What is More Important to Heart Health and Longevity? You Will Never Guess the Answer!
Updated: May 31
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US. Approximately 23% of Americans die from heart disease each year. This is not new information and we diligently modify our diet, exercise and engage in various lifestyle practices to guard our heart health. However, the most important cause of heart disease is rarely discussed by health experts today.
Did you know that Dr. Armour discovered in 1991 that the heart has a brain with over 40,000 neurons- an intrinsic nervous system completely independent from the brain. The field of neurocardiology was recently developed due to the research by John and Beatrice Lacey in the 1960-1970’s, Dr. Armour, Doc Childre and many other researchers in the field of HeartMath (https://www.heartmath.com).
The heart sends messages to instruct the brain 80% of the time, while the brain only sends messages to instruct the heart 20% of the time. There is a dynamic two way dialogue between the heart and brain, and the brain seems to understand and obey messages from the heart. Four mechanisms of this instruction has been described as follows: a) neurologically through the Vagus Nerve b) biophysically through pressure gradients c) biochemistry /hormonal through atrial peptide and d) energetically through electromagnetic energy.
The most powerful source of electromagnetic energy in the body is the heart. In fact, the electromagnetic energy from the heart is one hundred times more powerful than the electromagnetic energy from the brain. This electromagnetic energy from the heart projects up to three feet, thus significantly affecting those around us. In fact, couples in stable long term relationships synchronize their heart rhythms and electromagnetic heart fields while sleeping next to each other at night. We are all familiar with the story of someone dying of a broken heart when separated from a lifelong partner. We are centered and connected in life by our heart.
The heart sends communication to the thalamus in the brain by the four mechanisms described above and this globally synchronizes cortical brain activity. The heart thus influences frontal-cortical activity which affects our thoughts and motivations, motor activity, attention, perception of pain, suffering and emotions. When our heart is at peace, it produces a hormone called atrial peptide which modulates our immune system, decreases stress hormones and decreases sympathetic activity, which is the fight or flight mode.
Now we can understand why humans so commonly use phrases such as “memorize it by heart” and “speak from the heart” and “put your heart into it” and “let’s have a heart to heart talk” or I have a “broken heart.” We could easily come up with dozens and dozens of similar phrases involving the heart.
The Bible speaks of the heart over 900 times and warns to “ Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” NKJV The bible was advanced several thousand years ahead of its time in its knowledge of the nature of mankind- this is very, very interesting!
Here are two stories from Paul Pearsall’s book, The Heart Code: tapping the wisdom and power of our heart energy, New York; Broadway Books, 1999.
A eight-year-old girl had nightmares about being killed after being given the heart of a child who had been murdered. Several years ago, an eight-year-old girl received the heart of a ten-year-old girl who was murdered. Shortly after receiving her new heart, the girl began having recurring nightmares about the man who had murdered her donor. She believed she knew who the murderer was. Her mother finally brought her to a psychiatrist and after several sessions, the girl’s psychiatrist “could not deny the reality of what the child was telling her.” They decided to call the police and, using the descriptions from the little girl, they found the murderer. According to the psychiatrist, “the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, what the little girl he killed had said to him. . ..everything the little heart transplant recipient reported was completely accurate”
Among the strangest case Paul Pearsall encountered was that of two men who shared the same heart.
Jim (original names withheld), who was dying of bad lungs, received a heart and lung transplant from a young woman who had just died. Since Jim’s old heart was still robust, it was transplanted into another man named Fred. After this domino transplant, Fred who was formerly laid-back began exhibiting the Type A aggressive behavior of Jim. During intimate moments, Fred would call his wife "Sandy", much to the consternation of his wife Karen. Jim’s wife’s name was Sandra. On the other hand, Jim became morose and sullen after the transplant and died a few years later. It was discovered that Jim’s donor had been a shy, soft-spoken young woman who had worked part-time in a flower shop, and had committed suicide in despair over a lost love.
I personally have experience with the profound effect of the heart. I suffered for years with migraines. Despite ongoing traditional allopathic western medicine treatments such as medications, infusions and lab investigations I received no relief and in fact worsened to the point of daily migraines, despite taking five different migraine medications. I explored many alternative wholistic healing modalities as well, yet no lasting relief occurred despite being diligent with dietary changes, supplements, removing amalgams, detoxification, etc. This pattern continued for over two decades of my life and I despaired and wondered if relief would ever come.
A well researched book called “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van Der Kolk explains that a broken heart and trauma will be expressed as symptoms in the body until that trauma and broken heart is healed. Now, I no longer have chronic daily migraines and I take zero medications for either prevention or treatment. In fact, I cannot remember the date of my last migraine as it was quite awhile ago. I don’t take anything special to maintain this- no medications, dietary changes or supplements are needed. The key to the resolution of my chronic daily migraines was understanding the role the heart had in this symptom. Now that I am healed of trauma and spiritually at peace, I no longer have a broken heart and my migraines symptoms have resolved.
We are wonderful creations that are complex in the relationship of our mind, body and spirit. At the center of it all is the heart, as the Bible wisely proclaimed repeatedly over thousands of years ago. So, if you want a healthy heart and longevity, search the scriptures for its wisdom regarding the heart. You will find over 900 verses regarding this topic! If you have a broken heart that results in relentless symptoms that never seem to heal after years of searching and trying one treatment after another, consider what Jesus says in John 14:27 “ Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” NKJV.
Please, don’t give up because Proverbs 17:22 says “ A merry heart does good, like medicine…” My sincere belief is that if your heart is at peace and merry then your body will also thrive and heal. I send you blessings, dear friends and readers, and urge you to take care of your heart - first and foremost and above all else!