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Heart Coherence and Wisdom

June 18, 2012

As mentioned in my last post, coherence relates directly to the harmonious activity of the heart and this activity (harmonious or not) is in constant dialogue with the brain and other organs.

The heart and gut both communicate extensively with the brain via the vagus nerve and approx. 90% of vagal nerve fibres are afferent sensory nerves – they communicate information from the body up to the brain. In other words, the heart sends a lot of information which the brain receives and acts upon.

A high level of heart coherence is now linked with a healthy heart and therefore better health in general. Coherence is achieved with a balance of sympathetic (speeding up) and parasympathetic (slowing down) autonomic nervous activity. When we breathe in our blood pressure drops and when we breathe out our blood pressure rises. These changes are detected by neurons in the carotid arteries of the chest and neck called baroreceptors. These specialist receptors send a message for the heart rate to speed up when blood pressure drops and to slow down when blood pressure rises. So, putting it simply, balanced breathing creates balanced blood pressure and heart rate.

The traditional teachings of The East can now be integrated with the scientific findings of The West to create an approach to developing heart coherence, synchronization and well being. All of the available knowledge points to several core techniques, any of which can be used safely. Here are 3 of them:

  1. Become aware of your breathing and allow yourself to simply observe steady, even breathing as it happens.
  2. Bring your attention to the centre of your chest and notice any sensation of your heart beating.
  3. While engaged in 1. or 2. recall any memory or experience that evokes a feeling of wellness such as love, compassion, non-judgement, courage, patience, sincerity, forgiveness, appreciation, gratitude or care.

These ancient techniques can all be considered to support the notion of “heart wisdom” by stimulating neural connectivity and synchronized interaction between the heart and the central nervous system.

Spencer Joseph

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