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The Human Biofield & Heart-Brain Coherence

Feb 14, 2024
The Human Biofield & Heart-Brain Coherence

The heart holds a special significance in sound healing due to its unique role in the human body's physiological and energetic aspects. 

Also, as the most powerful generator of rhythmic information patterns in the body, the heart acts effectively as the global conductor in the body’s symphony to bind and synchronize the entire system.

In this blog, we explore what is the human biofield and heart-brain coherence, as well as the role of emotions. We also look at how sound healing is fundamental in enhancing heart-brain coherence.

What Is The Human Biofield?

The complex interplay between the heart and the entire human system is the subject of much research and inquiry – bridging science and complementary healing practices with centuries of tradition and belief. This has become termed “heart-brain coherence” (by the HeartMath Institute).

Studies, many of which are carried out by the HeartMath Institute, highlight the bi-directional nature of the communication network between the heart and the brain, highlighting how the heart’s rhythm can influence cognitive ability, regulation of emotions, and social connectedness.

One of the most effective ways to measure the phenomenon is via the human biofield, which extends beyond our physical body and can impact ourselves and others.

The human biofield is at the forefront of this energetic symphony, commonly referred to as the biofield. All living organisms are permeated and surrounded by a weak electromagnetic field composed of optical photons, radio, microwave, and extremely low frequencies.

Biofield was coined in 1992 by a multi-disciplinary committee that agreed to find a term that would speak to complementary therapy traditions and medical science. The committee defined the biofield as “a massless field, not necessarily electromagnetic, that surrounds and permeates living bodies and affects the body”.

Among the first scientists to uncover the biomagnetic signal of the heart were Gerhard Baule and Richard MsFee in 1963. They used a magnetocardiogram (MCG) with magnetic induction coils to detect fields generated by the human heart. This important discovery led to more curiosity about this invisible and measurable field around the body.

Today, the heart’s field can be measured on the body by an electrocardiogram (ECG) and off the body with machines called SQUID-based magnetometers. These have uncovered the significance of the heart’s electrical field, measured at 100 times greater in strength than the brain’s field, and can be detected up to 3 feet away from the body!

These advances in knowledge have contributed to bridging science and tradition. Western allopathic medicine routinely examines fluctuating electrical fields from the heart and the brain to diagnose pathology or monitor disease. Studies in cellular biology recognize that electromagnetic and other fields play a role in tissue development and repair in the whole human system. 

Changes in the electromagnetic or biofield may, therefore, be considered useful indicators of an individual’s state of health and well-being, and indeed, a person’s state of health and well-being can be influenced by changes in the biofield. Let’s explore how the heart-brain coherence and our thoughts, emotions and feelings can impact the body’s biofield.

What Is Heart-Brain Coherence?

The state of coherence relates to the synchronization between different systems, leading to greater efficiency and harmony. When we think one thing and feel another, an inconsistency leads to non-coherence. 

Researchers and heart-brain coherence pioneers at the HeartMath Institute state that “the heart plays a central role in the generation and transmission of system-wide information essential to the body’s function as a coherent whole… The heart is the most consistent and dynamic generator of rhythmic information patterns in the body…of all the bodily organs, and the heart possesses by far the most extensive communication network with the brain”.

Heart-brain coherence can be measured by Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which is the most reliable source of monitoring autonomic nervous system responses by measuring the spaces between heartbeats. Increased HRV is associated with positive emotions, love, appreciation and compassion. This suggests that increased heart-brain coherence can improve health and well-being, bringing the whole human system more balanced and harmonious.

The Role Of Emotions & Cultivating Compassion

The feelings we experience as “positive” reflect body states in which “the regulation of life processes becomes efficient, or even optimal, free-flowing and easy”.

The interconnected nature of the mind-body connection is a delicate balance that can help regulate biological processes correlated with sentience and mental activity. This means that our thoughts and emotions can directly impact our physiology. More than that, though, our attitudes, feelings and intentions are not limited to the space inside our bodies, but they also can affect the mental and emotional states (consciousness) of others.

Positive emotions can even shift psychophysiological systems, leading to more harmony and coherence on a global level. This can positively affect all living systems and increase collective consciousness.

Cultivating heartfulness and compassion towards self and others can effectively increase positive emotions and boost heart-brain coherence. It is about shifting thoughts and feelings to become aligned and authentic.

Training in compassion, even among beginners, significantly improves immune function in response to psychosocial stress. A study with musicians found that when they used a HeartMath Institute breathing technique to cultivate heart-brain coherence, they experienced greater mental focus and feelings of connectivity during a performance.

