The Heart – Mind Connection

As a Reiki practitioner, I’ve often felt the connection between the heart chakra and the 2nd chakra, located near the sex organs. If anything, it made my “work” easier: most people I came across had unresolved issues stuck in their emotional centers at the heart and in the pelvis, so all I had to do was focus on treating these areas and that helped release a lot of “stuff” for my clients. It made sense to me. Relationships are difficult and many things go unprocessed and that energy gets stuffed into these emotional centers.

Today, however, I was presented with a heart – mind connection. Trying to live life through the logic of the mind (as a psychologist) led to very real difficulties with the heart, so much so that reparative heart surgery was required for this person.

From “The health of your heart is linked to the health of your mind. Experts point out that this connection goes in both directions. People who are depressed are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease. Meanwhile, roughly half of all people with heart disease battle depression. ‘People know that their livelihood and life is in danger, and that becomes a major stress factor in the life of that individual, so we start going around and around in circles,’ explained Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences and assistant dean for translational research at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. To show just how far-reaching the connection is, the risk factors that can lead to heart disease could play a role in memory loss and dementia. The good news is that taking steps to prevent heart disease and reduce stress can also help protect your mind.”

This person is currently experiencing a lot of memory loss and seems to be concerned about possible dementia.

The heart chakra relates to the element of air, so in order to heal it, we can work with the breath. This is an exercise designed to expand the heart in all directions. Sitting in a comfortable meditation posture with spine erect, close your eyes and tune into your heart. If you can, feel your heartbeat. First begin gently breathing in and out getting a slow steady rhythm. Then imagine that you are inhaling in the left side (receptive) and expanding your heart out to the left. Take a few breaths here, then imagine expanding your heart to the right side (expressive) and feel your heart space widening. Then breathe into the bottom of your heart, deepening your compassion, for self and others. After a few breaths here, imagine you are breathing into the top of your heart, lifting the heart to blossom into the shoulders. Finally inhale, pushing your heart energy forward, out in the world. (Special thanks to the book Energize Your Heart, by Puran and Susanna Bair, for this exercise.)