Habits & Health episode 79 with Gavin Andrews, Managing Director for HeartMath in the UK and Ireland, a system of breathwork, self-regulation techniques and biofeedback technology.
Gavin discovered HeartMath, coherence practise and heart-based living 15 years ago. Since then, he has found joy, meaning and purpose in sharing the science and practise of coherence with others.
In addition to sharing the benefits of coherence practise through HeartMath, Gavin also
passionate about finding practical ways to help people discover calm, clarity and mental and physical balance in our increasingly chaotic and stressed-out world. Recently he co-launched Syntropy, a start-up app which presents beautiful video artworks for breathwork, relaxation and meditation.
Prior to his involvement in HeartMath, Gavin had careers in the newspaper industry, as a business school lecturer and as a leadership coach and trainer
Gavin has offered a discount code for Habits & Health listeners:
Discount code for HeartMath – HHP20
Don’t forget, there is a transcript of every episode (scroll down the page).
Habits & Health Links
79 – Gavin Andrews
[00:00:00] Tony Winyard: Habits Health episode 79.
[00:00:13] Tony Winyard: Welcome to another edition of Habits & health. My guest today is Gavin Andrews. Who is the managing director for HeartMath in the UK and Ireland. And HeartMath is a system of breath work regulation, techniques, and biofeedback technology. So we’re gonna go into exactly. How does heart math help us? What is a coherence practice?
What is heart-based living. We touched upon meditation, breathing practices. Heart rate variability and much much more Hope you enjoy This weeks show
Habits & health My guest today, Gavin Andrews. How you doing Gavin?
[00:00:53] Gavin Andrews: I do very well. Thank you’re doing very well. Yeah. Cooling down today. So where we had that very hot weather yesterday says it’s a bit more pleasant today for me.
[00:01:00] Tony Winyard: This comes out on the 16th of August. So I wonder what the weather will be like then maybe we’ll be freezing
[00:01:06] Gavin Andrews: or we’ll have broken the records all over again one way or the other.
[00:01:09] Tony Winyard: yeah. Yeah.
[00:01:09] Gavin Andrews: who knows?
[00:01:10] Tony Winyard: So where are you Gavin?
[00:01:12] Gavin Andrews: So I’m in Surry, I’m in a place called Longton, which is not a million miles away from Surbiton and next to Kingston. Yeah, I’m not far from the Thames, I go for a nice run along the river a couple of times a week.
So I’m very lucky. This area river tens, lots of greenery. Yeah. It’s very nice here.
[00:01:27] Tony Winyard: Sounds very nice. And you are the guru for everything related to HeartMath in the.
[00:01:34] Gavin Andrews: I’ve done about guru I’m the lucky guy that stands on the shoulders of the giant that invented this in California and acts as a repeater station for them over here. So I’m not the guru, but yeah, look, I run the HeartMath business in the UK and Ireland and yeah which means, running the heart math training programs and the products and things like that.
So I’m technically the managing director for HeartMath UK, and Ireland.
[00:01:54] Tony Winyard: So when people, when you meet, I dunno if you ever go to like network meetings or whatever, but when you encounter people who have never come across heart math before, how do you do a sort of elevator pitch description of what it is?
[00:02:08] What is HeartMath?
[00:02:08] Gavin Andrews: Do you know what it’s actually quite a tricky thing to, to define because there isn’t really anything else like it. Yeah. So look, Harbor is basically a system and it’s a system that includes breath work practice, which we call coherence, breathing. Some people call it resonance breath.
Or north 0.1 hurts breathing. So breathwork component, there’s a component which is to do with actually focusing within. The heart. Okay. So physically putting your mentally, putting your attention in the heart or physically feeling the heart, there’s an aspect to it, which is about emotion regulation.
So intentionally feeling pleasant and positive feelings and emotions, and then there’s a technology aspect to it, which measures all of that. So we’ve got some biofeedback technology, so it that’s what its a system, but basically it’s just, it’s a way of self-regulating it’s a way of helping you be the best version of yourself more frequently.
And sometimes the way describe as well is it’s a bit like, aspects of positive psychology with, breathwork and like a Fitbit for your emotions, which is what the technology is. So it’s all of those things blended into one. And a lot of people when they first come across heart, I think that we are our product, which is a biofeedback device.
So they think that we’re a tech company, actually not tech company at all, anything like a transformation company and you transform yourself with the techniques and you transform yourself with the technology as well. That’s a bit longer than an elevator. So that’s a tall building. That one. Isn’t it.
[00:03:25] Tony Winyard: There’s that place in Dubai. Was it
[00:03:26] Gavin Andrews: Yeah, exactly.
[00:03:28] Tony Winyard: Yeah. Or how when did HeartMath start? Do you.
[00:03:32] Origins of HeartMath
[00:03:32] Gavin Andrews: It did. Yeah. Originally it started in the eighties with a group of people who came together from various parts of the us Carolina and New York and California, they came together in California and they were basically they were searchers and discoverers and they were trying every, all things, personal development, all things spiritual.
So they all came together and they all held down separate jobs, but they would meet and they. Share all the things that they’d learn. And over that time they developed this understanding that actually you could simplify a lot of this stuff to basically, when you are feeling good, pleasant, positive feelings and emotions, and particularly things like care and gratitude, appreciation, love those types of feelings.
But you tend to be the best version of yourself. New interactions with others tend to. The most productive as well. So having realized that they then said to themselves, oh, blimey. How do we share this with the world? I guess we’d better create an organization. So actually then heart math Institute is the first organization nonprofit was created in 1991.
