What is cardiac coherence?

The most striking thing about cardiac coherence is that it is a very simple technique and that, at the same time, it generates benefits for the body and mind. Heart and brain form a key binomial in the quality of life.

Last update: December 24, 2021

Cardiac coherence is a concept that has been supported by several neurocardiologists. It points out that the heart is a complex system whose function is not limited to pumping blood, but also receives and processes information.

This idea is based on the fact that in the heart there are thousands of neurons, which would be little brains. In turn, brain and heart are linked by the peripheral nervous system. There is cardiac coherence when the myocardial function is optimal and causes positive effects at the mental level.

It would, then, be an indicator of good health and would be associated with balance in emotions and serenity. The most interesting thing is that this coherence could be achieved through some habits and also by applying techniques. Let’s see.

What is cardiac coherence?

Cardiac coherence can be understood in two ways. On the one hand, it is called this way to a physiological state in which the heart rate is harmonious and regular. If you look at this on a graph, you see that the movement forms an orderly and regular pattern.

On the other hand, the concept also applies to a technique to achieve a regular and harmonious heart rate. This was developed by the Institute HeartMath from California and its goal is to lower the heart rate and induce a calm state of mind.

States of stress and nervousness cause the heart rate to accelerate. In turn, acceleration increases negative emotions. The cardiac coherence technique aims to return the heart to a harmonic pattern.

The heartbeat rate can be altered in stressful situations, feeding a vicious cycle of nervousness and anxiety.

Heart and brain

It is important to note that 60% of cardiac cells are nerve cells. There are an estimated 40,000 neurons in this organ.

Likewise, there is much more information going from the brain to the heart than the other way around. Therefore, there are specialists who consider it a nervous system in itself.

The heart is involved in the secretion of some hormones, such as adrenaline, oxytocin, and atriopeptin. All of them influence the functioning of the brain. Therefore, one can speak of an interrelated system.

However, the brain and heart communicate with each other through the peripheral nervous system. This, in turn, is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The first is activated when there is danger and promotes the secretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine.

The parasympathetic, for its part, favors the secretion of neurotransmitters that lead to states of relaxation and reduce the heart rate. One of the goals of the cardiac coherence technique is to achieve a balance between both systems.



Benefits of practicing cardiac coherence

The benefits of cardiac coherence are many and relevant. This simple practice has the potential to positively affect emotions.

Reduction of stress and fatigue

Stress not only affects your mood and hinders performance, but it also is associated with multiple health problems. It generates fatigue, contributes to less vascular irrigation and even degenerates the muscles. Reaching or regain heart coherence causes cortisol to drop.



Successful emotional management

When the heart and brain are harmonized, the parasympathetic system is activated. The result is a greater segregation of neurotransmitters that induce serenity. In this way, fear or anger lose intensity.

Improvement of cognitive activities

Cardiac coherence would make the brain work much more efficiently. A calm mind allows for more concentration, thought to flow better, and ideas to be processed more accurately. Therefore, all cognitive activity is favored.

Higher quality of sleep

The state of relaxation makes it easier to fall asleep. Consequently, it is a way to combat insomnia. Likewise, cardiac coherence contributes to a deeper rest and the most restful sleep.

Strengthening the immune system

Stress is one of the great enemies of the immune system. At the same time, a calm organism strengthens the defense functions. Cardiac coherence could increase immunoglobulin A levels.

More compassion and empathy

The harmonic functioning of the heart promotes the production of hormones such as oxytocin and vasopressin. In turn, the practice of compassion and empathy facilitate cardiac coherence.

Better decisions

A calm mind is the essential basis for making good decisions. At the same time, the right decisions lead to smarter actions.

Tranquility, serenity and states of calm improve decision-making and favor the ordering of ideas.

How to put cardiac coherence into practice?

There are techniques that help to achieve cardiac coherence. They are aimed at controlling the accelerations and decelerations of the heart through conscious breathing. By achieving a tune between respiration and heart rate, such coherence is achieved.

The basic technique is as follows:

  1. Sit on the floor without crossing your hands or legs.
  2. Breathe in through the nose with the mouth closed for 5 seconds.
  3. Breathe out through the mouth for 5 seconds.
  4. Repeat 6 times per minute for 5 minutes.

This practice should be done 3 times every day. Likewise, it should be carried out before and after stressful events.

Heart coherence: a concept to be at peace

Cardiac coherence it is a factor that has a decisive impact on quality of life. The mere fact of harmonizing the heart rate and reducing stress has a significant impact on physical and mental health.

Practicing cardiac coherence is very simple and only takes a minimal amount of time. It is worth getting into the routine and sticking with it.

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