Refresh and renew in ONE MINUTE!

Would you like a 1 minute exercise you can do almost anywhere that will calm your mind, relax your body, release your creativity, reduce stress-related hormones and is clinically proven to release health building hormones like human growth hormone and DHEA? Then read on. I’ll be sharing that in just a minute.

I’m a big fan of the book “The Heartmath Solution”. A client gave me this book as a gift several years back. Has anyone ever given you a book? I was thinking what a nice gesture it was but the last thing I needed was another book on my ‘to read’ list. So it sat in a pile for over a year. Well, one day I felt that inner prompting we all sometimes get and I picked it up and skimmed through it and I suddenly realized why my client had given me this gift. This book was Important.

And so I began reading it.

I can honestly say this book is indeed Important. It has great information and perspectives on why we tend to get so stressed out, why most of the attempts to de-stress are doomed to mediocre results, and then it gives some extremely practical tools to help change your emotional and physical state, like one of the techniques I’m going to share below.

I’ll give a short synopsis here. I was startled to discover that our bodies don’t have a single nervous system, we actually have 2 (at least). We have the brain-based one that we’re all familiar with, and then we have one that is heart-based. And when I say ‘heart’, I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean the organ that pumps blood, THAT heart. Turns out that in a developing fetus, the heart-based nervous system actually is developed prior to the beginning of development of the brain-based one. And at the Heartmath Institute, their research shows that the brain’s system will entrain to the heart’s. Entrain means to sync up. Now, they’ve developed ways of measuring the peace and order of the heart’s system and then mapped that out against brain wave patterns and the findings are striking. As the heart’s system drops out of chaos and stress and into peace and order, guess what the brain does? Yep, the exact same thing. But if you try to go the other way around, if you try to do techniques to calm the brain’s system, it does not change the heart’s. So what most stress reduction techniques are trying to do, using Egoscue terminology, is they are really trying to treat symptom instead of core dysfunction. You can’t start with the head, you gotta start with the heart and the head will follow.

If you’d like to get a one minute exercise you can do just about anywhere, read on, and I’d love to get feedback on this. If you find this helpful, please come back and post a follow-up comment. And I strongly recommend the book. If I could recommend just 10 books on health, this would surely be one of them.

And let me tell you this, what this book talks about is ABSOLUTELY congruent with what Pete Egoscue is talking about in his new book, “Let’s Lighten Up”. Finding and restoring balance in one aspect of our systems tends to create or facilitate finding balance in the others. Postural imbalance can and will absolutely create emotional imbalance, and you will be powerfully positioned to restore postural balance when you have a greater send of peace and order within your mind.

So I hope you enjoy this. This is from an email I received from the good folks at The Heartmath Institute. The one minute technique is at the end of it.


“You feel a deep sense of peace and internal balance—you are at harmony with yourself, with others, and with your larger environment. You experience increased buoyancy and vitality. Your senses are enlivened—every aspect of your perceptual experience seems richer, more textured. Surprisingly, you feel invigorated even when you would usually have felt tired and drained. Things that usually would have irked you don’t ‘get to you’ as much. Your body feels regenerated—your mind clear. At least for a period of time, decisions become obvious as priorities clarify and inner conflict dissolves. Intuitive insight suddenly provides convenient solutions to problems that had previously consumed weeks of restless thought. Your creativity flows freely. You may experience a sense of greater connectedness with others and feelings of deep fulfillment.”1

Conventional wisdom tells us that this experience is rare. But it doesn’t have to be.

More than 15 years of research at the Institute of HeartMath has shown the relationship between this state, commonly referred to as flow, and positive emotions. They call what happens to the human system during these states physiological coherence. And it’s available, on demand, with HeartMath’s basic coherence-building tool: the Quick Coherence® technique.

If you’re new to the HeartMath System, here’s how to get in the flow: Take a deep breath and imagine your breath coming in and going out through the area around your heart in the center of your chest. Continue this slow, deep breathing for about 20-30 seconds. Then recall a fun or positive time in your life: A favorite vacation spot; a special time with a loved one; a perfect run down the slopes. And attempt to re experience it. Hold this feeling for about 30 seconds or more and notice an emotional, mental and physical shift.

That’s it. Heart focus. Heart breathing. Heart feeling. Any time. Any place.

Take care,
Kim Allen

1. Excerpt taken from The Appreciative Heart: The Psychophysiology of Positive Emotions and Optimal Functioning, Rollin McCraty and Doc Childre, Institute of HeartMath, 2003. You can find out more about this and other IHM research at

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