As a former acupuncturist, I still find it amusing when allopathic medicine "catches up" to labeling and understanding (usually in that order) the pathophysiology of emotions playing a role in our physical states.

One such example that has been clinically reported in medical literature dating back to the 1990's, but felt and understood by every human being since the beginning of time, is the emotional, mental and physical experience of a broken heart. According to Harvard Health Publishing, takotsubo cardiomyopathy is the official condition given to a special collection of symptoms resulting from a disorder of the left ventricle of the heart muscle.

Some symptoms included in Harvard's list are common to cardiomyopathies such as shortness of breath and chest pain. EKG readings of patients with the condition can also appear similar to those who have had heart attacks. But what makes it quite different from other common heart ailments, at least from a Western medicine perspective, is that there are stressors associated with this particular disease that you might not expect:

  • Unexpected loss, illness, injury of close relative, friend or pet
  • Receiving bad news
  • Fierce argument
  • Financial loss
  • Intense fear (such as a shock or scare, cases reported in Japan were associated with recent earthquake activity)

Reads a bit like a list of energetic causes of broken hearts throughout human existence! Interestingly, according to medical findings, women are the most susceptible to this form of cardiomyopathy, which has come to be known as Broken-Heart Syndrome, with over 90% of cases reported in females ages 58-75.

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