Heart-Brain Coherence Benefits

In summary, there are many benefits of enhancing heart-brain coherence that one can reap if creating this phenomenon through sound healing practices, such as:

  • Relax the mind and transmute any bad thoughts into more positive ones
  • Enhanced emotional well-being and cognitive functioning
  • Activate cellular self-regeneration and change the biochemistry of the body to bring the nervous system and organs into a harmonious balance 
  • Reduce muscle tension and stress
  • Improved sleep quality and immune system functioning
  • Enhanced resilience
  • … and much more

How To Achieve Heart Brain Coherence With Healing Sounds?

Sound healing is an extraordinary way to help our body enter a deep state of relaxation and regeneration, leaving us feeling more centered, grounded, and peaceful throughout our whole being. 

Heart-brain coherence is the perfect synchronization of the heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure and nervous system, and it’s been said that those who master this method can quickly identify and avoid situations of stress and anger. 

So, let’s look at ways one can achieve heart-brain coherence with sound healing by using various techniques and instruments. 

Heart-centred breathing with Himalayan singing bowls

  • Begin by finding a comfortable and quiet space
  • Sit or lie down relaxed
  • Take a few deep breaths and bring attention to the present moment
  • To activate heartful energy, focus your thoughts and feelings on something or someone you feel love or affection towards
  • Feelings of love, happiness, joy and even contentment are an essential first step toward creating greater heart-brain coherence
  • Introduce Tibetan singing bowls with gentle strikes or by moving a mallet along the rim to produce soothing sounds
  • Focus on your breath and the sound of the singing bowls
  • Inhale and exhale deeply, allowing the vibrations to guide your breath
  • As you breathe in, return to your positive thoughts and feelings to remain connected to your heart energy
  • Synchronize your breath with the rhythm of the sound, creating a coherent pattern
  • Repeat this for at least 5 to 10 times (or more if you feel called to)

Tuning forks for frequency alignment

  • Select a tuning fork with a frequency associated with heart coherence, such as the 528 Hz weighted tuning fork
  • Strike the tuning fork and hold it close to your heart center
  • Close your eyes and focus on the sound and vibrations
  • As the sound diminishes, continue to feel the resonance within your body
  • Visualise the energy flowing between your heart and brain like you are watching a harmonious dance and again bring your thoughts and feelings to emotions of love, compassion, happiness and joy – if this is difficult, you can think of a time, place or person which brought you a sense of contentment or peace
  • Repeat this practice 3 times

Crystal singing bowls meditation

  • Pick your crystal singing bowl tuned to a specific frequency
  • Play the bowl gently
  • Close your eyes and listen to the pure tones and harmonics
  • Imagine the sound waves permeating your body, promoting balance and coherence in your heart
  • Use this meditation as an opportunity to connect with your heart's energy for as long as it feels natural and comfortable

Gong bath for relaxation

If you are listening to a gong sound bath online or to someone else playing:

  • A gong bath involves playing the gong continuously to create a rich tapestry of sound
  • Lie down in a comfortable position in a quiet space
  • Allow the sound waves to wash over you, penetrating every cell of your being
  • Focus on your breath and the sensations in your body
  • Activate your heart energy by evoking thoughts and feelings connected with happiness, love, contentment or joy
  • Allow the deep, resonant tones of the gong to promote relaxation and coherence

If you have a gong and want to play it yourself:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won't be disturbed
  • Set up your gong on a sturdy stand or on the floor if it comes with legs
  • Stand or sit comfortably in front of the gong 
  • Take a few deep breaths to become present in the moment
  • Before playing the gong, set an intention for your session
  • Choose the appropriate mallet for your gong
  • Hold the mallet near its base, allowing it to move freely in your hand
  • Approach the gong with a relaxed and fluid motion
  • Strike the gong gently at first to produce a soft sound, and then gradually experiment with different striking techniques to vary the intensity and texture of the sound.
  • Pay close attention to the sound as it unfolds
  • Play the gong for as long as feels comfortable
  • Take a moment to sit or lie down, allowing the vibrations to settle
  • Reflect on how you feel and any sensations you experienced
  • Close the session with gratitude and a few deep breaths.

Flute meditation

  • Play a Native American style flute with soothing melodies
  • Sit comfortably or lie down and close your eyes
  • Let the melodic tones guide your breath and encourage a sense of calm
  • Visualise the music harmonising the communication between your heart and brain
  • This can be done with a pan drum as well 

Chanting and mantra meditation

  • Use vocal sounds, chanting, or mantras to create vibrations
  • Choose heart-centred mantras or chants that resonate with you
  • The seed mantra ‘ah’ can help to activate the heart centre and imagine that you are bathing your whole body in loving-kindness and compassion
  • Close your eyes, focus on the vibrations, and synchronise your breath with the sound.
  • Feel the resonance in your chest and head, promoting coherence.