And they literally built the, like the buildings themselves and tainted in themselves. But then they were up and running and. They just hit a spirit of the times and they started to run training in Silicon valley using their techniques. This was before the technology. So they became successful as a business quite quickly.
We’re a training company then basically, and then it wasn’t for another couple of years when they started to do their research around. What is this state? What we’re getting and can we measure it? It feels real, is it actually real? That’s when they discovered all the heart rate variability stuff.
So then not long after that’s when they developed their biofeedback technology as well. So it’s a really interesting story about a group of people who were practicing what they preach and then deciding they should share that with the world.
[00:05:13] Tony Winyard: And before we started recording, I mentioned to you I’d been watching some of the stuff. I forgot the guy’s name again. Was it Roland?
[00:05:19] Gavin Andrews: Dr. Rollin McCraty,
[00:05:21] Tony Winyard: There was some fascinating and I’ll put some links in the show notes for anyone who wants to get deeper on the whole science things. We’re not gonna go on the science here.
I dunno, Gavin might surprise me. We might go really but it was fascinating listening to him and watching the, it was various things on YouTube, whatever one thing that. Came into my mind as I was listening to him he repeatedly referred to, oh, no studies for this and his studies for this.
And it made me think, has there been a lot of doubters about this? Because he kept referring to studies as if, to look, this is reputable. So it made me think there must been a lot of people really doubting this the way he kept saying that.
[00:05:56] Science of the method
[00:05:56] Gavin Andrews: Yeah, for sure. Look, over the years, we’ve, there’s been a few skeptics who’ve decided to taken interest in us and and question some of what we’re saying. Basically. So our research covers a relatively broad area that includes heart rate variability. So heart rate variability is a real thing.
It’s a real measure but specifically an aspect of that called coherence. So we were measuring this to begin with and we were measuring the impact of emotions and feelings on heart rate variability. Now, even back then, there were people. Who said you can’t control your heart rate variability.
It’s part of your, autonomic nervous system nothing you can do about your heart rhythm. So just do what your body needs to do. You know what, or basically whatever you’re feeling might impact it, but you can’t do anything about it. Intentionally, even some of the very first researchers within heart rate variability, you didn’t believe that.
So that was one area where we were criticized and then turned out. Actually, you can influence your heart rate variability and positive emotion. Do particularly influence what your heart rate variability is doing. And yeah, then from there we’ve been researching the interactions between the heart and the brain.
And again, a lot of people like the brain is doing everything. The heart’s a dumb pumps blood around the body, and now we realize as well, the heart isn’t just a dumb pump. That squirts blood around the body. It’s quite a remarkable organ and actually the brain and the heart. Very much connected and that actually what the heart is doing has a particularly profound influence on the brain.
The heart is beating the brain, particularly the stress of the brain often firing at the same time when the heart’s beating. And that has an impact on our perception. So we, I’d say that we were leading edge in a lot of our research and that, for those people who are ready to a particular paradigm, they often don’t like pattern.
So therefore they may criticize we other recent areas, we have research around the impact of certain energies on humans. Earth energies, solar energies, cosmic activity, solar weather, those types of things. And we’ve been recent for a long time. The impact on people’s behaviors, body rhythms, biorhythms, heart rate variability feedback and research has even shown people have increased rates of cardio problems, heart attacks, basically during chaotic space weathers where some activity and funny enough that proved to be true as well.
I’ve had new scientists carried an article about that a few weeks ago. So yeah, over our time we have. People questioning what we’re saying. I think part of the issue with that as well is that as a private organization that has a product to sell people are perhaps, suspicious of what you always marketing your own stuff, basically.
So yes. Yeah. But our research now, what we were saying in the early nineties is being repeated by lots of researchers. Now
[00:08:30] Tony Winyard: When, and you mentioned HRV a couple of times there. Becoming massive now, isn’t it?
[00:08:34] Gavin Andrews: it is,
[00:08:35] Tony Winyard: in the last few years is bit where it was like, it sounds like you guys have been talking about this for a long time.
[00:08:40] Gavin Andrews: We were making products
[00:08:41] Tony Winyard: I can only imagine what the reaction was like.
[00:08:44] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. We were measuring with a consumer product basically in the nineties.
[00:08:50] Tony Winyard: For anyone who isn’t aware of HRV and a lot of people have well before you learn about this, it would seem to be logical that the heart is like a metronome almost. And that’s good, but it’s, that’s actually the opposite.
[00:09:04] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. You’d think that, would you think if a system was gonna be really optimally efficient, it would be like a metronome, but it’s not. No. So our hearts are always speeding up and slowing down. Between each beat there’s different times beat a bit difference between each of the beats.
So that’s what heart rate variability is a measure of the variation between the gaps between the heartbeats. And we want more of. As opposed to less of it. So more of it is indicative of you being healthy. It correlates with both physical and psychological resilience. It’s think of it like elasticity.
The more of it, you’ve got to a point, obviously, too much of anything is not necessarily a good thing, but generally, to a point you want heart rate variability, good amount of it for your age, and that is helping you stay fit and healthy and helping you to recover from all of the challenges we put ourselves through physically.
[00:09:51] Tony Winyard: And with the popularity now of HRV. So there’s so many different devices that, that measure it. Some good. Some not so good. Because you guys have been in this field a lot longer. Are you, do you have any thoughts on, are there any particularly good ones that Do help people?
[00:10:08] Gavin Andrews: So we’ve been in it for a while, but. Specifically interested in heart rate, variability coherence. So there’s 40 or 50 different ways of measuring heart rate variability which are basically looking at how much or how little you’ve got. And that’s what most of the devices on the market do.
