Learn how to mend a broken heart
How do you mend a broken heart? By doing yoga, according to a new study.
Sadly we're not talking about the pain you feel when you've been dumped by a beau - after all, we all know a vat of ice cream and some weepy movies are all that's required to cope with that. Instead, it's the phenomenon known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy which has been looked at. Otherwise known as broken heart syndrome, for years this has been touted as the reason some elderly couples die within weeks of each other.
Researchers, publishing in the American Journal of Cardiology, now believe simple pursuits like yoga and meditation could stop the heart episodes occurring by calming the body.
It's suggested the condition is caused by adrenaline, which overwhelms the heart. Sufferers often fear they're having a heart attack, as they're experience pounding in their chest, pains and their breathing becomes laboured - all which have been linked to adrenaline.
Primarily women over 60 are affected, with emotional and physical stress often the root cause. This is why the loss of someone close can trigger an episode, which can be fatal if they cause intense damage to the heart.
Traditional treatment has been pills to control adrenaline, but they haven't always worked. Now cardiologist Dr. Harmony Reynolds has conducted a study and linked the syndrome to the parasympathetic nervous system - the area of the body which calms it.
Twenty women were part of the research, 10 of who had suffered broken-heart syndrome. They underwent tests which were supposed to cause them stress, including asking them to open up about what caused their initial attack. As they spoke, their blood pressure began to rise and it was found that their heart struggled to calm down. This is why it's been suggested that things like yoga and deep breathing could be instrumental in battling the condition, as they are designed to help people cope with extreme anxiety.
Don't feel you need to invest money to get the benefits either, there are many free meditation apps which teach how to deep breath and let go of stress.