HeartMath® was developed by Doc Childre and represents more than 30 years of research that sought to understand stress and how we can learn to transform its effects. Evidence from the HeartMath Institute's research shows that while a positive attitude can relieve stress temporarily, when we also engage the heart, relief from stress is sustained and the damaging effects of stress on our bodies can be reversed. When we consciously shift to appreciation, compassion, or another positive emotion, our heart rhythms immediately shift into a pattern that triggers a cascade of physiological events that benefit our whole body – reductions in blood pressure and stress hormones; improvements in immune function; increases in anti-aging hormones. By creating a more harmonious or coherent physiological state we gain more mental clarity, calmness, and control. We increase our capacity to handle the inevitable challenges that life presents with more resilience and composure. We communicate more effectively, improving our relationships with others. We transform stress into fuel for optimal functioning. We develop our intelligent energy management system.
Consciously engaging our heart to achieve this state of optimal functioning is a skill that is easy to learn. HeartMath has developed scientifically-validated tools and techniques to help this learning. Among these tools are portable training devices that measure our physiological coherence state and allow us to see the immediate shifts that occur as we practise the techniques. The Inner BalanceTM training device includes a small sensor that detects heart rhythm patterns and connects to a free-to-download App for either iOS or Android smart phones. Alternatively, some people prefer the hand-held emWave2® device.
These devices are not essential for achieving the benefits of practising the HeartMath techniques. However, experience has shown that the devices are a fun and useful way of reinforcing the practice, giving visual feedback of the physiological shifts taking place in real time.
Our training programs
We offer training programs open to the public as well as programs designed specifically for organisations. The programs are instructional and experiential. Attendees leave the training with some knowledge of the science behind the HeartMath approach as well as practical tools and techniques to apply in their everyday lives. These programs are sought after by individuals interested in personal development or ways of simply and more easily managing stress and anxiety. Organisations seek the programs for the benefits to their employees' wellbeing and for the flow-on effects on productivity of improved communication and relationships within their workforce.
For example, many educational institutions are now recognising the importance of social and emotional wellbeing to the outcomes for students as well as staff. Importantly, these institutions often seek scientifically-validated, evidence-based programs, which can be challenging to find in the area of socio-emotional wellbeing and challenging to incorporate in a practical way into a system that is already struggling to meet the increasing demands placed upon it and the people working within it. The HeartMath programs are scientifically-validated, evidence-based, and designed to be flexible in format to best fit within the logistical constraints common to these institutions. Learning the HeartMath approach opens the door to navigating busy days with more ease and composure, responding to others with more care, making better decisions, and coming home feeling energised rather than exhausted.
Learning the skills needed to transform stress and improve wellbeing is helpful, if not essential, to us all. For many, stress has become so normal, and so comfortable, that the early signs of stress go unnoticed. Our emotions usually let us know when we're under stress. In fact, emotions are our guidance system, driving our physiology, and signalling to us how well we are functioning. However, understanding emotion and the best way to manage it has long been a contentious issue, as much in the academic world as in our everyday lives. Now, at last, a bridge is being built between the scientific world and the wisdom of many ancient traditions. There is much more clarity, from a scientific viewpoint, on the physiological and cognitive mechanisms involved in emotion and, therefore, much more clarity on how to use these mechanisms to our advantage. This convergence of knowledge between science and ancient wisdom is at the leading edge of much-needed evolutionary change in human behaviour. Imagine facing the inevitable challenges of life with the confidence that you have the knowledge and skills to transform stress in the moment, in a heart beat!
Results from a 6 month trial of HeartMath® Techniques
“HeartMath is the owner’s manual we’ve been waiting for to help us recognize and use our hearts energy to help heal our bodies and our lives.”
Christiane Northrup, MD