Doc Childre founded the Institute of HeartMath (IHM) in 1991 to study heart intelligence. Scientists at IHM posed a theory that heart intelligence actually transfers intelligence to the emotions and instills the power of emotional management. In other words, heart intelligence is really the source of emotional intelligence. In the book The HeartMath Solution, written by Doc Childre and his associate and longtime HeartMath spokesman Howard Martin, they explain:
“From our research at the Institute of HeartMath, we’ve concluded that intelligence and intuition are heightened when we learn to listen more deeply to our own heart. It’s through learning how to decipher messages we receive from our heart that we gain the keen perception needed to effectively manage our emotions in the midst of life’s challenges. The more we learn to listen to and follow our heart intelligence, the more educated, balanced and coherent our emotions become. Without the guiding influence of the heart, we easily fall prey to reactive emotions such as insecurity, anger, fear and blame as well as other energy-draining reactions and behaviors.
Early HeartMath research found that negative emotions throw the nervous system out of balance. When that happened, heart rhythms became disordered and appeared jagged on a heart monitor. The heart communicated that disorder to the brain and the result was cortical inhibition. Positive emotions, by contrast, were found to increase order and balance in the nervous system and produce smooth, harmonious heart rhythms that enhanced people’s ability to clearly perceive the world around them.
HeartMath research defines heart intelligence as the flow of awareness, understanding and intuition we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. It can be activated through self-initiated practice, and the more we pay attention when we sense the heart is speaking to us or guiding us, the greater our ability to access this intelligence and guidance more frequently. Heart intelligence underlies cellular organization and guides and evolves organisms toward increased order, awareness and coherence of their bodies’ systems.
Today there are dozens of scientific papers on HeartMath’s research in heart intelligence and dozens of universities studying its applications for emotional self-regulation, health, academic performance, intuitive development and more.