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The Healthy Heart Kit    by Andrew Weil & et al order for
Healthy Heart Kit
by Andrew Weil
Order:  USA  Can
Sounds True, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Dr. Andrew Weil's kit in a box includes a 52-page workbook, 2 CDs, and 25 heart-health cards, explaining how to 'heal your heart by minimizing your risk factors, changing your lifestyle, optimizing the mind-body connection through mindfulness and guided imagery, reducing chronic inflammation'.

The small workbook begins by introducing 'the most important muscle in the body' and emphasizing that 'Cardiovascular disease is preventable, treatable, and often even reversible.' Topics include risk factors; cholesterol; LDL/HDL balance; and tests. Conditions that raise cardiovascular risk are discussed with advice on what to do about them. Next the workbook addresses Heart-Healthy Eating, including spices to experiment with in place of salt and recommended supplements. It also covers emotions and heart health, suggesting Three Mind-Body Approaches for Stress Protection. The workbook ends with a summary of tips regarding: Diet/Weight, Exercise, Mind-Body, Supplements, Lifestyle, and Self-Care. Book and website resouces are listed at the back.

The heart-health cards summarize tips under similar categories to those above - for example Blood Pressure Levels under Self-Care, Target Heart-Rate Goals by age under Diet/Exercise, 4-7-8 Breathing under Mind Body, and Live for Today under Heart Inspirations. In the Session 1 CD, Andrew Weil and Stephen Devries emphasize lifestyle and integrative approaches, addressing topics including New thinking on heart health, risk factors and the anti-inflammatory diet. In the Session 2 CD, Devries explains breathing techniques to relax the heart; Erin Olivo introduces three meditation exercises; and Martin Rossman delves into guided imagery focused on healing the heart.

The Healthy Heart Kit offers a comprehensive - and very accessible - approach to heart health, and in particular to taking a preventive approach to potential cardiac problems. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a genetic risk for heart disease, or simply wants to start living a healthy and mindful lifestyle now in order to avoid problems later.

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