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What is Heart Intelligence?

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What is Heart Intelligence?

Throughout much of recorded history, in the writings and oral traditions of many diverse cultures, people strongly believed in an intelligent heart. As a child, I often was told to go your heart for the answer and listen to your heart. When I did, I often found insight or clarity on a problem I was facing. In Sunday school, teachers talked about the “still, small voice in the heart” and it made sense to me. They never said the “still, small voice in the head,” which often for me was a voice of self-doubt.

As I grew older, I adopted views about intelligence that I learned in school: that the ability to learn, understand, reason, and apply knowledge was a function of the brain in the head. It never occurred to me that the intuitive sense or clarity I gained by listening to my heart had anything to do with my physical heart. So when I read about research into “heart intelligence” I was fascinated.

During the 1960s and ’70s physiologists John and Beatrice Lacey conducted research that showed the heart actually communicates with the brain in ways that greatly affect how we perceive and react to the world around us. Today, more than a half century after the Laceys began their research, we know a great deal more about the intelligent heart:

  • The heart sends us emotional and intuitive signals to help govern our lives.
  • The heart directs and aligns many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another.
  • The heart has its own independent complex nervous system known as “the brain in the heart.”
  • The heart’s independent brain and nervous system relay information to the brain in the cranium, creating a two-way communication system between heart and brain.
  • The heart makes many of its own decisions.
  • The heart starts beating in the unborn fetus before the brain has been formed, a process that scientists call autorhythmic.

Human beings form an emotional brain long before a rational one, and a beating heart before either.

Researchers at various institutions began showing in the 1980s and ’90s that success in life depends more on an individual’s ability to effectively manage emotions than on the intellectual ability of the brain in the head. These findings naturally resulted in people wanting to know how to infuse emotions with intelligence.

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Read more: Anxiety, Biorhythms, Depression, Family, Guidance, Health, Home, Inspiration, Life, Mental Wellness, Nourishing the Heart, Self-Help, Spirit, Spirituality and Technology, Stress, , , , , , , ,

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Sara, from the HeartMath Institute

Sara Childre is President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath. Since 1991, Sara has helped oversee and develop HeartMath trainings, educational products and scientific programs. She was appointed vice president and CFO of the institute in 1992, then president and CEO in 1998.


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1:53PM PST on Dec 7, 2013

Very interesting. I remember,a few years ago, I was being treated by an osteopath who was still working and teaching in his 90's. He often spoke of the heart as being the emotional brain.

8:07AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013


8:03AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

The way I understand this the mind can go on and on, expand, explore and infinitely go places and imagine things only the mind can.. etc etc.. thus the heart plays a balancing role in the mind activities; the mind is balanced, attuned, poised, adjusted by the heart.

10:12PM PDT on Sep 1, 2013


4:48PM PDT on Aug 8, 2013

Interesting article! Thanks for sharing.

8:03AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

7:55PM PDT on Jul 17, 2013

The heart is the body's pumping system, feeding all connecting parts. How is it, then, that some are so loving while others are so hard-hearted -- artery blockage?

1:01PM PDT on Jul 17, 2013

Are we back on the dark ages.Who in their right mind would believe that.

8:46PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

This was very insightful and helpful.

4:45AM PDT on Jul 3, 2013

Thanks for posting

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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