Flux Health Forum

PMF for heart coherence

I’m sure everybody here is familiar with heart rate variability training. Probably many with the work of the heartmath Institute on so-called heart coherence training. I was listening to a grumpy scientist video this morning where Bob was talking about frequency settings probably not being that important unless the desired effect was brainwave entrainment. This got me wondering if anybody has experimented with PEMF in general for inducing heart coherence and specifically whether certain frequencies were more effective than others. It’s my understanding that the electrical activity of the heart is actually measured at a higher level than the electrical activity of the brain. It’s also my understanding that the substantial electrical activity of the heart generates a magnetic field that exceeds outside the body. I’m not sure how scientifically validated anything that I just said is.

I’ve heard similar, but don’t know how much of that is based on science… good question m

@Bob do you have any insight on this?

this reminds me of a question i did have about signal (sending and receiving)… do we also put out an energy signature? I’d imagine so… is there a way to detect what signal we are sending out? the heart or brain or any part (ie, organ) of our body? just made me wonder if there might be a way to recognize and identify that… perhaps that might give us a clue to how shape of your waveform is more effective (compatible) than others with our bodies (?)

The Energetic Heart_McCraty.pdf (1.3 MB)

This article might interest you.

My insight into this topic is from my career as a tissue engineer and hybrid robotics/prosthetics designer when I was running labs at U-Michigan and Harvard/MIT HST/Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, developing hybrid robotics and neuro-motor interfaces on a DARPA-DSO contract.

One of the resulting scientific papers relevant to this discussion is:


The DARPA project report is available here: (I was the Principle Investigator)

One important sub-objective of this research was to determine the excitability of natural and engineered neuro-motor tissues for use in hybrid prosthetic devices, and relate those to other excitable tissues (including cardiac). So, I have detailed technical knowledge related to this general discussion.

The technical answer is that during in-utero neuromotor development the chronaxie of peripheral motor neurons and CNS neurons in the motor and pre-motor cortex are protracted and more closely resemble that of cardiac muscle, but at later stages of development (late post-natal through adult), the chronaxie of cardiac myocytes and Perkinje fibers is much longer (~ 1000 micro-seconds) than the same threshold excitatory parameter (chronaxie) for adult-phenotype peripheral neuro-motor units (80 to 200 micro-seconds). This allows a large background EMG (neuro-motor) activity in close proximity to the cardiac muscle without direct EKG (cardiac) interference.

So, why does this matter?
It means that for DARPA I was able to design hybrid (living tissue + synthetic) neuro-motor interfaces that would not interfere with normal cardiac contractions.

Why should you care?
Because I used the same knowledge to design ICES-PEMF, which is specifically designed not to interfere with cardiac rhythm.

Why did I do this research?
This was to be able to build better prosthetic devices: new arms and legs for people. To do so, you need to really understand how to make functional connections between nerves and electronics, and between mechanisms and living tissues. You also need to understand how to talk to certain tissues (such as nerve and bone) without interfering with other tissues (such as the heart). This is why I know that we can apply a stimulus to promote activity or suppress inflammation in tissues without interfering with heart rhythm. There is nothing sinister here, but some people have an irrational fear of things they do not understand.

Fun Fact:
I ended up getting three death threats when doing this research. I guess a few people thought I was working for Skynet.


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thank you for the great info as usual! this is fine for heart, BUT not good to work with (or near? how close/far is safe?) pace maker, right?

Briefly: UNKNOWN
We have never seen any evidence of interference with a pacemaker, BUT that does not mean it is safe.
The word “safe” has a specific federally-enforcable legal meaning, and you can not say any product is “safe” unless you are authorized to do so.

So, my advice, as always: employ caution and common sense. Everything, everywhere, is potentially dangerous.

I am using the Welltory app which measures heart coherence based on HRV stats either coming from my Apple Watch or from using the phone’s LED light on my finger for a minute. I have not seen ICES PEMF improve hear coherence, but I have seen even breathing (6 seconds in and 6 seconds out - for 1 minute - massively improve my heart coherence). I learned about even breathing when Welltory made that recommendation based on my low coherence score. Now my score can consistently at the top.

You are not describing in detail which part of the body you used with your ICES experiment, nor for how long you tried. Did you try for 60 seconds only? Or for an hour?

For HRV to improve, it requires lowering anxiety levels (relaxing) which your breathing helps.

Did you try ICES on your head, which helps reduce anxiety, and then see if after an hour of use, your HRV improves?

I use ICES PEMF frequently in my pocket or ankle or on my head for multiple hours a day if not longer and can go a couple weeks with out using it. I don’t notice a change in HRV but I am not trying to do a controlled experiment on myself on this topic. I have seen an earthing sleeping mat help with HRV and most importantly breathing help. I also haven’t found ICES PEMF on my head to decrease anxiety.

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Very Interesting, Thanks for sharing.

My thoughts about it:

I believe that everything can affect HRV somewhat but as far as how dramatic of a difference the HRV can reflect, is most likely related to the extent of how much of a dramatic change in effect, whatever intervention you might be trying, relatively, accordingly.

It seems to me that when someone engages in an intervention which dramatically affects the Sympathetic vs Parasympathetic system, to a significant degree, then that, will be reflected in HRV much more dramatically than if the intervention only helps one local area of the body, without that much of a noticable dramatic difference in the rest of the body.

ICES PEMF can potentially positively affect every part of the body, depending on how and where it’s used.

In your case, based on your description it seems that when you use an intervention like breathing which is widely known to have a near instantaneous effect to help kick in the Parasympathetic, then you see it reflected in your HRV.

But based on the way your using ICES PEMF, you have not yet achieved a way of using it to help reduce Anxiety which means you have not yet found away of using it to affect your Parasympathetic system, in any major way, so it can’t yet be reflected in your HRV.

On a side note:
My gut feeling is (I don’t have any clear concrete proof to it yet, is) that PEMF biological effect on all living cells is directly proportionally dependant on how well of a receptor the cell is ELECTRICALLY. And that aspect is quite complex and can depend on far too many things such as the electrolytes, the internal electrical cell charge on a cellular level, hydration level, PH balance, minerals and on many other things too.

I think that this explains why some people get better results than others (even when other variables are the same) and gives us a possibility of considering supplements (and ph affecting factors) and a large variety of other similar stuff, which are known to help improve the bodies electrical systems, conductivity, as a whole, and also on a cellular level.

There has been (some, but) very little done, to investigate this, so far.

ICES PEMF on gut is the one exception as I posted here:

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just from grounding, and how that is all electrical based, that would make sense how it has positively impacted my hrv… my results definitely confirm your point about how important the electrical system of the body is

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