They’re measuring you take different. Times most of ’em over, a day or so, or a night sleep or whatever. And then they give you a number and they benchmark you over a period of time and then you monitor your number and you can work out, is my variability good today? Or is it low?
Is it particularly high? And then that can help you with. Sports training or lifestyle decisions, stuff like that. So it’s just a way sort of monitoring how you’re doing, how stressed you are or how resilient you are. There’s a lot of great devices out there that do that within varying degrees of accuracy, apple watches and Fitbits do that type of thing.
Oura rings do that type of thing. They’re all really good devices.
We’ve never really been interested in that market because what we are interested in is what you can do to your heart rate variability in real.
[00:11:05] Tony Winyard: Right.
[00:11:06] Gavin Andrews: And that’s what coherence is all about. So we can all intentionally shift our heart rhythms into this state called coherence, where they go into this lovely ordered pattern where they speed up and slow down progressively, which is a reflection of what’s going on with the, a nervous system.
The sympathetic and parasympathetic are basically synchronizing with each other. And yeah, no one else has really caught onto that properly yet. I still don’t know why. Slightly nervous that no one else has cottoned onto that yet. Cuz it’s, it’s a really important part of our physiology.
We should all be entering degrees of coherence at certain points throughout the day and at the night at nighttime as well. But it’s one of these things that you can intentionally do in practice that has significant health benefits.
[00:11:53] Tony Winyard: You mentioned coherence a few times and I mentioned to you, I’ve been in the world of the oxygen advantage buteyko, and that sort of thing for six years or so, and probably around the same length of time with the whole kind of Wim Hoff. So the whole Oxygen Advantage stuff is very parasympathetic and the whole Wim Hoff stuff, very sympathetic.
I’ve never really explored that kind of bit between that, that and it’s funny how you can hear something so many times, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t really sink in. And I heard you speak a few months ago at the health coach, something or other, I forget what it was, but you did a presentation there, and it’s only recently that the coherence has really started to make sense to me.
So for anyone who’s listening, maybe who was as dumb as I was, and didn’t realize the importance of coherence could you explain what, what that.
[00:12:39] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. So look, let’s try to keep it really simple then. So the sympathetic, the Wim Hoff stuff here, that’s like using your accelerator and it’s great stuff. You can, exercise the sympathetic and get great results from doing all of that. The Oxygen advantage stuff and lots of other techniques are about the parasympathetic, which is more like the break.
So that’s helping you slow down, relax, recuperate, all those types of things. Coherence is in the middle, right? So we. The way they explain most of the time, it’s you’re either in sympathetic or you’re in parasympathetic. It’s not quite as simple as that. There are always inputs from both.
It’s just that you’ve got more of one than the other one you’re in synthetic or parasympathetic state. So what coherence is actually, you’ve got both inputs going on. And they’re in relative balance. Actually the higher levels of coherence they’re in extreme balance basically.
So it’s almost like you’ve got the accelerator and then the brake and the accelerator and the brake. And so if you think about efficiency, that is the most efficient way to, to drive your car, work what your body is to have these inputs not working against each other, not antagonistic, but synchronizing with each other.
Now, when that happens, very special stuff happens within your body. So the hearts in that rhythm is reflecting. What’s going on with the nervous system, but these rhythms are oscillations. And actually what’s happening is your cardio respiratory system is resonating at its optimal frequency. So it’s like literally vibrating, that might sound weird to some people.
Everything’s vibrating. We are vibrating. So we start basically vibrating our optimal frequency. And so what happens then is that all of the other body systems and processes and entrain to that optimal rhythm, so that facilitates homeostasis. So it helps your body to, rebalance itself and reorganize and repair.
And it also benefits the brain. So the brain starts to follow the brain waves, follow the same rhythm from the breathing, from a bit nervous system. And then the brain to brain way synchronize. Then basically you get activity in the prefrontal cortex. So that also then enables you to, think more clearly as well.
So that’s what coherence is. It’s a real state, it’s actually called psychophysiological coherence. It’s real and we can measure it and that’s what our tech does. And you can do it anytime you want to. And with practice, you can get really good at it. And that’s what our tech has given you feedback on.
[00:15:01] Tony Winyard: So you’ve got the various sort of devices, and I know you’ve got the apps, the Syntropy app. Maybe we can speak about that in a minute, but do you also from what I gather from looking at your site, you’ve also got coaches that will help people with what. I’m guessing of anxiety and stress and whatever.
What is that? What your coaches help people?
[00:15:20] HeartMath Coaches
[00:15:20] Gavin Andrews: They help with all sorts of things, actually. We train people to be coaches in our system. So it’s very much a generalist sort of training. And then the people we have coming on the training are people who’ve decided they wanna use heart map in their work. So they could be coaches. It could be health coaches, definitely, but equally they could be.
Teachers educators, right from primary school all the way up to, university they could be medical professionals. So we’ve trained lots of doctors. We train cardiologists all sorts of therapists from cognitive behavioral therapists through all sorts of different therapeutic.
Modalities sports coaches. So essentially what they all recognize is that, coherence is basically an optimal state. And so whatever your field of interest or expertise like coherence can be a benefit within that, doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional footballer or, you’re a teacher working with a five year old, who’s got a behavioral problem.
It’s, this stuff is valuable in your world and it compliments beautifully, lots of the other wonderful tools and techniques that are out there as.
