from the Heart
of the earliest recorded civilizations, including the Greeks, Mesopotamians
and Babylonians, speak of the heart as harboring intelligence.
Modern science has tended to consider this point of view metaphorical.
But Doc Childre, founder of the Institute of HeartMath®, in Boulder
Creek, CA, has produced scientific evidence to back up the "intelligent
heart" theory. Corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and all
four branches of the U.S. Military, are now using HeartMath techniques
to teach employees how to become more mentally and emotionally balanced,
and provide for individual and organizational transformation. In addition,
educators have found that school children can better manage their behavior,
and improve their ability to absorb academic information by using the
techniques pioneered by Childre and the Institute.
core of the HeartMath philosophy is that the heart, physically and metaphorically,
is the key to tapping into an intelligence that can provide us with
fulfillment. Science has shown that the heart communicates with the
body and brain on various different levels.
- The heart sends
neurological information to the brain and the rest of the body.
- Through the
pulse, the heart sends energy in the form of a blood pressure wave.
Researchers have seen that changes in the electrical activity of brain
cells occur in relation to the changes in the blood pressure wave.
- The heart communicates
on a biochemical level, releasing atrial peptide, a hormone that inhibits
the release of other stress hormones.
- The heart communicates
electromagnetically. An EKG measured in the doctor's office is actually
an electrical signal produced by the heart. This signal can be picked
up anywhere on the body, and permeates the space around us.
has taken this information, and translated it into simple tools that
focus on teaching us how to listen to, and follow, the intuitive information
of the heart. We can learn how to better make decisions, and to use
the power of the heart to manage the mind and emotions.
three most powerful techniques are Freeze-Frame®, Cut-Thru®
and Heart Lock-In®. What follows is a highly simplified version
of each. A far more extensive examination of each technique, including
scientific data, can be found in the book, The HeartMath Solution,
by Doc Childre and Howard Martin. Anyone who is seriously interested
in using these tools will find a wealth of knowledge there.
- is the simplest of the HeartMath tools. It is a one-minute technique
that allows a major shift in perception. More than positive thinking,
it creates a definitive, heartfelt shift in how we view a situation,
an individual or ourselves. When under stress:
- Shift out of
the head, and focus on the area around your heart. Keep your attention
there for at least ten seconds. Continue to breathe normally.
- Recall a positive
time or feeling you had in your life, and attempt to re-experience
it. Remember, try not simply to visualize it, but rather to feel it
- Ask a question
from the heart: "What can I do in this situation to make it different?"
or "What can I do to minimize stress?"
- Listen to the
response of your heart.
may hear nothing, but perhaps feel calmer. You may receive verification
of something you already know, or you may experience a complete perspective
shift, seeing the crisis in a more balanced way. Although we may not
have control over the event, we do have control over our perception
is a technique developed to help us better manage our emotions.
It gives us the ability to "cut through" complex, long-standing emotions,
and dynamically move from one place to another.
- Be aware of
how you feel about the issue. Focus in on your heart.
- Assume objectivity.
Act as though it were someone else's problem. What kind of advice
would you give this person who's just been slighted by a co-worker?
You'd probably say, "Hey, relax, it's no big deal."
- Take the distorted
feelings, the emotional energy that is out of balance, and bring it
to the heart. Let it soak there, as if you were soaking in a warm
bath. Practice letting the heart do the work for you.
tends to require more mature contemplation than Freeze-Frame. But it
is also more useful with deeper, and more complicated issues. Long-standing
emotions have been stored in us through our life experience. Cut-Thru
gives us the ability to transform instead of repress.
Lock-In - Rather than fixing something, Heart Lock-In is
about experiencing your heart at a deeper level.
- Shift your attention
away from your mind and focus on your heart.
- Remember the
feeling of love or care you have for someone whom it's easy for you
to love. Focus on a feeling of appreciation for someone or something
positive. Try to stay with that feeling for five to fifteen minutes.
- Gently send that
feeling of love or appreciation to yourself and others.
fifteen minutes, a Heart Lock-In can provide physical, mental and spiritual
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