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Today cardiac coherence is in vogue and is popular not only with professionals, but also with everyone. But what is its concept, what are its principles, its modalities, its objectives? How and why do it? What are its physiological and psychological benefits?


Cardiac coherence was popularized in France by the late Dr. David Servan-Schreiber (notably in his book “Guérir”) who extolled the benefits of this form of biofeedback.
Thanks to neuroscience, we now know that no one needs several years of diligent meditation to learn emotional management (daily negative stressors, anxieties, panic, fears, etc.). Cardiac coherence, a real method of relaxation, can be a very effective anti-stress ally, even when practicing it daily, for just a few minutes. Indeed "five short minutes of rhythmic breathing can regulate the autonomic nervous system (our autopilot), reduce the intensity of the effects of stress on our body, increase our immune defense system, make better decisions and develop our intuition" ( sources


Voluntary breathing, positive thinking techniques, visualization, self-hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, cardiac coherence…are an integral part of the mental management tools of certain elite units and special forces (military or not). They are even taught among civilians as in krav maga ADRV © (survival combat method). So why is cardiac coherence (which was first adopted in the prevention of cardiovascular disease) increasingly being used (among others) in emotional regulation? Its accessibility, the interesting alternative to certain drugs, its learning and its ease of use are the main reasons for its popularity and growing legitimization. Even if there is a decline in the consumption of antidepressants, France remains among the nations most dependent on psychotropic drugs. Cardiac coherence really deserves medical attention.


Nevertheless, before embarking at full speed on the study of cardiac coherence, it is advisable to understand the mechanisms of your brain (fears, stress, panic, etc.) which directly influence the rhythm of heartbeats. Certain complex cogs generate sensory, cognitive and motor disturbances, responsible for irrational decisions and behaviors. Let's take the example of how fear works, a real chain reaction that takes root through sensory stimulation (sight, sound, thought, smell, touch, etc.).


First stopover in the thalamus (necessary passage of all the messages picked up by the senses), then transmission to the appropriate sensory cortex for evaluation and decoding. If this "message" turns out to be threatening to our survival, "the amygdala is then notified and produces the appropriate emotional responses" (Note that neuroscientists have recently discovered that part of the message received by the thalamus is transferred directly to the amygdala, without even going through the cortex, explaining the speed of our natural alarm system.


It is now that cardiac coherence comes into play, as a regulator of variations in your BPM (beats per minute) through appropriate breathing. “Even if the heart beats regularly, the intervals between two beats vary constantly. When these variations increase and decrease following a regular rhythm, we say that there is cardiac coherence”.  The control of the heart beats would make it possible to better control its brain, to fight against the somatic and psychological pathologies, to save energy for the organization and especially would avoid making incoherent and senseless decisions, generated by the disturbances quoted previously . The advantage of cardiac coherence is to act positively on physiology through a simple process, without side effects.


Many publications have highlighted the benefits of cardiac coherence, on a psychological level (reduction of stress, increased energy and resilience, greater mental clarity, better decision-making, impression of taking distance and let go, increase in intellectual and creative capacities, increase in emotional balance, improvement in listening skills, quality of presence, etc.) and physiologically (reduction of cortisol (the stress hormone), increase in DHEA levels (the hormone of youth), reduction in cholesterol levels, reduction in hypertension, improvement in diabetes, better weight management, increase in alpha brain waves (learning, memorization)…


The advantage of cardiac coherence is its adaptation to the places in which we find ourselves. Thus, as Frédéric Kochman (child psychiatrist and specialist in cardiac coherence) points out, "every opportunity is good to take a few minutes to refocus on your feelings and take the time to breathe deeply, in a queue, at the office. , on a plane… Standing, sitting, lying down and even walking slowly (walking way), you can practice cardiac coherence, but preferably in a quiet place when you start…” There are different training courses in France but be aware that on social networks, it is easy to find breathing guides (downloadable and free).


Practicing for 5 minutes (3 times a day) is an ideal rhythm, "knowing that only 1 to 2 minutes will already produce remarkable effects and 3 or 4 breathing cycles, perceptible effects... It takes about two weeks of practice to begin to adopt breathing at frequency 6 automatically and to observe tangible results (adopt the simple rule of 365, ie 3 times a day, sit comfortably and breathe 6 times per minute for 5 minutes)”.


Since you can't change the direction of the wind, you have to learn how to steer the sails. Cardiac coherence is an integral part of the extraordinary means made available to man to sail towards inner peace. As Christophe André points out “Happiness is possible and it is better to meet it than to listen to the story.” So don't hesitate, learn to breathe well in order to live peacefully in a state to which everyone aspires.

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