[00:16:16] Tony Winyard: And so you mentioned about like professional football are any professional sports teams. Have they realized the value of things like this?
[00:16:25] Professional sports teams using HeartMath
[00:16:25] Gavin Andrews: Yeah, for sure. So there’s teams in the premier league that are using heart math English and Welsh cricket board coaches have used heart math, English Institute with sport. So there’s, there’s coaches who are always on the lookout for effective tools or powerful tools.
There’s coaches who recognize that you can’t use the same tools all the time with everybody. You’ve gotta have different tools that resonate different ways. Yeah, it’s it’s not like policy of a certain football club to always use the heart math or whatever, but there were lots of coaches out there who have heart within their toolbox using professional cycling as well.
[00:16:59] The Syntropy app
[00:16:59] Tony Winyard: And so just then I touched upon that, that app Syntropy and it’s funny, actually, I. I just started using it last night for the first time. And it’s been in my phone for months and for a couple of months, I completely forgot who it was that told me about it. And I looked at this app and I thought, what is that? And I didn’t have time to explore it. And it was only last night I was watching you on another podcast. Oh, that’s what’s Syntropy is. So I started using it last night for the first time. So it seems like a very good app from what I’ve seen of it.
[00:17:25] Gavin Andrews: Yeah, as well. So Syntropy actually, isn’t a heart math thing. It’s my, it’s another hat that I wear. So there’s the part of me, that’s heart math. And then Syntropy’s actually a startup a lockdown startup a couple years old now. But it’s just another way actually, for people to learn and practice coherence.
I’m just really passionate about how we get coherent. Now think, we’re living in such a stressed society and certainly all the figures show. Yeah, its crazy. And I read the other day that there’s half a million, more people on antidepressants now than there were a year ago and it’s just, it’s terrifying really the real.
Pandemic, I think at the moment is stress. So I’m just, and I’m always interested in how do we get this stuff out there? And heart math is one way the technology though, isn’t cheap, not everybody can access that. And I’m also a big plan of the power of art and music. And if you think about it, we consume art.
And we consume music because we want to shift our emotions. We’re looking for some sort of emotional experience, whether it’s to terrify ourselves or to chill out, and so that’s what Syntropy is. So what we do is we create these beautiful video artwork. So it’s beautiful arts, mostly abstract, digital art, lovely music, like mostly chill out music, electronic, and some weird instrument stuff.
And we make these lovely short videos that you can use either to practice coherence. So they pace. Breathing with the visuals and the music. So it just makes coherence practice really easy and really enjoyable. There’s another function, which is just for relaxation. So that’s more of the parasympathetic stuff.
Yeah. You just get lost in the beautiful art and there’s another function called elevate, which is more the sympathetic stuff, which sort of. Activates you and uplift you a little bit. So yeah that’s what the app’s all about. And we collaborate with international artists and we match make artists with musicians and that’s how we really set a new video each week.
So it’s, like I said, a growing library of lovely video artworks that you can either breathe to or relaxed to, or get a little bit more activated too.
[00:19:14] Binaural Beats
[00:19:14] Tony Winyard: And as you were explaining that, it made me think about, I dunno, Binaural beats come into my mind. Can you ever, do you ever see, there’s a mixture of.
[00:19:23] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. So we, in our own art that we created, we use Bnos, but we use them actually to create 360 degree or N8D eight dimensional experience. So it’s not really about entraining brain states with the way that we use the binaurals, we’re more about the music, but actually I think, where we are going with the app and where we’re developing it.
We will move into the binaural side. We did carry a video. By an artist, artistic music called Vinco zone a few weeks ago that does contain some Boral aspects as well.
But yeah that’s certainly an angle that will be moving down as well. But for the moment we are really focused on it needs to be nice music as opposed to a lot of the Boral stuff is actually just noise.
I think it’s great cause it, it does great things for your brain, but it’s not music a lot that.
[00:20:06] Tony Winyard: So anyone’s, who’s listening to this show now and is wondering, or how might Syntropy help me? What would you say?
[00:20:13] Gavin Andrews: Okay. So basically these short videos, they just, they absorb the art, absorb your mind. So they very quickly help you to detach from all of the kind of stressy stuff that you’re worrying about. So the art is absorbing your mind. The music is soothing, your emotions. So very quickly we have an emotional response and a physiological response.
Art and music. They’re very powerful for shifting mood very quickly. And particularly the ones in what we call the breathe function. They are helping you with coherence as well. So if you watch videos and you use that to pace your breathing and get yourself into coherence, then the coherence state is gonna help you.
So if you’re feeling. Stressed or anxious or depressed, or just like any form of unpleasant, negative feeling and emotion. These videos can really quickly help you to transition out of that and into a better place. And we’ve got amazing testimonial from clients saying, oh, I had, I was having a really bad, I’ve got thyroid problem.
I really low mood. I watched a couple of videos, made me feel so much better. People who got a creative block and, oh, get me frustrated, they just watch a couple of videos and then say, oh, then, came up with a good idea. So they work they, they’re based in science and they work.
[00:21:24] Using Syntropy for meditation
[00:21:24] Tony Winyard: I wondered when I was watching. A lot of people struggle with meditation. And for someone who does struggle with meditation, this might be a way of getting similar effects and having something to focus on, which may maybe stop them, their minds wandering so much.
[00:21:42] Gavin Andrews: This is the science that sits behind it. So the coherence breathwork is one part of the science, but another part of the science is focused attention meditation. So when we place our focus on something external and either concentrate on it or lose ourselves in it and abstract our geometric art mandalas, they’re very powerful for that.
