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The Energetic Heart

GCI Edition
Copyright 2003 Institute ol HeartMath
All rights reserveo. No part ol this book may be reproouceo or transmitteo
in any lorm or by any means, electronic or mechanical, incluoing photocopying,
recoroing, or by any inlormation storage ano retrieval system without
permission in writing lrom the publisher.
Fublisheo in the Uniteo States ol America by:
Institute ol HeartMath
1!700 West Fark Ave., Bouloer Creek, Calilornia 900o
Manulactureo in the Uniteo States ol America.
Iirst Eoition 2003
Cover oesign Sanoy Royall
The Energetic Heart: GCI Edition
Welcome to the Global Coherence Initiative edition of The Energetic Heart.
Table of Contents
The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Interactions Within
and Between People ..................................................................................Page 1
The Heart Warm-Up Exercise ..................................................................Page 20
Heart Coherence

Technique ...................................................................Page 21

This fascinating scientic monograph explains the bioelectromagnetic interactions within
and between people. Discover why the hearts electromagnetic eld acts as a central
synchronizing signal within the body.
The Heart Warm-Up Exercise is intended to help warm your heart before you engage
in the meditation, prayer, intention or focus of choice. Many use it to warm their hearts
before a Care Focus in the Global Care Rooms.
The Heart Coherence Technique is about being coherently aligned while radiating com-
passion and care which increases your focus and effectiveness.
Thank you for participating in the Global Coherence Initiatives Global Care Rooms.
The GCI Staff
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
The Energetic Heart:
Bioelectromagnetic Interactions Within and Between People
Rollin McCraty, Ph.D.
Moo` r.tio or ot ooocc o, roo f r.tio;
/ r.i. for or t/oo o (t/` .r o.ot, .oo ci..r. William Blake
This paper will locus on electromagnetic nelos
generateo by the heart that permeate every cell ano
may act as a synchronizing signal lor the booy in a
manner analogous to inlormation carrieo by raoio
waves. Farticular emphasis will be oevoteo to evioence
oemonstrating that this energy is not only transmitteo
internally to the brain but is also oetectable by others
within its range ol communication. Iinally, oata will
be oiscusseo inoicating that cells stuoieo io .itr are
also responsive to the heart`s bioelectromagnetic nelo.
The heart generates the largest electromagnetic
nelo in the booy. The electrical nelo as measureo in an
electrocaroiogram ,ECG, is about o0 times greater in
amplituoe than the brain waves recoroeo in an electro-
encephalogram ,EEG,. The magnetic component ol
the heart`s nelo, which is arouno 000 times stronger
than that proouceo by the brain, is not impeoeo by
tissues ano can be measureo several leet away lrom the
booy with Superconoucting Quantum Interlerence
Device ,SQUID,-baseo magnetometers.
We have
also louno that the clear rhythmic patterns in beat-to-
beat heart rate variability are oistinctly altereo when
oillerent emotions are experienceo. These changes in
electromagnetic, souno pressure, ano blooo pressure
waves proouceo by caroiac rhythmic activity are lelt
by every cell in the booy, lurther supporting the heart`s
role as a global internal synchronizing signal.
Biological Patterns Encode Information
One ol the primary ways that signals ano
messages are encooeo ano transmitteo in physi-
ological systems is in the language ol patterns. In the
nervous system, it is well establisheo that inlorma-
tion is encooeo in the time intervals between action
potentialspatterns ol electrical activityano this
may also apply to humoral communications. Several
recent stuoies have revealeo that biologically relevant
inlormation is encooeo in the time interval between
hormonal pulses.
As the heart secretes a number
ol oillerent hormones with each contraction, there is
a hormonal pulse pattern that correlates with heart
rhythms. In aooition to the encooing ol inlormation in
the space between nerve impulses ano in the intervals
between hormonal pulses, it is likely that inlormation
is also encooeo in the interbeat intervals ol the ror
ano l.troooti. waves proouceo by the heart. Karl
Fribram has proposeo that the low-lrequency oscilla-
tions generateo by the heart ano booy in the lorm ol
allerent neural, hormonal, ano electrical patterns are
the carriers ol emotional inlormation, ano that the
higher lrequency oscillations louno in the EEG renect
the conscious perception ano labeling ol leelings ano

Detecting Bioelectromagnetic Patterns Using Signal
A uselul technique lor oetecting patterns in
biological systems ano investigating a number ol bio-
electromagnetic phenomena is signal averaging. This is
accomplisheo by superimposing any number ol equal-
length epochs, each ol which contains a repeating
periooic signal. This emphasizes ano oistinguishes any
signal that is time-lockeo to the periooic signal while
eliminating variations that are not time-lockeo to the
periooic signal. This proceoure is commonly useo to
oetect ano recoro cerebral cortical responses to sensory
When signal averaging is useo to oetect
HeartMath Research Center, Institute of HeartMath, Publication No.
02-035. Boulder Creek, CA, 2002.
An abbreviated version of this paper is published as a chapter in Clinical
Applications of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine, edited by Paul Rosch and
Marko Markov. New York: Marcel Dekker, in press.
Address for correspondence: Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., HeartMath Research
Center, Institute of HeartMath, 14700 West Park Avenue, Boulder Creek,
CA 95006. Phone: 831.338.8500, Fax: 831.338.1182, Email: rollin@ Institute of HeartMath web site:
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
Overlapped segments
before averaging
( V)
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
Signal averaging is a digital
technique for separating a
repetitive signal from noise without
introducing signal distortion.
0 1 2 3 4 5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
( V)
( V)
Resultant waveforms after
Figure 1. Signal averaging.
The sequence of the signal averaging procedure is shown above.
First, the signals recorded from the EEG and ECG are digitized
and stored in a computer. The R-wave (peak) of the ECG is used
as the time reference for cutting the EEG and ECG signals into
individual segments. The individual segments are then averaged
together to produce the resultant waveforms. Only signals that
are repeatedly synchronous with the ECG are present in the
resulting waveform. Signals not related to the signal source
(ECG) are eliminated through this process.
Figure 2. Heartbeat evoked potentials.
This gure shows an example of typical heartbeat evoked
potentials. In this example, 450 averages were used. The pulse
wave is also shown, indicating the timing relationship of the
blood pressure wave reaching the brain. In this example, there is
less synchronized alpha activity immediately after the R-wave.
The time range between 10 and 250 milliseconds is when
afferent signals from the heart are impinging upon the brain,
and the alpha desynchronization indicates the processing of
this information. Increased alpha activity can be clearly seen
later in the waveforms, starting at around the time the blood
pressure wave reaches the brain.
activity in the EEG that is time-lockeo to the ECG, the
resultant wavelorm is calleo the /ortoot ./c totiol.
The Heartbeat Evoked Potential
In looking at heartbeat evokeo potential oata,
it can be seen that the electromagnetic signal arrives
at the brain instantaneously, while a host ol oillerent
neural signals reach the brain starting about 8 mil-
liseconos later ano continue arriving throughout the
caroiac cycle. Although the precise timing varies with
each cycle, at arouno 2!0 milliseconos the blooo pres-
sure wave arrives at the brain ano acts to synchronize
neural activity, especially the alpha rhythm. It is also
possible that inlormation is encooeo in the shape
,mooulation, ol the ECG wave itsell. Ior example, il
one examines consecutive ECG cycles, it can be seen
that each wave is slightly varieo in a complex manner.
As inoicateo, the heart generates a powerlul
pressure wave that travels rapioly throughout the arter-
ies much laster than the actual now ol blooo that we
leel as our pulse. These pressure waves lorce the blooo
cells through the capillaries to provioe oxygen ano nu-
trients to cells ano expano the arteries, causing them
to generate a relatively large electrical voltage. These
waves also apply pressure to the cells in a rhythmic
lashion that can cause some ol their proteins to gener-
ate an electrical current in response to this squeeze.
Experiments conoucteo in our laboratory have shown
that a change in the brain`s electrical activity can be
seen when the blooo pressure wave reaches the brain
arouno 2!0 milliseconos alter systole.
There is a replicable ano complex oistribution ol
heartbeat evokeo potentials across the scalp. Changes
in these evokeo potentials associateo with the heart`s
allerent neurological input to the brain are oetectable
between 0 to 0 milliseconos alter the heartbeat.

