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.
What we do
We encourage you to be aware of the role that stress, anxiety, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle play in the development of cardiovascular disease. Research shows that most cases of cardiovascular disease can be avoided by making physical exercise a habit, eating fish regularly and generally having a healthy diet, stopping smoking and maintaining good personal connections with family and friends.
If you are waiting to have surgery to your heart or lungs ('cardiothoracic' surgery) and you attend The Alfred Pre Admission Clinic, you will be seen by one of our team members. We will discuss our service and provide free metabolic supplements which have been shown to improve outcomes. You will be encouraged to start taking the supplements before surgery as part of a pre-surgery ‘tune-up'.
We will discuss any complementary medicines or therapies that you have been using and receive evidence-based advice about their safety and effectiveness from us. Find out more information about complementary therapies for heart wellness and complementary practices for heart wellness.
We will also discuss with you the type of diet which has been proven to assist in having a healthy heart. Find out more information about the healthy heart diet.
Following your surgery, we will visit you on the ward to provide tools to optimise your recovery and wellness ongoing. Pastoral care staff are also available to provide spiritual comfort.
Who we care for
We meet all patients who attend Pre-Admission Clinic prior to cardiothoracic surgery.
What to expect
We will follow you on your journey from pre-admission to after surgery.
We will provide education on complementary therapies, complementary practices and diet and lifestyle to prepare you for surgery, as well as assist in your recovery.
Commonly asked questions
Yes, these supplements are safe to take with the rest of your medications. Before you were enrolled in the Wellness Program your medication list was reviewed by one of our practitioners with this in mind.
Find out more information on complementary supplements.
Yes, the dose of fish oils you are taking on our program is safe to take with Warfarin. You may read that fish oils should not be used with Warfarin but this is only true when you are taking more than 12 grams a day of fish oils. On the Wellness Program you are taking only 3 grams a day of fish oils.
Yes, we ask that you take both the supplements we provided you with right up until the night before your surgery.
Yes, we encourage you to let you GP know you are enrolled in the Wellness Program when you are at your next consultation with him or her. If you have any questions please call Cathy Reardon or Ondine Spitzer who are both available to answer your queries and can be contacted on (03) 9903 0838. If your GP or specialist doctor has any questions they can contact Professor Rosenfeldt on (03) 9276 3684.
No, fish oils supplements at the recommended dose that we have prescribed will not increase your risk of bleeding after surgery. We refer you to Dr Lesley Braun's published article which summarises the research literature about this issue (published in The Australian Journal of Pharmacy, August 2008, volume 89, pages 52-3).
Please contact Cathy Reardon or Ondine Spitzer on (03) 9903 0838 if you would like a copy of this article sent to you.
If you are taking these supplements with a meal then this should minimize any side effects or discomfort. Some people get mild nausea or heartburn (indigestion), but generally these symptoms ease after 2-3 days.
If you have any persistent discomfort or any associated vomiting, please stop the supplements and contact Cathy Reardon or Ondine Spitzer on (03) 9903 0838.
Yes, please continue the supplements right up until the night before your new surgery date. Please contact us on (03) 9903 0838 if you are still unsure or if you are running out of supplements.
Yes, long term consumption of fish oil supplements is beneficial. Once you have completed the Wellness Program you are under no obligation to continue taking the supplements. However, if you would like to continue with the supplements please let us know and we can explain how to purchase the Bioceutical brand at a reduced price. Alternatively you can purchase another brand through your local pharmacy or health food store
ResourcesAll patient resources
National centre for complementary and alternative medicine
A resource for complementary and integrative medicine
Therapeutic Goods Administration
Safety information for consumers and health professionals of therapeutic goods
Complementary Therapies in Medicine
An international peer reviewed journal
The National Institute of Complementary Medicine
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
An evidence based guide