Cursed by Genetics; Guided to Health

Nov 2, 2016 by Dr. Jess Goodman | health, lifestyle

Cursed by Genetics; Guided to Health


Yesterday I used the iheart Internal Age system to test a father and his two daughters. The father was in his 50's but a few weeks before had angioplasty to treat critically narrowed coronary arteries that feed the heart muscle. He and his two daughters both had Internal Age scores decades higher than their chronological age. They looked perfectly healthy they shared a tendency to develop increased stiffness of the spine and body's core regions leading to deceased Core Mobility.


Analysis of the fingertip arterial pulse signal allows iheart to determine Stiffness of the Aorta, the body's largest blood vessel running from the heart through the chest and abdomen. Aortic Stiffness is accepted by medical scientists to predict risk of death from all causes. Aortic Stiffness has been shown to identify individuals in their 30's at risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia.


The Aorta runs immediately in front of the spinal column. Aortic Stiffness is not just a measure of risk of heart health, brain health, and internal health in general, it is a measure of stiffness of the spinal column. The rib cage and diaphragm muscle are intimately related with the spinal column and with increasing stiffness of the spine there is decreased mobility of the rib cage and diaphragm. With increasing stiffness of the spine, rib cage and diaphragm muscle, breathing becomes less effective at promoting circulation within the Internal Organs and there is less circulation of cerebrospinal fluid up the spinal column that nourishes and protects the brain.


Aortic Stiffness is a unique health metric, able to assess overall health and estimate lifespan. Yoga and Tai Chi have for many centuries promoted spinal movement, core mobility and breathing as important for health.


With each breath in the rib cage expands as the diaphragm muscle contracts and descends. This draws air into the lungs and encourages return of blood to the heart. The diaphragm muscle compresses the soft and spongy internal organs below that include the liver, spleen, adrenal glands, kidneys, stomach and pancreas. Breathing related compression/ release cycles promote circulation of blood and other fluids deep within the internal organs, assisting with organ function and promoting overall health.


Each breath also acts as a pump, propelling cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) up the spinal column to the brain and back again. There is about 250ml of CSF that is completely replaced four times every day. Scattered deep within the brain are frond like areas called chorionic plexi that filter blood to create new CSF and return old to the blood stream. To function well CSF needs breathing related pumping to circulate CSF past the chorionic plexi.


The father and daughter I tested yesterday have increased spinal stiffness and decreased Core Mobility. They have higher risks for development of heart disease and a wide variety of other illness. However, with exercise such as hiking and Yoga, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and reduced stress they will be able to reduce Aortic Stiffness, feel better and live longer. Genetics is only part of the equation. Insight and attention to personal health can make a big difference.


iheart offers a simple and easy way to assess Aortic Stiffness and follow improvement in Aortic Stiffness with exercise, good diet and stress management.

Author: Dr. Jess Goodman

Dr. Goodman is the President and Founder of VitalSines, Inc. Jess is a Physician in General Practice with experience in worn personal health monitoring electronics development and deployment. He is passionate about giving individuals better ways to visualize, monitor, and manage their health.