The heart has been spiritually and energetically significant in many faiths and theories from ancient times to the present day. Our modern era of compartmentalized medicine and theory supports the notion that the heart is simply a mechanical valve whose sole function is to pump blood throughout the body. While this feat is incredible, scientists at HeartMath Institute are working hard to understand some other miraculous properties and functions of the heart that will radically change theory and practice in the fields of medicine, psychology, and physics.
Researchers are now learning that the heart may not only possess its own intelligence, but that it also plays a greater role in our mental, emotional, and physical health than previously thought. These new discoveries not only provide more weight to the spiritual theories of the heart, they also encourage deeper research into previously unproven theories of energy and metaphysics.
“The heart is a sensory organ and acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing center that enables it to learn, remember, and make independent functional decisions,” says HeartMath Institute Director of Research, Rollin McCraty, in the paper, The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Communication Within and Between People.
The heart generates the most powerful electromagnetic field in the human body. The heart’s electrical field is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity generated by the brain and can be detected anywhere on the surface of the human body. The magnetic field of the heart is 5,000 times stronger than that of the brain, and can be detected a number of feet away from the body, expanding in all directions.
The heart continuously generates a series of electromagnetic pulses that have a powerful influence on other bodily processes. The brain’s rhythms synchronize to the heart’s rhythmic activity, and during sustained feelings of love and appreciation, other visceral systems entrain to the heart’s rhythm, bringing the entire body into harmony.
Scientists propose that the heart’s electromagnetic field acts as a carrier wave for information that synchronizes the entire body as the waves interact with other organs and structures. The information encoded in the heart’s energy waveforms allows all bodily functions and processes to act as a whole.
The HeartMath Institute has shown with spectral analysis that the rhythmic pattern of the heart changes significantly as we experience different emotions. Negative emotions, such as anger and frustration, result in erratic, disordered, and incoherent heart rhythms. Positive emotions are associated with smooth, orderly, and coherent patterns. Because our heart influences the rest of our body, this means we literally flood our body with our emotions, good or bad. This further supports the link between stress and illness.
It is of utmost importance to note that sustained positive emotions appear to induce a distinct mode of functions, called psychophysiological coherence. The heart and brain entrain, encouraging the entire body to harmonize and become more efficient. In this mode, individuals experience reduced internal mental dialogue, reduced perceptions of stress, increased emotional balance, enhanced mental clarity, and enhanced cognitive performance.
New research suggests that the electromagnetic signals of the heart also have the ability to affect and communicate with others. Social communication is often thought of as overt signals expressed through language, facial expressions, and body movements. HeartMath experiments have found that the heart’s electromagnetic field can, indeed, transmit information between people. An exchange of heart energy between individuals has been measured at a distance of up to five feet apart. People experience synchronization between their own brain waves and the heartbeat of others, especially when one individual is generating a smooth, coherent heart rhythm. Well known research has demonstrated the synchronicity between a mother’s and infant’s brain, and famous photos show the same areas of the brains experience activity at the same time when the mother and baby are in rapport. The familial pair forms a socio-emotional field through which enormous quantities of psychobiological and psychosocial information are exchanged. The patterns to which the infant attunes are imprinted in the child’s brain and influence psychosocial function throughout life.
Researchers infer that the nervous system acts as a sort of antenna that is tuned in and responsive to the electromagnetic fields produced by other hearts. This is further supported by human’s innate ability instinct to empathize.
Furthermore, the heart and brain appear to receive and respond to information about a future event before the event actually happens. Research finds that the heart appears to receive this information before the brain. This amazing discovery suggests that the heart’s field may be linked to a more subtle energetic field that enfolds both time and space, that our consciousness either resides in or can tap into.
This emerging wealth of knowledge about the electromagnetic and energetic heart demonstrates our innate abilities to intuit, empathize, synchronize, and communicate. Most important of all, perhaps, it effectively communicates and explains the power of our emotions and their effects on our physical well being and the well being of those around us. As society accepts and internalizes these truths, the more prevalent mindfulness and wellness become in our society as a whole. Practices such as yoga and other mindful movement, meditation, prayer, and positive thinking have such a profound effect on our minds and we now see how that translates into the wellness of our bodies and other areas of our lives.