Heart Coherence: Concept and Health Benefits!
Published Mar 24, 2023 • By Polina Kochetkova
Have you ever heard of Heart Coherence? The concept has been gaining more and more attention in recent years, and for good reasons. It has been linked to many positive health benefits, and as a result, it has become increasingly important to understand this concept. In this article, we will be exploring the idea of heart coherence, its relationship to overall health, and the scientific evidence for its health benefits.
Want to know more? Keep reading!
This is Heart Coherence
Have you ever wanted to control your heartbeat with breathing techniques? Before, such idea was only associated with years of mindfulness practice, however, with the invention of heart coherence practices, the concept of heartbeat and breathing synchronization seems very realistic and accessible for anyone! Heart coherence or cardiac coherence is a newly popularized concept, which can be defined as a sense of harmony between the brain and the heart. According to one definition of heart coherence, it is a physiological state where the heart beats in time with the breath, enhancing emotional control and general well-being.
Heart and Brain connection
In order to understand the idea of cardiac coherence, it is vital to know how the heart and brain are connected and what role the heart plays in our health overall. Have you ever heard of a “listen to your heart or your brain” dilemma? Well, these two organs are connected both mentally and physically! The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system, which are made up of multiple synaptic pathways from myocardial cells back to peripheral ganglionic neurons and then to central preganglionic and premotor neurons, allow the brain to directly control the heart. Cardiac function can be significantly impacted by central autonomic commands, such as those related to stress, physical activity, arousal, and sleep, as well as reflex activation of cardiac autonomic nerves in response to inputs from baro-, chemo-, nasopharyngeal-, and other receptors.
In the medical environment, neurodegenerative diseases frequently cause slowly progressive autonomic failure, whereas vascular, inflammatory, or traumatic lesions of the autonomic nervous system, drug side effects, and long-term neurological conditions can cause autonomic disruptive behavior. Recent studies, shine more and more light on the connection between the heart and the brain, but to put it simply: a healthy heart = a healthy brain.
Heart Coherence benefits
Heart coherence has many positive effects on our mental and physical well-being. This practice represents a sense of inner calm and improves many areas of the daily life. Some of the benefits of heart coherence are:
Enhanced Cardiovascular Health
Cardiovascular health improvement is one of the most significant benefits of heart coherence exercises. Studies show that due to such exercises, the heartbeat is able to become more stable and relaxed, letting the overall blood circulation to stabilize the organ and possibly reduce the risk of heart malfunctions. In addition, due to proven mental pressure release, during cardiac coherence practices, the negative effects of stress decrease, supporting heart health once again.
Better stress management
Stress is a natural response of our body to dangerous situations, which is often referred to as the “fight or flight” response. It is caused by hormones, released in our body, in order to face a tricky situation. Regulating stress levels is incredibly important for our well-being, as constant unmanaged stress can lead to multiple illnesses, such as: depression, insomnia, skin problems, arthritis, high blood pressure and more. Heart coherence practices can help to release unwanted stress and possibly build stress resistance if implemented systematically.
More balanced physical and mental state
Cardiac coherence exercises have the potential to better overall physical and mental health, by possibly releasing high blood pressure, headaches, general fatigue and mental disorientation. Heart coherence might as well help in past trauma release, leading to a decrease of PTSD episodes, according to the studies. Physically, a coherent heart can lead to optimal body functions, leading to an overall relaxed state of the body and mind.
Having a healthy sleeping pattern is essential to our overall health, therefore, if you were looking for a way to better your sleep, this might be a good way for you! Breathing coherence practices can release stress and aid in bettering your sleep performance.
Increased mental clarity
Do you ever experience mental fogginess and disability to focus or stay productive? Heart coherence practices can help to release the feeling of disorientation and shift the mind focus into the right direction. Increased mental clarity is beneficial for managing daily tasks and staying efficient, therefore with constant practice, it can increase mental clarity.
Ways to practice Heart Coherence
Noticing your breath is the first stage of cultivating heart coherence. Start by taking a few slow, deep breaths while concentrating on how the air feels as it enters and exits your body. You can start concentrating on your heart rate as you become more conscious of your breathing.
You can start practicing heart coherence once you are conscious of your breath and heartbeat. Inhale for 5 seconds and then exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat the respiration technique 6 times. Focus on bringing your heart rate down as you inhale and bringing it up as you exhale. You might feel more at peace as a result of doing this.
Guided meditation is another technique for developing heart coherence. A great way to unwind and concentrate on your breath and heart rate is through meditation. You can concentrate on your breath and practice synchronizing it with your heart rate while practicing guided or self-guided meditation. You might feel more peace and tranquility.
Finally, yoga and other physical activities can be used to practice heart coherence. You can concentrate on your breath and practice synchronizing it with your heart rate while practicing yoga. You can experience better balance in your body, mind, and emotion.
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