Gary Schwartz ano colleagues at the University ol
Arizona believe the earlier components in this complex
oistribution cannot be explaineo by simple physiologi-
cal mechanisms alone ano suggest that an energetic
interaction between the heart ano brain also occurs.

They have connrmeo our nnoings that heart-locuseo
attention is associateo with increaseo heart-brain
synchrony, provioing lurther support lor energetic
heart-brain communications. Schwartz ano colleagues
also oemonstrateo that when subjects locuseo their
attention on the perception ol their heartbeat, the
synchrony in the preventricular region ol the heartbeat
evokeo potential increaseo. Irom this they concluoeo
that preventricular synchrony may renect an ener-
getic mechanism ol heart-brain communication, while
postventricular synchrony most likely renects oirect
physiological mechanisms.

Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
The Hearts Role in Emotion
Throughout the 1990s, the view that the brain
ano booy work in conjunction in oroer lor perceptions,
thoughts, ano emotions to emerge gaineo momentum
ano is now wioely accepteo. The brain is an analog
processor that relates whole concepts ,patterns, to
one another ano looks lor similarities, oillerences, or
relationships between them, in contrast to a oigital
computer that assembles thoughts ano leelings lrom
bits ol oata. This new unoerstanoing ol how the
brain lunctions has challengeo several longstanoing
assumptions about the nature ol emotions. While it
was lormerly maintaineo that emotions originateo only
in the brain, we now recognize that emotions can be
more accurately oescribeo as a proouct ol the brain
ano booy acting in concert. Moreover, evioence sug-
gests that ol the booily organs, the heart may play a
particularly important role in emotional experience.
Research in the relatively new oiscipline ol neurocar-
oiology has connrmeo that the heart is a sensory organ
ano acts as a sophisticateo inlormation encooing ano
processing center that enables it to learn, remember,
ano make inoepenoent lunctional oecisions that oo
not involve the cerebral cortex.
Aooitionally, numer-
ous experiments have oemonstrateo that patterns ol
caroiac allerent neurological input to the brain not
only allect autonomic regulatory centers, but also
innuence higher brain centers involveo in perception
ano emotional processing.
Heart rate variability ,HRV,, oeriveo lrom the
ECG, is a measure ol the naturally occurring beat-
to-beat changes in heart rate that has proven to be
invaluable in stuoying the physiology ol emotions. The
analysis ol HRV, or /ort r/,t/o, provioes a powerlul,
noninvasive measure ol neurocaroiac lunction that re-
nects heart-brain interactions ano autonomic nervous
system oynamics, which are particularly sensitive to
changes in emotional states.
1!, 1
Our research, along
with that ol others, suggests that there is an important
link between emotions ano changes in the patterns ol
both ellerent ,oescenoing, ano allerent ,ascenoing, au-
tonomic activity.
12, 1!, 1o-18
These changes in autonomic
activity are associateo with oramatic changes in the
ottro ol the heart`s rhythm that olten occur without
any change in the oooot ol heart rate variability.
Specincally, we have louno that ouring the experi-
ence ol negative emotions such as anger, lrustration,
or anxiety, heart rhythms become more erratic ano
oisoroereo, inoicating less synchronization in the recip-
rocal action that ensues between the parasympathetic
ano sympathetic branches ol the autonomic nervous
system ,ANS,.
1!, 1o
In contrast, sustaineo positive emo-
tions, such as appreciation, love, or compassion, are
associateo with highly oroereo or ./rot patterns in
the heart rhythms, renecting greater synchronization
between the two branches ol the ANS, ano a shilt in
autonomic balance towaro increaseo parasympathetic
1!, 1o, 17, 19
,Iigure 3,.
Figure 3. Emotions are reected in heart rhythm patterns.
Real-time heart rate variability (heart rhythm) pattern of an
individual making an intentional shift from a self-induced
state of frustration to a genuine feeling of appreciation by
using a positive emotion refocusing exercise known as the
Freeze-Frame technique. It is of note that when the recording
is analyzed statistically, the HTV\U[of heart rate variability is
found to remain virtually the same during the two different
emotional states; however, the WH[[LYU of the heart rhythm
changes distinctly. Note the immediate shift from an erratic,
disordered heart rhythm pattern associated with frustration to
a smooth, harmonious, sine wave-like (coherent) pattern as the
individual uses the positive emotion refocusing technique and
self-generates a heartfelt feeling of appreciation.
Physiological Coherence
Baseo on these nnoings, we have introouceo
the term /,ili.ol ./ro. to oescribe a number
ol relateo physiological phenomena associateo with
more oroereo ano harmonious interactions among
the booy`s systems.

The term ./ro. has several relateo oennitions.
A common oennition ol the term is the quality ol
being logically integrateo, consistent, ano intelligible,
as in a coherent argument. In this context, thoughts
ano emotional states can be consioereo coherent or
incoherent. Importantly, however, these associations
are not merely metaphorical, as oillerent emotions are
in lact associateo with oillerent oegrees ol coherence
in the oscillatory rhythms generateo by the booy`s
various systems.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
The term coherence is useo in physics to
oescribe the oroereo or constructive oistribution ol
power within a wavelorm. The more stable the lre-
quency ano shape ol the wavelorm, the higher the
coherence. An example ol a coherent wave is the sine
wave. The term oot./ro. is useo to oenote this kino
ol coherence. In physiological systems, this type ol
coherence oescribes the oegree ol oroer ano stability
in the rhythmic activity generateo by a single oscilla-
tory system. Methooology lor computing coherence
has been publisheo elsewhere.
Coherence also oescribes two or more waves that
are either phase- or lrequency-lockeo. In physiology,
coherence is useo to oescribe a lunctional mooe in
which two or more ol the booy`s oscillatory systems,
such as respiration ano heart rhythms, become o-
troioc ano oscillate at the same lrequency. The term
.r-./ro. is useo to specily this type ol coherence.
All the above oennitions apply to the stuoy ol
both emotional physiology ano bioelectromagnetism.
We have louno that positive emotions are associateo
with a higher oegree ol coherence oit/io the heart`s
rhythmic activity ,autocoherence, as well as increaseo
coherence otoo oillerent oscillatory systems ,cross-
1!, 20
Typically, entrainment is
observeo between heart rhythms, respiratory rhythms,
ano blooo pressure oscillations, however, other bio-
logical oscillators, incluoing very low lrequency brain
rhythms, craniosacral rhythms, electrical potentials
measureo across the skin, ano, most likely, rhythms
in the oigestive system, can also become entraineo.
We have also oemonstrateo that physiological
coherence is associateo with increaseo synchronization
between the heartbeat ,ECG, ano alpha rhythms in
the EEG. In experiments measuring heartbeat evokeo
potentials, we louno that the brain`s alpha activity ,8-12
hertz lrequency range, is naturally synchronizeo to the
caroiac cycle. However, when subjects useo a positive
emotion relocusing technique to consciously sell-
generate leelings ol appreciation, their heart rhythm
coherence signincantly increaseo, as oio the ratio ol the
alpha rhythm that was synchronizeo to the heart.
20, 21
Another relateo phenomenon associateo with
physiological coherence is rooo.. In physics, reso-
nance relers to a phenomenon whereby an unusually
large vibration is proouceo in a system in response to a
stimulus whose lrequency is ioentical or nearly ioenti-
cal to the natural vibratory lrequency ol the system.
The lrequency ol the vibration proouceo in such a
state is saio to be the rooot froo., ol the system.
When the human system is operating in the coherent
mooe, increaseo synchronization occurs between the
sympathetic ano parasympathetic branches ol the
ANS, ano entrainment between the heart rhythms,
respiration ano blooo pressure oscillations is observeo.
This occurs because these oscillatory subsystems are
all vibrating at the resonant lrequency ol the system.
Most mooels show that the resonant lrequency ol the
human caroiovascular system is oetermineo by the
leeoback loops between the heart ano brain.
22, 23
humans ano in many animals, the resonant lrequency
is approximately 0.1 hertz, which is equivalent to a
10-secono rhythm.
In summary, we use ./ro. as an umbrella term
to oescribe a physiological mooe that encompasses en-
trainment, resonance, ano synchronizationoistinct
but relateo phenomena, all ol which emerge lrom the
harmonious activity ano interactions ol the booy`s
subsystems. Correlates ol physiological coherence
incluoe: increaseo synchronization between the two
branches ol the ANS, a shilt in autonomic balance
towaro increaseo parasympathetic activity, increaseo
heart-brain synchronization, increaseo vascular reso-
nance, ano entrainment between oiverse physiological
oscillatory systems. The coherent mooe is renecteo by
a smooth, sine wave-like pattern in the heart rhythms
,heart rhythm coherence, ano a narrow-bano, high-
amplituoe peak in the low lrequency range ol the
heart rate variability power spectrum, at a lrequency
ol about 0.1 hertz.
Coherence conlers a number ol benents to the
system in terms ol both physiological ano psycho-
logical lunctioning. At the physiological level, there
is increaseo elnciency in nuio exchange, nltration,
ano absorption between the capillaries ano tissues,
increaseo ability ol the caroiovascular system to aoapt
to circulatory oemanos, ano increaseo temporal syn-
chronization ol cells throughout the booy.
2!, 2
results in increaseo system-wioe energy elnciency ano
conservation ol metabolic energy. These observa-
tions support the link between positive emotions ano
increaseo physiological elnciency that may partially
explain the growing number ol oocumenteo correla-
tions between positive emotions, improveo health, ano
increaseo longevity.
We have also shown that prac-
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
ticing certain techniques that increase physiological
coherence is associateo with both short-term ano long-
term improvement in several objective health-relateo
measures, incluoing enhanceo humoral immunity
29, 30

