For the longest time, the heart is said to be the main source of emotions, wisdom, and courage. It has been 25 years since the HeartMath Institute Research Centre started exploring the different physiological mechanisms of how the brain and heart communicate and how the heart’s activity affects a person’s emotions, healthy, perceptions, and intuition. When the research started, one of the key questions they asked is why a person experiences the sensation or feeling of love and other forms of regenerative emotions together with the heartache in the heart’s physical area.
For more than 25 years, the scientific studies that used various physiological measures like hormone levels, blood pressure (BP), ECG (heart), SCL (skin conductance) and ECG (brain waves) reveal that depleting or stressful emotions like overwhelm or frustration result to increased disorder in the autonomic nervous system and higher level brain centres and these are reflected in heart rhythms and have adverse effects on the function of almost all systems of the body.
The study also noted that the heart acted like it had its own mind and can dramatically affect how people respond to and perceive their day to day interactions. It essentially seemed that the heart can affect a person’s perceptions, intelligence, and awareness.
New studies reveal that there is so much more to human heart than being an efficient life-sustaining pump. The study suggests that the heart serves as an access point to an intelligence and wisdom source that a person can rely on to live his life with better balance, enhanced creativity, and improved intuitive abilities. These are all essential to increase personal effectiveness, improve relationships and health, and achieve greater fulfilment.
In fact, the heart is a rather complex centre that processes information with its very own functional brain referred to as the heart brain. This influences and communicates with the cranial brain through the hormonal system, nervous system, and other different pathways. These influences have an impact on the function of the brain and most major organs of the body and play a crucial role in emotional and mental experience and overall quality of life.
What is the body’s master organ? If you think the answer is the brain, well, you are not alone. If an average person is asked which organ controls the body’s key functions, they will mostly have the same answer. The brain is of course the human body’s master organ.
But today, what was assumed to be the master organ of the body is changing. It needs to.
There is a simple reason to this. The discoveries stated in the chapter and the years of research that followed reveal that the brain is just one part of a big story. Although it is true that the functions of the brain include things such as information processing, motor and perception skills, and providing chemical trigger for things such as hunger, sleeping, the strength of your immune system, to sexual desires, it is also true that your brain cannot do everything alone. This is just part of a bigger story that remains untold and is still emerging.
This story starts from the heart.
The Human Heart: It’s Not Just a Mere Pump Anymore!
Since your school days, you have been taught that the primary purpose of your heart is to move blood through your body. You were told that your heart is plainly and simply a pump with a job of pumping constantly through the course of your lifetime to achieve something extraordinary by measure.
On average, an adult heart beats 101,000 times daily and circulates around 1,900 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of capillaries, blood vessels, and arteries. However, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that even though the heart’s pumping is important, this pales in comparison with new recently discovered functions.
Simply put, even though the heart efficiently and powerfully pumps blood all over the body, this pumping might no longer be its main and sole purpose.
It is the heart, after all, and not the brain, that is the very first organ that formed in the utero at around 6 weeks after conception. The pulse from the first heartbeat is what sets in motion all the developments that lead to the formation of other body organs.
As the baby develops, the heart and the brain work together to regulate the important physiological functions in many ways that science is just starting to recognise. Aside from the physical pumping you see and measure using conventional technology, it is now discovered there is so much more to the heart than this.
The discovery of the heart’s specialised cells that are usually found in the brain opened doors to new intriguing possibilities as far as what the organ means in a human’s life.
The Heart’s “Little Brain”
A scientific discovery in 1991 published in peer-viewed journal dispelled lingering doubts about the multifaceted role of the heart in the body. The article’s name gives the clue to the “Neuroradiology” discovery. This is about the intimate relationship of the brain and the heart. The discovery has described the powerful relationship that weren’t recognised before.
A scientific team spearheaded by Dr. J. Andrew Armour of University of Montreal found out that around 40,000 specialised neurons known as sensory neurites make up a communication network in the heart itself.
