Thursday, April 22, 2010

HeartMath to reduce Stress/Pain/Anxiety

I just took a nice break and did a program my therapist suggested called HeartMath. It is so cool. I preface this post with I am not affiliated with the company, I am not a salesperson, or get commission...although it is going to sound like I am because I love it so much!

She used this program for her family, and in her practice to help clients with anxiety issues. When I was talking to her about my pain levels, and how hard it was to try to meditate through the pain and even hit that "calm and balanced" feeling, she suggested I try out a program called HeartMath. She let me try it in her office.

What it does: It is a computer program, that uses a device that clips to your finger or ear, and monitors some basic physiological indicators of stress vs. "coherence" states. It gives you visual feedback to let you know if you are in a low/med/high state of coherence (calm and balanced). You have different options for trying to achieve that state, and also on getting the feedback of tracking.

You can go it on your own, and do your own techniques, or you can use one of their "games" to help. Either way, you get feedback on how well you are hitting a "coherent" state. You can try to chill using one of their visualization games ( ie., the rainbow game, where a rainbow grows over a mountain sky scene as long as you hit the coherent state and you reach the pot of gold, the whole time birds fly, flowers sway in accordance to your arousal state), or you can follow the light on the finger monitor (red,blue, green) or watch the more medical type screen with just bar graphs, lines, etc...

I haven't hit such a deep state of relaxation in a long time, besides when I do yogic chanting or go to my hypnotherapist. But to be at home and just "drop" into that state....ahhhhhhhh (deep breath out). I haven't been able to do that in a long time now.

What is cool about this, is I have tried various methods and it has helped me find which method really works the best, quickest, and longest. The results were surprising!

If you are dealing with anxiety, or pain, I highly recommend this program! Again, I don't sell it, or get commission.

My background is in health psychology...this is exactly what we studied. I have an extensive background in yoga, and meditation as well. And this is by far, the most accessible program for mainstream use. I used to get the same results from meditation, but all the meds and pain have really frustrated that effort.

Here is the website. To get set up is pricey, but worth it. My therapist got the okay from HeartMath to share her copy, so I didn't have to buy it, just to piece that hooks up to my ear/finger.

I have also suggested it to several of my college buddies who have gone on to counseling/therapy work.

This is going up in my suggestions column on the side bar..... Weeeeew. Nice.



SydneyJ22985 said...


Sean Patrick said...

Hi Jenna,
This is very encouraging. I'm using this technology as a psychologist and am so glad to hear how effective this has been for you. Best wishes on your healing journey.



Grant Soosalu said...

Hi Jenna,

Great post. I also use and highly recommend the heartmath technologies, and use them to deepen my meditation practice. I've blogged about it here:

You may be interested to take a read. I've also blogged about techniques to cope with and transcend pain, using insights from Positive Psychology, that you might find useful, here:

best wishes and smiles

Sharon Eiler said...

I think Ryan's Mom was somehow involved in the development of this game, or one like it . . . can't remember exactly. Small world! :)