of Rollin McCraty
Boulder Creek, CA., August 2003
The statement below was written by Rollin McCraty, Executive Vice President and Director of Research for the Institute of Heart Math, Boulder Creek, California.
The Institute of Heart Math and Meru Foundation are completely independent, working in different fields, and have no relationship -- except with regards to damage done by Mr. Winter.
Winter has suggested that the only measure of heart coherence requires
something he calls the "cepstrumin," which is basically
a spectrum of the power spectrum of the ECG
itself. He has also claimed that we at HeartMath have never measured
We have published many papers on this subject which are
available on our web site (www.Heartmath.org)
suggest the monographs titled:
There will also be a chapter that is being re-published as a monograph titled: Physiological Coherence, available in the fall of 2003, that discusses this subject in depth.
following quote from the Physiological
Coherence monograph captures the essence
of our use of the term:
is the harmonious flow of information, cooperation, and order among the
subsystems of a larger system that allows for the emergence of more
functions. This higher-order cooperation among the physical subsystems
the heart, brain, glands, and organs as well as between the cognitive,
emotional, and physical systems is an important aspect of what we call
coherence. It is the rhythm of the heart that sets the beat for the
system. The heart's rhythmic beat influences brain processes that
autonomic nervous system, cognitive function, and emotions, thus
leading us to
propose that it is the primary conductor in the system. By changing the
of the heart, system-wide dynamics can be quickly and dramatically
"We use the term "coherence" in a broad context to describe more ordered mental and emotional processes as well as more ordered and harmonious interactions among various physiological systems. In this context, "coherence" embraces many other terms that are used to describe specific functional modes, such as synchronization, entrainment, and resonance.
coherence is thus a specific and measurable mode of physiological
that encompasses a number of distinct but related phenomena. Correlates
physiological coherence mode, which will be considered in further
this monograph, include: increased synchronization between the two
the ANS, a shift in autonomic balance toward increased parasympathetic
increased heart-brain synchronization, increased vascular resonance,
entrainment between diverse physiological oscillatory systems. The
mode is reflected by a smooth, sine wave-like pattern in the heart
(heart rhythm coherence) and a narrow-band, high-amplitude peak in the
frequency range of the HRV power spectrum, at a frequency of about 0.1
Mr. Winter also appears to insist that heart coherence occurs only when the spectrum of the EGC (over 8 seconds) exhibits a standing wave pattern. He also claim that this spectrum is a measure of love. I cannot fully agree with this for two important reasons. First it is not grounded in an understanding of healthy function and how the ECG spectra relate to the dynamics of the underlying physiological systems. Secondly, repeated controlled studies indicate that love and other positive emotions are more frequently correlated with a very different physiological mode in the majority of people.
It is true that Dan did visit our research facility for two days at the time we were just completing its construction and before the lab was set up. He did indeed suggest to us that we look at spectral analysis of the ECG. I thought then and still do that this was a good idea; however, when we looked deeper into it we found that the appearance of the peaks in the power spectrum of the ECG that look like standing waves are completely dependent on the inter-beat-intervals in the ECG (the time between heartbeats). All one has to do in order to create the standing wave pattern in the ECG spectrum is to make the intervals between heartbeats the same (very low heart rate variability (HRV)). There is direct relationship between the heart's rhythm (HRV patterns) and the ECG spectrum. In other words, you can know what the ECG spectrum will be if you know the HRV pattern. In addition, the spacing between the peaks in the ECG spectrum is dependent on the interval length between heartbeats (heart rate). In order to generate an ECG spectrum with golden mean-related spacing between the peaks, one must have very low HRV and a heart rate of exactly 97.028 beats per minute. For this reason, and to avoid confusion, we call this the "low HRV mode".
The second issue is that the majority of people do not enter the low HRV mode when they are experiencing positive emotions. The majority of people instead exhibit a sine wave-like pattern in their heart rhythms. This is a very dynamic and efficient physiological mode that has been observed and recognized as a healthy functional mode in the scientific literature since the 1950s. This sine wave pattern in the heart rhythms is associated with improved health outcomes and increased systemic HRV.
