Sunday, August 24, 2008

Heart Math

Ok, so now that I've been inspired to post some stuff about heart attacks, it occured to me that it might be a good idea to put in a plug for HeartMath.


At work, a couple of weeks ago, a HeartMath training seminar was offered... well, actually it was MANDATORY that we attend. So I went grumpily in on my day off, prepared to be thoroughly unimpressed by "propaganda" designed to force us to like our jobs and be happy with the additional stress that management has been piling on us. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be something actually useful!

They use techniques that are similar to ones I've already used. For example, breathing into the heart (a common practice in Sufi Meditations), and focusing on feelings of gratitude or love - both of which I explored at the prosperity project. And then they back up those techniques with lots of medical and scientific jargon, graphs, and charts.

Up until now, I'm not too impressed. As a matter of fact, the whole thing is one big yawn as far as I'm concerned. I'm thinking to myself, "Been there - done that."

Now comes the interesting and fun part. They have this cool little hand held biofeedback machine. They don't call it that, they call it emWave, or something like that. Here's an ad I pulled off their site:



It was so much fun to play with!! The thoughts that brought me into the best state in terms of coherence and no stress were memories of when we had 3 kittens one Christmas, and they wouldn't stay out of the Christmas tree. I'm thinking to myself - kittens... I'm going to have to invest in kittens so I can stay happy and healthy!

The other memory that brought a really healing emotion into my heart chakra was the time my sister and I climbed Dog Canyon. I'll tell you guys about it some time - but for now, all I'll say is that I was sure that climb was going to kill me dead! And when we finally got to the little oasis at the top, and sat down to eat, the food was manna from heaven. I kid you not. Just thinking about it, triggered an immediate "green" response in the little emWave gadget, indicating deepest harmony.

So, their gadget is way cool... I finally gave up feelings of lack and limitation, and decided I wanted one of those little thingys more than I wanted - well - running water or internet service. As soon as I decided that, the "Master of the Universe" sent me some extra work that more than covered the cost of the emWave ... so it's ordered and as far as I'm concerned Nirvana is on it's way!

And no, you don't have to have a emWave gadget to use their technique. The "how to" is pretty simple, and they do offer books - here are some of them:


Here's some more stuff (it's kind of dry, but informative nonetheless) from an interview with Dr. Howard Martin, executive VP of strategic development at Heartmath and coauthor of the book, The Heartmath Solution.

What role does the heart play in the body?
The heart is the main command center of the body. It actually sends information to the brain and to the rest of the body -- information that is essential to a person's overall health and well-being. As a person learns about the communication between the heart and brain, and how to shift this communication, positive changes in how that person thinks and feels begin to take place. It's really a shift in paradigm to say that it's not just the brain, but that the heart also has a big role in how we think and feel.

What is HeartMath?
Heartmath is a system designed for high performance effective living that consists of concepts, tools, techniques and technology. In general, they all involve heart focus breathing -- really focusing on the area of your heart and making an effort to activate positive feelings.

How did Heartmath come about?
Heartmath's been around for the last 11 years, and began on the initiative of a man named Doc Childre. It started out through self-study. By his own admission, Doc was a relatively undisciplined young man who set about on a course of trying to achieve new levels of self-management. His scientific research along with his understanding of other people and of himself, led him to develop his own philosophy as well as his own tools, techniques and concepts. For 20 years he never externalized anything, working quietly and leading a normal life. It was only in 1990 that he agreed to begin to more formally share some of his information with others. From there the companies were born and we entered into the training programs, books and technology that we have today.

How proven is Heartmath?
We know for sure that the heart does communicate with the brain and the body, and that's beyond a doubt. The field of neurocardiology studies this. The tools, techniques and concepts used in Heartmath are scientifically grounded, with a great amount of biophysical and social scientific proof to back them up.

How does Heartmath differ from other stress reduction techniques such as meditation?
Well first of all let me preface any comments by saying that we never like to be cast as any kind of a competitor, as better or worse than other systems of personal development and personal growth. We like to be seen more as a facilitator of any of those things. That being said, Heartmath is designed to be very interactive, very in the moment, very appropriate for the speed at which we're living in today's modern world. Techniques like meditation can be valuable but sometimes there is a cultural difference. Meditation comes from an Eastern culture and it doesn't necessarily overlay very well on modern western culture. It requires a lot of change in some of the basic stuff involved in a lifestyle and most people aren't willing to do that. Heartmath techniques are very appropriate for modern times, and very interactive with daily life and things that people can do in the moment.

How does Heartmath address individual stressors?
The tools and techniques can be used to create shifts of attitude or shifts in perception that lead to shifts of attitude. To manage stress or to begin to shift stress, you have to learn to shift perception first. It's the perception of the event that really creates the stress. It begins right there, with perception, and changes in perception lead to changes in behavior, how we process things, how we view things, how we act or react around certain issues. Those changes of behavior come relatively quickly once we begin to learn how to at least adopt different kind of perceptions of the stressful events.

Where are Heartmath techniques being used?
We are around the world, providing face-to-face training for over 20,000 people a year. We are focused primarily on large organizational clients, doing training programs in major Fortune 500, and Fortune 100 companies around the world. We deal with the individual customer who is interested in improving health and reducing stress through our books tapes, and freeze-framer software.

(This information is an extract from an article titled ‘Listening to the tell tale heart’ by Noel Boivin in February 2006 issue of Your Health.)


Ok, yeah, I'm pimping this stuff. I don't go commercial on this site very often, and I do think the emWave has value, and yes, I went ahead and signed up as an affiliate. So, hey, go get one for yourself. I think you'll like it, I really do!

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4 Comments:

Bob Johnson said...

Very cool, have to look into it, I have to leave now, I am about to faint, just mention the work Heart Attack is enough to make me faint and have one, I'm such a wuss when it comes to medical stuff,lol.faint

Two Feathers said...

Well, Bob, it looks like you definitely do NOT have the makings of a very good Vampire!! I had thought that what with you being up all hours of the night it might be a good fit... but no... I can see that you just aren't cut out for it. LOL.

My heartmath thingy is supposed to be here today. It couldn't come at a better time. I'll let you know how well it works for me!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, yeah, let me know, just try to keep as many medical terms out of how well it works for you explanation as possible,lol.

Two Feathers said...

Looks like if you want the images, ... I dunno... you'll have to go to the website. I don't know what happened to them!

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