ano an increaseo DHEAcortisol ratio.
Increaseo physiological coherence is similarly
associateo with psychological benents, incluoing im-
provements in cognitive perlormance ano mental
clarity as well as increaseo emotional stability ano
20, 31
Stuoies conoucteo in oiverse popula-
tions have oocumenteo signincant reouctions in stress
ano negative allect ano increases in positive mooo
ano attituoes in inoiviouals using coherence-builoing
17, 19, 29, 31, 32
Improvements in clinical status, emotional well-
being ano quality ol lile have also been oemonstrateo
in various meoical patient populations in intervention
programs using coherence-builoing approaches. Ior
example, signincant blooo pressure reouctions have
been oemonstrateo in inoiviouals with hypertension,

improveo lunctional capacity ano reouceo oepression
in congestive heart lailure patients,
improveo psy-
chological health ano quality ol lile in patients with
ano improvements in asthma.
stuoy reporteo reouctions in pathological symptoms
ano anxiety ano signincant improvements in positive
allect, physical vitality, ano general well-being in inoi-
viouals with HIV inlection ano AIDS.

Aooitionally, patient case history oata provioeo
by numerous health care prolessionals report substan-
tial improvements in health ano psychological status
ano lrequent reouctions in meoication requirements
in patients with such meoical conoitions as caroiac ar-
rhythmias, chronic latigue, environmental sensitivity,
nbromyalgia, ano chronic pain.
Iinally, techniques
that increase physiological coherence have been
useo ellectively by mental health prolessionals in the
treatment ol emotional oisoroers, incluoing anxiety,
oepression, panic oisoroer, ano post-traumatic stress
Although physiological coherence is a natural
state that can occur spontaneously ouring sleep ano
oeep relaxation, sustaineo episooes ouring normal oai-
ly activities are generally rare. While specinc rhythmic
breathing methoos can inouce coherence lor briel pe-
rioos, cognitively oirecteo, paceo breathing is oilncult
lor many people to maintain. On the other hano, our
nnoings inoicate that inoiviouals can proouce extenoeo
perioos ol physiological coherence by actively generat-
ing ano sustaining a leeling ol appreciation or other
positive emotions. Sincere positive leelings appear to
excite the system at its resonant lrequency, allowing
the coherent mooe to emerge naturally. This typically
makes it easier lor people to sustain a positive emotion
lor much longer perioos, thus lacilitating the process ol
establishing ano reinlorcing coherent patterns in the
neural architecture as the lamiliar relerence. Once a
new pattern is establisheo, the brain strives to maintain
a match with the new program, thus increasing the
probability ol maintaining coherence ano reoucing
stress, even ouring challenging situations.

Doc Chilore, lounoer ol the Institute ol Heart-
Math, has oevelopeo a number ol practical positive
emotion relocusing ano emotional restructuring
techniques that allow people to quickly sell-generate
coherence at will.
39, !0
Known as the HeartMath

these techniques utilize the heart as a point ol entry
into the psychophysiological networks that connect
the physiological, mental, ano emotional systems.
In essence, because the heart is a primary genera-
tor ol rhythmic neural ano energetic patterns in the
booy innuencing brain processes that control the
ANS, cognitive lunction ano emotionit provioes an
access point lrom which system-wioe oynamics can
be quickly ano prolounoly allecteo. Research stuoies
ano the experience ol numerous health care proles-
sionals inoicate that HeartMath coherence-builoing
techniques are easily learneo, have a high rate ol
compliance, ano are highly aoaptable to a wioe range
ol oemographic groups.
Useo in conjunction with positive emotion-baseo
coherence-builoing techniques, heart rhythm leeoback
training can be a powerlul tool to assist people in
learning how to sell-generate increaseo physiologi-
cal coherence.
We have oevelopeo a portable heart
rhythm monitoring ano leeoback system that enables
physiological coherence to be objectively monitoreo
ano quantineo. Known as the Ireeze-Iramer

herence-builoing system ,HeartMath LLC, Bouloer
Creek, CA,, this interactive harowaresoltware system
monitors ano oisplays inoiviouals` heart rate variability
patterns in real time as they practice the positive emo-
tion relocusing ano emotional restructuring techniques
taught in an on-line tutorial. Using a nngertip sensor to
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
recoro the pulse wave, the Ireeze-Iramer plots changes
in heart rate on a beat-to-beat basis. As people practice
the coherence-builoing techniques, they can reaoily
see ano experience the changes in their heart rhythm
patterns, which generally become more oroereo,
smoother, ano more sine wave-like as they experience
positive emotions. This process reinlorces the natural
association between the physiological coherence mooe
ano positive leelings. The soltware also analyzes the
heart rhythm patterns lor coherence level, which is leo
back to the user as an accumulateo numerical score
or success in playing one ol three on-screen games
oesigneo to reinlorce the coherence-builoing skills.
The real-time physiological leeoback essentially takes
the guesswork ano ranoomness out ol the process
ol sell-inoucing a coherent state, resulting in greater
consistency, locus, ano ellectiveness in shilting to a
benencial psychophysiological mooe.
Heart rhythm coherence leeoback training has
been successlully useo in clinical settings by physicians,
mental health prolessionals ano neuroleeoback thera-
pists to lacilitate health improvements in patients with
numerous physical ano psychological oisoroers. It is
also increasingly being utilizeo in corporate, law en-
lorcement, ano eoucational settings to enhance physi-
cal ano emotional health ano improve perlormance.
Heart Rhythms and Bioelectromagnetism
The nrst biomagnetic signal was oemonstrateo
in 19o3 by Gerharo Baule ano Richaro McIee in
a magnetocaroiogram ,MCG, that useo magnetic
inouction coils to oetect nelos generateo by the hu-
man heart.
A remarkable increase in the sensitivity
ol biomagnetic measurements was achieveo with the
introouction ol the Superconoucting Quantum In-
terlerence Device ,SQUID, in the early 1970s, ano
the ECG ano MCG have since been shown to closely
parallel one another.
The heart generates a series ol electromagnetic
pulses in which the time interval between each beat
varies in a complex manner. These pulsing waves ol
electromagnetic energy create nelos within nelos ano
give rise to interlerence patterns when they interact
with magnetically polarizable tissues ano substances.
Iigure ! shows two oillerent power spectra
oeriveo lrom an average ol 12 inoivioual 10-secono
epochs ol ECG oata recoroeo ouring oillering psycho-
physiological mooes. The plot on the lelt was proouceo
while the subject was in a state ol oeep appreciation,
whereas the plot on the right was generateo while the
subject experienceo recalleo leelings ol anger. The
oillerence in the patterns, ano thus the inlormation
they contain, can be clearly seen. There is a oirect
correlation between the patterns in the heart rate
variability rhythm ano the lrequency patterns in the
spectrum ol the ECG or MCG. Experiments such as
these inoicate that psychophysiological inlormation
can be encooeo into the electromagnetic nelos pro-
ouceo by the heart.
1!, !!
Figure 4. ECG spectra during different emotional states.
The above graphs are the average power spectra of 12 individual 10-second epochs of ECG data, which reect information patterns
contained in the electromagnetic eld radiated by the heart. The lefthand graph is an example of a spectrum obtained during a period
of high heart rhythm coherence generated during a sustained heartfelt experience of appreciation. The graph on the right depicts a
spectrum associated with a disordered heart rhythm generated during feelings of anger.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
Bioelectromagnetic Communication Between
The human booy is replete with mechanisms
lor oetecting its external environment. Sense organs,
the most obvious example, are specincally geareo to
react to touch, temperature, select ranges ol light ano
souno waves, etc. These organs are acutely sensitive
to external stimuli. The nose, lor example, can oetect
one molecule ol gas, while a cell in the retina ol the
eye can oetect a single photon ol light, ano il the ear
were any more sensitive, it woulo pick up the souno ol
the ranoom vibrations ol its own molecules.

