What is Cardiac Coherence?
Cardiac coherence is a technique where coordination of the breathing rhythm and heart rhythm is achieved. It is known for a fact that heart rate/heartbeats are related to emotions, whether negative or positive such as happiness or sadness, good news or bad news, all these emotions can be translated into differences in the pulse/heartbeat. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the pulse/heart rate is very important in diagnosis of any medical condition.
Science Behind Cardiac Coherence
There are 40,000 neurons present in the semi-autonomous system of the heart. These neurons are closely linked to the emotional brain and jointly they create a “heart-brain system.” The heart plays a vital role in this system. Through direct training of the heart, we can train our emotions too. The main aim of cardiac coherence is to tame our cardiac rhythm, so that it enters a condition of “coherence.” This condition comprises of healthy and improved heart rate variability as opposed to “chaos”, which has decreased healthy variability, as is its usual pattern. The conditions, reduced heart rate variability and chaos, occur in a state of negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, stress, and anger. It is also a prominent forecaster of many medical conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and sometimes even death.
As the semi-autonomous network of neurons of the heart is closely related to the brain, both the heart and brain affect each other all the time. The heart rate is irregular in conditions like anxiety and stress, i.e. the heart rate becomes “chaotic.” When the patient is in a healthy state or feels positive emotions such as happiness and compassion, then the variation of heart rate is regular and becomes “coherent.”
The state of cardiac coherence can be achieved easily by picturing that you are breathing by means of your heart. You should sense your heartbeat when doing this. If you are not able to sense your heartbeat, then holding your breath until you start feeling or sensing your heartbeat helps.
Cardiac Coherence Benefits:
Studies show that if the technique of cardiac coherence is practiced regularly, it can benefit a person by the way of improvement in health, thought process, intellectual functioning, emotional stability and can help cope better with the challenges at home and work place.
Cardiac coherence helps in reducing the stress level thereby having a positive effect on health and improving the quality of life.