Mastering Your Stress Response Using HeartMath
Ever feel like your heart, mind, and body are out of sync with each other? Maybe your mind is racing with anxiety but your body is fatigued. Or maybe your heart is beating a mile a minute and your brain just can’t catch up. Imagine there was a way to get all three in harmony with each other.
Luckily, HeartMath, a new innovative technology now offered at The Johnson Center, can do just that. Using biofeedback and complex science, HeartMath will work to reset your composure and inner clarity, calm reactive emotions, and neutralize stress.
What is HeartMath?
HeartMath is a brain integration technique that uses your heart rate variability (HRV) to foster a stronger heart-mind-body connection. HeartMath is supported by a combination of methodologies, research, and technology that pulls together years of study on the relationship between the heart and brain, as well as the heart's capacity to assist manage our system.
When using HeartMath, you’ll place an electrocardiogram (ECG) on your finger, tapping into your heart’s shifting rhythms. Once the ECG is on, a clinician will guide you through skills and practices to promote brain-heart-body harmony and alignment, a phenomenon known as coherence. In using Heartmath, you’ll be able to see how your HRV changes in response to stress reduction techniques, allowing you greater autonomy over your stress and anxiety response. Furthermore, understanding how much you can influence your stress levels with HeartMath can assist you to enhance your internal awareness and acquire more self-empowerment abilities in order to live the life you want.
The Heartmath procedures, when used consistently, will give you more control over your physiological reaction to stress and anxiety. It will improve your resilience and emotional regulation. It is best to use HeartMath the first several times with a clinician to guide you through the process, allowing you to recognize techniques that work for you to use at home.
How does it work?
Most therapeutic stress and anxiety reduction strategies focus only on the mind, taking a cognitive approach. And, unfortunately, this falls short for many people. Likely because, when focusing only on the brain, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle- how the brain is impacted by other complex systems of the body, including emotional centers.
According to research, the neurological connections going from the heart to the brain are stronger and more numerous than those in the opposite direction. This suggests that our hearts have more influence over our cognitions than we think. As a result, changing our emotional experience through only rational reasoning is challenging. HeartMath uses this integral knowledge to support the development of adaptive and supportive patterns of heart-brain communication.
For example, when you’re stressed, it’s likely that you’ll be overwhelmed with feelings of worry, anxiety, frustration, and anger. These negative emotions will lead to disorder in the nervous system and your heart will begin to beat in an erratic and disordered manner. This causes neuronal impulses to be sent from the heart to the brain, impairing our capacity to perform high cognitive skills such as memory, reasoning, and effective decision-making.
This also explains why, when stressed, we may act rashly and irresponsibly. During times of stress, the heart's input to the brain has a tremendous influence on the brain's emotional processing, and actually serves to reinforce the unpleasant emotional experience of stress.
In contrast, when your heart is beating smoothly and steadily, positive emotional states will help to facilitate cognitive function and reinforce emotional stability and positive feelings. This means that learning to generate better heart rhythm coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, will have a profound impact throughout the body and affect how we think, perceive, perform, and feel.
HeartMath teaches you how to tap into your heart's strength and intelligence, as well as how to train your autonomic nervous system to promote your well-being. What happens around us does not produce stress; rather, how we respond to it does. Learning how to control the messages your heart sends to your brain during times of stress will help you balance your mental and emotional energy while also lowering your stress and anxiety levels.
500+ schools, hospitals, and organizations using HeartMath®
25+ Years of Research
400+ independent research studies
Demonstrated benefits include:
Improved ability to focus
Studies conducted with over 11,500* people have shown improvements in mental & emotional well-being in just 6-9 weeks using HeartMath training and technology.
24% improvement in the ability to focus
30% improvement in sleep
38% improvement in calmness
46% drop in anxiety
48% drop in fatigue
56% drop in depression
To learn more about HeartMath click here to contact us! If you have any more questions about your path to optimal health, email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 276-235-3205.
The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach / Norfolk locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!