Not Just Brain To Body: Researchers Discover That The Heart Sends Signals To The Brain
A group of prestigious and internationally recognized leaders in physics, biophysics, astrophysics, education, mathematics, engineering, cardiology, biofeedback and psychology (among other disciplines) have been doing some brilliant work over at the Institute of HeartMath. The Institute of HeartMath is a (well recognized) non-profit research and education organization dedicated to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and understand something that is commonly overlooked in mainstream biology: the intelligence of the heart and its effect on the brain.
A large portion of their research dives into heart and brain interaction, how they communicate with each other and how that affects our consciousness. For example, when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a different message, and because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, the institute has been able to gather a significant amount of data.
According to Rolin McCratey, Ph.D, and director of research:
“Emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.” (source)
The Heart Sends Signals To The Brain
“One important way the heart can speak to and influence the brain is when the heart is coherent – experiencing stable, sine-wavelike pattern in its rhythms. When the heart is coherent, the body, including the brain, begins to experience all sorts of benefits, among them are greater mental clarity and ability, including better decision making.” (source)
Scientists have long believed that it was the brain that sent information and instructed the body on what to do, and when to do it. This includes the heart, but we now know (thanks to researchers like those at HeartMath) that the heart actually sends signals to the brain, just as the brain sends signals to the heart. In fact, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends in return. What’s even more amusing is the fact that these heart signals (from heart to brain) actually have a significant effect on brain function.
To me, this is amazing. The fact that the heart produces the largest electromagnetic field in the body, and the fact that it sends more signals to the brain rather than vice versa shows us that the heart plays a much larger role in our biology than what we previously believed, and that it (the heart) may be a major commanding center of the body, in the same way we think of the brain.
So far, the researchers have discovered that the heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways:
- Neurological communication (nervous system)
- Biophysical communication (pulse wave)
- Biochemical communication (hormones)
- Energetic communication (electromagnetic fields)
Why This Is Significant
“HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive function. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect. It facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability.” (source)
This brings into question the consideration of consciousness. Consciousness is the way we perceive the world (and everything in it) around us. It’s how we think, and it’s how we feel. It’s directing our attention towards something with a specific intention and can be explained in a number of ways. So what does consciousness have to do with science? Well, some physicists today are starting to believe that consciousness is actually a state of matter, just like a solid, a liquid or a gas. (source)(source). This is because a number of publications, more so in the field of quantum physics, have demonstrated that consciousness actually has a direct affect on our physical material world. This is most notably demonstrated by the quantum double slit experiment, one that found factors associated with consciousness to “significantly” correlate with the make up of our physical material world. You can find out more about that in an article we published last year titled “Consciousness Creates Reality: Physicists Admit The Universe Is Immaterial, Mental & Spiritual.
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” – R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University , “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005) (source)
For a selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles reporting studies that deal with human consciousnesss and its influence on the phsyical material world, mostly published in the 21st century, you can click HERE
It’s important to understand what these physicists are saying in conjunction with the research being conducted at the Institute of HeartMath, because the researchers there have shown how certain emotional states (consciousness) can code different information into the heart’s electromagnetic field, sending out a different signal depending on factors associated with consciousness (feelings/emotions), as well as send signals to the brain. While all this is going on, we have quantum physicists showing that consciousness can, again, have an effect on our physical material world. This could mean that conscious states of love, gratitude and compassion have a different effect on physical reality (one that is not known), than opposite emotions like hate, fear and greed have on it. We know that these different emotional states do indeed have an effect on our biological makeup and send a different type of signals to the brain, as mentioned earlier, which brings me to my next point…
Do Our Thoughts, Feelings, Emotions & More Originate In The Brian, The Heart, Or From Somewhere Else?
Just to recap, researchers at the institute have found that the heart sends more signals to the brain than the brain does to the heart, and that different emotional states send different signals to the brain, which directly effect our cognitive functions, our ability to learn and more. The question to ask here is, where do these emotional states come from? What triggers them? A certain event in our lives could be the catalyst for a certain type of emotional response (depending how we perceive that event). For example, if someone loses a loved one, they will experience ‘negative’ emotions, thus triggering the heart to send certain signals to the brain. But where do these emotions generate from? Do they generate from our brain, with regards to how we perceive the event which determines our reaction? Where do these states of consciousness originate?
“Looking for consciousness in the brain is like looking inside a radio for the announcer” – Nassim Haramein
These states of consciousness could be altering our world in ways we do not know, and we know they alter the way we feel, think and perceive, which in turn can effect our biology.
Below is a great video from Dr. Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry and surgery at the University of Arizona, discussing whether consciousness is a product of the brain or a receiver of it. It’s a little overview of a subject that is full of peer reviewed scientific research that not many people have the time to go through.
“QM [quantum mechanics] has questioned the material foundations of the world by showing that atoms and subatomic particles are not really solid objects—they do not exist with certainty at definite spatial locations and definite times. Most importantly, QM explicitly introduced the mind into its basic conceptual structure since it was found that particles being observed and the observer—the physicist and the method used for observation—are linked. According to one interpretation of QM, this phenomenon implies that the consciousness of the observer is vital to the existence of the physical events being observed, and that mental events can affect the physical world.” – Dr. Gary Schwartz (source)