The interaction between two human beings
lor example, the consultation between a patient ano
her clinicianis a very sophisticateo oance that in-
volves many subtle lactors. Most people teno to think
ol communication solely in terms ol overt signals
expresseo through lacial movements, voice qualities,
gestures ano booy movements. However, evioence now
supports the perspective that a subtle yet innuential
electromagnetic or energetic communication system
operates just below our conscious level ol awareness.
The lollowing section will oiscuss oata suggesting that
this energetic system contributes to the magnetic at-
tractions or repulsions that occur between inoiviouals.
It is also quite possible that these energetic interactions
can allect the therapeutic process.
The concept ol energy or inlormation exchange
between inoiviouals is central to many ol the Eastern
healing arts, but its acceptance in Western meoicine
has been hampereo by the lack ol a plausible mecha-
nism to explain the nature ol this energy inlormation
or how it is communicateo. However, numerous stuoies
investigating the ellects ol healers, Therapeutic Touch
practitioners, ano other inoiviouals have oemonstrateo
a wioe range ol signincant ellects incluoing the innu-
ence ol energetic approaches on wouno healing
!o, !7
!8, !9
hemoglobin levels,
changes ol DNA ano water structure,
as well as
psychological states.
Although these reports show
benencial results, they have been largely ignoreo be-
cause ol the lack ol any scientinc rationale to explain
how the ellects are achieveo.
Physiological Linkage and Empathy
The ability to sense what other people are leel-
ing is an important lactor in allowing us to connect or
communicate ellectively with others. The smoothness
or now in any social interaction oepenos to a great
extent on the establishment ol a spontaneous entrain-
ment or linkage between inoiviouals. When people
are engageo in oeep conversation, they begin to lall
into a subtle oance, synchronizing their movements
ano postures, vocal pitch, speaking rates, ano length
ol pauses between responses,
ano, as we are now
oiscovering, important aspects ol their physiology can
also become linkeo ano entraineo.
Several stuoies have investigateo oillerent types
ol physiological synchronization or entrainment be-
tween inoiviouals ouring empathetic moments or be-
tween clinician ano patient ouring therapeutic sessions.
One stuoy by Levenson ano Gottman at the University
ol Calilornia at Berkeley lookeo at physiological syn-
chronization in marrieo couples ouring empathetic in-
teractions. Researchers examineo couples` physiologi-
cal responses ouring two oiscussions: a neutral How
was your oay? conversation, to establish a baseline,
ano a secono conversation containing more emotional
content in which the couples were askeo to speno
nlteen minutes oiscussing something about which
they oisagreeo. Alter the oisagreement, one partner
was askeo to leave the room while the other stayeo to
watch a replay ol the talk ano ioentily portions ol the
oialogue where he or she was actually empathizing but
oio not express it. Both spouses inoivioually engageo
in this proceoure. Levenson was then able to ioentily
those segments ol the vioeo where empathy occurreo
ano match the empathetic response to physiological
responses in both partners. He louno that in partners
who were aoept at empathizing, their physiology
mimickeo their partner`s while they empathizeo. Il
the heart rate ol one went up, so oio the heart rate ol
the other, il the heart rate sloweo, so oio that ol the
empathic spouse.

Other stuoies observing the psycho-

physiology ol marrieo couples while interacting were
able to preoict the probability ol oivorce.
Although stuoies that have examineo physiologi-
cal linkages between therapists ano patients have sul-
lereo lrom methooological challenges, they oo support
a tenoency to autonomic attunement ouring perioos
ol empathy between the therapist ano patient.
Reoington, a psychophysiologist at the University ol
Calilornia, San Irancisco, analyzeo heart rate vari-
ability patterns ouring therapist-patient interactions
using a nonlinear oynamics approach. Reoington ano
colleagues useo phase space maps to plot changes in
the beat-to-beat heart rate ol both the therapist ano
patient ouring psychotherapy sessions. They louno
that the trajectories in the therapist`s patterns olten
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
coincioeo with the patient`s ouring moments when
the therapist experienceo strong leelings ol empathy
lor the patient.
Carl Marci at Harvaro University
louno evioence ol a more oirect linkage between pa-
tients ano therapists using skin conouctance measures.
During sessions ol psychooynamic psychotherapy,
Marci observeo a quantinable nuctuation ano entrain-
ment in the pattern ol physiological linkage within
patient-therapist oyaos, which was relateo to patient
perception ol the therapist`s empathy. In aooition, the
preliminary results ol his stuoies inoicate that ouring
perioos ol low physiological linkage there are lewer
empathetic comments, more incioents ol incorrect
interpretations, less shareo allect, ano lewer shareo
behavioral responses when compareo to episooes ol
high physiological linkage.
Cardioelectromagnetic Communication
An important step in testing our hypothesis that
the heart`s electromagnetic nelo coulo transmit signals
between people was to oetermine il the nelo ano the
inlormation mooulateo within it coulo be oetecteo by
other inoiviouals.
In conoucting these experiments, the question
being askeo was straightlorwaro. Namely, can the
electromagnetic nelo generateo by the heart ol one
inoivioual be oetecteo in physiologically relevant ways
in another person, ano il so ooes it have any oiscern-
ible biological ellects? To investigate these possibilities,
we useo signal-averaging techniques to oetect signals
that were synchronous with the peak ol the R-wave ol
one subject`s ECG in recoroings ol another subject`s
electroencephalogram ,EEG, or brain waves. My col-
leagues ano I have perlormeo numerous experiments
in our laboratory over a perioo ol several years using
these techniques,
ano several examples are incluoeo
below to illustrate some ol these nnoings. In the ma-
jority ol these experiments, subjects were seateo in
comlortable, high-back chairs to minimize postural
changes with the positive ECG electrooe locateo on
the sioe at the lelt sixth rib ano relerenceo to the right
supraclavicular lossa accoroing to the International
10-20 system. The ECG ano EEG were recoroeo lrom
both subjects simultaneously so that the oata ,typically
sampleo at 2o hertz or higher, coulo be analyzeo lor
simultaneous signal oetection in both.
To clarily the oirection in which the signal now
was analyzeo, the subject whose ECG R-wave was
useo as the time relerence lor the signal averaging
proceoure is relerreo to as the signal source, or
simply source. The subject whose EEG was ana-
lyzeo lor the registration ol the source`s ECG signal
is relerreo to as the signal receiver, or simply re-
ceiver. The number ol averages useo in the majority
ol the experiments was 20 ECG cycles ,- ! minutes,.
The subjects oio not consciously inteno to seno or
receive a signal ano, in most cases, were unaware ol
the true purpose ol the experiments. The results ol
these experiments have leo us to concluoe that the
nervous system acts as an antenna, which is tuneo to
ano responos to the magnetic nelos proouceo by the
hearts ol other inoiviouals. My colleagues ano I call
this energetic inlormation exchange .orcil.troooti.
.ooooi.otio ano believe it to be an innate ability that
heightens awareness ano meoiates important aspects
ol true empathy ano sensitivity to others. Iurthermore,
we have observeo that this energetic communication
ability can be enhanceo, resulting in a much oeeper
level ol nonverbal communication, unoerstanoing, ano
connection between people. We also propose that this
type ol energetic communication between inoiviouals
may play a role in therapeutic interactions between
clinicians ano patients that has the potential to promote
the healing process.
Irom an electrophysiological perspective, it
appears that sensitivity to this lorm ol energetic com-
munication between inoiviouals is relateo to the ability
to be emotionally ano physiologically coherent. The
oata inoicate that when inoiviouals are in the coherent
mooe, they are more sensitive to receiving inlormation
containeo in the nelos generateo by others. In aooi-
tion, ouring physiological coherence, internal systems
are more stable, lunction more elnciently, ano raoiate
electromagnetic nelos containing a more coherent

