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!