Contents:

What is HeartMath?

Why is reducing stress so important?

What is the science behind HeartMath?

How does HeartMath work?

What conditions can be helped with HeartMath?

Documents:

HeartMath Consent Form (PDF)

HeartMath New Client Questionaire (PDF)

 

Websites and Videos:

Institute of HeartMath website

Global Coherence Initiative website

HeartMath Introductory Video

Science of the Heart video

Global Coherence Initiative video

Books:

Transforming Anxiety
by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Ph.D

Transforming Stress
by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Ph.D

Transforming Anger
by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Ph.D

Transforming Depression
by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Ph.D

HeartMath

What is Heartmath?

HeartMath is a new technology that has broad-based applications in stress reduction, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement. HeartMath techniques have been proven to facilitate rapid, profound, and enduring improvements in a wide variety of conditions. The HeartMath system is a scientifically validated way to reduce stress, and more importantly, to transform the negative emotional and physiological effects that occur when you experience feelings of stress or a stressful event. Heartmath is different from other stress relieving activities like listening to music or taking a warm bath because those activities take place after the event has passed. By the time you wind down, you’ve already experienced the harmful, often unpleasant effects of stress. The stress hormone cortisol, for example, stays in your system for hours once it is released in to your system. High levels of stress hormones can have a serious negative impact on your physical health. So the key appears to be learning how to transform your reaction to stress, and therefore stop the emotional and hormonal fallout that follows.

Why is reducing stress so important?

Almost daily, new research reveals more harmful effects of too much stress. In the past few years alone, studies have shown that those of us who are regularly stressed have:

– A five-fold increased risk of dying from heart-related problems
– Double the risk of developing diabetes in men
– A 65% increased risk of developing dementia
– Double the chance of developing obesity
– A 12% lower likelihood of conception if you’re a fertile woman
– An increased risk of breast cancer

What is the science behind HeartMath?

In studying the science of the heart, The Institute of HeartMath has discovered is that your heart rhythms have an impact on your thinking. When your heart rhythm is coherent (smooth and orderly), you are able to access higher-thinking centers in your brain, so can think more clearly and see more options or solutions to problems. When your heart becomes incoherent, this access becomes inhibited and you are likely to find your reactions are slower and you are not be able to think so clearly.

Studies have found that people in a coherent state (i.e. where their heart rhythm pattern is smooth and orderly) are noticeably able to improve their thinking and performance, whether they are making decisions or playing sports.

Over time, coherence also helps to reduce the ‘stress’ hormone cortisol – which is produced whenever you experience feelings of frustration, anxiety, anger or despair – and increases the ‘vitality’ hormone DHEA. Ideally, these hormones should be in balance, but when you experience frequent stress, cortisol can become too high and DHEA depleted. This pattern is found in most major diseases as is associated with accelerated aging, brain cell death, impaired memory and learning, decreased bone density, impaired immune function, increased blood sugar and increased fat accumulation around the waist and hips.

How does HeartMath work?

HeartMath provides techniques that can be practiced daily to help you actively reduce stress in your life. The premise of the HeartMath system is different to many other approaches to stress relief, which typically focus on calming down after the stressful event has occurred. With HeartMath, you learn a simple coherence technique that can help you ‘reset’ your physiological reaction to stress as the event occurs.

Just a couple of HeartMath breaths can help you stop the hormonal cascade that triggers the release of cortisol – and you stay coherent (i.e. calm and in balance). When practiced regularly, research has found that the exercise can help you to feel better emotionally and improve your intuition, creativity and cognitive performance.

What conditions can be helped with HeartMath?

Heart Rhythm coherence feedback (HeartMath) can be very useful in the treatment of chronic anxiety, stress, depression, anger and other emotional issues. It is also an effective addition to treatment programs for chronic conditions that are associated with or exacerbated by emotional stress, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hypertension, asthma, environmental sensitivity, sleep disorders, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and many others. It has been proven particularly effective in cardiac rehabilitation programs to help patients reduce stress and increase cardiovascular efficiency. HeartMath can also be used for performance enhancement and for reducing test taking anxiety.