The HeartMath Solution may easily be written off as a book too eccentric for widespread public consumption, and that's unfortunate. The title's a bit misleading--it's not about cardiac care and it's not about calculus, but rather how 30 years of research have shown that the heart's "intelligence" affects emotions and physical health--especially when it comes to handling stress--and specifically what you can do to balance heart rhythms, reduce stress hormones, and boost your immune system. Yes, it sounds complicated, especially when you read that cardiologists worked with physicists and psychiatrists to develop the HeartMath program. But it's worth brushing off your skepticism and exploring the concepts in the Solution, as many employees of Fortune 500 companies have already done.
The "intelligence" that the authors focus on refers to both the heart's "brain," or the 40,000 neurons found in the heart (the same number in the brain itself), and the intuitive signals the heart sends, including feelings of love, happiness, care, and appreciation. When such positive emotions are felt, they "not only change patterns of activity in the nervous system; they also reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol." When there's less cortisol, there's more DHEA, the so-called fountain of youth hormone known to have anti-aging effects on many of the body's systems.
The HeartMath Solution outlines 10 steps for harnessing the power of the heart's intelligence, including ways to manage your emotions and keep energy levels high. One of the most important is the "Freeze-Frame" technique for calming the nervous system, improving clarity of thought and perception, and boosting productivity (which is one of the many appealing features for those Fortune 500 companies). Each step includes references to data proving its effectiveness, with handy summaries of the key points to remember at the end of each chapter. This is a book that takes a bit of scientific understanding and a lot of time to wade through, but one that could help you prevent stress from ruling your existence. --Erica Jorgensen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.