Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Thinking With Heart
Today I offer a window into one of our new sciences. The following excerpt is from an article found on the Heartmath site. You can read much more about the new discipline called "neurocardiology" by searching for "heartmath" on Google or another search engine.
THE RESONANT HEART
Rollin McCraty, Raymond Trevor Bradley, Dana Tomasino
The Body's Heart Field
Heart Field: An electromagnetic field produced through the heart that can be detected several feet from the individual.
Many believe that conscious awareness originates in the brain alone. Recent scientific research suggests that consciousness actually emerges from the brain and body acting together. A growing body of evidence suggests that the heart plays a particularly significant role in this process.
Far more than a simple pump, as was once believed, the heart is now recognized by scientists as a highly complex system with its own functional “brain.” Research in the new discipline of neurocardiology shows that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated center for receiving and processing information. The nervous system within the heart (or “heart brain”) enables it to learn, remember, and make functional decisions independent of the brain’s cerebral cortex. Moreover, numerous experiments have demonstrated that the signals the heart continuously sends to the brain influence the function of higher brain centers involved in perception, cognition, and emotional processing.
In addition to the extensive neural communication network linking the heart with the brain and body, the heart also communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. Compared to the electromagnetic field produced by the brain, the electrical component of the heart’s field is about 60 times greater in amplitude, and permeates every cell in the body. The magnetic component is approximately 5000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.
The heart generates a continuous series of electromagnetic pulses in which the time interval between each beat varies in a dynamic and complex manner. The heart’s ever-present rhythmic field has a powerful influence on processes throughout the body. We have demonstrated, for example, that brain rhythms naturally synchronize to the heart’s rhythmic activity, and also that during sustained feelings of love or appreciation, the blood pressure and respiratory rhythms, among other oscillatory systems, entrain to the heart’s rhythm.
I am currently looking over other studies on electromagnetic pulses and the various ways the brain and body communicate. This does put a different slant on listening to your heart!
Posted by Suzanna B. Stinnett at 10:53 PM