The nrst step was to oetermine il the ECG signal
ol one person coulo be oetecteo in another inoivioual`s
EEG ouring physical contact. Ior these experiments
we seateo pairs ol subjects ! leet apart, ouring which
time they were simultaneously monitoreo. An initial
10-minute baseline perioo ,no physical contact, was
lolloweo by a -minute perioo in which subjects re-
maineo seateo but reacheo out ano helo the hano ol
the other person ,like shaking hanos,. Iigure shows
a typical example ol the results.
Frior to holoing hanos, there was no inoication
that Subject 1`s ECG signals were oetecteo in Subject
2`s EEG. However, upon holoing hanos, Subject 1`s
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
ECG coulo be clearly oetecteo in Subject 2`s EEG at all
monitoreo locations. While in most pairs a clear signal
transler between the two subjects was measurable in
one oirection, it was only observeo in both oirections
simultaneously in about 30 percent ol the pairs ,i..,
Subject 2`s ECG coulo be oetecteo in Subject 1`s EEG
at the same time that Subject 1`s ECG was oetect-
able in Subject 2`s EEG,. Irom other experiments we
have concluoeo that this phenomenon is not relateo
to genoer or amplituoe ol the ECG signal. As shown
later, an important variable appears to be the oegree
ol physiological coherence maintaineo.
Alter oemonstrating that the ECG lrom one
inoivioual coulo be oetecteo in another`s EEG ouring
physical contact, we completeo a series ol experiments
to oetermine il the signal was translerreo via electri-
cal conouction through the skin alone or il it was
also raoiateo. In one set ol experiments subjects were
recoroeo holoing hanos unoer two sets ol conoitions:
barehanoeo ano wearing lorm-ntting, latex lab gloves.
The ECG signal ol one subject coulo be clearly oe-
tecteo in the EEG ol the other subject even when they
were wearing the gloves, however, the signal amplituoe
was reouceo approximately tenlolo. This suggests that
while a signincant oegree ol the signal transler occurs
through skin conouction, the signal is also raoiateo or
capacitively coupleo between inoiviouals. When con-
ouctive gel was useo to oecrease skin-to-skin contact
resistance, the signal amplituoe was unallecteo. Ior
aooitional oetail, the protocols ano oata lrom these
ano relateo experiments are oescribeo elsewhere.

We also conoucteo several experiments to oe-
termine il the transler ol caroiac energy ano inlor-
mation is allecteo by the orientation ol the subjects`
hano-holoing ,i.., source`s lelt hano holoing receiver`s
right hano vs. source`s right hano holoing receiver`s lelt
hano, etc.,. The subjects were instructeo to holo hanos
in each ol the lour possible orientations lor minutes.
Since we only perlormeo this experiment with three
subject pairs, the results shoulo be interpreteo with a
oegree ol caution, however, we oio nno that consistent
ano measurable oillerences coulo be observeo. The
source`s ECG appeareo with the largest amplituoe in
the receiver`s EEG when the receiver`s right hano was
helo by either the source`s lelt or right hano. When
the receiver`s lelt hano was helo by the source`s right
0 0.125 0.25 0.375 0.5 0.625 0.75
0 0.125 0.25 0.375 0.5 0.625 0.75
The Electricity of Touch
Heartbeat Signal Averaged Waveforms
Subject B - Heartbeat (ECG)
Holding Hands
Subject A - Brain Wave (EEG)
No Contact
Subject B - Heartbeat (ECG)
Subject A - Brain Wave (EEG)




Figure 5.
Signal averaged waveforms showing the detection of electromagnetic energy generated by the sources heart in the receiving
subjects EEG. The baseline recording (left side) is from a 10-minute period during which time the subjects were seated 4 feet
apart without physical contact. The right column shows the recording from the 5-minute period during which the subjects held
hands. The EEG data shown here were recorded from the C3 site of the EEG.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
hano, the signal appeareo at a lower amplituoe. Iinally,
when the receiver`s lelt hano was helo by the source`s
lelt hano, the ECG signal was either very low in am-
plituoe or unoetectable.

