Institute of HeartMath® Revealing That Heart Can Make Sparks Fly

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Summary of research findings, free eBook shared for Heart Month

A handshake, a hug, a pat on the back to a teammate or coworker – these interactions help us communicate and perhaps can say more than what meets the eye.”

- Rollin McCraty, Ph.D.

February is known worldwide for an emphasis on love. Research from the Institute of HeartMath shows love in a new light that helps to demonstrate how sparks – in a sense – actually can fly between people and the heart has everything to do with it.

Known for publishing some of the world’s most unique and groundbreaking studies on the heart, health and emotions, HeartMath found that when people touch a transfer occurs of electromagnetic energy produced by the heart. More surprising research reveals that the transfer of energy also occurs even without touch.

The heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body as measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is about 100 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an electroencephalogram (EEG), according to HeartMath researchers. The fields from the heart can also be detected in another person’s brainwaves when in close proximity or when touching.

The information transferred from the heart’s electromagnetic field changes based on the emotions experienced, according to the research. Such widely produced findings infer that what people feel internally actually creates a real, although subtle effect for those nearby. The research gives new meaning to sentiments like You could feel the electricity between them, and It felt like a current running through me, or You could cut the tension in that room with a knife.

Electricity of Touch

To share these important and uncommonly known understandings of the heart, the Institute of HeartMath (IHM) is conducting a research fund campaign this month and also giving away one of its best-selling electronic books, The Energetic Heart. The book can be downloaded for free at http://on.fb.me/explore-IHM. The book explains the transfer of energy between people and how stress and emotions intertwine.

“A handshake, a hug, a pat on the back to a teammate or coworker – these interactions help us communicate and perhaps can say more than what meets the eye,” said IHM Research Director Rollin McCraty, Ph.D.

McCraty wrote in The Energetic Heart that the heart is also a sensory organ that “acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing center that enables it to learn, remember and make independent functional decisions."

According to McCraty, human emotions affect something called a field environment, and research at HeartMath explores the interactions of people’s emotions in the field environment on a personal and global scale.

The Mother and Infant Connection

A HeartMath study in Summer 2007 provided some of the most promising evidence yet demonstrating the power of touch and electromagnetic fields in and between people. HeartMath scientists explored whether energy is exchanged between the heart and brain – called heart-brain interaction – in this case between a mother and her infant in the Proof of Concept Study: Heart-Brain Synchronization between Mother and Baby.

Researchers had an infant lie in its mother’s lap with a blanket separating them. They monitored the mother’s brainwaves and her baby’s heartbeat. They discovered that the mother’s brainwaves had synchronized to her baby’s heartbeat.

"This preliminary data elucidates the intriguing finding that the electromagnetic signals generated by the heart have the capacity to affect others around us,” the study’s authors wrote. “It appears that when the mother placed her attention on the baby that she became more sensitive to the subtle electromagnetic signals generated by the infant’s heart."

Additional findings like this, which reveal the extraordinary mysteries of the heart, are summarized in IHM’s “Mysteries of the Heart” video that can be viewed on their YouTube page at http://youtu.be/Kyfm5_LLxow.

Feeding the Field

“It’s important to take a pause and really consider what our emotions are contributing to our environment and to other people,” said McCraty. “Our research and its applications can help people create a positive emotion-based environment that has real effects on physiology.”

McCraty said that the true nature of human emotion is one of care and love. He said HeartMath and other research shows that by focusing on these core heart-felt emotions, it can enhance one’s connection with others, and that this connection extends far beyond the individual.

This month, with an emphasis on heart-felt emotion and new understandings about the heart, many people can take love gestures a step further than mere flowers and candy and focus on what they are putting out into the field environment. Perhaps an important question to ask is, “What am I feeding the field?”

To celebrate HeartMath’s understandings of the heart during American Heart Month, go to http://on.fb.me/explore-IHM. For more information about HeartMath’s programs, tools and techniques, visit http://www.heartmath.org. Learn more about HeartMath’s latest resources by joining its social networking pages on Facebook and Twitter and its YouTube channel.

About the Institute of HeartMath:
The Institute of HeartMath, http://www.heartmath.org, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to teaching the principles of heart-based living around the world and promoting global coherence by inspiring people to connect with the intelligence and guidance of their hearts. IHM has been conducting scientific research on the physiology of emotions and the science of the heart for two decades. IHM, a world leader in stress reduction and emotion-management research, was founded in 1991 by Doc Childre. Through its research and education divisions, the institute has developed practical tools, education programs and services – collectively known as the HeartMath System – for the mental, emotional and physical benefit of children through seniors without regard to their social, economic or cultural status.

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