Have you ever noticed that if you find yourself in a checkout line and you’re anxious and in a hurry the line takes forever, but, if you’re relaxed and not concerned how long it takes, the line moves quickly?
Over the last several decades, scientists have been researching this phenomenon – the effect that our emotions have on the world around us, as well as on our own bodies. We now know that, intentional or not, emotions affect the health of our body, our relationships with others and our performance at school or work, and we’re learning more each day.
Great philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, have deliberated on the nature of human emotions. In the 19th century, research conducted by figures such as Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud began more in-depth empirical studies into the topic. Today, researchers and biologists continue to investigate this topic, and, through the use of technology, they can now observe the effects that emotions have on human DNA.
The Power of Intention
In the early 1990’s, a series of experiments examining the effect that intentional emotions have on human DNA were conducted by biologist Glen Rein and research director of the Institute of HeartMath, Rollin McCarty. The researchers wanted to examine if heart-focused intention can alter the conformation, or shape, of a DNA sample in a test tube held by research participants. Findings of these studies were published in 2003 in a report entitled Modulation of DNA Conformation by Heart-Focused Intention. According to their research, Rein and McCarty deduced:
The results provide experimental evidence to support the hypothesis that aspects of the DNA molecule can be altered through intentionality. To our knowledge, this study was the first to correlate specific electrophysiological modes with the ability to cause changes in a biological target (DNA) external from the body. The data indicate that when individuals are in a heart-focused, loving state and in a more coherent mode of physiological functioning, they have a greater ability to alter the conformation [or shape] of DNA.
In the experiments, ten individuals, who were familiar with the heart coherence building techniques taught at HeartMath, were instructed to focus on an intention that would make DNA wind or unwind, while holding a test tube filled with a DNA sample. Another 18 participants with no training from HeartMath were used as control subjects.
Each HeartMath-trained participant performed three experiments: 1) in a state generating feelings of love and appreciation- or “heart-focused state” – and holding the intention to alter the DNA; 2) in a heart-focused state but with no intention; and 3) in their normal emotional state and with the intention to change the DNA. The control subjects were asked to participate in only one experiment, where the subject was in a heart-focused state and with the intention to wind or unwind the DNA.
The researchers wanted to focus the research on HeartMath-trained participants because they believed that a state of heart coherence, where the body’s systems are more harmonious and the heart rhythm more steady, was vital to proving that emotions have power over DNA.
Individuals capable of generating high ratios of heart coherence were able to alter DNA conformation according to their intention….Control group participants showed low ratios of heart coherence and were unable to intentionally alter the conformation of DNA. It is important to note that both the intention to cause a change and heart coherence were important variables in the outcomes of the experiments.
The electromagnetic field generated by the heart is the most powerful rhythmic electromagnetic field produced by the body. The heart’s field permeates every cell and may act as a synchronizing signal for all the cells in the body in a manner analogous to information carried by radio waves. The rhythmically pulsing waves of electromagnetic energy generated by the heart create fields within fields and give rise to interference patterns when they interact with magnetically polarizable tissues and substances.
Attitude and Our Health
Rein and McCarty’s research showed that a deeply heart-felt intention can affect DNA, thus supporting the idea that we have the potential to influence cellular processes in our own bodies. In their report, Rein and McCarty list DNA replication, DNA repair, and generation of proteins and enzymes as the various cellular functions that could be affected through heart-focused positive emotion and intention. “It is possible that this finding may hold a key to better understanding the observed contribution of positive feelings and attitudes to health and healing, as well as other related, well acknowledged but poorly understood phenomena such as the placebo effect, spontaneous remission in cancer, the health rewards of a strong faith, and the positive effects of prayer.”
Practically speaking this study offers more evidence that in order to affect positive change in our world we must first begin with cleansing, detoxifying and improving the quality our body, mind and spirit so that as individuals is it easier for us to radiate positive emotion in an increasingly frightening world.
Read more articles by Anna Hunt.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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