In almost every energy and soul healing session I do, I’m intuitively drawn to focus on the heart. This prompted me to share why the heart is so important in any kind of healing and the role it plays in intuition. I’ll share with you a simple yet powerful technique and meditation you can use for self-healing to balance your heart, which in turn will help you relax your mind and body and strengthen your intuition. You’ll discover:
- The role of the heart in traditional Chinese medicine
- Why many scientists and neurocardiologists believe the heart is more important than the brain
- How to sync the mind with the heart to quickly calm mental chatter and release stress
- The heart’s role in strengthening your intuition
- The best flower essences for the heart and intuition
The Role of the Heart in Traditional Chinese Medicine
If you deal with anxiety or depression, you may already be aware of the heart’s importance, experiencing physical sensations such as pressure, tightness, rapid beating, or heaviness in the chest/heart. Chinese medicine teaches that when the heart is out of balance it can result in anxiety and depression. When you bring the heart into balance you feel calm and increase your ability to give and receive love.
The Importance of the Heart: The Heart Brain
The heart is the biggest emitter of electromagnetic energy in the body–it’s 100 times more powerful than the brain. In addition, many scientists and neurocardiologists believe that the heart, which maintains a constant two-way dialogue and relationship involving many processes with the brain, contains a brain in its own right.
The heart and the brain influence each other, with the heart sending a great deal more information to the brain than the other way around. This information includes heart signals that can influence perception, emotional experience, and higher cognitive functions.
According to the Institute of HeartMath, Dr. J. Andrew Armour first introduced the term heart brain in 1991. Armour showed that the heart’s complex intrinsic nervous system qualified it as a “little brain.” This heart brain “is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells like those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel and sense.”
The Heart Breathing Technique: A Breathing Exercise for Stress
Sync the Mind to the Heart
I often teach Heart Breathing, one of the Institute’s techniques, to my clients as part of their Reiki, Tao Hands, and hypnosis sessions so they’ll have a self-care breathing exercise for stress they can use on their own.
When you use the Heart Breathing technique, your heart and brain synchronize and balance. It only takes a minute or two (you can do it longer if you like), and creates positive changes in your heart rhythms, sending powerful signals to the brain that can quickly improve how you’re feeling. It’s a great breathing technique to use when you’re feeling stressed.
How to Use the Heart Breathing Technique
Here’s a simplified version you can do on your own:
- Drop your awareness down to your heart.
- Imagine the breath passing in and out of the heart.
- Think of someone or some place you love easily and unconditionally
- Imagine breathing this love for the person or place into your heart. Let it fill and soften your heart.
- Send all your love back to the person or place; fill the room you’re in with that love.
- Continue with this inhale and exhale for several minutes, or longer for a deeper effect. Notice the mind quieting down. You’ll notice a shift as you do this.
- Send this love to the areas in the body that need healing.
The Role of the Heart and Intuition
Connecting to your heart is one of the easiest ways I’ve found to help clients and students tune in to their intuition, which can help immensely in gaining clarity and insight as they move forward.
The heart is the receiver of your soul’s wisdom, so the more open and balanced it is, the more intuitive guidance you’ll be able to receive to help you with any aspect of your life. For this reason, I almost always focus on this part of the body in my distance healing sessions.
Strengthening this connection to your heart can light a fire to guide you, helping you release blocks and move forward in creative ways.
Bonus Tip: How to Connect to Your Intuition Through The Heart
The more the heart is open and unshakeable the more intuitive wisdom you can receive. Using the heart breathing technique as a daily practice strengthens this connection to your intuition. Here’s a bonus tip to help you go deeper in accessing the wisdom of your heart:
After you’ve been doing the heart breathing technique described above for 4 or 5 minutes, try this bonus option from meditation teacher and spiritual activist Terry Patten:
- Drop a little deeper into the heart, trusting it as much as you can, even if it’s just a little.
- Consult the intelligence of the heart. Feel into a question on which you’d like deeper guidance.
- Notice what wisdom your heart intelligence has to offer. It might be a message, an image or color, or an emotion that wells up.
- What is your heart trying to tell you, that your analytical/judging mind might try to ignore?
- You can continue to explore this question through journaling, during meditation, or thinking about it just before bed and then sleeping on it. The calmer and more neutral you are when exploring your questions, the more you can receive, so this sometimes takes practice.
Check out HeartMath.org for research on heart coherence and its positive effects on health.
The Best Flower Essences for the Heart
Flower essences are a vibrational healing system to balance negative emotions. They are different than herbs or essential oils and have no contraindications. Traditionally they’re taken orally (and don’t have a smell or taste).