Just to clarify, the word neuron describes the specialised cell that could be electrically stimulated or excited in such a way that lets it share information with other body cells. While most neurons are concentrated along the spinal cord and in the brain, the discovery of the cells in the heart and in other organs in smaller numbers, provides new insight to the communication level existing all over the body. These neurites are small projections coming from the neuron’s main body itself to perform various functions.
Some carry away information from the neuron then connect with the other cells. Others can detect signals from different sources then carry them to the neuron. This discovery is exceptional since the heart’s neurites duplicate most of the similar functions in the brain.
If a person’s body is functioning in perfect harmony, with every system working together for the common good, he or she will of course experience a huge improvement in health and life satisfaction. By feeling healthier and more energetic, that person will also be able to accomplish huge endeavors and overcome obstacles that might normally appear to be insurmountable.
The health benefits of heart coherence include:
- A reduced level of cortisol
- A boosted immune system
- A boosted level of energy
- An enhanced nervous system
- An enhanced digestive system
- A release of the anti-aging hormone (DHEA)
- An improved quality of sleep
Once a person has achieved the heart coherence state, it also means that they are then functioning at a top level of performance. Because of this, he or she will also experience improvements in cognitive functions which can include:
- An enhanced level of focus and concentration
- An improvement in learning
- An improvement in problem-solving skills
Perhaps most importantly of all is the enhancement of intuition—the ability to make wiser decisions. This enormous benefit cannot be understated. In many cases, the damage caused by a lack of intuition can’t be properly measured, while the benefits of enhanced intution might only be found over a long period of time.
Along with the powerful boost to intuition that heart coherence provides is an additional boost to resilience. Much like intuition, it can be hard to measure the impact that resilience can have. However, the benefits of both intuition and resilience are enormous. Most importantly, a person will find it easier to overcome difficult situations and return to his or her “normal” state after facing adversity.
Steps for Quick Coherence® •
Step 1: Heart Focus: Shift your mental focus toward your heart, and breathe as if your breath is coming from your heart. Maintain a slower pace than usual as you breathe in and out. This step can also be used in potentially stressful or overwhelming situations. As you keep a calm rhythm, you communicate to your heart that you are safe and able to focus inward. This feeling of tranquillity can then spread throughout your body.
Step 2: Activate a Positive Feeling. Focus on experiencing a positive feeling such as gratitude or tenderness. By sincerely feeling care for others or yourself, you will be able to maintain an optimal state between your heart and brain. Embrace this feeling and sustain it for as long as you are able.
In this guided meditation shima will guide you to crate coherence between your heart and your brain. Click Here
The Effect of Our Heart’s Electromagnetic Field
Surrounding every person alive is an electromagnetic field—which can be measured in a scientific setting. There are two kinds, in fact. The first is the brain electromagnetic field, which as you might imagine affects brain waves and brain function. The second electromagnetic field controls your heartbeat and is the largest electromagnetic field in a person’s body. It is roughly 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain’s electromagnetic field and is also 5,000 times stronger magnetically.
The heart’s electromagnetic field is able to “mirror” our inner emotions and project them out into the world. This force can influence outside factors, such as the environment around us, as well as people and animals. On the other hand, studies show that the Earth’s magnetic field can also affect us in profound ways even as we affect it ourselves every day. In other words, everything is interconnected. Given that, it is critically important to make use of positive emotions which can then be projected outward. By developing a healthy personal coherence, we can grow it to a social and then global coherence.
Which means that we can scientifically conclude that each and every one of us can do our part in making the world a better place.
Meditation is a powerful tool to reduce stress and invite more health and harmony into your life.
In this series of Heart-Mind coherence Guided Meditation, Shima Shad Rouh, Heart-intelligence Facilitator and founder of Mindfulness and Coaching academy Infinite Love with guide you to create coherence between your heart and your brain.Click here for more information.