The HeartMath system is a scientifically validated way to transform the negative emotional and physiological effects that occur when you experience feelings of stress. HeartMath is different from other forms of stress management 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 have already experienced the harmful, often unpleasant effects of stress. The stress hormone cortisol stays in your system for hours once released and can have serious negative impacts on your physical health. The key is to learn how to transform your reaction to stress, and therefore stop the emotional and hormonal fallout that follows.
What is science behind HeartMath?
The Institute of HeartMath has discovered 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 centres in your brain, so you 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 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 in their professional or personal life or even while 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 as an imbalance can be associated with accelerated aging, brain cell death, impaired memory and learning, decreased bone density, impaired immune functions, 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. You learn a simple coherence technique that can help you ‘reset’ your physiological reation 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 programmes 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 and many others. HeartMath can also be used for performance enhancement and for reducing test- taking anxiety.
My GP introduced me to the HeartMath techniques and I found them so easy and helpful that I decided to train as a Licensed 1 to 1 Provider. I studied with the Macquarie Institute in Sydney in 2012.
As luck would have it, I then started experiencing panic and anxiety attacks after a stressful episode in my life. I was also diagnosed with hypertension. So I felt challenged to really use these tools daily, not just when I felt stressed, as I did not want to resort to medication.
I now have normal blood pressure and do not suffer from panic attacks any more. So I am ‘proof in the pudding’ as some would say, that the HeartMath techniques are extremely effective.
I even wrote a book about my experience. It is called Un Stress Me! – Insights to Help You Find a Healthy Balance and is available on Amazon.
I love to share these simple but profound tools with my clients. Please contact me for current training dates.