The Human Heart: More Intelligent Than Our Brain?

human heart intelligence heart brain

The human heart is a mysterious, intelligent and powerful organ. Not only does the heart constantly pump the blood around, but it also has a still underestimated intelligence and even a memory of its own.

Heart intelligence

Ancient philosophers already discussed the power and intelligence of the human heart. Aristotle regarded the heart as the center of reason, thought, and emotion. The Arab philosopher Abu Nasr al-Farabi believed that the brain was subordinate to the heart. Also, the French philosopher Auguste Comte stated in the 19th century that the brain should serve the heart.

The soul is the seat of wisdom. But what fascinates us so much about the heart? Have we wholly ignored anything with our modern science? No, because for a few decades, we have known that our heart has a network of about 40,000 neurons that are comparable to our brains. In other words, our heart has its intelligence, the heart’s intelligence.

The heart-brain connection

With its electrical impulse, the human heart can continue to beat when taken out of the body. Beating heart cells grown in Petri dishes synchronize with each other. The heart transmits much more powerful energy than anything else in the body, even more than the brain.

The neuron network in the human heart is in constant interaction with the brain. Neurons also convey emotion. These specialized cells are found in the brain and nervous system and, more importantly, in the heart.

We can exploit neurons to bring about coherence between the heart and brain. The heart neurons work closely with the brain neurons. The heart and brain are deeply connected through the heart-brain connection.

HeartMath Institute

Scientists at the HeartMath Institute in the US have been researching heart intelligence for several decades and have been able to connect science and spirituality. They talk about the heart-brain association and describe it as follows: “Our brain receives many instructions from the heart about how to act. Studies show that the heart is able to think, feel and experience emotions independently.”

Heartache versus happiness

Scientific studies from the same HeartMath Institute have shown that negative emotions such as anger, sadness, and poor self-confidence are harmful to the heart. Statistically, we are even more likely to have heart problems and even 20 times more likely to have a heart attack after the loss of a loved one.

On the other hand, positive emotions and happiness are accompanied by coherent (coherent) heart rhythms. So a happy feeling is good for the heart and good for our health. So, by training yourself to experience positive emotions such as appreciation or gratitude, you can train your heart and even improve your overall health.

The human heart, happiness in life, and heart coherence

Researchers at the HeartMath Institute have developed innovative tools and methods to achieve and measure the coherence between heart and brain. HeartMath has focused on the psychophysiology of stress, emotions, and the interaction between the heart and the brain.

Within the prevailing scientific model’s standards, the scientists have conducted more than 300 peer-reviewed and independent studies over the years on the effectiveness of HeartMath techniques and technologies. Their studies show many positive results in achieving a state of brain-heart coherence, where both organs come into a kind of flow and work together optimally.

Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., one of Heartmath’s founders, says, “The greatest hidden source of stress on the planet is the disorganization of the heart and mind, causing a lack of resonance. Lack of attunement is detrimental to humanity’s vitality and happiness.”

It gives a good description and a sober explanation that many people are looking for more happiness in life and throw themselves into destructive entertainment when the real joy is within themselves.

So the main challenge for most people is to connect with the heart and evoke the positive feelings of appreciation and gratitude that positively influence our happiness in life. It is a state of heart coherence that allows us to find ourselves and enjoy its benefits.

The intuition of the human heart

In our Western culture, it’s common for the brain to be at the helm and often overrule the heart’s intuition. We consider ourselves and each other “irrational” when we listen to our heart, and that has been the challenge for HeartMath: to resolve the split of heart and mind.

Scientist Gregg Braden works closely with the HeartMath Institute, and he puts it as follows: “The human brain does not like change. Switch to the heart and send messages to the brain.”

Positive emotions and the influence on health

Multiple studies from HeartMath show that self-regulation of the heart lowers blood pressure, improves hormonal balance, and improves recovery after a heart attack. More coherence means more health. Coherence facilitates the body’s natural regenerative processes.

Since the primary processes in our body (breathing, blood pressure, and heart rhythm) work closely together, a state of coherence affects countless secondary body processes, all of which benefit our health – both physical, emotional, and mental.

The electromagnetic field of the human heart

Our heart, like our brains, generates electromagnetic radiation. We can compare this radiation to a magnet’s field that creates patterns in iron filings. They are called “magnetic field lines.” These lines in magnetic fieldwork, like guitar strings and have their own vibration frequency.

When a solar wind reaches the Earth’s magnetic field, the energy rays form towards the Earth’s magnetic lines and cause vibrations, the field line resonance. Earth’s primary resonance on a normal day is about 1 Hz, exactly the same frequency as the coherent heart explains McCraty of HeartMath. “Human heart rhythms synchronize with the Earth’s resonant frequency in a way that no one ever thought possible.”

Heart-brain coherence

Dozens of studies, including those from the HeartMath Institute, have documented the benefits of meditation. Researchers have shown that with meditation, lowered blood pressure, anxiety, and depression relief, and we can achieve pain relief.

The practice of meditation also ensures coherent cooperation between the heart and the brain. In a meditative state, the heart produces different patterns than in a stressful situation. The same goes for emotions. Under the influence of positive emotions, such as appreciation, gratitude, and joy, the heart shows a coherent state, where the heart, breathing, and blood pressure work together in optimal condition.

HeartMath has developed exercises and equipment to train and support the cooperation between heart and brain. McCraty explains, “The HeartMath tools and techniques work in real-time. The method is to:

1. focus on the heart
2. activate compassion
3. radiate that feeling on yourself and others.

This simple method can relieve stress, anxiety, or depression and lead to all the myriad other heart coherence benefits.

Achieving heart coherence

We can easily achieve a state of heart coherence by experiencing positive emotions such as appreciation, gratitude, caring, and compassion. With continued practice, this becomes a habit as it is simply a matter of conditioning.

When we exercise, we create improved communication between the heart and the brain. The coherence that arises is not only beneficial for us on a personal level but can also be applied on a large scale, such as with the Global Coherence Initiative, where people all over the world participate and strive for some form of “collective coherence”.

Frequently asked questions

Does the heart have intelligence?

The HeartMath Institute has been researching the interconnections between the heart, brain, and nervous system for decades. Their findings suggest that the heart has a cluster of approximately 40,000 neurons that form a “source of intelligence” that plays a significant role in our emotional and cognitive processes.

Key findings from the HeartMath Institute’s research on heart intelligence are:

Heart-Brain Communication: The heart and brain communicate with each other continuously in a dynamic, interactive system. This is not just a one-way communication from the brain to the heart, but also from the heart to the brain.

Heart’s Electromagnetic Field: The heart generates a powerful electromagnetic field, which is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity generated by the brain. This field can be detected up to 6 feet away from the body and can influence people’s brains and bodies, especially when they are in close proximity.

Heart Rhythms and Emotions: Emotional states can be detected in heart rhythms. Positive emotions like love or gratitude lead to a smooth, harmonious pattern, whereas negative emotions lead to erratic patterns. These patterns can influence the brain’s ability to process information, make decisions, and react.

Intuition and the Heart: The heart plays a role in processing and decoding intuitive information. One of HeartMath’s studies showed that both the heart and brain received and responded to information about a future event before the event actually happened.

Coherence: One of the most important findings from HeartMath is the coherence state, in which the heart, mind, and emotions are aligned and in sync. This state is associated with improved cognitive function, self-regulation, and overall well-being.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV): HRV refers to the beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. It is an important measure of the interplay between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. HRV is seen as a measure of stress resilience and adaptability. HeartMath emphasizes its importance in understanding emotional regulation and overall health.

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