Unlocking Harmony: Exploring the Fascinating Connection Between the Heart and Brain

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Modern medicine has come a long way to acknowledge the mind-body connection. Researchers and physicians now recognize that emotional states can affect disease states – accepting that things like negative thinking or loneliness can exacerbate disease. 

Conversely, mindfulness and a more positive outlook can help you heal at a cellular level. But if we understand the positive effects of mindfulness and positive thinking, why are so many people still sick?

It’s harder than you might think to consciously control your thoughts or pressure yourself to avoid negative emotions – especially as we face the daily stressors, toxins, and inherited traumas that keep our bodies (and our cells) in a contracted state of survival.

Luckily, there is a way to radiate love and compassion without the constant struggle of mindfulness. In fact, it bypasses your thinking/mental process altogether and focuses on a much more powerful healing center… your heart.

What is The Heart-Brain Connection?

It’s a common misconception that the brain is the center of consciousness. After all, the mind is the center of our inner worlds, creating and maintaining our egos, personalities, thoughts, and analyses. 

The mind is great for problem-solving, insight, and contemplation, but many traditions don’t look to the brain at all as the seat of consciousness or greater awareness – they look to the heart. 

Beyond the conventional understanding of the heart as a mere pump, emerging research suggests that it plays a pivotal role in influencing our mental and emotional states – not the other way around. In fact, the heart sends far more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.

The heart-brain connection can be optimized through what I coined Open Heart Medicine. It is a practice of tuning into the heart first to create a sense of unity and flow between the heart and the rest of the body. This creates a state of harmony (or coherence) that allows the body to heal and function at an optimal level. 

Heartfulness vs. Mindfulness

There’s plenty of  research on the efficacy of mindfulness – the practice of consciously maintaining awareness of our environment, feelings, sensations, or thoughts through a non-judgemental lens. 

By concentrating on one thing, we don’t live in the future or the past, we don’t get distracted, and we stay in the  present moment. But in an increasingly distracting world, mindfulness is an uphill battle. It can take years of constant practice to fight the brain’s innate tendency to observe, analyze, and hold onto information – and even then, a simple distraction can send us back into obsessive thinking loops. It’s a process that takes an extreme level of effort and doesn’t allow for true and complete letting go. 

The heart-mind connection is fundamentally different. Instead of consciously focusing on one thing, or distracting the mind with a mantra or trance, heartfulness taps into the power of the heart space for its inherent ongoing flow, resulting in more openness, love, and compassion, which triggers a natural ripple effect throughout the body. 

But to understand exactly how heartfulness works, it’s important to understand how the heart works.

The Physiology of Acceptance

In order to understand Open-Heart Medicine, we need to look at the physiology of the heart and how it interacts with the breath, the body, and the outside world.

The heart has a brain of its own. It produces neurotransmitters and has its own pacemaker, dictating when to slow down or speed up. The heart beats constantly and is always in flow, moving about blood throughout every part of your body without discernment. 

On the other hand, the mind has evolved to hold onto information to protect us from harm. This has led to the brain’s tendency to jump from fixation to fixation, creating contraction in the body and, ultimately, shutting down cellular function. We might experience this contraction as things like anxiety, depression, overwhelm, and, eventually, disease. 

Naturally, the mind thinks, analyzes, and problem-solves. But the heart is always in flow. 

The heart never stops to think, analyze, or punish; it is ever flowing and changing and therefore, it has no limitations. The heart never holds onto anything – good or bad. By its very physiology, the heart accepts dirty blood from everywhere in the body – our venous blood. This acceptance without discrimination is the physiological expression of the self-acceptance of the heart. Instead of fighting it, the heart embraces what the rest of the body is letting go of, connects with the infinite flow of the breath, inhaling life-giving oxygen and easily letting go of carbon dioxide – all without judgment or preferential treatment.

In this way, we’re actually built to practice heartfulness over mindfulness, giving us access to a much greater field of infinite healing potential. 

In fact, the heart’s electromagnetic field is 100 times bigger than the electromagnetic field of the brain. So, tapping into the healing potential of the heart can quickly influence every cell in the body and even affect the people around us, connecting us to one another. Furthermore, the heart’s electromagnetic field is amplified by bodies of water. As a result, when it meets someone close by, the effect is amplified. This is the energetic  basis of the heart-to-heart connection we so often feel. 

Cells in Survival Mode

If heartfulness is so powerful, why doesn’t it transform and heal us immediately? It turns out that heartfulness works in much the same way as a physical detox – before the cells will respond to the medicine, we have to prepare the cells to accept it.

Just like the contraction the body feels when it’s in survival mode, the cells also stay guarded. In other words, traumas like stress, environmental assaults, and genetic and  epigenetic inheritance affect cellular metabolism and the very ability of our cells to receive the medicine of heartfulness. 

The key to heartfulness is to take the process of love and compassion and bring it into the cells, breaking down the barriers of protection and survival and allowing your body to feel safe enough to receive healing. And this only happens with practice, which is how I crafted a specific practice to help you move from the mind to the heart.

How to Practice Heartfulness 

Open Heart Medicine isn’t a method; it’s a way of life or understanding your reality. It’s a practice of consistently tapping into love, compassion, and openness – moving from the limited place of your mind into the infinite field of the heart. 

More practically, you can practice Open Heart Medicine with specific meditations I’ve crafted to help you quickly and easily tune into the heart space.

This is a mult-step process that involves:

  1. Preparing the body through targeted relaxation processes.
  2. Tapping into the breath to clear energetic channels.
  3. Preparing the mind by giving rise to the understanding that every living being wants to be happy and we all experience suffering
  4. Finally, we can begin to truly let go and open the heart towards others and to ourselves – this is where cellular healing happens. 

Eventually, the head and the heart become one, so your thoughts and creativity flow from your heart, not the analytical brain. It’s a process. It takes time and is obviously best experienced through steady practice.

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