Heartmath-solution for stress is quick, simple, easy?
Sure is. But a bit of history. Not too many years ago, I was doing EEG biofeedback for addictions with my partner, Jeremy Croyle, and actively involved in a list serve with other EEG biofeedback providers, and one of them mentioned Heartmath one day, quite enthusiastically.
I trusted the experience and training of those list serve participants, so I checked out the Heartmath-Solution and discovered some local folks, at Delnor Hospital in St. Charles, who were offering trainings.
I got to try the tool, and actually did quite well on my first try, not so well on my second, but I bought it and began to work with it myself because I wanted to learn more about managing my own unconscious physiological processes.
Doing the Heartmath-Solution felt good, and I was curious about how to apply it in my domestic violence and anger management programs.
So I practiced the Freezeframer tool, and it took me all of six 1/2 hour practices to generate a 20 minute practice of high coherence at the normal challenge levels.
That success meant that I could generate the coherent heart rate on demand, without being hooked up to the computer, and Heartmath at this point becomes a life style tool.
That beginning was in 2000, and I have used and taught the Heartmath solution ever since.
I really enjoy feeling the change in my body when I do the Freeze Frame, which changes my internal hormonal bath, and opens up the higher perceptual centers in my brain for creative problem solving.
Since then I have taught Heartmath solutions to many domestic violence and anger management people, and have used it with couples with a domestic violence history also.
Some of those folks are very concrete thinkers, not as quick at counseling concepts as others, and the experience of Heartmath is worth many hours of talk.
I teach the couples how to do Heartmath individually, and then together, so they get that they can operate from their heart intelligence, which is affiliative and cooperative in any discussion.
I have even had couples hooked up to two computers, and holding hands to get a sense of how to create a heart beat (and coherence) for the relationship.
I like to combine Heartmath with the John and Julie Schwartze Gottman model called The Art and Science of Love, so that they learn the Gottman tools while in a relaxed and coherent heart intelligent physiology.
I have used Heartmath-Solution with athletes and kids, and lots of violence prone adults.
I guess you could say I am a believer.
Your Heart Has Its Own Brain?
The folks who are creating the HeartMath applications have worked extensively with the heart's own brain.
Yes, the heart has intelligence, (its own nervous system, which regulates its own beat). That intelligence is affiliative and cooperative, and with practice, I can learn to utilize that intelligence to solve problems cooperatively and affiliatively.
In fact, the heart has more impact on the brain emotionally than the brain does on the heart. Because of both electromagnetic energy created from the heart's contractions and the heart's pneumatic impact from pumping blood, the heart impacts every neuron every time it beats.
To use a musical analogy, if I can get my heart to beat coherently (time between beats is consistent), then every cell in my body dances at that frequency, like a symphony orchestra playing exquisitely.
And the neat thing, I can cue this physiology anytime I want, no matter what is happening in the external world. (You know, even winning the lottery can be stressful). So the internal world, my chemistry inside my body, can be healthy and relaxed at any given moment, if I so desire to practice my heartmath skills.
Heartmath for the kids?
If you have been reading the emerging research about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, which is the growth of new neurons, then you are aware of how important it is for us to manage stress, as stress hormones very negatively impact the growth of new neurons. Not sure about you but this Boomer is intent on keeping as many of those neurons as possible.
Neuroplasticity is what neurons do when learning a new skill, they connect to other neurons in ways that provide lots of brain power for decisions.
If you are curious about how Heartmath and brain fitness work together, then I encourage you to read Brainfit for Life which provides in depth and easy to read analysis of the pillars of brain fitness.
The pillars are physical exercise, nutrition including the importance of omega 3 fatty acid, stress management (Heartmath!), sleep, and novel learning experiences which might involve practice using computerized brain fitness programs.
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