How to practice cardiac coherence

Cardiac coherence
cardiac coherence

A harmonious (“coherent”) heartbeat helps the brain to fight against stress, anxiety and depression. Learn more about cardiac coherence

Cardiac coherence is a very simple method, that can be used by everyone, in all circumstances. Based on breathing, it has a ripple effect on our heart.

To get in cardiac coherence, just begin by … breathing. Take several breaths, slow, deep breaths, with a short pause after exhaling. This slow, deep breathing in harmony with our heart rate lowers the level of stress hormone (adrenaline) in our blood. In addition, it increases other hormones levels (DHEA: an anti-fatigue hormone, Oxytocin: attachment hormone) and strengthens our immune system.

Then, after this stabilization phase, bring your attention to your heart, visualize its slow movements, imagine the inspiration that carries oxygen and exhalation that flushes waste out.

Finally, accompany the heat that develops in the chest with nice thoughts: faces of your loved ones, images of nature, prayer… Everyone can find a suitable positive emotion. “During this exercise, a smile sometimes slowly rises to the lips, as if it were born in the chest and brought about on the face. It is simply a signal that coherence is there”, says David Servan-Schreiber. The appeasement, both psychical and physical, is occurring. Besides, when a person getting in cardiac coherence is connected to a computer via sensors like for an electrocardiogram (a technique known as “biofeedback”), the computer screen clearly shows the cardiac coherence in the form of regular and soft sine waves!

With practice, cardiac coherence can be practiced at any time of the day, especially in action, at work or in emergency situations, to reduce stress. It can also be learned with traditional yoga classes (hatha yoga), a multi-millennium technique that has always relied on heart-brain coherence.

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