"I retired after 27 years of service as a senior cardiologist because I wanted to do something about the nutrition of children in America,".

said Dr Harvey Zarren, talking to our group of doctors and therapists.

The noble work of this eminent cardiologist from America unfolded as he spoke with a compassionate voice which revealed the healer in this wonderful man.

While emphasizing that the training and practice of conventional medicine was the essential foundation, Dr Zarren recognised the need to see cardiology as a healing art, not just a high-tech treatment for coronary artery disease.

As a founder and director of the Healing Connection programme at Union Hospital, Lynn, Massachusettes, he pioneered this unique project combining cutting-edge orthodox medicine with compassionate holistic care.

17 per cent of 13 year olds in America and 85 per cent of 50-year-old people in America suffer from furred coronary arteries, atherosclerosis, which leads to heart attacks and angina at a young age.

The result is a poor quality of life for the individual, grief for the relatives and poor social and community health.

Alarmingly, we are not far behind in the UK.

So what does Dr Zarren advise as a radical change in strategy for prevention of heart disease?

His first emphasis is on diet and social attitudes. Fatty foods, like chips, pizza, meat and dairy products, predispose the blockage of the blood vessels of the heart.

He explained how heart symptoms can be caused by the spasm of the coronary arteries due to stress and dietary factors. Of course, smoking and too much alcohol have to go.

Dr Zarren introduced a new healthy-living programme in the Union hospital.

This meant a vegetarian diet with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, Yoga, meditation, healing, stress management and the use of complementary medicines.

I feel the compassion of the nurse and the doctor was a healing factor.

Reassuring the patient they could heal themselves brought new hope and attitude to the patient.

"Everyone seeks being heard, being touched and being loved," is Dr Zarren's popular slogan.

Dr Zarren agreed with me that we need a cultural revolution to change the thinking and attitudes of our materialistic society towards a better quality of life.

Only then can we to rid the curse of heart disease in our children and put them on the right road towards a healthier future.

DR ZARREN is running a course on the healing heart at Yoga For Health Foundation at Ickwell Bury on July 29 to August 3. For further information, or to book a place, please call 01767 627271.