Mandalas and geometries have been used. Centuries millennial to, to achieve those types of aims. So it does, it makes it very easy for you to focus on that one thing. And the benefit of focusing on something external, whilst you focus on something internal like you’re breathing is, is even greater.
So for sure we think that part of the market is people who just don’t get on with mindfulness and meditation. Tried it can’t do it. Don’t notice a difference, Too difficult. Whereas these videos, they’re only between three and five minutes long, and you can just watch ’em on your phone or your tablet any time, any place.
So it just makes it a lot easier. Yeah I think it’s a, it’s another tool that’s out there and it will suit a lot of people who aren’t necessarily into the meditation mindfulness piece.
[00:22:45] Tony Winyard: and you’ve got, there’s like a fried free trial period as well isn’t there?
[00:22:48] Gavin Andrews: So yeah, free trial for a month. So you can cancel anytime you like up to the month. And and then you can either take out annual subscription. It’s only £29. 99 or a monthly subscription, which is £2. 99. It’s not an expensive app all and yeah, but give it a go. You’ve got the free monthly.
Trial there’s at the moment this week, there’s 55 videos in it. At the moment we release a brand new video every single week. So it’s an ever growing sort of gallery of video artworks. That sort subscriptions paying for is the video each week and existing gallery that’s in there.
[00:23:21] HeartMath Devices
[00:23:21] Tony Winyard: And on going back to HeartMath there’s the various devices there. I noticed that there was quite a few different devices. So how would those devices help people? What would, someone’s got some kind of issue maybe is anxiety or stress or having problem sleeping? How would those different devices help?
[00:23:39] Gavin Andrews: So the devices all doing the same thing, different positioning in the market basically is they’re either for, consumer use, which would be what we call the in balance. There’s actually three of them, but they all do the same thing. One is a Bluetooth version and then there’s two wired version.
So if you don’t like Bluetooth, you can have ones that just plug into either an apple phone or an Android phone, but they did exactly the same thing. So therefore for members of the. The other pilots that we have are more for professionals who want to use it with clients or patients, they can actually access a client in a balance sessions as well.
But for most people, it’s the inner balance. And what that’s doing then is it’s giving you, it’s measuring your heart rhythms, your HR V. And it’s got a clever algorithm, which is then measuring the degree of coherence within your heart rhythms. And it’s given you visual. So as you practice, you start engaging in the breathing techniques.
We’ll share a technique with people before the end of the show. Cause we shouldn’t do that. We shouldn’t leave without sharing something, but basically when you’re practicing with the technology, you’re doing the breathing you’ll see some feedback then in real time, the impact that’s having on your heart rate variability also then recalling positive feelings and emotions like the gratitude, appreciation, love, et cetera. Based on the feedback, you can then adjust what you’re doing so you can adjust your breathing, the rate or the depth. You can follow breath pace, which makes it easier. But each of us is slightly different. So you can fine tune your own sort of optimal breathing rate to get your highest levels of coherence.
So it helps you with that frankly helps you with the habit as well. This shows all about, Habits, & Health and. For me that’s why I continue to use it. It’s the habit of practice and I like to get my 20 minutes a day fix of using the device. And I like to be able to track my scores as well, and compare sessions, like whole history of the sessions.
So if you’re into measurement as well, quantified health gang or biohacker gang out there then? Yeah. It’s a great way of building that habit, but also measuring yourself, seeing yourself improve over time. And then when you reach that sort of plateau state of high performance or your ability to get coherent, you can keep yourself there and you’ll see yourself modulating on a daily basis as.
[00:25:47] Tony Winyard: Can you think of any examples of someone who’s maybe had some real issues with their health and they’ve used one of the devices and it’s given them some, like some really good results?
[00:25:57] How the method has helped users
[00:25:57] Gavin Andrews: Yeah, I’ve worked with plenty of people. Who’ve seen really strong results. So from things like autoimmune conditions, we’ve seen people, they start with very low heart rate variability and they’re find it very difficult to get coherent, but with practice and this stuff, isn’t magic.
Tony, you’ve gotta do it, but with practice, we’ve seen those people Get more HRV. So that’s a, that’s an objective measure that they’re getting physiologically healthier, but also we then see them be able to achieve high levels of coherence after a month or two, which means that basically their, autonomic nervous system is then going back into balance.
So these autoimmune and autonom nervous system complaints that many people. Certainly the coherence practice. We see it time and time again can help people to manage that along with some of the other lifestyle stuff as well. Other examples, people with anxiety. So again, people with anxiety tend to have high heart rates, but very low HRV.
And then what we see typically is if people do the practice, then over time, we’ll see their resting heart rate will come down. See the amount of HRV increase. And again, we’ll see that they have learned to take control of their, a nervous system and they can put themselves in this lovely ordered coherence pattern.
So it’s evidence that they’ve acquired a skill and the practicing of that skill is benefiting them and helping them to heal and recover from, whatever the physical or mental condition was that went before it.
[00:27:19] Tony Winyard: I’ve never used one of your devices, but just from your explanation it seems to me that it’s gonna help with so many different areas. So if someone is having trouble sleeping or with stress or anxiety, and that could be the kickstart they need to then help with various other chronic issues that they have as well.
[00:27:37] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. I think that one of the problems that people often face is they don’t really know what to do to help themselves. They may have tried some other things as well. But also with certain practices, it’s hard to know if you’re doing it right. And it’s hard to know if it’s working. So a benefit of the technology, it validates for you.