The possibility exists that in some cases the signal
appearing in the receiving subject`s recoroings coulo
be the receiver`s own ECG rather than that ol the
other subject. Given the signal averaging proceoure
employeo, this coulo only occur il the source`s ECG
was continually ano precisely synchronizeo with the
receiver`s ECG. To oennitively rule this out, the oata
in all experiments were checkeo lor this possibility.
Simultaneously ano inoepenoently, Russek ano
Schwartz at the University ol Arizona conoucteo
similar experiments in which they were also able to
oemonstrate the oetection ol an inoivioual`s caroiac
signal in another`s EEG recoroing in two people sitting
quietly, without physical contact.
In a publication
entitleo Energy Caroiology, they oiscuss the implica-
tions ol their nnoings in the context ol what they call
a oynamical energy systems approach oescribing the
heart as a prime generator, organizer, ano integrator
ol energy in the human booy.
Since the magnetic component ol the nelo pro-
ouceo by the heartbeat is raoiateo outsioe the booy ano
can be oetecteo several leet away with SQUID-baseo
we lurther testeo the translerence
ol signals between subjects who were not in physical
contact. In these experiments, the subjects were either
seateo sioe by sioe or lacing each other at varying ois-
tances. In some cases, we were able to oetect a clear
QRS-shapeo signal in the receiver`s EEG, but not in
others. Although the ability to obtain a clear registra-
tion ol the ECG in the other person`s EEG oeclineo
as the oistance between subjects was increaseo, the
phenomenon appears to be nonlinear. Ior instance,
a clear signal coulo be oetecteo at a oistance ol 18
inches in one session but was unoetectable in the very
next trial at a oistance ol only o inches. Although
transmission ol a clear QRS-shapeo signal is uncom-
mon at oistances over o inches in our experience, this
ooes not precluoe the possibility that physiologically
relevant inlormation can be communicateo between
people at longer oistances.
Because ol the apparent nonlinear nature ol the
phenomenon ano the growing booy ol oata suggest-
ing that the oetection ol weak periooic signals can be
enhanceo in biological systems via a mechanism known
as stochastic resonance, we investigateo the possibil-
ity that physiological coherence may be an important
variable in oetermining whether the caroiac nelos
are oetecteo past the o-inch oistance. The nonlinear
stochastic resonance mooel preoicts that unoer certain
circumstances, very weak ./rot electromagnetic sig-
nals are oetectable by biological systems ano can have
signincant biological ellects.
Stochastic resonance
will be oiscusseo in more oetail in a subsequent section.
Iigure o shows the oata lrom two subjects
seateo lacing one another at a oistance ol leet,
with no physical contact. The subjects were askeo to
use the Heart Lock-In technique,
39, !0
an emotional
restructuring exercise that has been oemonstrateo to
proouce sustaineo states ol physiological coherence
when properly applieo.
There was no intention to
seno energy ano participants were not aware ol the
purpose ol the experiment. The top three traces show
the signal-averageo wavelorms oeriveo lrom the EEG
locations along the meoial line ol the heao.
Note that in this example, the signal averageo
wavelorms oo not contain any semblance ol the QRS
Figure 6. Heart-brain synchronization between two people.
The top three traces are Subject 2s signal averaged EEG
waveforms, which are synchronized to the R-wave of Subject
1s ECG. The lower plot shows Subject 2s heart rate variability
pattern, which was coherent throughout the majority of the
record. The two subjects were seated at a conversational
distance without physical contact.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
complex shape as seen in the physical contact experi-
ments, rather they reveal the occurrence ol an alpha
wave synchronization in the EEG ol one subject that
is precisely timeo to the R-wave ol the other subject`s
ECG. Fower spectrum analysis ol the signal averageo
EEG wavelorms was useo to verily that it is the alpha
rhythm that is synchronizeo to the other person`s heart.
This alpha synchronization ooes not imply that there is
increaseo alpha activity, but it ooes show that the exist-
ing alpha rhythm is able to synchronize to extremely
weak external electromagnetic nelos such as those
proouceo by another person`s heart. It is well known
that the alpha rhythm can synchronize to an external
stimulus such as souno or light nashes, but the ability
to synchronize to such a subtle electromagnetic signal
is surprising. As mentioneo, there is also a signincant
ratio ol alpha activity that is synchronizeo to one`s
own heartbeat, ano the amount ol this synchronizeo
alpha activity is signincantly increaseo ouring perioos
ol physiological coherence.
20, 21
Iigure 7 shows an overlay plot ol one ol Subject
2`s signal averageo EEG traces ano Subject 1`s signal
averageo ECG. This view shows an amazing oegree
ol synchronization between the EEG ol Subject 2 ano
Subject 1`s heart. These oata show that it is possible
lor the magnetic signals raoiateo by the heart ol one
inoivioual to innuence the brain rhythms ol another.
In aooition, this phenomenon can occur at conversa-
tional oistances. As yet, we have not testeo this ellect
at oistances greater than leet.
Iigure 8 shows the oata lrom the same two sub-
jects ouring the same time perioo, only it is analyzeo
lor alpha synchronization in the opposite oirection
,Subject 1`s EEG ano Subject 2`s ECG,. In this case,
we see that there is no observable synchronization
between Subject 1`s EEG ano Subject 2`s ECG. The
key oillerence between the oata shown in Iigure o ano
Iigure 8 is the high oegree ol physiological coherence
maintaineo by Subject 2. In other woros, the oegree
ol coherence in the r.i.r` heart rhythms appears to
oetermine whether hisher brain waves synchronize
to the other person`s heart.
This suggests that when one is in a physiologi-
cally coherent mooe, one exhibits greater sensitivity
in registering the electromagnetic signals ano inlor-
mation patterns encooeo in the nelos raoiateo by the
hearts ol other people. At nrst glance these oata may
be mistakenly interpreteo as suggesting that we are
more vulnerable to the potential negative innuence
ol incoherent patterns raoiateo by those arouno us.
In lact, the opposite is true, because when people are
able to maintain the physiological coherence mooe,
they are more internally stable ano thus less vulnerable
to being negatively allecteo by the nelos emanating
lrom others. It appears that it is the increaseo internal
stability ano coherence that allows lor the increaseo
sensitivity to emerge.
Figure 7. Overlay of signal averaged EEG and ECG.
This graph is an overlay plot of the same EEG and ECG data
shown in Figure 6. Note the similarity of the wave shapes,
indicating a high degree of synchronization.
Figure 8.
The top three traces are the signal averaged EEG waveforms for
Subject 1.There is no apparent synchronization of Subject 1s
alpha rhythm to Subject 2s ECG. The bottom plot is a sample of
Subject 1s heart rate variability pattern, which was incoherent
throughout the majority of the record.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
This nts quite well with our experience in train-
ing thousanos ol inoiviouals in how to sell-generate
ano maintain coherence while they are listening to
others ouring conversation. Once inoiviouals learn this
skill, it is a common experience that they become much
more attuneo to other people ano are able to oetect ano
unoerstano the oeeper meaning behino spoken woros.
They are olten able to sense what someone else really
wishes to communicate even when the other person
may not be clear about that which he is attempting to
say. This technique, calleo Intuitive Listening, helps
people to leel lully hearo ano promotes greater rapport
ano empathy between people.
Our oata are also relevant to Russek ano
Schwartz`s nnoings that people who are more accus-
tomeo to experiencing positive emotions such as love
ano care are better receivers ol caroiac signals lrom
In their lollow-up stuoy ol 20 college stuoents,
those who hao rateo themselves as having been raiseo
by loving parents exhibiteo signincantly greater regis-
tration ol an experimenter`s ECG in their EEG than
others who hao perceiveo their parents as less loving.
Our nnoings, which show that positive emotions such
as love, care, ano appreciation are associateo with in-
creaseo physiological coherence, suggest the possibility
that the subjects in Russek ano Schwartz`s stuoy hao
higher ratios ol physiological coherence, which coulo
explain the greater registration ol caroiac signals.
When heart rhythms are more coherent, the
electromagnetic nelo that is raoiateo outsioe the booy
corresponoingly becomes more organizeo, as shown
in Iigure !. The oata presenteo thus lar inoicate
that signals ano inlormation can be communicateo
energetically between inoiviouals, but so lar have not
implieo a literal entrainment ol two inoiviouals` heart
rhythm patterns. We have louno that entrainment ol
heart rhythm patterns between inoiviouals is possible,
but usually occurs only unoer very specinc conoitions.
In our experience, true heart rhythm entrainment be-
tween inoiviouals is very rare ouring normal waking
states. We have louno that inoiviouals who have a close
living or working relationship are the best canoioates
lor exhibiting this type ol entrainment. Iigure 9 shows
an example ol heart rhythm entrainment between two
women who have a close working relationship ano
practice coherence-builoing techniques regularly. Ior
this experiment, they were seateo ! leet apart, ano,
although blino to the oata, were consciously locuseo
on generating leelings ol appreciation lor each other.
A more complex type ol entrainment can also
occur ouring sleep. Although we have only lookeo at
couples who are in long-term stable ano loving rela-
tionships, we have been surpriseo at the high oegree
ol heart rhythm synchrony observeo in these couples
while they sleep. Iigure 10 shows an example ol a
small segment ol oata lrom one couple. These oata
were recoroeo using an ambulatory ECG ,Holter,
recoroer with a mooineo cable harness that alloweo
the concurrent recoroing ol two inoiviouals on the
same tape. Note how the heart rhythms simultane-
ously change in the same oirection ano how heart rates
converge. Throughout the recoroing, clear transition
perioos are evioent in which the heart rhythms move
into greater synchronicity, maintain the entrainment
lor some time, ano then orilt out again. This implies
that unlike in most wakelul states, entrainment between
the heart rhythms ol inoiviouals can ano ooes occur
ouring sleep.
We have also louno that a type ol heart rhythm
entrainment or synchronization can occur in interac-
tions between people ano their pets. Iigure 11 shows
the results ol an experiment looking at the heart
rhythms ol my son Josh ,1 years olo at the time ol
the recoroing, ano his oog, Mabel. Here we useo two
Holter recoroers, one ntteo on Mabel ano the other
on Josh. We synchronizeo the recoroers ano placeo
Mabel in one ol our labs. Josh then entereo the room
ano sat oown ano proceeoeo to consciously leel leelings
ol love towaros Mabel. Note the synchronous shilt to
increaseo coherence in the heart rhythms ol both Josh
ano Mabel as Josh consciously leels love lor his pet.
810 830 850 870 890 910
Time (seconds)
Subject A (female) Subject B (female)


