First 2 weeks with Heartlink # 13 (LONG)
Sun, 15 Nov 1998 00:25:45 -0500
Alan Bachers <>



James - You may distribute as you see fit.

I'm a psychologist with 25 years psychotherapy and biofeedback
experience 11 of which were spent developing biofeedback in a 1000 bed
tertiary medical center. For the past four years, in our private
practice, my colleague and I have done 7500 sessions of EEG biofeedback
(neurofeedback). This modality eclipses and dwarfs previous biofeedback
work in terms of efficacy, speed of effect, and enduring results. I did
my dissertation on voluntary control of HRV using breath. These
observations derive from clients, interested observers, myself and

The first night (Halloween) I spent three hours playing well into the
night, and thought it too easy to achieve 14 high harmonic spectra and 3
sloping coherence peaks. EI range was .65-.90 Next morning my wife
reported a persistent dream of a hospital room with a man in a bed
attached to a monitor, but who was also in utter peace. When I hooked
her up she said: "My god, that's what was on the monitor." In myself, I
mostly notice that I'm more open, smile more, feel more peaceful, and
can fall easily into the heart-warming sense of peace that brings
greater, if not sustained peaks.

I have been impressed by the number of people who are not able to
establish any harmonics over several sessions, though in most people,
each session produces somewhat larger harmonics and more coherence. As
with EEG training, just watching, and reducing effort of "trying"
gradually brings increased harmonic/coherence. The model is that the
organism sees what is "better" and automatically moves toward it.
Merely placing onself in the loop ("just observe") and allowing the
inner self to "find the zone" facilitates movement toward coherence.
Quite a few of these folks have had extensive EEG biofeedbck training
which is most efficaciously done using this approach. It is clear,
though, that this is a different oscillator than EEG. More than half,
even though accomplished at EEG, had difficulty in producing
harmonic/coherence peaks. Several of these, though, had dramatically
better EEG sessions following 10-15 mins. of Heartlink practice.

One experienced meditator (coherence .65 -.75, frequent high harmonics)
spontaneously recalled vivid, specific feelings of "deep awe, aha!, and
a spine shuddering tingle" from childhood which he could then reproduce
with nearly the same intensity AS THE LEFTMOST HARMONIC PEAK BECAME
ORDER. He had not remembered these moments, nor had he experienced the
feeling since childhood.

I would make some guesses about the "meaning" of various harmonic peak
positions, which I throw out for comments. The first two peaks on the
left I would nominate for "emotional life," with the first one being
"unconscious emotional" and the second "conscious emotional." The third
peak I would guess to be a combination of emotional/intellectual
activity. The next four or five peaks often rise and fall together or
alternating one up/one lower. I'd guess these to be "intellectual
center." Several wise and intellectually gifted people would
simultaneously peg those harmonics to the top during bursts or sustained
harmonic emergence. The right third of the graph I'd guess to have
something to do with aesthetic capacity. One sculptor/heart energy
healer showed elevated waves of harmonic peaks toward the right. She
also reported after a 20 minute session with lots of harmonic peaks and
coherence .75 - .95 - a feeling in her chest of "stretching, like a
chick ready to pop out of an egg which I get whenever I grow in my
healing capacity."

A 68 year old woman five years post left hemisphere stroke, with
aphasia and right sided paralysis showed good harmonic production in her
second session WITH NO PEAKS AT ALL FROM 7 DOWNWARD. That is, the right
2/3 of the harmonic peaks showed some peaking and patterning, but not
the left 1/3 of the harmonic graph. In this second 10 minute session
(she fatigues quickly) she smiled, pointed to the rising indices and
gave "thumbs up." We are introducing the "yes" and "truth" concepts.
She is bright, but has been unable to communicate verbally since the
stroke, and has a great deal of other cognitive impairment.

The only person so far to keep a sustained .6 range is a 9 year old
adopted girl with an attachment disorder from a history of great
physical abuse from druggie parents. With her profound emotional
impairment, very limited social skills, and frequent withdrawal from
human contact, I'd never have expected her to do this. When asked what
she imagines in these quite sustainable periods, ahe said "Its when I
feel I'm a better person in my heart."

A couple of bulletins: Today a nurse from cardiology at Cleveland
Clinic who works with the heart transplant patients (109 so far this
year) made some observations following her initial Heartlink session.
They have been using exactly the same graphed very low frequency indices
of sympathetic/parasympathetic tone for several months on a research
basis with five patients at a time. They use it to regulate medications
for sym/para control. They have used HRV for years as a measure of
decreasing viability of prospective and post-transplant recipients. She
was very competent right from the start, and allows that she knows these
patients so well (some are there for over a year on artificial hearts)
that she can entrain their heart stabilization just by holding their arm
and focusing on what she wants to have happen. She immediately saw the
value of placing the patient in the loop, but said also, that the
"control freak cardiologists who say that they 'own' this patient's
heart" would be first angered, then threatened by patients' controlling
their heart activity. Nonetheless, she is referring me to the
cardiology researcher who implemented the new monitors. "Look out,
though, he'll start talking about Lyapunov constants and phase space."

Which brings me to bulletin #2. Many very odd synchronicities have
occurred in these two weeks. One was last night when I decided it was
time to brush up on HRV research. I went to
search engine and asked for "Heart Rate Variability" as a search
string. Of the 2400+ hits the first one (at:

was: "Non-linear Dynamics in Heart Rate Variability Signal through
Deterministic Chaotic Approach" which had the following sentence
"...Taken's theorem provides conditions for this to be an
embedding [!!!] thus preserving system invariant [sic] like fractal
dimension, information Entropy, and Lyapunov exponents..."

These are some of the results of two weeks with the Heartlink.

"I don't think we're in Kansas any more, Toto."

Alan Bachers