It’s like you are doing something, even if you can’t feel that you’ve got no sense of it whatsoever. It will validate for you that you are intentionally controlling your, a nervous system and your heart rhythms.
And that’s empowering, really empowering. So once, once someone gets a realization of that, it’s oh, I’ve had this anxiety disorder.
I thought that anxiety just ruled my.
But actually what I’ve just seen is that I can intentionally overcome the physiological hard wiring and psychological hardwiring of my anxiety. I can do that. That’s really empowering. And that quick win can then be enough to lead to dedicated practice.
[00:28:31] Tony Winyard: Going back to that. And again, I keep forgetting the guy’s name. Is it Roland?
[00:28:34] Gavin Andrews: Rolling Dr. Rollin McCraty, our mad professor. Yeah. Dr. Rollin McCraty.
[00:28:37] ElectroMagnetic Fields
[00:28:37] Tony Winyard: Okay. The mad professor and he was talking about electromagnetic fields
He was talking about, how you can be. Someone who’s got a sort of coherent everything’s working coherently, they’re in a very calm state. They can come into a room where someone is maybe quite anxious and really calm them down because of the electromagnetic fields.
Can you maybe explain about that more?
[00:28:59] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. So this is a hypothesis we have and some interesting research to support it. But I think, most people have felt when certain people enter a room, we felt either, something good, like calm this seems to be a nice person. They’ve got a lovely effect on the room or the opposite.
She’s oh my God, you. That person’s literally fizzing the vibes coming off that, we use this in language. It’s like picking up a good vibe from someone or a bad vibe, someone. So a lot of that obviously is nonverbal communication and stuff like that. Our hypothesis is that in addition to that we are also picking up the hearts electromagnetic field. And this is, again, when it comes to kind of skeptics and stuff, they don’t have a problem with animals being able to do this and animals sensing like really subtle, electrical fields and energies. So it’s fine if animals can do it, but humans, no way we can’t do it. It’s really, even though we’re like the most sophisticated creatures into known universe.
So our hypothesis disease that yeah, we can look at that electromagnetic component of us, which we are always emitting and which is basically imprinted with our emotions. That is in, is influencing other people that they can mostly unconsciously they’re picking up on it basically. And that we are in charge of our electromagnetic field.
We can put different information into that field, through practicing coherence that is creating this ordered or stable electromagnetic signal.
And that, that ordered stable electromagnetic signal has the potential to. Lead other people into the same state. And there’s a very strong body of research around synchronization, not just heart rhythms, but brainwaves, the breathing rates, all sorts of like biomarkers show that we are synchronizing and de synchronizing with each other all the time. And so our particular area of interest is that energetic level, particularly around the electromagnetic field. And that, yeah, we can literally show up in an environment in a way that is conducive to interacting productively with others.
[00:31:04] Tony Winyard: Yeah, it was fascinating. The whole, that whole kind of EMF area is is fascinating in many.
[00:31:10] Gavin Andrews: Yeah, for sure.
[00:31:11] Tony Winyard: So you mentioned about autoimmunity and so on. And so I wondered about, are you able to help people specifically with conditions such as asthma and
[00:31:20] Gavin Andrews: yeah. In fact, many kind of breathing issues for asthma C O P D and Femia those types of things. Yes, really good research to show that the practicing, these techniques, beneficial, independent research, not just our researchers researcher called Paul Lera. Who’s been looking at this to be looking at this stuff.
For a couple of decades now and showing that the practice of coherence, they call it resonance coherence. Breathwork particularly with bio feedback, that’s pacing, your breathing, giving you feedback on that. That’s really beneficial for, asthma C O P D et cetera. So it can help people. And yeah, one of the things with the asthma attack is they’re very.
It’s stressful. You think you’ve got one coming on? You get stressed well through the coherence practice, you can regulate your stress. So if you can manage your stress, it’s also highly likely that you’re not gonna have such a severe asthma attack and stress brings on asthma attack. So if you’ll reducing stress in your life, then maybe you’ll have less frequently.
Yeah, for sure. It’s the practice is benefiting the whole of your cardio respiratory.
[00:32:19] Tony Winyard: You mentioned that the, heart math started, what, in the early nineties? Probably even in the eighties, when did you first get involved in heart math? How did that happen?
[00:32:27] How Gavin became involved with HeartMath
[00:32:27] Gavin Andrews: It’s completely by accident. So I was doing I was actually doing the business masters. And I’ve got really interested in leadership, but particularly emotional intelligence, and authentic leadership. And I basically realized, I didn’t know who I was and what I should do with my life basically. So I was really interested in, okay, what is emotional intelligence?
How could I behave more emotionally intelligently? How could I be more authentic? How could I discover who I am first of all, and then live that more authentically. And yeah, I was kind. Often happens when you’re in that sort of space and searching things pop up and heart has popped up.
So I literally discovered it on the lecture one day. And I just thought that, if you, that coherence thing, that’s emotional intelligence. That’s how you can be emotionally intelligent if you’re stressed. So you do that breathing thing and you do that, change your emotions thing, and that will stop you being stressed and acting from stressed and, being a smart person that does stupid things and will put you in a state where actually you then get the prefrontal cortex back online and you.
Be do and say something much more appropriate and productive. So that’s how I got into it. That was back in 2007, I think lose track. And I just started to practice the techniques. I’d seen a demo with the technology as well on gadget freaks. I bought the gadget and it just worked for me very quickly.
I noticed changes. I noticed that I was less stressed. I wasn’t catastrophizing as much even noticed physical benefits. I wasn’t getting. Aches and pains and pulled muscles and stuff from sports training. I wasn’t getting ills frequently, cold, some flus and stuff. And the measurement really appealed to me.