Figure 9. Heart rhythm entrainment between two people.
These data were recorded while both subjects were practicing
the Heart Lock-In emotional restructuring technique and
consciously feeling appreciation for each other. It should be
emphasized that in typical waking states, entrainment between
people such as in this example is rare.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
01:49:58 AM 01:50:58 AM 01:51:58 AM 01:52:58 AM
Clock Time
Subject A (male) Subject B (female)


Figure 10. Heart rhythm entrainment between husband and wife during sleep.
Figure 11. Heart rhythm patterns of a boy and his dog.
These data were obtained using ambulatory ECG (Holter) recorders tted on both Josh, a boy, and Mabel, his pet dog. When Josh entered
the room where Mabel was waiting and consciously felt feelings of love and care towards his pet, his heart rhythms became more
coherent, and this change appears to have inuenced Mabel heart rhythms, which then also became more coherent. When Josh left the
room, Mabels heart rhythms became much more chaotic and incoherent, suggesting separation anxiety!
A Boy and His Dog (Heart Rhythms)
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
Inuence of the Hearts Bioelectromagnetic
Field on Cells
The ioea that inlormation can be communi-
cateo between biological systems ano cause an ellect
in another living system is lar lrom a new concept.
This phenomenon has been examineo in many oil-
lerent biological systems. A review ol this literature
is beyono the scope ol this paper, but the subject has
been revieweo recently by Marilyn Schlitz, Director
ol Research at the Institute ol Noetic Sciences. In
her review, both intention ano how it is locuseo ,i..,
attituoe, are consioereo important variables in al-
lecting outcomes.
Iurther, stuoies conoucteo in our
laboratory suggest that emotional state ano the oegree
ol coherence in the electromagnetic nelos proouceo
by the heart are also important variables.
We have long suspecteo that one aspect ol the
heart`s electromagnetic nelo acts as a carrier wave lor
inlormation that can allect the lunction ol cells in
our own booy as well as other biological systems in
proximity. In the early 1990s, we unoertook a series
ol experiments to test this hypothesis. This project
evolveo over several years ano extenoeo into many
types ol experiments. We were able to oemonstrate
that inoiviouals can cause changes in the structure ol
in cell growth rate, ano in the conlormational
state ol DNA.
In general, we louno that in oroer to
proouce these ellects in a reliable manner, both a high
oegree ol heart rhythm coherence ano an intention to
proouce a given change were critical.
Much scientinc research has attempteo to oe-
termine the ellects, il any, ol electromagnetic nelos
,particularly the 0 ano o0-hertz nelos generateo by
power lines, on cells, ano has yieloeo largely incon-
clusive results. However, comparatively little ellort
has been maoe to unoerstano the ellects ol the booy`s
enoogenous nelos, those that actually comprise the
bioelectromagnetic environment in which our cells
are continuously batheo. The most consistent ano
strongest source ol an enoogenous electromagnetic
nelo is ol course the heart.
In oroer to test the hypothesis that the electro-
magnetic nelo generateo by the heart may have oirect
ellects at the cellular level, we perlormeo a series ol
cell culture experiments in which we exposeo several
oillerent cell lines to simulateo heart nelos. To oo this,
we nrst acquireo ECG oata at a 10-kilohertz sample
rate lrom people in various emotional states, generating
corresponoingly oillerent heart rhythm patterns. We
then useo a oigital-to-analog converter to recreate these
ECG signals, which were leo into a specially built am-
pliner that coulo accurately recreate the low lrequency
portions ol the ECG along with the higher lrequencies.
The output ol the ampliner was useo to orive a coil
in which cell cultures were placeo. Ior the experiment
oescribeo here, a 2-inch oiameter solenoio coil 1
inches high was placeo vertically insioe a carbon
oioxioe incubator. Human nbroblasts ,skin cells, were
placeo in 3-millimeter petri oishes insioe the center
section ol the coils where the nelo was unilorm. Typi-
cally, 10 inoivioual petri oishes, each containing the
same number ol cells, were placeo insioe the coils.
Ioentical cells were placeo in a mock coil in a separate
incubator ano serveo as controls lor each experiment.
The nelo strength to which the cells in the human booy
are exposeo lrom a normal heartbeat was oetermineo.
The output ol the ampliner was aojusteo so that the
cells placeo in the coil were exposeo to approximately
the same nelo strength as they woulo be in the booy.
While the cells were growing in the incubator over a
o-oay perioo, they were continuously exposeo to the
ECG signals.
Alter exposure, the growth rates ol the cells in
the active ano control coils were measureo using a colo-
rimetric staining assay. Alter many trials ano variations
ol this basic experiment, we louno that nbroblast cells
exposeo to the heart`s nelo exhibiteo a mean increase
in growth rate ol 20 as compareo to the controls. We
also perlormeo several trials in which we exposeo the
same type cells to a o0-hertz nelo ol the same average
magnituoe ol the heart`s nelo. In this case, there was
no signincant change in the growth rate when com-
pareo to the controls. We oio nno a slight oillerence
in the growth rate in cells exposeo to coherent versus
incoherent ECG signals. The coherent nelo yieloeo a
higher growth rate, however, this ellect oio not reach
statistical signincance in this set ol experiments. Thus,
it appears that the presence or absence ol a caroiac
nelo was the primary variable to innuence growth rate
in these experiments.
One particularly intriguing experiment was
perlormeo in which healthy human nbroblasts ano
human nbrosarcoma cells ,tumor cells lrom the same
lineage, were both exposeo to the same coherent ECG
signal. We louno that the growth ol the healthy cells
was lacilitateo by 20, as expecteo, while t/ rot/
f t/ toor .ll oo io/ioitc o, !0. These results
may relate to work conoucteo in Germany by Ulrich
Ranooll with cancer patients. He has louno that by
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
monitoring a patient`s own heartbeat ano using it to
trigger the application ol an externally applieo pulseo
nelo, he has been able to successlully treat a number
ol patients with aovanceo carcinomas.
Dr. Ranooll`s
therapeutic goal is to regenerate ano stabilize the
basic autonomic rhythm ol the organism. He has
also useo ultrastructural tomographic images ol living
cells to visualize temporal rhythms in the structural
elements at the subcellular level. This technique shows
clear oillerences in the temporal rhythms ol cancer
cells as compareo to normal cells.
He is convinceo
that his treatments are helping to restore the normal
pattern ol activity at the cellular level, which lacilitates
recovery lrom oisease, ano believes that the rhythm ol
the heart ano the nelo it proouces are the key to this
healing process.
Mechanisms of Weak Electromagnetic Field Effects
in Biological Systems
A biological response to an external nelo ,signal,
implies that the signal has causeo changes in the sys-
tem greater than those causeo by ranoom nuctuating
events, or noise. Theoretical estimates ol the limita-
tions on the oetection ol very small signals by sensory
systems imposeo by the presence ol thermal noise
,thermal noise limit, were traoitionally maoe using
linear approximation unoer the assumption that the
system is in a state ol equilibrium.
Traoitional linear
theory preoicteo that weak, extremely low lrequency
electromagnetic nelos, such as that raoiateo lrom the
human heart, coulo not generate enough energy to
overcome the thermal noise limit ano thus allect bio-
logical systems. However, more recently it has been
recognizeo that a linear ano equilibrium approach is
not appropriate lor mooeling biological systems, which
are intrinsically nonlinear, nonequilibrium, ano noisy.
A number ol experiments have revealeo cellular re-
sponses to electromagnetic nelo magnituoes lar smaller
than the theoretical estimates arriveo at by linear
mooeling lor the minimum nelo strength requireo to
overcome the thermal noise limit in these systems.
It has been proposeo that this oiscrepancy can
in part be accounteo lor by biological cells` capacity to
rectily ano essentially signal average weak oscillating
electromagnetic nelos through nelo-inouceo variation
in the catalytic activity ol membrane-associateo en-
zymes or in the conlormation ol membrane channel
oo, 72
In aooition to signal averaging by the cells,
it has also been establisheo that the noise in biological
systems can play a constructive role in the oetection
ol weak periooic signals via a mechanism known as
stochastic resonance.
St./oo is a Greek woro that
oescribes a system that is ranoom but purposelul. In
essence, stochastic resonance is a nonlinear cooperative
ellect in which a weak, normally sub-thresholo periooic
,coherent, stimulus entrains ambient noise, resulting
in the periooic signal becoming greatly enhanceo ano
able to proouce large-scale ellects. The signature ol
stochastic resonance is noteo by the signal-to-noise ra-
tio in the system rising to a maximum at some optimal
noise intensity, corresponoing to the maximum coop-
eration between the signal ano the noise. Essentially,
the noise acts to boost a coherent, sub-thresholo signal
to a level above the thresholo value, enabling it to gen-
erate measurable ellects. Stochastic resonance is now
known to occur in a wioe range ol biological systems
ano processes, incluoing sensory transouction, neural
signal processing, oscillating chemical reactions,
ano intracellular calcium signaling.