It is also important to point out that there is no way to really measure a person's subjective state. A person can be in a very loving state and the HRV pattern will not always indicate this, and if the HRV pattern does not reflect it, neither will the spectrum of the ECG. However, with that said, the most reliable indicator we have found that can discriminate positive from negative emotional states is the heart rhythm pattern.
This low HRV mode is a valid transient state that is associated with very low autonomic nervous system outflow. The main point here is that this low HRV state (what Dan Winter calls heart coherence) is not something that should be cultivated by individuals with health problems. A low HRV state is not only associated with autonomic neuropathy and autonomic deinnervation (as found in heart transplant recipients) but is predictive of increased risk of sudden cardiac death and all-cause mortality, and also associated with depression, anxiety and a host of other disorders. To train people into this low HRV state goes against all that is known about healthy function and emotional stability. This does not mean that it is not a valid state for advanced practitioners to enter into sometimes, but to do so without the ability to first be able to maintain the physiologically coherent mode is potentially problematic, especially to individuals with heart disease, diabetes or low heart rate variability.
For the vast majority of people, it takes time and practice to become proficient at entering the heart rhythm coherence mode. Developing consistency and stability in this mode is important in order for this mode of physiological functioning to become established as a familiar state so that individuals can shift into it at will, especially during challenging or stressful situations. Therefore, we have chosen not put focus on the low HRV state at this time.
Mr. Winter also attempts to reduce all the HeartMath tools and techniques and the physiological coherence mode to simple breathing techniques and "relaxation," which is simply inaccurate. He also attempts to reduce the Freeze-Framer to a breathing trainer. Although it can be used for that purpose, the system is designed as a tool to facilitate learning the HeartMath techniques and to help establish increased ratios of physiological coherence. In reality, breathing is equally important to both the physiological coherence and the low HRV mode. Conscious regulation of the breath, if performed properly, can drive the system into physiological coherence. HeartMath techniques incorporate a breathing element; however, their primary focus is promoting coherence through a positive emotion-driven physiological shift, in contrast to cognitively-directed paced breathing methods. Moreover, positive emotion-focused coherence-building techniques promote a far wider range of benefits, both physiological and psychological, than methods that simply forcing the system into coherence using regulated breathing alone.
Regarding Mr. Winter's statements that we have not given him proper credit: As I stated earlier, he was the first person to suggest to us that we perform spectrum analysis of the ECG, and we have always been very open about that. Mr. Winter was not, however, the first one to ever think of this. There is actually a long history of the use of this analysis method although he is the first that I know of to associate it with emotion, which in an indirect manner is correct. He was in fact given credit by us for his suggestion in one of our most popular books titled, The Hidden Power of the Heart, which contained several pages devoted to this. He was given copies of this book. However, these pages were removed in later editions, after he had started spreading falsehoods about his relationship with HeartMath and his growing legal problems regarding copyright law violations. He has again violated copyright laws by publishing our graphs in his email messages without our permission.
I have no problem giving credit when it due, however, Mr. winter is simply demanding credit that is not due. He did not inspire HeartMath, he did not teach us everything we know, and he never worked for HeartMath, etc.
I sincerely feel that the mission of spreading heart coherence on the planet would be better served if Mr. Winter chose to devote his energies to increasing the methodological rigor of his own work rather than seeking to openly decry and propagate falsehoods regarding the work of others. To do this only harms the larger mission of bringing heart coherence to the world.
Director of Research
Prof. Gary Schwartz
Sent via Email, September 1999
Prof Schwartz sent this statement as a public comment as to why he ultimately could not work with Mr. Winter on the "Heartlink" device (the 1999-2000 predecessor to the "Heart Tuner" that Mr. Winter currently sells). "Eartheart" (mentioned by Prof. Schwartz) was the company put together by Mr. Winter and his associates to market the "Heartlink".
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 06:09:51 -0700 (MST)
From: Gary E Schwartz <gschwart@U.Arizona.EDU>
To: [addresses deleted]
Subject: No explanation of software, hence no research
Hello everyone - I just learned from Stan that Dan is claiming that Stan caused Linda and I to withdraw from Eartheart (or some such thing). That is nonesense, and you know it. As I have told all of you, repeatedly, Linda and I can not conduct research on equipment unless we know what the equipment does and what the numbers mean. We can not publish findings using equipment that do not specify what they do. I wanted to speak with Andrew, the programmer, to have him explain precisely what he did, and what the numbers meant. Dan told me that this was not advisable. So we waited. First, for information. Then for the next generation hardware and software. We are still waiting.
