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HeartMath Institute

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The HeartMath Institute is a new age alternative medicine organization located in Boulder Creek, California, United States.[1] Their research promotes the pseudoscientific idea that the heart has various paranormal and clairvoyant abilities facilitated by the electromagnetic field it emits, and purports to provide a scientific foundation for "energy medicine". They're currently listed under the Quackwatch list of questionable organizations.[2]



HeartMath has claimed there is a state called "coherence" that is vaguely defined as a state of "cooperative alignment" between the hearts of humans, animals, trees, and planets.[3] They believe that coherence can be measured by electromagnetic sensors. In the case of the human heart, they claim electrodermal sensors can measure heart "coherence", and that biofeedback can be used to amplify the telepathic, telekinetic, and otherwise paranormal abilities of the heart. The proposed mechanism for these abilities is the electromagnetic field emitted by the heart, which they believe can synchronize with the electromagnetic fields of planets in order to transmit and receive information with the hearts of other humans and various physical systems, a phenomenon they have dubbed "social coherence".[4] Even more fringe, is their claim that the heart can synchronize with the magnetic field of the earth, in order to send and receive "biologically important information".[5]


The HeartMath director of research, Rollin McCraty, has claimed in a non-peer-reviewed paper that a state of "coherence" can amplify a persons telekinetic abilities. For example, in a 2003 study, he claimed to have caused a beaker of DNA to unwind by putting his heart into a state of "coherence", staring at the beaker, and willing it to unwind. He also alleged to have completed this experiment from a half mile away.[6] Various scientists have expressed skepticism about the study, which wasn't peer reviewed.[7]


HeartMath also believes that its research has provided evidence that the heart is capable of precognition. This is on the basis of a study they did on entrepreneurs, which allegedly demonstrates that putting one's heart into a coherent state will amplify ones ability to receive messages from the future over the Earth's magnetic field. They claimed that these messages from the future could increase an entrepreneurs ability to invest the ideal amounts in startup companies.[8] Needless to say, this result is not accepted by the scientific mainstream.[9]


Global Consciousness Project[edit]

HeartMath is a supporter of the so-called Global Consciousness Project, a parapsychology experiment that claims the outputs of random number generators can be affected by the emotions of the "global consciousness". They allege that shifts in the emotions of this global consciousness will cause non-random patterns in random number generators, which they hope to detect using an array of sensors positioned around the globe.[10]

Global Coherence Initiative[edit]

They further believe that the concept of coherence generalizes to unified physical systems, like the collection of people's hearts and the Earth's magnetic field. On this basis they claim that in response to negative world events, people may use their hearts to transmit "globally coherent consciousness messages" over the magnetic field of the Earth, which they believe will help can relieve suffering.[11]

Tree Rhythms Project[edit]

They also own a large collection of sensors for monitoring the electromagnetic activity of trees, which they believe transmit "biologically relevant information" using the electromagnetic fields that they emit. This experiment is supposed to provide evidence for their theory that claims these fields unify and interconnect all living creatures into a single global consciousness that transcends the bounds of space and time.[12]

See also[edit]