Before we get to that at the end of this article, let’s put the whole thing a bit more into context first. Let me start by asking you this:
Have you ever noticed the words we use when referring to feelings and emotions of gratitude, appreciation, love, passion, and so on?
We say things like:
“It’s coming from the heart.”
“A heartfelt thank you!”
“I love you with all my heart.”
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“I put my heart into this.”
Or we say things like:
“It broke my heart…”
“It’s a heartache…”
So what is this ‘heart’ really?
The ‘heart’ is actually very much misunderstood:
Most people see it as nothing more than a mechanical pump that pumps around blood to circulate it around our bodies through the veins and capillaries.
Others have a more expanded vision of it, and know of it as the ‘heart chakra’, which according to tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism is the central ‘spinning wheel’ of energy in a larger system of subtle energy vortexes that permeate various physical and subtle ‘layers’ of our bodies.
Either way, few people have a really clear and tangible image of what the heart really is and does, and its crucial importance and impact on your ‘vibrational state’.
So let me kick this one off with a few interesting facts on the heart:
We all know how changes in emotions are accompanied by predictable changes in your heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily functions.
In this regard, it has long been assumed that it was only the brain that’s ultimately responsible for responding to a certain stimulus, and signaling via the central nervous system what physiological response was supposed to follow.
However, research has shown that the heart actually has its own logic, which was often different from ‘normal’ communication directions in the nervous system.
In fact, it turned out that the heart sends meaningful messages to the brain, which in turn the brain not only understands, but also obeys. As such, the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world.
Later on, neurophysicists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism through which the heart is able to inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity, and thus influence the way we perceive the world, the way we make decisions, and other cognitive processes that determine how we react to the world.
- Later research shed light on what has become known as the ‘heart brain’, a complex and sophisticated nervous system that’s intrinsic to the heart, and consists of around 40,000 neurons called ‘sensory neurites’. With this nervous system of its own, the heart can learn, remember, feel, sense, and make functional decisions independent of the brain.
- Another thing that studies on the heart have revealed, is that the heart not only communicates information physically to the brain through the extensive neural pathways that I just mentioned, but also through electromagnetic field interactions.
According to Rollin McCraty, who’s Director of Research at the Institute of HeartMath, it turns out that the heart’s electromagnetic field is the most powerful and most extensive electromagnetic field in the human body, and is about 5,000 times stronger than the electromagnetic field of the brain. With sensitive measuring equipment called ‘magneto-meters’ it can be detected several feet away from the body.
- Moreover, there’s now evidence that a subtle, yet influential electromagnetic or ‘energetic’ communication system operates just below our conscious awareness.
Research by the Institute of HeartMath has shown remarkable evidence that the heart’s electro-magnetic field can transmit information between people. Such energy exchange has so far been measured between individuals who were standing up to five feet apart.
McCraty proposes that energetic interactions through this field contribute to certain ‘magnetic’ attractions or repulsions that may occur between people, which may also affect social relationships.
It was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another person’s heart. This happened most notably when a person was generating a coherent heart rhythm, suggesting that when you’re in a coherent state, you may become more aware to the information encoded in the ‘heart fields’ of those around you.
The heart is not just an organ in other respects either. It also happens to operate as an endocrine gland that secretes hormones with various important functions.
One hormone is called ANF (‘Atrial Natriuretic Factor’), which has effects on the blood vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands, and large number of regulatory regions in the brain.
- The heart also contains cells known as ‘ICA’ cells, which stands for ‘Intrinsic Cardiac Adrenergic’ cells. These cells release noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters.
In addition, the heart secretes a hormone called ‘oxytocin’, which is commonly referred to as the ‘love hormone’ or ‘bonding hormone’. This hormone is involved in functions in childbirth and lactation, as well as cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviors, learning social cues, and the establishment of enduring pair bonds.
- Moreover, something interesting came from a guy named David Vesely, MD, PhD, who’s a professor of medicine, molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida, as well as chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa. He found that heart hormones got rid of up to 97% of all cancers in cell cultures within 24 hours (more details here)!
- Furthermore, the Institute of HeartMath also established that the heart is fundamental to stabilizing or destabilizing emotions, and harmonizing or disharmonizing the interaction between itself, the nervous system, and the brain. When these three are out of synch, we feel completely out of synch and incoherent as well .
- Considerable research has shown that low-vibrational emotional states generate incoherent – imbalanced – heart rhythm patterns. This, in turn, distorts the relationship between the heart, nervous system and brain, and all hell can break lose mentally, emotionally and ‘physically’.
This is how stress and other emotions cause heart attacks, and why people do die from a ‘broken heart’. The emotional impact of a particular traumatic or shocking experience can trigger severe incoherence in heart rhythm. This is also what causes what we call ‘heartache’.
Love, compassion, caring and appreciation have been shown to do the opposite. They lead to coherent heart rhythm patterns.
To conclude this long list for now, another interesting research finding is that the heart is involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive information:
The heart’s electromagnetic field is directly involved in intuitive perception through its coupling with an energetic information field outside the bounds of space and time.
And brace yourself for this one:
Other research revealed evidence that both the heart and the brain receive and respond to information about a future event before the event actually happens.
Even more surprisingly, the heart appeared to receive this intuitive information before the brain does .
That’s why we say “I knew it in my heart” or “follow your heart”. This is where we feel ‘intuitive knowing’. When you intuitively know something, you don’t sit down and think it through. You just know it.
It’s there, in an instant. No need to ponder the ‘ifs’, ‘buts’, ‘pros’, ‘cons’ and so on in an attempt to try and work it all out on an intellectual level… That’s what the mind does. The heart knows.
Anyway, there’s far more to be told about the heart, but let’s stick with this for now. I mean, we’ve already come a long way from the heart just being a mechanical pump!
๑The Realm of Awakened Vibrations ๑