Some of my favorite flower essences for the heart include:
Star of Bethlehem: for sadness and depression (Star of Bethlehem is one of the five flowers included in Rescue Remedy, so you could use this instead)
Holly: for anger
Sacred Heart by Flower Essence Society: for relationship issues
Infinite Love by Lotuswei Infinite Love Collection: for self love & acceptance
The Best Flower Essences for Intuition
Cerato: for self-doubt, to help you trust yourself instead of asking others what to do
Schleranthus: for privately and internally debating two options or choices
Wild Oat: to help you tune into your intuition and find your path to fulfill your purpose. Here’s a wonderful article by Rose Todd about how to use Wild Oat.
Connecting to your heart can be a powerful way to help with feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, and is one of the easiest ways I’ve found to help clients tune in to their intuition and wisdom. The heart breathing technique is a wonderful breathing exercise for stress and to tap into your intuition.
Need additional support?
I work with clients all over the world using Distance Reiki, Tao Hands, Virtual Hypnosis, and flower essences. Book a session for help with feeling anxious, depressed or stressed, or if you could use support with a particular challenge.
Last week, one of my Reiki students sent me an email asking about the affirmation/oracle cards we used at the beginning of class. She wanted to get a set of her own to use in conjunction with giving Reiki sessions to friends and family.
It got me thinking about how these kind of cards are such an easy, yet powerful way, to connect with your intuition.
My sister gave me a set by Louise Hay, called Power Thought Cards, and I use them almost every day. It’s a quick way to tap into my intuition.
Read on to hear how you can use the cards, my favorite card deck recommendations, and a bonus way Reiki and hypnosis can help you connect with your intuition.
How To Use Affirmation/Oracle Cards
Here’s one way you can use the cards:
- Shuffle the deck, and while you do so, take a deep breath to give yourself a moment to relax: a moment of meditation.
- Ask yourself: “What do I most need to know in this moment?”
- Or ask yourself a question where you need guidance and insight.
- Pick a card and read it, without judgment, being open to receive whatever guidance you need.
- You can leave the card out to reflect on throughout the day.
Using cards can be a concrete way to bypass your critical mind and tune into a deeper part of yourself, your intuition.
Receiving sessions or taking a Reiki class enhances your access to yourself, and the healing unfolds from this inner connectedness, helping you trust yourself more.
What Cards Do I Recommend?
In addition to Louise Hay’s Power Thought Cards, I love Sonia Choquette’s Ask Your Guides and the Voyager Tarot card sets. There are so many options out there–explore and find ones that speak to you.
What are other ways you can build your connection with your intuition? Start paying attention to your intuition this week and see what you notice.
Want additional support? Book a session.
(And let me know if you want to pick a card at the beginning of your next session.)
Dharma teacher and author Catherine Ingram relays a story in her book, Passionate Presence: a young friend told her to pretend she was surrounded by 1,000 hungry tigers and asked her what she would do. She said she wasn’t sure. Her young friend said, “I’d stop pretending!”
This is good advice but how often do we follow it? Ingram goes on to assert that our minds are mad. Don’t worry, this is a good thing, because once you accept the madness you can stop trying to reform what can’t be reformed and pay attention to the part of you that isn’t mad.
And this is the main point of meditation.
Minds are useful when we need to conceptualize or analyze, but when it comes to guiding our inner lives, depending on our minds isn’t such a great idea. The mind is wonderful at presenting 1,000 different variations of the past and conjuring a future, and then scaring us with most of the options it comes up with–making us anxious, stressed, or depressed (or sometimes all three!)
Meditation develops the capacity to question the mind and see the 1,000 tigers more objectively instead of believing every thought, desire, and wave of emotion. It can help put in perspective the thoughts that make us anxious, stressed, and depressed and help us decide if they’re valid and true.
Reiki & Meditation
Reiki sessions provide a sense of centering and connection, quieting the mind’s endless chatter. Many of my clients have compared it to the experience of meditation–with the practitioner (in this case, me) helping them meditate in a unique way.
Here’s something I always find useful: if I think I don’t have five minutes to sit and let my mind quiet down, it means I really need to take the time to do it (unfortunately this doesn’t mean I always do, but I try!) Try sitting quietly and just watching your breath without trying to control it for five minutes. If your mind wanders just gently bring it back to the breath.
I hope everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy is doing as well as possible under the circumstances. I thought about writing about ways to stay calm in a disaster, but who am I kidding, that’s way beyond my scope. If you don’t have the basic necessities like food, water, and shelter, it’s pretty hard to offer any words of wisdom.
So I’m scaling it back, and offering the Big Belly Technique–the easiest way I know of to let go of fear and help you relax in under 5 seconds.
The Big Belly Technique
When we’re frightened, anxious, or stressed, our breathing is much more shallow, residing in our upper chest. Want to change that in under 5 seconds? Here’s how the Big Belly Technique works (and yes, I love that name, and no, it won’t make you have a big belly permanently!):