AF Association
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On Heart and Emotional Connection

I practise a form of Heart based meditation for calming emotions which I found have a positive affect on the heart.

I recently came across a new article, written by Rollin McCraty Phd, director of research of HearthMath California - just 2 excerpts from a long, well referenced article which really spoke to me:-

1. Although there are numerous sources of bodily input to the brain, the heart is given particular relevance in the emo- tional system due to its unique degree of afferent input and its consistent gen- eration of dynamic rhythmic patterns that are closely coupled with changes in emotional state.

2. Within the context of the model of emotion developed here, we can also gain new insight into the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of the HeartMath emotional restructuring techniques, which produce a positive emotion-driven shift in the heart’s rhythmic patterns, and thus a change in the pattern of cardiac afferent input to the brain. The coupling of a more organized pattern of afferent input with an intentionally self-generated positive emotion reinforces the nat- ural conditioning between the coherent physiological mode and the positive emotion. This subsequently strengthens the ability of a positive emotional shift to initiate a physiological shift towards increased coherence, and a physiologi- cal shift to facilitate the experience of a positive emotion.

A lengthy discourse on the history of the mind-body-emotional theories but an interesting one - well to me at least!

5 Replies

I had never come across the word "afferent" before. The Oxford dictionary states :- adj, ( of blood and lymph vessels, nerves etc) Bringing, conducting, inwards or towards..

I am going to re-read it again now as I always follow your posts with interest.

Many thanks.


Thanks for the article, I will need to re- read, but very interested.


I would be interested to know more about your meditation please


It is a very simple one to the one described on the HeartMath site, loads on their site to download for free. I have one of their devices which Connects to my phone and monitors the electrical activity between heartbeats which you focus on to reduce the activity so you actually see it working.

It won't stop an AF episode but with practice it reduced the anxiety which helped to reduce some of the worst of the thumping. This used together with a breathing meditation, breathing calm into your heart.

What I have found is that the more you use these techniques, the more effective they become so it really is practise - 5 mins x 2 a day.

I have seen trainers of the HearthMath project work with children in school to reduce anxiety and improve concentration to great effect. - resources


Thanks for posting this CDreamer, I need to do some more work in this area (as emotions do affect me) and it looks interesting.


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