I told Stan that as a researcher, it was not for me to judge who was right and wrong about what regarding the Stan / Dan dispute. My role as a researcher was to evaluate a device --- hardward and software, and see if did what it claimed, and extend it to our areas of interest. Whether Dan was a genius, psychotic, or psychopath was not of concern to me as a researcher. As a researcher, my concern is simple - does the device do what it says it does?
I have been patiently waiting for information about software. I have been patiently waiting for new hardware and software. As all of you know, I have no formal relationship with Eartheart, no financial arrangement, no consulting or advising relationship. Just friendship and interest in the big vision of bringing the heart to the world, with integrity.
Also for the record, research is one thing, active involvement with a company is another. Concerning the former (research), the is, and has been, waiting to find out precisely what the software does before we collect research data. Concerning the latter (involvement with a company), that depends upon the status of the company, its staff and goals, etc. My decision about Eartheart required RESEARCH DATA first, then possible discussion of future involvement....You have known that I have concerns about Eartheart as a company, and Stan has contributed to those concerns. But collecting research data to evaluate the claims of a device has nothing to do with those concerns. I am interested primarily in the message, not the messagers. I am still waiting to evaluate the message.
This email can be shared. It is simple. We were loaned a device to evaluate and potentially extend. The instructions did not explain precisely how the software works. We needed this information to justify collecting data. We never received this information. We were told a new device, with new software, was being developed, and that the new device would include detailed information about how the software worked. We have not seen this device and new software. Hence, we wait.
The problems with Stan and Dan cause political problems for all concerned. But they do not alter the device. It either works or does not. If it did, we would publish and say it did, regardless of Stan and Dan. If it did not, we would publish and say it did not, regardless of Stan and Dan. That is our role as researchers....It is what academics do. It is why Linda and I have credibility in science. And it is why Eartheart wanted us to evaluate its device.
I trust you can present these simple facts clearly to whomever needs to know them - potential investors, lawyers, judges, whomever.
Meanwhile, we wait for information on the software.
Gary E. R. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Medicine
Director, Human Energy Systems Laboratory
Co-facilitator in Energy Medicine, Program in Integrative Medicine
Department of Psychology University of Arizona
An Examination of Some Claims Which
Have Been Made about the Heart
and about Institute of Heart Math and their Freeze Framer Device
—Vinny Pinto, May 2004
Because of the fact that I often write about heart coherence,
HeartMath and the Freeze Framer feedback device on my Coherence website and on the Coherence e-mail list group, I am
regularly asked by people about the differences between the Heart Math
(aka HeartMath) Freeze Framer
educational heart feedback device and the Heart Tuner marketed by Dan Winter
and his associates, and I am frequently asked for my reaction to
certain claims and stories which have been spread by Dan Winter about
the Insitute of Heartmath and their Freeze
Framer device. Portions of one such recent inquiry (an
e-mail, in this case), and my response (with some editing for clarity),
are reproduced below:
I first became aware
of this research from the HeartMath Solutions book, and recently read
some of the articles relating to the HeartTuner and Dan Winter. The
HeartTuner sounds interesting based on the rather esoteric articles
that are linked to it, regarding sacred geometry and other highly
complex mathematical links to heart coherence.
The company that make
the HeartTuner seem to criticise HeartMath and the Freezeframer,
and I believe Vinny may be posting the HeartMath reply to those
criticisms. If it's not too much trouble Vinny, I'd appreciate you
sending me that article so I can best decide what product to purchase.
hoping to get one of these devices and use it every day with either
Cut-Thru or some other deep meditation or process....
I could go on for many more paragraphs, especially about the fact
that the IHM folks offer with the FF device many hours of free training
(much in AV form on your PC) in how to attain heart coherence, but also
background info on coherence and its benefits.
