Are You Waiting for Your “Aha” Moment? Wait no longer!
Anyone who has learned to manage chronic illness, anxiety, or depression can usually point to that “Aha” moment when they finally understood how to feel good again. I have had a few such moments in my 30+ year journey with chronic illness and anxiety. My first came 28 years ago when I took up yoga, and the second “Aha” moment was when I turned 50 and realized western medicine was not going to cure what was wrong with me. That is when I began my integrative and functional medicine health studies and learned the role of toxins, food, sleep, and supplements in managing chronic health conditions.
This past year I have had my third “Aha” moment, in many ways my most important. Thanks to HeartMath® and its simple but effective ways of learning to regulate the stress response, improve Heart Rate Variability (HRV), synchronize the Brain waves with the Heart waves, and develop practices that allowed me to tune into the heart at any moment, I am the happiest and healthiest I have been in years. And I now have a more intuitive sense of what my body needs to heal because I am tuned in to the Heart’s amazing intelligence.
Last year, I became a certified HeartMath® clinical coach with a certification in Stress, Anxiety, and Emotional Regulation. I am currently getting certified in their new program, The Resilient Heart, Trauma-Sensitive Certification. I cannot begin to describe how life-changing this practice and the community of practitioners I am now spending a lot of time has been for me. I have learned so much and I am offering clients HeartMath® tools first before we delve into other issues like changing diet, exercise, sleep, and detoxifying their lives. As one of my clients said, “before Andrea taught me these tools, I was stressed all the time about my gut issues. Now I know I can manage my stress through HeartMath® and tackle the changes I need to make.”
Simply put, my clients and I have come to understand that a big step in healing is to get yourself into a healing state. Stress keeps us from being in a healing state. When we are facing health challenges and are being asked to make changes even if we realize they are necessary, it stresses us out. If you already have anxiety or depression which usually accompanies chronic pain or illness, this is either overlooked as a big part of our illness or conversely treated with medications that do not empower us to heal. Learning to access a healing state is so important to facilitate us in feeling better and more joyful.
Science of Stress and HeartMath®’s Proven Track Record in 400 studies
Stress creates cortisol, among other hormones. In the short-term cortisol is needed to rev up our engine, so to speak, to deal with the demands of the “fight or flight” nervous system. We need the “fight or flight” nervous system to live. But we also need to be able to switch our cardiovascular, hormone, and endocrine systems to the “rest and digest” nervous system when the immediate threat or need is over. Sometimes our systems get locked into “fight or flight” or even “freeze or shut down”. That is when we start experiencing increasing health issues.
HeartMath® teaches us to regulate this system through breath practices and other mindfulness techniques. By practicing HeartMath® tools daily and using the simple, easy-to-use biofeedback tools, we can regulate our HRV and build resilience, which is the ability to bounce back more quickly from the demands of internal and external stressors. We also can learn to change our internal weather report from stormy or cloudy to sunny.
Unlike meditation or other practices that focus on relaxation, HeartMath® focuses on Heart/Brain synchronization and coherence. “Coherence is characterized by both sympathetic and parasympathetic arousal, creating a calm but alert state.” according to the authors of the HeartMath® Institute’s program, The Resilient Heart Trauma-Sensitive HeartMath® Certification. Coherence training has been shown to help us self-regulate our emotions, improve mental clarity, and even improve sports performance.
If you are interested in learning more about HeartMath®, check out my services. HeartMath® offers a free self-paced introductory program that you can access through my website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to sign up. I offer a monthly Free WeAddHeart program, which is on the fourth Wednesday of the Month. You can sign up here. I am also available to speak about the benefits of HeartMath® to groups, and please sign up for my private services. Both are available at competitive rates.
If you are struggling with healing and have tried everything, you might just need to support your healing by practicing life-changing HeartMath® techniques.