Deborah Rozman Ph.D.: The Heart’s Intelligence & Coherence (HeartMath)
By David Newell
Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of HeartMath, the leading research body in the field of heart mind connection. Founded in 1991 by Doc Childre, HeartMath has spent nearly 30 years researching and developing a system of effective, scientifically based tools and technologies to bridge the intuitive connection between heart and mind and deepen our connection with the hearts of others. Most of us have been taught in school that the heart is constantly responding to “orders” sent by the brain in the form of neural signals. However, it is not as commonly known that the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. Moreover, these heart signals have a significant effect on brain function – influencing emotional processing as well as higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving. In other words, not only does the heart respond to the brain, but the brain continuously responds to the heart. HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect – it facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability. This means that learning to generate increased heart rhythm coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform. In this discussion we talk about heart rate coherence, heart rate variability (HRV), and simple tools and techniques you can do find get into touch with your heart. Debbie Rozman leads a free monthly heart meditation called The Add Heart Call. Learn more about it at HeartMath.com/AddHeartCalls.