Bottom line: I strongly recommend the Freeze Framer over the Heart Tuner, for the above reason
as well as a few others. I have owned the Heartmath Freeze Framer for years, and still
use it regularly; I recently upgraded to version 2.0. If the Heart Tuner had a price tag of
$110 US dollars instead of 13 times that, I would likely be happy to
purchase one and play with it, especially to get a better idea of the
heart waveforms which the device is examining, as well as the
correlative inner states. However, for what it does offer, and
especially for what it does not offer (it does not offer detection of
the waveforms measured by the IHM FF device), I personally feel that it
is simply not worth anywhere near the asking price.
thought. Dishonest people, and people who enjoy hurting others --
like Mr. Winter -- count on the fact that the vast majority of healthy,
caring, well-intended people are not suspicious by nature, and accept
what they are told at face value. This is good. Decent,
caring people should not have to be suspicious, and should not need to
double-check every claim that is made. But unfortunately, this
means that decent, caring people, young and old, students and
professionals, are easily deceived by people like Mr. Winter, who go to
so much trouble to deceive them.
Since I am often asked as well by callers for my response to the writings on heart coherence by Dan Winter, I will briefly restate here some of my opinions on this matter.
I remain extremely confused by most of Dan's writings on heart
coherence, especially the vast majority of the many assertions and
claims he makes -- frankly, they make little sense to me at all (that
may be because I am a simple country boy living in a wilderness area in
the mountains with a bunch of chickens and ducks!), and my intuition
tells me that many of these claims and assertions are simply
incorrect. Further, as a credentialed scientist with a graduate
degree in my field, I find on the level of rigourous intellectual
reason as well that many of Dan's assertions and claims do not make
sense to me.
In closing, I would like to offer a few excerpts from a recent
public letter entitled ADVISORY
REGARDING DAN WINTER: All That Glitters Is Not Gold,
written by Dr. Sonja S. Klug, a respected scientist and
researcher in Europe who apparently had briefly encountered Dan Winter
during his sojourn in Europe:
The full text of Dr. Klug's article may be found at: www.danwinter.com/GermanAdvisory-English.html
I have recently started a list group devoted to coherence,
especially heart coherence, incoherence, and coherence fffects in the
world and on human life and health.
A List Group Moderated by Vinny
Pinto, Devoted to the Topic of Coherence, Especially Heart Coherence
This list group is devoted to the emerging field of coherence of consciousness and particularly heart coherence, especially the type often described by researchers at HeartMath Institute (which involves coherence of heart rate variability, or HRV) and the consciousness coherence which the Global Consciousness Project, aka GCP, is attempting to assess via use of EGG sensors employing random number generators, aka RNG, aka random event generators, aka REG. Scope includes discussion of effects of coherence on our lives and physical reality. Particular attention may be paid to ways and means of attaining states of inner heart coherence, sometimes measured via the Freeze Framer, an investigatory feedback device from Heart Math. The discussion may at times embrace the concepts of recursiveness and nesting, e.g., of nested or packed information folded or embedded in certain waveforms or wave phenomena, although there has been a lot of hyperbole and half-fact extant in that area over the past few years, and the discussion may also include the occurrence of phi ratios of frequencies in examined coherence waveforms May also include discussion of the HeartTuner, aka Heart Tuner heart feedback device and the HeartLink, aka Heart Link feedback device. Yes, discussion may involve the new PC-based biofeedback adventure game, Journey to the Wild Divine, which incorporates heart coherence detection methods licensed by HeartMath Institute. In closing, yes, one of the fields of discussion on this Coherence list group will be the synergistic beneficial antioxidative microbial culture known EM (effective microorganisms) and the anti-entropic, or syntropic (aka negentropic) coherence effects of some formulations and fermentations of this unique culture, due largely due the phototrophic (photosynthetic) microbes present in it.
The list group is operated by Vinny Pinto, a healer, mystic, and
degreed scientist who has also trained at the graduate level in stress
management and aging, statistical methods, experimental research
methods, psychotherapy (clinical psychology) and acupuncture (Worsley's
Five Elements system.)
To subscribe to this list group, please send an e-mail to:
or, go to the list group home page at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coherence
Read Rollin McCraty's Statement (Institute of
Read Dr. Gary Schwartz' Statement (U. of
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