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Many alternative healers have built their practices around "bypassing bypass," opening coronary blockages without surgical intervention. Some of these methods work, and some do not. ECP is a doctor-approved method that opens arteries naturally.

A few years ago, my American friend Robert had a heart attack. Ten days later, he had another heart attack. Three weeks later, he had a third heart attack.

Having access to the best of US high-tech medicine, Robert was finally wheeled in (after cardiovascular episode number four) for a stent procedure. He was sedated, but awake. The surgeon asked for a bare-metal stent, which could be best explained as "the cheap kind," not a drug-eluting stent. The chief surgical nurse was surprised and asked for confirmation. "The patient is financially challenged," the doctor said.

The stent procedure did not really work, and Robert had multiple blockages. He was in the hospital ten times, and had to have yet anoth"cer stent procedure. After this third surgery, Robert saw his dead mother and his dead father and various friendly spirits come into his room just before the EKG monitor went flat. He died. The "cheap stent" had collected blood clots. After 12 minutes of epinephrine, atropine, and CPR, Robert woke up just as another doctor was saying "360. No detectible pulse." Then this new doctor apologized, "No time to give you anesthetic" and opened an artery to put in yet another stent, another of the cheap stents, it turned out.

Two years and 33 hospitalizations later, Robert was told that the stent inside the stent inside the stent in that particular artery was again failing. Robert demanded no more. By that time, however, Robert did not really have a choice. The other surgeons had left no place for a coronary graft, a bypass, to be placed on the sick artery. Fortunately, it turned out there was (and always was) a non-surgical way to treat him, external counterpulsation, or ECP.

What Is ECP?

ECP, external counterpulsation sessions, represents a nonsurgical, noninvasive method of increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The best non-technical explanation is to liken it to a series of blood pressure cuffs (usually six) placed on the lower legs, thighs, and buttocks, that are hooked up to an EKG machine. When the EKG detecs that the heart is in diastole, that is, it is resting, the blood pressure cuffs send blood back to the heart so it will not have to pump as hard. This gives the heart a chance to rest. It also nourishes arteries.If there are collateral arteries, which are essentially "extra" arteries either from birth or created by stem also nourishes them. These "extra" arteries can serve the same function as a bypass, without the actual bypass.
 
Variations of this method have been used in Russia and in countries around the world for decades. Long before there was such a thing as bypass surgery, there were variations of ECP. They worked, but they require intensive effort by the doctor over a period of months. If you get ECP, your doctor clearly cares that you get well, because it's not a simple "one and done" procedure that yields a big profit on your care.

What Is It Like To Get ECP?

Many people report that their external counterpulsation sessions are a lot like getting a massage. There is the inconvenience of having to check into a hospital every weekday for eight to twelve weeks, but the sessions are only an hour long, there is nothing that hurts, and you are seen by your cardiologist at least by your doctor's head assistant each and every day. At the end of several months of treatment, you know your doctor very well, and your doctor knows you very well. You may find you don't "need" bypass at all. It's a shame that my friend is stuck in a country where he is a profit center rather than someone who gets medical help, but at least he finally got directed to the treatment he probably should have had in the first place.
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