So that’s so I was hooked and then, so I was practicing all of this stuff myself before I got enrolled in the business. That’s my entry into the world of HeartMath. Yeah.
[00:34:06] Tony Winyard: And then you being more involved, how, when did you actually join the company?
[00:34:09] Gavin Andrews: So I was involved with a consultancy that had a license from about 2008, but then as HeartMath UK 2012. So that’s when basically we are off the license under the brand of HeartMath. So yeah, so it’s been, wow. It’s been 10 years.
[00:34:27] Tony Winyard: One of the things I was talking to about before we started recording was Wim Hoff is very good at publicizing himself and Patrick McKeown from the oxygen advantage seems to be getting better at that as well. Are you guys are gonna able to make a bit more, yeah. To let people know what a great product you got.
Cause it doesn’t seem to be as much awareness of
[00:34:48] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. I think if there’s one thing I could say that I, I think har could be better at it’s a marketing side of things. Definitely. We’ve been very fortunate actually in that there’s been a number. Personal development and science meet spirituality, gurus who really like what we’ve done.
[00:35:04] World influencers who recommend HeartMath
[00:35:04] Gavin Andrews: And they use our research in their own work. We’ve got Joe Dispenza and Greg Bradon, Bruce Lipton. There’s Tony Robins talks about HeartMath as well. We’re really fortunate in that those people who are very good at marketing themselves have actually in effect marketed us by talking about us so much. We have no co. Involvement with any of these people. They respect the research that we do and they respect our techniques and they share them with their audiences. So in a way we’ve been very fortunate up until now in that we haven’t really needed to be amazing at marketing ourselves because they’ve done such a good job for us.
Having said that let’s not say that we should rest on our laurels. And actually we are releasing a new app, completely radically overhauled app and a brand new sensor in the first quarter of next. So from that point, we had better get a lot better at marketing ourselves. And yeah, up to now, we relied really on, on just online advertising, Facebook advertising, stuff like that.
But as, as we all know, the world’s changing a lot. So we we need to learn from the generalized and the millennials and the youth coming through about, where they like to find out about things and how they should be communicated with.
[00:36:06] Tony Winyard: You just touched upon, some of the people such as Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton and so on. So that leads me into a question. I ask every guest is about. Is there any books that come to mind that have really moved you for any reason?
[00:36:20] The book that has most moved Gavin
[00:36:20] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. So the big one is Victor Frankel’s man’s search media. In terms of being moved, I read loads of personal development books and stuff, and there’s some great ones out there, but I wouldn’t say that they’re necessarily moving such unless you have a significant personal transformation. Yeah, Man’s Search For Meaning is one of those ones that sort of stopped me tracks and really made me think deeply about life, experience of life, how I might survive and literally survive in the types of situations that he did. And how he managed to do that when other people didn’t. And it may be, it made me realize that basically.
Emotional state is the most important thing when it comes to managing your life, and that even in those situations where some people, were completely broken, some broke very quickly. Some people were ground down over time. He was able through his emotional state and by where he directed his attention, feelings, emotions, and thoughts he was able to survive in an incredibly.
Awful situation, dangerous situation. Yeah
[00:37:27] Tony Winyard: And how do you remember when it was, how long ago was it that you.
[00:37:31] Gavin Andrews: I can’t remember. I’ve read it a few times and I’m pretty sure that I read it. It would’ve been in around the period that I was at university and discovering all of this stuff. Yeah, it’s a quite long story short. I, one of the reasons I did the MBAs, I’ve lost my first wife to breast cancer.
So that was a sort. Crucible moment in life where I re was reappraising. Everything like who I was like, what the hell this is all about. And so I was reading a lot of personal development and sort of spiritual books.
So that was 2005. And then I revisited it over the years since a couple of times, at least most recently about a year and a half ago.
Yeah, it’s, this profound book.
[00:38:11] Tony Winyard: Cause when we read a book and then we come back to it a few years later, we can, the book often seems very different because obviously we So it made me think about from the first time you read it. And then it sounds like from when you’ve read it later, you’ll now immersed in a whole heart math world and know a lot more about emotional intelligence and so on.
So you are probably seeing very different things from when you’ve come back.
[00:38:33] Gavin Andrews: Certainly makes sense to me more subsequent readings than it did the first. It made sense to me, but I understand how and why it works now because of all of the heart stuff and understanding the physiology and emotions and stuff like that. When I read it the first time, I couldn’t even really probably tell you what an emotion was
And certainly didn’t understand the physiological side of things.
And, just a very generalist understanding what stress is and does to you. So certainly had much more of. Understanding and appreciation. And also I think, because I’ve been through that experience and since then a couple of other periods in life where things have been very challenging and stressful and been able to modulate or stress and transition through those periods,
[00:39:10] Tony Winyard: right.
[00:39:11] Gavin Andrews: Relatively healthy without being, damaged by those experiences.
Yeah that, the it’s been brought to life more for me, in terms of personal experience.
[00:39:21] HeartMath contact details
[00:39:21] Tony Winyard: If people wanna find out more about, about you about HeartMath where would they go?
[00:39:27] Gavin Andrews: So in the UK we’re at www.heartmath.co.uk that’s the website. The us is heartmath.com and actually the nonprofit. I has a separate website, which is heartmath.org. That’s where we have a lot of our research and stuff as well. Uk.com do org. And then the Syntropy side of things is www.syntropystates.com, or we just search for the app on apple, Google Syntropy.