We have some excellent blogs about Using Our Voice For Healing With Gregorian Chanting and The Benefits Of Mantra Meditation if you’d like to learn more!

The key is approaching these sound healing practices with an open heart and a mindful presence. Experiment with different sound healing instruments and techniques to find what resonates best with you. Balancing your thoughts and emotions can take some practice, and focusing on positive experiences, memories, people, and places is an effective way to cultivate heartful awareness. This and the sounds create the ideal context for boosting heart-brain coherence.

And remember that consistent practice can help cultivate a deeper sense of heart-brain coherence, promoting overall well-being and inner balance!

Practical Applications & Techniques

Recognising the significance of heart-brain coherence has led to developing practical techniques to enhance and maintain this balance. 

Mindfulness practices, meditation, and specific sound healing techniques have gained popularity for promoting heart-brain coherence. These approaches empower individuals to cultivate positive emotions, reduce stress, and foster a more coherent and resilient physiological state!

Final Thoughts

Exploring the human biofield and heart-brain coherence opens a gateway to a deeper understanding of our interconnected nature. 

As science continues to unveil the mysteries of these phenomena, the implications for health, well-being, and human potential become increasingly apparent. Embracing practices that promote positive emotional states and coherence, such as sound healing, enhance our mental and physical health and potentially unlock new dimensions of human experience and consciousness. 

The journey into the heart and brain's dynamic dance invites us to reconsider the profound interconnectedness that lies at the core of our existence!

What To Read Next


  • Baule G. and McFee R (1963) Detection of the magnetic field of the heart. American Heart Journal. 55(7): p. 95-96
  • Bischof M (2008) Synchronization and coherence as an organizing principle in the organism, social interaction, and consciousness. NeuroQuantology. 6
  • Damasio, A. (2003). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, sorrow, and the feeling brain. Orlando, FL: Mariner
  • Elbers J & McCraty R (2020) HeartMath approach to self-regulation and psychosocial well-being. Journal of Psychology in Africa. 30:1, 69-70 
  • Funk R.H, Monsees T, Ozkucur N (2009) Electromagnetic effects—from cell biology to medicine. Prog Histochem Cytochem. 43:4.177–264
  • McCraty, Rollin. (2003). The Energetic Heart: Biolectromagnetic Interactions Within and Between People. The Neuropsychotherapist. 6. 22-43. 10.12744/tnpt(6)022-043.
  • McCraty R (2016) SCIENCE OF THE HEART Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance Volume 2. HeartMath Institute
  • McCraty R. (2010) in 3rd Heart: King of organrs conference (Hufuf, Saudi Arabia)
  • McCraty R, Atkinson M, Tomasino D, Tiller W.A (1998) The Electricity of Touch: Detection and Measurement of Cardiac Energy Exchange Between People.
  • McCraty R., Atkinson M, Tomasino B.A (2009) The Coherent Heart – Heart=brain Interactions, Psychophysiological Coherence, and the Emergence of System-Wide Order. Integral Review, 5:2
  • McCraty R & Elbers J (2020) HeartMath approach to self-regulation and psychosocial well-being Journal of Psychology in Africa. 30:1. 69–79
  • Morris S.M (2010) Facilitating collective coherence: Group Effects on Heart Rate Variability Coherence and Heart Rhythm Synchronization. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.16: 62-72
  • Pace T.W, Negi L.T, Adame D.D, Cole S.P, Sivilli T.I, Brown T.D et al. (2008). Effect of compassion meditation on neuroendocrine, innate immune and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology 34:1. 87–98
  • Pace T.W, Negi L.T, Sivilli T.I, Issa M.J, Cole S.P, Adame D.D et al. (2009). Innate immune neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress do not predict subsequent compassion meditation practice time. Psychoneuroendocrinology 35:2. 310–5
  • Plankar M, Brežan S, Jerman I (2014) The principle of coherence in multi-level brain information processing. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 111:1. 8–29
  • Riley K & McCraty R (2023) Exploring the Effects of Shared Heart‑Focused Intention in Music Performance on Musicians and Audience Members. Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback. 51:2. 36-43
  • Rubik B, Muehsam D, Hammerschlag R, Jain S (2015) Biofield Science and Healing: History, Terminology, and Concepts. Glob Adv Health Med. 4(Suppl):8-14
  • Rubik B, Pavek R, Greene E, Laurence D, Ward R, Al E (1995) Manual healing methods. In: Rubik B, et al., eds. Alternative medicine: expanding medical horizons: a report to the National Institutes of Health on alternative medical systems and practices in the United States (NIH Publication). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 113–57
  • Steinhoff U, Schnabel A, Burghoff M, et al. (2004) Spatial distribution of cardiac magnetic vector fields acquired from 3120 SQUID positions. Neurol Clin Neurophysiol. 59

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