Mind-body connection: the role of our hearts in intuition

By Alive & Well

In case there’s still any doubt about the absolute interconnectedness of our bodies and our minds, here’s (more) proof.

The heart has been regarded as a conduit for wisdom beyond our normal awareness by virtually all human cultures, ancient and modern, but until now, science believed that only the brain played a role in the processing of intuitive information.

Researchers at the Institute of HeartMath, a research and education organisation in California, have now disproved this, with a recent study showing that the heart plays a critical role too.

Subjects were shown a series of images, most of which were peaceful and calming –landscapes, trees, cute animals. Other images, randomly dispersed in the succession, were violent, disturbing and emotionally stimulating — car crash, a bloody knife, a snake about to strike. As the subjects progressed through the images, they were monitored for changes in their breathing, brain waves and heart rate.

The study showed that all of the participants registered an emotional response via their physiological markers — particularly heart rate variability — 5 to 7 seconds before an emotionally disturbing image appeared.

So not only did the study quantify the timeframe of intuition, it also showed that the heart receives and responds to intuitive information, and is directly involved in the perception of future events.

This study opens the door to new understandings about intuition and suggests that intuition is a system-wide process involving (at the very least) the heart and the brain working together to decode intuitive information.

Research leader Dr Rollin McCraty, PhD, said, “Based on our study and other research findings, we believe that the greater the emotional significance of a future event to the individual, the larger the intuitive response will be prior to the actual experience of that event.”

Credit: healingdreamAnd yes, women are more intuitive it seems!

The HeartMath study also showed that the women’s heart rates jumped significantly higher than the men’s, showing that they do have a greater sensitivity to future emotional stimuli (in other words, better intuition!).

All of this is important research and I very much hope that it is built upon in the coming years.

Have you ever felt your heart rate jump before something happened?