Day 8 – The Heart

For more info about the 28 days series please go here This post takes 2-3 minutes to read and the meditation is 18 minutes long.

Day 8 marks the next section of this series, I’m arranging this series in four sections and each has a new theme, the first 7 days was based on mindful awareness and the next 7 days will be about heart, body and emotions.

The information and meditation today comes from the Institute of HeartMath, a remarkable facility founded 30 years ago to study heart health. I’ve written about this a couple of times as have many well known people in the Mind, Body and Spirit industry – for good reason. The research solidly backs up what spiritual traditions and mystics have long known which is that a heart based approach to life is a healthy one. What the HeartMath Institute found was that the more they emphasised a certain way of focussed breathwork, amongst other health and lifestyle suggestions, the healthier their heart patients became and actual heart attacks decreased. The method has since been developed to include general health – mental and physical. However the benefits for this form of meditative breathwork go beyond the physical; there are spiritual side effects as well, unless one is in complete coherence spiritual progress will be slow. To quote Rollin McCraty, one of HeartMath’s founders, “Coherence is the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and co-operation”. Coherence could also be seen as a state of deep and profound inner peace and the method of HeartMath breathing is one practice that can take us there a little more easily and rapidly.

The more we live from the heart, the more we use practices such as Loving Kindness or fostering compassion the more peaceful and content we become. One of the reasons for this is that we begin to reside in the heart. It has been found now that the heart is actually a second brain, that within the heart is a cluster of neurons similar to the brain. Up until recently scientists assumed communication here was one sided, from the brain to the heart. In fact it’s a two way process and we can entrain ourselves to think, feel and live from the heart. It is after all the seat of wisdom, unlike the brain! The heart also communicates with the body through hormones and the nervous system and through the electromagnetic field around the heart which is at least 500 times more powerful than that of the brain

Impact on Our Health – as we harmonise this heart field the stronger and more resilient the physical body becomes. As we practice any deeply relaxing technique, particularly one that targets the heart, the greater our heart rate variability, this is significant in terms of ensuring heart longevity. When this tool for harmonisation is utilised regularly there will be a noticeable effect on our nervous system, immunity to disease, the effects of aging, and digestive health to name but a few benefits, studies have also shown that many participants in the HeartMath trails were able to significantly reduce and in some cases eradicate, depression and anxiety. When this time out for the heart and nervous system is regular not only is disease preventable but chronic conditions have the space to heal and will respond more favourably to other health measures you put in place.

Impact on others – A beautiful side effect of HeartMath breathing is that as you entrain yourself into harmonious heart health you become very peaceful to be around; apart from the obvious benefit to others this is also beneficial to you as other people may treat you more calmly and with more respect.

It is a very simple technique to practice and just 15 minutes a day is enough to make a noticeable difference; if really pushed for time try it as you’re lying in bed – at night to ensure more restful sleep or first thing in the morning if you tend to wake up worrying about the day ahead.

Please find below a newly recorded (I decided to replace the one I recorded last year) downloadable audio guiding you through the HeartMath breathing technique.


Published by Catherine Strang

I have been passionate about health and well-being since my teenage years when a health problem prompted me to use diet to regain my strength. By the end of the 80's I was working as a chef in a Rudolf Steiner based vegetarian cafe in Edinburgh and this led me (through working with some very alternatives types!) to pursue a career as a massage therapist and healer, which I began in 1990. Since then I have trained in many different forms of therapy, including Hypnotherapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), EmoTrance (a form of deeply mindful emotional processing). I retired completely from bodywork in 2017 and at present only occasionally work as a 1:1 therapist. My focus now is teaching and I have been doing this since 1991 when I taught Aromatherapy and massage courses for the Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme, by the time I finished these courses in 2000 I had also taught aromatherapy/massage sessions across Edinburgh in Community Centers, Health Projects and a variety of other non profit organisations. By this time however I was beginning to develop Stress Management and later Meditation and personal development courses/sessions and was including corporate settings as well as private teaching events. The list of places I have taught in is extensive and over the past three decades I've no doubt forgotten quite a few! I am dedicated to personal development, health and meditation and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to each session. I am well aware of the struggles, often hidden from work colleagues, that many go through during the course of their life and endeavor always to be kind, non-intrusive and in a work setting discreet.

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