HeartMath In SchoolsHeartMath® is a biofeedback programme and set of breathing and positive emotion techniques. The award-winning computer technology is proven to enhance learning, performance and behaviour.
Used in primary and secondary schools throughout the UK, HeartMath has become an integral part of delivering the social and emotional aspects of learning, a behavioural management strategy and a way to support children taking tests and exams.
Using an ear sensor or an optional finger sensor, the software allows students to see how emotions and attitudes affect their heart-rhythm patterns in real time and confirms when they are in the state of coherence. This feedback enables users to more effectively manage their stress levels and negative emotions, leading to improved cognitive performance, learning ability and creativity.
The benefits, obviously, are not just on the screen. When a person is 'coherent', cortical facilitation, or the gaining of access to the higher, thinking centres of the brain is immediately achieved, leading to better performance in all areas, and an increased ability to stay skilful and cheerful in stressful conditions.
In a coherent state, levels of the hormone DHEA increase, and this hormone is associated with high performance, success, positivity and lower incidence of depression, heart disease and obesity.
How is it used in schools?
Following training, KS I and II teachers typically introduce HeartMath across 1 or 2 PSHE sessions using the HeartSmart pack. A leading SEAL programme with guidance cards, lesson plans and physical resources, it educates children on the heart, how feelings affect them and introduces them to the HeartMath techniques.
Many teachers will have the software set up on 2 or 3 computers in the classroom for children to use. Three or four days a week all the children will spend 6 - 7 minutes practicing one of the HeartMath breathing and positive emotion techniques.
Schools with behavioural support staff use HeartMath to help students adjust more easily to classroom learning climates, and address personal issues such as anger management, peer conflict, classroom motivation and communication.
Schools with Counsellors use the emWave to help improve students’ emotional health. They also incorporate this versatile technology into larger programs that address bullying, conflict resolution, test preparation, drug and alcohol prevention and more. In classroom presentations, counsellors connect the emWave software to an LCD projector or TV monitor to demonstrate how emotions affect physiology and how HeartMath skills can improve stress management.
Case Studies and Resources
I invite you to explore the array of HeartMath products, support materials and workshops highlighted on our website. Also take a look at our Case Studies section, were we highlight just some of the amazing positive impact gained by both teachers and children using Heartmath in the 100’s of schools across the UK.
Also check out our HeartMath community resource http://www.facebook.com/HeartMathMyKids