Heart Coherence


It is a breathing method that is claimed to facilitate circulation and autonomic nervous system balance. It involves breathing at the nominal rate of x (find out exact number in instructions below!) breaths per minute with equal inhalation and exhalation. It also increases heart rate variability and brings it into coherence, but here we are more interested in the calming effect. Your autonomic nervous system has 2 branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic is also considered the ‘fight or flight’ system. It’s the one that ‘prepares’ your body to deal with ‘danger’. The parasympathetic nervous system is ‘rest and digest’. It calms the body down, after it has ‘dealt with the danger’.

Why here?

As mentioned above: it can calm you down. Besides, when used on a regular basis, it can have a lasting effect on your stress resistance.

Use in stress management: when you are very stressed, breathing like this can calm you down. It is even said that, if you can start breathing like this at the very beginning of noticing the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, you can actually stop it. And, as mentioned above: when done on a regular basis (eg. 10 minutes twice a day), it can make you more stress resistant.

Use in assertiveness: to keep calm in difficult situations, when dealing with aggressive and manipulative behaviour, to enable you to keep the win/win, OK/OK attitude, to stay calm when somebody pushes your button.


The instructions below are based on those explained by David O’Hare in the book below. His full programme is 9 weeks:

  • Week 1 – 3: From chaos to heart coherence
  • Week 4 – 6: From heart coherence to emotional coherence
  • Week 7 – 9: From emotional coherence to food coherence

The info I share here is linked to the first part. If you are also interested in the rest, I definitely recommend checking out his book.

Since it’s important to only move to the next level, when you’ve really mastered the previous one (and since people are curious by nature), I’ve separated the instructions for the 3 weeks in 3 different documents. These are the instructions:

Heart coherence week 1

Heart coherence week 2

Heart coherence week 3

More info?


Dr David O’Hare: Slanker met je hartritme (NL) or Maigrir par la cohérence cardiaque (FR). It doesn’t exist in EN

Dr David Servan-Schreiber: Healing without Freud or Prozac (EN). The book exists in many languages.


www.coherencecardiaque.org (FR)

www.heartmath.com (EN)


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