Chronically Stressed? It Could Be Your Heart-Brain Connection

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All of our readers know that in integrative medicine, we are big on the connections with in the body and have come to understand just how important the proper function of one bodily process can affect another.  Take the gut-brain connection for example. Have you ever spoken in front of a crowd and gotten butterflies? That’s your brain and gut speaking to each other! If one system is out of balance, the other is likely to be as well.

At PIM, we are constantly looking for new information that can help improve the health of our patients. Cutting edge research on a new bodily connection is currently taking place: the heart-brain connection. The heart is so much more than just a simple pump! We all know that the heart is referenced as a source for courage, wisdom and emotion, but we are just starting to understand the physiological communications between the brain and heart through intuition, perceptions, emotions and health.

Leading this research is the HeartMath Institute Research Center. Questions as to why we experience physical sensations in the area of the heart when it comes to love and regeneration as well as heartache have been investigated. It is now understood that heart-brain communication goes two ways, rather than one way where the brain is conducting the heart. This means that the heart has its own brain and logic!

This communication happens in 4 ways: neurologically (through nervous system), biophysically (pressure waves), biochemically (neurotransmitters and hormones), and energetically (electromagnetic fields). The heart is capable of sending messages to the brain and the brain understands. Furthermore, these messages can tangibly affect a person’s cognitive performance, perceptions behavior, and even psychological factors (motivation, attention level, and emotional processing).

Heartmath has created tools for us to monitor the heart’s rhythm patterns. This is the first tool that helps you to monitor the heart’s connection with brain and body. We recommend the Inner Balance Sensor. This easily hooks up to your phone and connects to an app. Just 3-5 minutes twice a day is enough to help change your emotional outlook by learning skills for stress management, mediating unhelpful thought patterns, controlling excess physiological arousal and utilizing emotional states to achieve balanced state of mind, body and emotions.

Incorporating Mindfulness

Stress and anxiety can take a toll on the body, especially in those with a chronic condition. Managing stress and anxiety through Mindfulness and Meditation can help reduce and prevent further symptoms from stress.  You can pause what you are doing to meditate with the sensor or simply wear it while you continue your work and learn to stay in coherence! This technique is for anyone looking to improve their health and emotional well-being. PIM is offering an 8 week Mindfulness Course on Mondays at 6:00 pm starting 9/10 that is a great place to start or pick back up the routine of a daily practice. Not sure how to get started? RSVP to our FREE Meditation on 8/27 at 6:00 pm in the office!

Try out the sensor at your next appointment and purchase your own Inner Balance Sensor for yourself, or as a wonderful gift for a friend or family member today for just $129 ($159 if you have an android). Stop by our office today or we can have it shipped to your home in just a few days! Look out for additional Heartmath offerings at PIM!

PIM wants to hear from you! Do you have an experience with managing stress responses? Do you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Register for  upcoming events - 8 week Mindfulness Course starting on 9/10 or FREE Group Classes at Cabrini College (please RSVP online).

If you or your loved one are tired, not sleeping well, or perhaps are suffering from the effects of ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance, including thyroid imbalance schedule your a 20 minute free consultation or an appointment with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP or Lauren Houser, MS, MSN, CRNP today. Not quite ready to schedule and have questions, quickly get in touch here. Many of our patients are educated health care consumers who may already be working with a practitioner but want a more comprehensive, empowering approach--and to partner with a provider who listens, cares and gets the root cause.