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AI & SOCIETY

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 677–685 | Cite as

Heart intelligence: heuristic phenomenological investigation into the coherence experience using HeartMath methods

  • Steve EdwardsEmail author
Open Forum
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Abstract

The HeartMath system refers to various methods, tools and techniques developed by the HeartMath Institute, a global research and educational organization. Working from an interdisciplinary, scientific foundation, the institute has adopted a coherence model to promote its vision and mission of education and health. This model is based on empirical, predominantly natural scientific foundations. Although many, rigorous studies have provided a substantial evidence base of the science and praxis of personal, social and global coherence, the actual coherence experience has not yet been investigated. To address this gap in the HeartMath research evidence, this heuristic phenomenological investigation was organized into three phases, with the goal of eliciting the essential structure of the coherence experience. The first phase consisted of a quantitatively orientated review of the author’s personal HeartMath practice records, with special focus on examples of highest coherence levels and achievement scores, as measured on HeartMath instruments, and as available on Heart Cloud records. In the second qualitatively orientated phase, ten selected descriptions, perceived to be good examples of coherence experiences, were synthesized into an essential review summary. The third, pilot study, phase explored the actual coherence experience of ten consecutive HeartMath sessions, varying with regard to context, duration, time, place and manner of practice. Essential summary findings of the coherence experience are discussed with regard to personal, social and global implications for research, education and health promotion.

Keywords

Heuristic phenomenology Coherence experience Pilot study Case study HeartMath Psychophysiology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work is based on research supported by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). Any opinion, finding and conclusion or recommendation expressed in this material is that of the author(s) and the NRF does not accept any liability in regard thereto. Special thanks to Dr. Rollin McCraty for research collaboration.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of ZululandKwadlangezwaSouth Africa

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