If anyone wants to reach out to me directly, then probably the best email@example.com
[00:39:53] Tony Winyard: and you kindly offered us a discount code as well, Haven’t you?
[00:40:01] Gavin Andrews: Absolutely. Yeah. So if people are interested in the HeartMath products, then the discount code is it’s HP20. That codes live to the end of the year, by the way. It won’t apply if there’s a sale on, but from non-sale prices, there’s a 20% discount.
So a really decent discount there and available till 31st of December as
[00:40:22] Tony Winyard: And is that just for the UK or for the us as well?
[00:40:24] Gavin Andrews: It’s just for the UK, unfortunately. Yeah.
[00:40:28] Tony Winyard: Okay. And finally, Gavin, is there is there a quote that has resonated with you for any reason?
[00:40:35] Gavin’s favourite quote
[00:40:35] Gavin Andrews: Yeah the quote is the Viktor Frankl one. So yeah, it’s the, between stimulus and response. There is a space in that space is our power to choose our response in our response lies our growth and freedom and Yeah. That’s also really what heartmath is all about. If you recognize you’ve got the stimulus, you’re recognizing that those milliseconds, that you do have the power to choose your response, then yeah, you can and the heartmath is to have just, focus in the heart, slow and deep and balance the breathing.
And actually you will respond as opposed to, to react. So your response will be much better in terms of, productive, appropriate, et cetera.
[00:41:15] Tony Winyard: It is. As I, I said to you before it is my favorite quote
There’s such a deepness to it, if you really give it some thought and I’ve come, I come back to this time and time again, over the last few years, and I’ve. Trying to, I’ve been trying to purposely work on widening that pause between stimulus and response so that I don’t get, I don’t have the default reactions to someone cutting me up when I’m driving or to something else happening or whatever.
And I’ve, I feel that I am much more yeah, I’m able to choose my response better than before. It was a default response. Now I’m able to choose my response more.
[00:41:52] Gavin Andrews: Yeah. No, I think, techniques like heart math, certainly mindfulness meditation as well. They. Literally extend that gap. We know that we’re hard wiring a connection between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. And so the prefrontal cortex is able to exert greater control over the amygdala.
So it, that, that gap that is a real gap, and and the more work we do, the more able we are to notice it. And then intervene.
Tony we should share a technique with everyone before we go.
[00:42:19] Coherence demonstration
[00:42:19] Gavin Andrews: So this is just called quick coherence. We like simple names in heartmath.
Okay. So the technique basically, all you’re doing, just sit nice and comfortably. Keep your eyes open, close if you want. Doesn’t matter. Whichever. And then the first thing we do is we shift our attentional awareness down into the heart area or the chest area. Okay. And just putting your hand there can really help with that as well.
So our focus goes there and then what we want to do is we basically want to breathe a little bit slower and deeper, and we want to imagine that our breaths flowing in and out of the heart of the chest area. So you can’t literally obviously, so keep the belly nice and relaxed. We want the diaphragm to be able to move fully, but what we’re doing is we are imagining the breath flowing.
Flowing out of the heart of the chest and trying to get that breath nice and balanced. So maybe try a ten second cycle, five seconds for the in breath, five seconds for the out breath, but we’re all a bit different. So if wanna speed it up a bit or slow it down, that’s fine as well. So we’ll just do that for sort of 30 seconds.
And then I’ll explain the next step. Okay, so now all we’re gonna do is we’re just gonna recall a feeling of care or appreciation or gratitude love for someone or something in our lives. Doesn’t matter what it is or who it is just needs to be real. And now that we’ve got that feeling of the love, appreciation, gratitude, or care, we just spend a minute now just breathing that feeling in and out with the breath.
So just gently breathing the feeling in and out. Okay. So what we’ve all been doing then is taking control of our autonomic nervous system. We’ve put our hearts into this lovely ordered rhythm pattern. We really connected with the feelings. Then we would’ve released some different biochemicals, different hormones. We would’ve released some DHEA, which is vitality hormone.
If we really connected with like love and care, we might even have released some oxytocin, which can buffer the stress response. Really simple technique obviously, but actually really quite powerful benefits.
[00:45:38] Tony Winyard: Yeah. I can see that’ll be really helpful for many people, so yeah. Thank you for that, Gavin. And it will be good for people to maybe rewind that a couple of times and then, and listen back to the explanation of how to do that, thanks for your time, Gavin. And Yeah.
Best of luck with hopefully when this, the new app comes out. And is it this year or next year? Did you say?
[00:45:57] Gavin Andrews: The new heartmath app. It’s a, it’s an update of the current app, so anyone’s already got it. Will get it anyway, but yeah, it’s gonna come out the first quarter of next year sometime.
[00:46:05] Tony Winyard: Fantastic. Okay. Thanks a lot, Gavin.
[00:46:08] Gavin Andrews: Thanks, Tony. Cheers.
[00:46:09] Tony Winyard: Next week, episode 80 with Dr. Judson Brandeis. He’s a Urologic Surgeon and author of the 21st century man. He’s a doctor, a board certified urologist who currently practice’s men’s health. And sexual medicine in Northern California. He completed two years of general surgical training or four years of urology residency at UCLA Medical Center. And he now helps men in many different areas of health.
The book 21st century, man. Has a lot of advice from himself and also advice from 50 top doctors and men’s health experts. And it’s an excellent book. It’s a very big book. So we’re going to find out a lot more about that. How he helps men in general. In next week’s episode is episode 80 with.
Dr. Judson Brandeis. I Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s episode and see you next week
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