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    From the bottom of his heart: cardiologist discusses link between heart and mental health

    By Brad Dountz,

    27 days ago

    SALISBURY — Dr. Jonathan Fisher, the author of the book “Just One Heart: A Cardiologist’s Guide to Healing, Health and Happiness,” takes his teachings to heart. While Fisher was breaking into the medical field, he was dealing with his own internal struggles that eventually inspired him to write the book.

    “It started for personal research. I was very lonely, I was anxious, I was depressed, not only in college, but in medical school and I thought I was the only one,” Fisher said. “I built walls around my own heart.”

    Fisher was the keynote speaker at the Rowan Chamber of Commerce’s Power in Partnership breakfast at Trinity Oaks on April 18. The Harvard graduate and current cardiovascular disease provider at Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute in Huntersville has also shared his findings with IBM, Bank of America, as well as universities and healthcare institutions.

    Fisher dived deep into the history of cardiology by referring to the Greek physician Galen and the discoveries he made when performing autopsies on animals. Fisher traced his practices to Dr. Robert Nerem, an Ohio State University researcher, who found after feeding rabbits a high-fat diet in the 1970s, that a group of them had 60 percent less blockage in their hearts. This was due to a research assistant giving those rabbits special attention and care while still feeding them the same food as the others.

    When discussing what he wants readers to get out of his new book, Fisher preaches how the current trends of a person’s emotional and mental wellbeing has a direct correlation to their heart health.

    “We have to take a holistic view of our health, that the heart is very central in our humanity and our personal experience, and that if you want a shortcut to health, it begins with empathy, kindness and compassion,” Fisher said. “If you want to be healthy and live a long life so you can be there for all the people you lead and set an example for them, maybe it’s not enough to just focus on eating healthy and going to the gym. Maybe there’s more.”

    Many of the dangers that Fisher calls “heart breakers” are anxiety, depression, burnout, loneliness and stress. Fisher referenced to the audience that the United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy wrote a report stating the No. 1 crisis in the country is loneliness and the ramifications of chronic loneliness is the same as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

    However, Fisher disclosed his “heart wakers” as joy, laughter, compassion and love and that his “four dimensions of the human heart” are physical, social, emotional and spiritual. By conducting a big picture approach to cardiology, Fisher believes lives can be saved.

    “Maybe, just maybe, the solution that we’re facing right now, the problems of burnout and stress and business and our employees and among leaders who really are feeling more isolated and alone than ever because of financial, political process pressures. Maybe part of the solution is returning back to the heart,” Fisher said. “As long as humans have existed the heart, not the mind, the heart has been the center of our spirit, of our soul, our emotions.”

    The post From the bottom of his heart: cardiologist discusses link between heart and mental health appeared first on Salisbury Post .

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