The Integrative Cardiac Wellness program was developed out of research showing that positive emotions and expectations can help the body heal faster and with fewer complications. It also introduces some of the key messages for better cardiac health provided in cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Clinical service overview
The Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program is an initiative of Professor Franklin Rosenfeldt and Dr Lesley Braun of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Unit, Department of Surgery, Monash University at The Alfred.
Professor Rosenfeldt has conducted cardiac surgery research at The Alfred for 30 years. In particular, he has investigated the use of natural substances, such as antioxidants, to improve heart function before and after surgery.
Dr Braun is a qualified pharmacist with additional naturopathic training and particular expertise in the integration of complementary and conventional medicine practices, drug interactions and complementary medicine safety.
In 2004 a human clinical research trial commenced at The Alfred, using metabolic therapy (a combination of fish oils and the antioxidants coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, selenium and magnesium orotate), exercise and stress reduction to improve outcomes for cardiac surgery patients.
The results were positive, demonstrating up to 50% reduction in complications (such as atrial fibrillation) after surgery and up to 1 day less hospital stay.
The results of this study formed the basis of the Integrative Cardiac Wellness program which now comprises integrative medicine services and health promotion consultations together with nutritional supplementation.
Complementary therapies include medicines and practices that traditionally arose outside the Western medical system but may in fact be part of the standard medical system in other countries. Complementary medicines include nutritional supplements such as antioxidants (for example, coenzyme Q10), fish oils, vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin D and zinc) and herbal medicines such as valerian, chamomile and ginger. Complementary practices include massage, meditation, yoga and Tai chi.
As part of our Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program we are committed to using complementary therapies that have been proven to be safe and of benefit to people with heart disease. Benefits may include reduced risk of complications after surgery, quicker recovery from surgery, reduced anxiety and pain, improved mood and general wellbeing. Diet and lifestyle changes may also have significant benefits for future health.
Find out more about complementary therapies for heart wellness
Find out more about complementary practices for heart wellness
Find out more about the healthy heart diet
Refer your patient
- Enquiries phone (03) 9903 0838
Special referral instructions
We meet all patients who attend Pre-Admission Clinic prior to cardiothoracic surgery.
Complementary Therapies in Medicine
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National centre for complementary and alternative medicine
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The National Institute of Complementary Medicine
Therapeutic Goods Administration
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Scientific research published in journals in biology, clinical medicine and health
Access to high-quality, practitioner-only, nutritional and therapeutic supplements from a proudly Australian company
Information about the naturally occurring antioxidant, coenzyme Q10
Herbs and natural substances
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