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When it comes to the preservation of health, we value living better versus simply longer. It’s therefore important to ask ourselves, “what does good health actually mean?” As one ages, heart and brain health increasingly define our conceptions of healthy living. Not surprisingly, tremendous benefits in these areas can be achieved through vigorous exercise. Why? There are many factors, but perhaps the most significant is the fact that increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to these vital organs promotes circulatory health! So how do we increase flow to our heart and brain without exercising quite so vigorously? The answer lies in a miraculous medical technology called External Counterpulsation (ECP). While ECP is very expensive and difficult to access, scientists have leveraged insights gained from this technology us in order to revolutionize heart and brain fitness for aging adults.

What is ECP?

ECP is a simple yet powerful medical device originally devised for cardiac rehabilitation. During treatment, large pressure cuffs are wrapped around the legs and torso and timed to squeeze the largest muscles of the body rhythmically between heartbeats. These cuffs act as a second blood pump, rapidly inflating to drive blood back to the heart precisely as the heart is relaxing. Coordinating this second blood pump with the heart’s pump cycle dramatically increases blood flow and oxygen delivery, improving circulatory health throughout the body!

How does ECP change lives?

Increasing blood flow through the heart and other organs increases oxygen delivery and simultaneously can promote the growth of new blood vessels, positively impacting heart health and resiliency for years to come.

ECP has also been documented to effectively lower high blood pressure, treat erectile dysfunction, and improve cognitive function, likely related to improved circulatory health. ECP patients live longer and healthier; increase their capacity for exercise and its associated benefits; and can even experience improved virility.

Why is ECP rarely available?

Unfortunately, because a course of ECP requires an hour a day of one-on-one nursing care with an onsite cardiologist, for several weeks on end, it is understandably extraordinarily expensive. Once very popular, ECP has become economically unviable for most centers as costs have continued to rise. Cardiologists – and patients! – have dearly missed access to this non-invasive miracle technology.

Delivering the benefits of ECP to everyone – Counterpace Technology

Jeff Bleich MD, a Stanford physician, recently developed an app-based coaching platform that emulates ECP. Every time we take a step, our skeletal muscles contract and squeeze our blood vessels. If we step in-between heartbeats, the giant muscles of our legs drive blood towards the heart, just like ECP’s inflatable cuffs.  By tracking both your heart’s rhythm and your step timing, Counterpace guides you with an audible beat to step precisely between heartbeats. Like ECP, Counterpace is elegantly simple and has cardiologists raving about the prospect of making natural counterpulsation available to anyone who wants to optimize their exercise for heart and brain health. Simply put on the Counterpace chest strap sensor, download the app, and step to the beat to walk or run in sync any time you exercise.

How can Counterpace benefit you?

By coordinating the timing of your body’s natural two-pump system (your heart and your muscles), blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body are amplified. In fact, Counterpace has the potential to dramatically improve circulatory health by leveraging the mechanism that makes ECP so powerful.

You may want to try walking with Counterpace to help with any of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Preservation of cardiovascular and cognitive function
  • Family history of cardiac disease or dementia
  • Ease of exercise and breathing
  • Sugar control
  • Erectile disfunction

At the end of the day, exercise is still exercise. While Counterpace makes exercise a bit easier and more efficient, its true impact lies in the health benefits. Counterpace feels better because it IS better. Do you want to learn how to step in sync with your heart? Learn more at and if you would like to try it for yourself or a loved one, please use to coupon code SLMDISCOUNT to receive 10% off of your order while helping to support Senior Lifestyle Magazine.

Feel the flow!!