Monday, August 13, 2012

The Science of the Heart

My husband and I watched a documentary last night called
I Am
written and directed by Tom Shadyac, who set Jim Carrey on his career by directing him in Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty and many other movies. His story is about his journey, after a life-threatening accident, to answer two questions
What's wrong with the world?
What can we do about it?
We found the documentary fascinating, especially the information about the science of the heart, being conducted at the Heart Math Institute. What does this have to do with parenting? A lot! It helps us to understand how powerful the human heart is and that it has a stronger electromagnetic field than the brain, that our magnetic field influences other peoples electromagnetic fields, either positively or negatively. I know,it sounds very woo-woo but bear with me here. The heart has its own neurotransmitters and sends messages to the brain. Science also confirms that the heart produces hormones, stress hormones or oxytocin, the love hormone. What the documentary also showed through interviews with scientists was that new science supports that we humans are genetically encoded to be cooperative and compassionate rather than violent, it just depends on how we are raised in the family and the influences of the culture. It's no wonder that infants are so sensitive to our moods and to separation from their primary caregiver. An infants heart rate will synchronize with the mother's heart and the mother's brain will also synchronize with the infant's heart. It is a reciprocal physiological process in many known and unknown ways. It's very likely that the heart plays a large role in the parent-child attachment process. For certain, our heart is the seat of intuition and instincts, a fundamental principle of our book, Attached at the Heart. You can check it out yourself at the I Am documentary website. There's another You Tube video that's ten minutes long called Language of the Heart that's an interesting compilation of television clips on the heart science. The video quality isn't great but the information is very interesting. Ironically in the end, Tom Shadyac found a lot more of what is right with the world; that if we all just do our part to make the world a better place, no matter how small, it will significantly change our world for the better. I'm inspired by all the mothers, fathers, grandparents...all child advocates who truly get this message and are the conscious chain-breakers in their families.

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