The Wisdom of the Heart
Posted on January 21, 2020
I finished my last post with:
Just over a year ago, I learned about a reliable, intensively researched and simple biometric that measured the health of the brain, nervous system and all the other systems (digestion, immune, cardiovascular, respiratory) that were negatively impacted by trauma. Research also showed that this biometric effectively measures improvements or declines in social, emotional, and physical health. (Click here for full post)
In the history of medicine and psychology, there have been a small set of significant events that helped reset our understanding of health, illness, and treatment. Antibiotics, MRI brain scans, cognitive behavioral therapy, vaccinations, trauma-informed care, X-rays and other advancements have changed millions of lives over the past hundred years. Today, another scientific and technological advancement has the power to be just as impactful on human health and wellness especially for those struggling to overcome the pain and suffering of trauma.
So, what is this powerful biometric that measures both the impact of trauma and the post-traumatic growth process? It turns out that our hearts hold a fantastic amount of information and wisdom on the health of our minds and bodies.
Most of us know that heart rate is a measure of the number of heartbeats per minute. We now know that the true wisdom of the heart speaks through the rhythm of its beat. The rhythm of the heart is termed Heart Rate Variability or HRV. HRV is the variability between successive heartbeats over a period of time. Heart rate measures the average number of beats per minute, HRV concerns the intervals between each beat.
If we are listening, HRV provides us messages about the impact of trauma, stress and harmful behaviors on our minds and bodies. If we are listening, HRV also gives us information on the effectiveness of interventions, positive life choices and charts the healing process. We are entering a period where we can measure what is happening underneath the skin and get a window into the mind.
Obviously, we need a more in-depth exploration of the science in future posts. But I want to leave you with the hope that so much of the mystery and speculation of the healing process is now quantifiable. A simple biometric that will help us move our thinking on best practices from what works for the masses to what works for this specific person and where they are at in this moment of their journey