My research into heart rate variability (HRV) synchronisation can be split into two main phases. The first phase was to simultaneously measure the heart rates of two people who were feeling love/appreciation for each other over a period, typically, of twenty minutes. I displayed the two heart rates after the end of each experiments, overlaying one over the other to take out absolute differences in average heart rate. This confirmed that the heart rate variability (the rise and fall of heart rate with time) of two people who are in a loving, bonded relationship tend to synchronise. What was utterly unexpected was that this effect continued when we separated the experimenters by sometimes very large distances. Clearly, and assuming that the HRV correlations we were seeing were genuine, these results are very hard to explain with existing scientific mechanisms. The two hearts could have been reacting to a third-party influence such as the earth's changing magnetic fields. Alternatively we could have been seeing the effect of a non-local communication - something completely new to science. The second phase of the research set out to investigate this.
We argued, that If the synchronisation was indeed caused by something to do with the loving bond, it should disappear when the feelings of love are removed. Testing this idea was pretty much impossible with our earlier experiments because something as ephemeral as 'a feeling of love' is hard to quantify or record. Instead I searched for a characteristic in the HRV data that might correlate with the feelings of love/appreciation. After a huge amount of testing and analysis I concluded that the classic measure used by cardiologists to assess autonomic balance (LF/HF) of the nervous system was the best measure of what I now call 'loving intention'. Think of it as the 'loving power of your heart', as this is a good way of visualising it and embracing it in your own relationships.
This allowed us to do something really exciting...
Having got a measure of the strength of loving feelings the next step was to develop a real-time HRV synchronisation system, first on a laptop and then on a smart phone app. This allowed us to doing something really exciting - watch as one person's feelings of love rose and fell, while at the same time being able to see the effects on the second person's heart rate. Again, after much more experimentation we perfected the system and can now measures, analyse and plot both HRV and Loving Influence in real-time using the app. We also the option to hide the feedback of the HRV data while we record it into the phones memory. The results so far have been extraordinary. I offer just one example that my wife and I recorded this weekend using a prototype of a variant of the Heart Bond app. This app uses an ECG chestband to measure really accurate heart rate values.
Love really does make the heart beat faster!
This screen shot of the app shows my loving intention in green against my wife's heart rate in red. As you can see there is an obvious visual correlation between my loving power and her heart rate. The more love I felt, the higher her heart rate. Love really does make the heart beat faster! Notice how her heart rate peaked when my loving intention also peaked - such spikes have been seen throughout our research and could correspond to intense moments of connection. I should also mention that for this experiment my wife and I were in two different rooms of our house about 8 metres apart. She was working on a laptop and not focusing on me at all, while I focused my love and appreciation on her.
We have seen exactly the same effect when we are next to each other in the same room, and at distances of separation up to 25 metres in two different buildings as well as when we have been several kilometres apart. We continue to run the experiments.
When we feel love for somebody, their heart reacts physically.
What is becoming clear is that when we feel love for somebody, their heart reacts physically and although we cannot be sure at this point without further research, at some level, they probably also feel that love. This also probably means that when we withdraw our love, they also feel that happening! In other words we are communicating love or our denial of it all the time. This is an astonishing conclusion because most of us do not realise that we have this power. Much of my work now is aimed at educating people about our research and more importantly, explaining how it affects our experience of our relationships and life - more about this in future blogs.
You can experience the loving intention effect yourself if you get hold of the Heart Bond app on two Android phones. Follow the instructions in the Help section and it will guide you through running your own experiments. Remember to keep as still as you can so you can measure accurate heart rate values. Please let us know how you get on by emailing us, or going on the community forum.