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Our Focus

Our Focus


The Institute of HeartMath’s nearly two decades of researching stress, emotions, heart intelligence and other diverse areas related to human physiology and performance, including heart-brain interactions, cardiac coherence and test anxiety, has helped improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The IHM Research Center’s groundbreaking research of heart-rate variability and the power of positive emotions to improve health and transform negative behavior patterns has contributed important new information to science. Learn more.

Resiliency and flexibility are essential qualities for rising and adapting to the continual challenges in today’s world, where the frequency of change is so great that an increasing number of individuals are developing symptoms of stress and emotional imbalance as well as other negative conditions.

The Institute of HeartMath’s research, which is funded by contributions and grants, shows that physiological resiliency and behavioral flexibility are reflected on what scientists refer to as heart-rate variability (HRV), one of IHM’s primary areas of study. HRV, the beat-to-beat changes in heart rate, is at its optimum and most beneficial when a healthy degree of variation is present. This variation literally keeps us on our toes, much like the side-to-side motion of a tennis player awaiting a serve.

HeartMath’s HRV studies have led to the development and validation of highly effective techniques and technology to help people create more resiliency and flexibility and ultimately improve their mental, emotional and physical health. Learn More.

Coherence is an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in-synch and balanced. Most people experience this mental, emotional and physical alignment in varying degrees. An individual deep in meditation, prayer or other spiritual practice, athletes in the zone, the student who has a lock on the material on test day: These are examples of individuals who are likely experiencing heightened levels of psychophysiological coherence.

HeartMath researchers have conducted numerous studies tracking people’s coherence levels by observing their heart-rhythm patterns. The research shows that the greater an individual’s level of coherence, the more efficient and harmonious the body’s cardiovascular, nervous, hormonal and immune systems function.

Heart-rhythm coherence training has been utilized in wide-ranging applications under the institute’s guidance, including as a coherence-building tool when coupled with intentionally generated positive emotions. Learn more.

The intuitive abilities people have exhibited through the ages and which cannot be explained by stored memories or the brain’s analytic capability, seem to point to an energy field the body is connected to via sensory perception, researchers with HeartMath theorize. They believe this field houses the information we attribute to intuition.

Studies by IHM and others over the last half-century have added to the evidence of the intuitive process. The 2004 HeartMath study Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition, concluded that a level of unconscious perception often is evidenced by subtle changes in emotions and measurable physiological changes that can be detected throughout the body.

The study’s authors noted that of particular significance was finding "electrophysiological evidence that the heart is directly involved in the processing of information about a future emotional stimulus seconds before the body actually experiences the stimulus." Learn more.

Nearly two decades of research by the Institute of HeartMath, along with independent and collaborative studies related to HeartMath techniques, technology and programs are available to the public on this site.

The institute has formed partnerships with major universities, medical institutions and in the scientific and educational communities to conduct its research and to compile and publish its findings. HeartMath’s researchers and staff have Vi with neurocardiologists, psychologists, physicians, professors, physicists and many other professionals.

The key research categories contained in the library are:

  • Emotional physiology
  • Heart-brain interactions
  • Development and testing of positive emotion-focused tools, techniques, technology and programs
  • Educational intervention studies
  • Workplace intervention studies
  • Treatment outcome studies in clinical populations
  • Heart-rate variability and autonomic function
  • Emotional energetics
  • Intuition
  • Global coherence

Research Library

It is a basic fact of physiology that your heart and brain exchange information that governs how you think, act and feel, but studies at the Institute of HeartMath have shown that heart-brain interactions can occur from one individual to another: Your heart can communicate with another person’s brain.

More recently, in the Proof of Concept Study: Heart-Brain Synchronization between Mother and Baby, preliminary findings showed that when a mother focused her attention on her baby, "she became more sensitive to the subtle electromagnetic signals generated by the infant’s heart."

The 1999 HeartMath study, The Role of Physiological Coherence in the Detection and Measurement of Cardiac Energy Exchange Between People, found: "When two people are at a conversational distance, the electromagnetic signal generated by one person’s heart can influence the other person’s brain rhythms." Learn more.