In aooition,
coherent electromagnetic nelos have been shown to
proouce substantially greater ellects than incoherent
signals on enzymatic pathways, such as the ornithine
oecarboxylase pathway.
Remarkably, experimental
stuoies have oocumenteo ellects ol subthermal, co-
herent signals in oillerent biological systems lor signal
amplituoes as small a one-tenth or even one-hunoreoth
the amplituoe ol the ranoom noise component.
a weak signal becomes more coherent, the greater its
capacity becomes to entrain ambient noise ano thus
proouce signincant ellects.
Thus, cellular signal averaging ano nonlinear
stochastic resonance provioe potential mechanisms
by which increaseo heart rhythm coherence may
proouce signincant biological ellects, both within ano
between people. Ior example, through such mecha-
nisms, the consistent sell-inouction ol sustaineo states
ol physiological coherence by an inoivioual may give
rise to changes at the cellular level that may enhance
health ano healing. Alternatively, a clinician`s coher-
ent caroiac nelo, which is oetecteo by a patient, may
be amplineo in such a way as to positively allect
the patient`s physiology. The importance ol signal
coherence in this mooel also suggests that lurther
attention be given to the contribution ol heartlelt
positive emotions ano attituoes, as orivers ol coher-
ence, in the healing process. It is possible that the
generation ol physiological coherence ano biological
ellects proouceo by this benencial mooe may in part
explain the observeo relationship between positive
emotions ano lavorable health outcomes, as well as
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
the emphasis that many therapeutic practices place
on the oevelopment ol a mutually caring relationship
between practitioner ano patient.
Iurthermore, it is
likely that the therapeutic value ol interventions that
Bioelectromagnetic communication is a real
phenomenon that has numerous implications lor
physical, mental, ano emotional health. This paper
has locuseo on the proposition that increasing the
coherence within ano between the booy`s enoogenous
bioelectromagnetic systems can increase physiological
ano metabolic energy elnciency, promote mental ano
emotional stability, ano provioe a variety ol health re-
waros. It is lurther proposeo that many ol the benents
ol increaseo physiological coherence will ultimately
prove to be meoiateo by processes ano interactions
occurring at the electromagnetic or energetic level ol
the organism.
With the many physiological ano psychological
benents that increaseo coherence appears to oller,
helping patients learn to sell-generate ano sustain this
psychophysiological mooe with increaseo consistency
in their oay-to-oay lives provioes a new strategy lor
clinicians to assist their patients on multiple levels.
There are several straightlorwaro ways to help pa-
tients increase their physiological coherence. Teaching
ano guioing them in the practice ol positive emotion
relocusing ano emotional restructuring techniques in
conjunction with heart rhythm leeoback has proveo to
be a simple ano cost-ellective approach to improving
patient outcomes. These coherence-builoing meth-
oos are not only ellective therapeutic tools in ano ol
themselves, but by increasing synchronization ano
harmony among the booy`s internal systems, may also
help increase a patient`s physiological receptivity to the
therapeutic ellects ol other treatments.
Coherence-builoing approaches may also help
health care practitioners increase their ellectiveness
in working with patients. In sell-generating a state
ol physiological coherence, the clinician has the
potential to lacilitate the healing process by establish-
ing a coherent pattern in the subtle electromagnetic
environment to which patients are exposeo. Since
even very weak coherent signals have been louno to
give rise to signincant ellects in biological systems, it
is possible that such coherent heart nelos may provioe
unsuspecteo therapeutic benents. Iurthermore, by
increasing coherence, clinicians may not only enhance
their own mental acuity ano emotional stability, but
may also oevelop increaseo sensitivity to subtle elec-
tromagnetic inlormation in their environment. This,
in turn, coulo potentially enable a oeeper intuitive
connection ano communication between practitioner
ano patient, which can be a crucial component ol the
healing process.
In conclusion, I believe that the electromagnetic
energy generateo by the heart is an untappeo resource
within the human system awaiting lurther exploration
ano application. Acting as a synchronizing lorce within
the booy, a key carrier ol emotional inlormation, ano
an apparent meoiator ol a type ol subtle electromag-
netic communication between people, the caroiac
bioelectromagnetic nelo may have much to teach us
about the inner oynamics ol health ano oisease as well
as our interactions with others.
Conclusions and Implications for Clinical Practice
HeartMath, Freeze-Frame, and Heart Lock-In are registered trademarks of the Institute of HeartMath.
Freeze-Framer is a registered trademark of Quantum Intech, Inc.
lacilitate the generation ano maintenance ol sustaineo
leelings ol appreciation, care, ano love may oerive in
part lrom bioelectromagnetically-meoiateo ellects on
cellular physiology.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
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Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
Heart Warm-Up
The Heart Warm-Up Exercise is intended to help warm your heart before you engage in
the meditation, prayer, intention or focus of choice. Many use this tool to warm their hearts
before a Care Focus in the Global Care Rooms.
Step 1: Breathe and calm yourself in whatever ways you choose.
Step 2: Then radiate the feeling of appreciation to a person, pet, place or something
you sincerely care about.
This helps to open and warm the heart, which increases effectiveness when sending out
care and compassion during your prayer, meditation, afrmation, visualization, intentions
or GCIs care focuses.
Do this for the two minutes.
Copyright 2003 Institute of HeartMath
Introductory Heart Coherence

Being coherently aligned while radiating compassion and care increases focus and effectiveness.
However, any genuine care and compassion you radiate benets the planet, whether or not you are
in total coherence. You can radiate care and compassion for the planet while riding down the road,
exercising, working in the yard, standing in a grocery line or at any time you can squeeze it in. It
all counts and adds to the collective intention.
1. Breathe and calm yourself in whatever ways you choose.
2. Choose something you appreciate a person, pet, nature, etc. and radiate the feeling of
appreciation to them for about 2 minutes. (This helps open the heart more and increases your
effectiveness when you start sending care to the planet or to a situation in need.)
3. Now evoke the genuine feelings of compassion and care for the planet.
4. Breathe the feelings of compassion and care going out from your heart.
To help with focus, some people imagine the compassion and care owing out the way an
ocean wave ows toward a beach. Some imagine their compassion radiating as a beam of light.
Others simply radiate it out with the rhythm of their breath. There are no hard and fast rules on
how you do this. People are different, so nd what suits you.
5. Radiate the genuine feelings of compassion and care to the planet or to a specic area
of immediate need.
6. See yourself, along with other caretakers, participating in this process of healing and
facilitating peace.
(If you have an emWave

, use it while practicing this introductory Heart Coherence Technique.)

How long should you do the technique?
Thats for you to decide. Most people do it at least 5 minutes a day to help build their personal
coherence. As people increasingly understand the wholeness benets of coherence for the sender
and the receiver, they often increase the length of time. Sometimes youll want to spend more
time and other times less, based on how you feel and your schedule.
Know that compassion for others is never wasted. It just has its own timing
and higher discernment in how it plays out. Doc Childre