in competition, and why repeatedly using your survival reflexes as a solution to your overall lack of athleticism to fake outcomes (e.g. power output, split times, speed) in training & racing will eventually lead to heart disease signs & symptoms, then an enlarged heart, and then depending on age either silent heart attacks, an all-out heart attack or a stroke, or congestive heart failure (abbreviated as a diagnosis of CHF… which virtually every single nursing home/long term care resident has as a diagnosis… 15yrs of working as a physio in long term care and you start to see the connections between how people live and why people end up needing nursing care in old age).

Why do I attack the level of education and experience of trainers/coaches? Because the majority have no idea how to actually train or coach an athlete to peak performance without compromising health. Its easy to leverage the health of a junior athlete, the arrogance of a masters athlete or the self-image of almost anyone, manipulating them to believe that the path to success is by repeatedly going ‘beast-mode’, that its brave and courageous and a testament to your athleticism and that the best of the best train in this way to race at the top of their game. The philosophies of the majority of trainers/coaches is quite simply bullshit. Lacking the education and the experience truly required to train and coach, the short cut is simply to ‘build a name for yourself’ as quickly as possible by having a handful of athlete fake peak performances through adrenaline-surge training with the goal that no one ever asks if the philosophy is indeed healthy, sustainable, or comes with any consequence.

Search Google for “15yr Cyclocross Champion Dies” to source article

How is exercise that demands that we “surge adrenaline” in order to finish the workout making any of us healthier? It’s not!

Meanwhile the coroner’s key statement in the report regarding the death of the UK 15yr old Cyclocross Champion who died after a series of silent heart attacks is:

these heart attacks occurred as a byproduct of high surges of adrenaline which left his heart scarred and vulnerable“.

If all your trainer/coach has as their methodology for building athletic abilities is “high surges of adrenaline”… in the short term, you may see a jump, even a significant jump in your overall performance, you may even lose wight and start to look ‘fit’, question is though… how long will the gamble pay-off? Which adrenaline surge will be the ‘the big one‘ that pushes your scarred and vulnerable heart to its breaking point?

Is that what sport has become? A casino where we gamble our health in exchange for a temporary hope of a peak performance? Who then is the winner? The one who walks away early with their heart intact or the one who goes all-in and fails to PR and ends up in the ER? Rhetorical question… its bullshit both ways.

In poker, the term ‘shark’ refers to the strongest players while the weakest player at the table is called the ‘fish’. Its said that if you don’t know who the ‘fish’ is at the table… its you. In the so called health & fitness industry, uneducated & inexperienced trainers/coaches are the sharks, if you don’t realize this, guess who’s the fish.

And if you think the consequences from living off “adrenaline surges” to make it through your work-day or make it through your work-out end there… well they don’t… your trainer/coach is too ignorant to know that they are encouraging the #2 cause of death after already encouraging the #1 cause of death (#1 being heart disease). Oh… didn’t know… well neither does your trainer/coach know there is also a link between anger and cancer. So if it ain’t heart disease that they are training you to develop, look what you have to look forward too… cancer… or maybe you will get the double whammy and get both!

Attribution: Google

Just as an aside…

Guess where ‘compression socks’ come from? You know the ones I’m talking about… the neon coloured knee high socks that ‘athletes’ wear?

They come from hospital, long term care and medically compromised patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) whose hearts generate so little pressure that pulling blood back into the heart from the veins is no longer easy peasy. Those patients wear what are called in the health care sector TED stockings; but in the health care sector they don’t come in funky colours, just white or skin tone.

So, next time you are about to put on your pair of compression socks in search of performance… stop and think for a second… if I’m actually training in an healthy manner, why would I need a medical intervention reserved for patients with chronic heart disease signs & symptoms?  Hmm….  Doesn’t add up, does it?