Coherence: Bridging personal, social and global health

Article (PDF Available)inActivitas Nervosa Superior Rediviva 53(3):85-102 · January 2011with 395 Reads
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Abstract
"All nature is a continuum. The endless complexity of life is organized into patterns which repeat themselves - theme and variations - at each level of system. These similarities and differences are proper concerns for science. From the ceaseless streaming of protoplasm to the many-vectored activities of supranational systems, there are continuous flows through living systems as they maintain their highly organized steady states." "Even more basic to this presentation than the concept of "system" are the concepts of "space," "time," "matter," "energy," and "information, because the living systems exist in space and are made of matter and energy organized by information." James Grier Miller, Living Systems (1978).
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10 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, jul/aug 2010, VOL. 16, NO. 4 
Rollin McCraty, PhD,
Doc Childre

Altern Ther Health Med

Corresponding author: Rollin McCraty, PhD
E-mail: rollin@heartmath.org
All nature is a continuum. The endless complexity of life is organized
into patterns which repeat themselves—theme and variations—at
each level of system. These similarities and differences are proper con-
cerns for science. From the ceaseless streaming of protoplasm to the
many-vectored activities of supranational systems, there are continu-
ous ows through living systems as they maintain their highly orga-
nized steady states. Even more basic to this presentation than the
concept of “system” are the concepts of “space,“time,” “matter,”
“energy,” and “information,” because the living systems exist in space
and are made of matter and energy organized by information.
Living Systems,
      
    

  
     
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ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, jul/aug 2010, VOL. 16, NO. 4 11
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auto-coherence
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         
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   
  
    


    physiological coherence 


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
   
  
      
   
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
12 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, jul/aug 2010, VOL. 16, NO. 4 
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  

    
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   
  
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      
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   
  
  
    
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energetic systems  
    
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   
 
   

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  
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  

    
 

    
  

    
  


    

    


 




  
   
 
    
physiological
coherence
  
   

150
100
50
Mental Focus
(Simple task)
Heart rate (BPM)
150
100
50
0
150
100
50
Relaxation
(“Open-focus” relaxation exercise)
Heart rate (BPM)
150
100
50
Psychophysiological Incoherence
(Anger)
Heart rate (BPM)
0 60 120 180 240 300
150
100
50
Psychophysiological Coherence
(Appreciation)
Heart rate (BPM)
PSD (ms /Hz)
2
150
100
50
0
PSD (ms /Hz)
2
150
100
50
0
PSD (ms /Hz)
2
700
600
150
100
50
0
PSD (ms /Hz)
2
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
FIGURE 1



Mental focus
Psychophysiological Incoherence


Relaxation


Psychophysiological coherence
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
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   
    


    
     
 


   
    
 
    

 
060 120 180 240 300 360 420 480 540 600
0.24
0.26
0.28
0.3
0.32
70
80
90
Time (seconds)
(BPM)
(Seconds)
AMP (mV)
Heart Rate Variability
Heart Rate Variability
Blood Pressure
Blood Pressure
Respiration
Respiration
0.00E+0
2.00E-5
4.00E-5
6.00E-5
8.00E-5
0.00E+0
2.00E-6
4.00E-6
6.00E-6
0
1
2
3
4
5
0
5
10
15
20
25
0.050.1 0.15 0.20.250.3 0.35 0.4
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Frequency Frequency
0.05 0.10.150.2 0.25 0.30.35 0.4
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
FIGURE 2





14 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, jul/aug 2010, VOL. 16, NO. 4 

   

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   



  
 
   
   
 

  
    
     

 
     
    
     
     

  

    






   
    
    
Mental
Physical Emotional
Spiritual
Coherence
• Physical flexibility
• Endurance
• Strength
• Attention span
• Mental flexibility
• Optimistic world view
• Incorporating multiple
points of view
• Emotional range
and flexibility
• Positive feelings
• Self-regulation
• Relationships
• Commitment to
core values
• Flexibility and
tolerance of others’
values and beliefs
• Intuition
FIGURE 3
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    Previous studies have linked trait mindfulness with better self-regulation and adaptation. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a good physiological indicator of the capacity for self-regulation and adaptation. The present study explored the relationship between trait mindfulness and HRV from the viewpoint of crosstalking between different HRV parameter pairs, which would reflect the dynamic interactions between each pair of HRV parameters in different processes. We measured the trait mindfulness of seventy-four undergraduate students and recorded nine HRV parameters during the following four consecutive experimental phases: (1) calming phase, (2) mental arithmetic task phase, (3) recovery phase, and (4) mindfulness practice phase. The relationship between trait mindfulness and HRV was explored at the following three levels: (1) the absolute level, i.e., HRV parameters in four different states, (2) the difference-change level, i.e., differences in HRV parameters between different states, and (3) the crosstalking level, i.e., self-similarity of crosstalking HRV parameter pairs. The results supported the following hypothesis: trait mindfulness, as measured by the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), was significantly and positively correlated with the self-similarity of crosstalking HRV parameter pairs but was not significantly correlated with the HRV parameters at the difference-change and absolute levels. These findings indicate that as trait mindfulness increases, the ability to maintain ANS function homeostasis improves.HIGHLIGHTS-Trait mindfulness is associated with better self-regulation and adaptation.-Heart rate variability (HRV) is a good physiological indicator of the capacity for self-regulation and adaptation.-Trait mindfulness is significantly correlated with self-similarity of crosstalking HRV parameter pairs but not with the HRV parameters at the difference-change or absolute levels.
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