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Blog de Carlos Goga

An introductory course and first experience with HeartMath

24/04/2019 | | cambio, experiencias, SIY | No hay comentarios

After my SIYLI training, I was in a strong will to get closer to the HeartMath Institute (HMI). Some way, I felt the need to deep on an alternative approach to current mindfulness theories where the «heart» plays also a role. This will got stronger after my BeingOne Forum experiece as presenter when an unknown attendee (who happened to be Silvia Di Luzio) gifted me her book by the title «Start with the Heart – A new medical model«.

So, once more, I asked for and life provided. This online course by the name «HeartMath Resilience Advantage Program» pass through some weeks ago and I enrolled. The course was online and in Spanish. I received a booklet with the main contents in my postbox some days before the course started. We were six participants plus Pablo, the teacher (he declared that he is the unique HMI Certified Teacher in Spain)

What follows are my notes so you can also get closer to HMI approach (given that you are familiarized with mindfulness already):

  1. Heart coherence helps by strengthening our resilience (mentally, emotionally, physically)
  2. Heart has a bigger, broader function than simply bumping blood. It is the center of our emotional experience. It talks with the brain first by commanding the limbic system and then by informing the cortex. Talking happens at four levels: (1) neurologically (through the nervous system); (2) biochemically (through hormones); (3) biophysically (through pulse waves); and (4) energetically (thru the electromagnetic field)
  3. Heart participates actively in the activation/deactivation/balance of both our sympathetic system and our parasympathetic system
  4. Heart is made up of cells known as ganglion and they are connected (maybe also behave) the same way that neurons, so it is ok to talk about the heart brain
  5. The brain controls the thoughts and the heart controls the emotions

It looked like to me that brain controls the outer experience while heart controls the inner experience, but this is mine and I did not check back with the teacher.

  1. Heart Coherence is descriptive of a balanced pumping of the heart. Nowadays, it can be easily monitored by electronic devices developed by the HMI
  2. Heart Coherence means harmony and balance in waves that create the pumping. It is described as (1) breadth. (2) frequency, and (3) form
  3. Heart Coherence can be achieved by meditation

Up to this point, I am feeling that it was easy and very interesting. I enjoyed it. It puts the heart into the scene of «being mindful» with a main role, co-acting with the brain.

  1. Heart Coherence meditation is a mix of three keys: (i) heart breathing, (ii) heart attention, and (iii) heart feeling
  2. Heart breathing is to enter a 5 sec breath-in and 5 sec breath out
  3. Heart attention is to anchor breathing in the heart
  4. Heart feeling is to connect with a positive feeling and hold it in such a way that you feed from it while breathing in and you share it while breathing out
  5. Heart coherence is measured with an electronic device which shows it on the screen and offers a heart coherence index

This device measures the activity of the heart and offers a nice way of anchoring attention and exploring different responses.

  1. Research says that Heart Coherence strongly strengthens the immune system, which also means that positive emotions have the same impact
  2. There is an ebook by the name “The Meditation Assistant” that compares Heart Coherence Practice with other meditation practices

It deeply feels to me that we SIY and HMI are talking the same but giving credit to the mind or giving credit to the heart. At HMI, they state that all organs search balance and that we use breathing as the door to control the lung and sync it with the heart, which then syncs with all other. They talk balancing, activating and/or stopping sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomous systems as a result if this lung-to-heart link. It would be interesting to explore the anatomy dynamics that they claim from research and which is out of my straight-forward understanding.

  1. When bringing heart coherence into practice, it looks like of extreme help to have the device/real time screen: positive feedback of any change, plus monitoring if third person, plus measuring evolution by comparing metrics
  2. Heart coherence could be understood as «calm» with «curiosity and kindness»
  3. There is this HC protocol by the name «Inner serenity» which is a monitored repetition of the following steps: heart coherence (heart breathing, heart focus, heart emotion), stressing feeling, and back to heart coherence. It is reported to help practitioners to desensitize from triggering situations that keep coming back. It could be understood as the «SBNRR practice» or the «resilience practice»
  4. Heart coherence devices offer metrics of sympathic/parasympathic activation, heart rhythm, and cortisol/endorphin, which is a very useful way to visualize changes from somatic reaction before/during/after practice

It is like if offering some real-time screen-based feedback of changes produced by mindfulness in brain activity. No doubt it will help to stick easier to practice.

Overall, I like the training and their approach. Although there are big differences with the mindfulness approach regarding the science behind, the HMI proposal feels also very practical and has this differentiating help of the visual feedback and transparency offered by the electronic devices.

Etiquetas: amor, corazón, love

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