The Heart Brain: How to Use Heart Breathing

Posted on April 18, 2012

Heart Breathing

I love giving clients techniques you can do at home. I’ll explain what the heart brain is, how the heart breathing technique can help you, and how you can do it at home.

The Heart Brain

With client sessions and in my own Reiki self care, I’ve found placing my hands over the heart to be one of the most powerful positions during the treatment. One possible explanation for this, is the fact that 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.”

Heart Breathing

I’ve been incorporating one of the Institute’s techniques, Heart Breathing, into many of my Reiki, reflexology, and hypnosis sessions and teaching clients to do it on their own.

When you use Heart Breathing your heart and brain synchronize and get in balance. It only takes a minute, and creates positive changes in your heart rhythms, sending powerful signals to the brain that can improve how you’re feeling. It’s a great technique to use when you’re feeling stressed.

How to Use Heart Breathing

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 and imagine breathing this love into your heart. You’ll notice a shift as you do this.

Something else to think about:
What is your heart trying to tell you, that your analytical/judging mind might try to ignore?

You can explore this question through journaling, during meditation, or thinking about it just before bed and then sleep on it.

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