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The Heart Math Program: Providing Evidence of How Stress Affects Us

smashing heartI love my LMFT. Our counseling sessions are not only therapeutic; they are resourceful.

My therapist and I are constantly exchanging tools—I informed her about  750 Words and Mood Tracker. She told me last week about the Institute of Heart Math.

IHM opened their nonprofit research center in 1991. Since then, their scientists have made contributions in the areas of stress, positive thinking and emotions, and heart-rhythm coherence.

They have an array of tools available that you can check out on their website, from free services like “Assessment Tools” and “Solutions for Stress” to their commercial educational products, like the “Inner Balance” app and the “emWave2”.

Are you a results person like me? Do you need evidence to realize that you need to make a change in your life? If so, you might want to check out one of the following products for yourself:

  • emWave Desktop

This product, available for Mac and PC, promises to help you de-stress and rejuvenate. It is a scientifically-validated heart monitoring tool that, in essence, helps you realize what stress and anxiety is doing to your body.

The goal is to create an optimal state within the body in which the heart, mind, and emotions are operating in sync. The emWave allows you to see your heart rhythm patterns in real time, allowing you to see when you are in this “high-performance state”.

A pulse sensor, which attaches to a USB port in your computer, collects your pulse data and translates information into user-friendly graphics on your screen. Through exercises and game play, the tool helps achieve balance of mind and body.

  • Inner Balance

This tool is based on emWave technology and is an app that can be downloaded to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (currently not available for Android).

Use Inner Balance for 5 to 10 minutes a day. Plug the sensor into your phone and use the heart rate monitor to discover your personal heart-brain interaction and nervous system dynamics.

The sensor attaches to your earlobe.

  • emWave2

This product is IHM’s newest brainchild. It’s the most versatile product of all, because it can be used both at the desktop and on the go.

There are also advanced modes and levels included.

Simply download the data you gained away from your computer onto your laptop or desktop when you return home.

What do these tools cost?

Expect to pay between $99.00 and $189.00 for these products.

Why I want to try the emWave systems

IHM says that with two weeks of practice, people start to notice the following typical benefits:

  • More calm
  • Better sleep
  • Less reactivity
  • Less worry
  • More alertness
  • Better focus and decision making
  • More positive attitudes
  • More ease and inner peace

Sounds like exactly what I need! I am trying to work on all of these areas to better my quality of life. For an analytic mind like me, IHM’s products may be a possible future investment.


If you were given a free copy of one of these feedback systems, would you use it? Do you think it would help you? 


Photo Credit: buttersweet via Compfight

The Heart Math Program: Providing Evidence of How Stress Affects Us

Kat Dawkins

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APA Reference
Dawkins, K. (2013). The Heart Math Program: Providing Evidence of How Stress Affects Us. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Sep 2013
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