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Heart as a State of Mind

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/science/picking-up-infants-calms-by-slowing-heart-rates.html?ref=science&_r=0

This research uncovers an almost instantaneous calming response in the heart rates of young mammals and babies when comforted by another. Adults on the other hand cannot calm so quickly. This calming response is an intricate interplay between the nervous, MOTOR (emphasis added) and cardiac systems. My theory is that this calming response manifested by heart rate, evolves in the adult mind into an association with shoulder tension. So while in the adult mammal the heart rate might not quickly slow down when recovering from stress, nevertheless a relaxation of shoulder tension is instantly available in the adult (shrug of the shoulders, upper body sigh, upper body flexibility). A relaxed forequarters keys back in the physical memory to the calmed heart rate. The degree of shoulder tension held in others is what dogs are able to see at a distance when assessing the emotional state of other animals as well as people.  The forequarters is the epicenter for generating resistance. Soft shoulders indicate the ease within an individual of being able to flip (ease of deflection) or flop (already feeling grounded) polarities which indicates whether the other being is able to absorb the emotional momentum of others during an interaction. In this way it's possible to be in an adaptable frame of mind even though the heart is racing with excitement (think race car driver). Since all interactions formulate through the motor systems and represent a transfer of emotional momentum, soft shoulders indicate social amenability.
Published April 25, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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2 responses to “Heart as a State of Mind”

  1. Very interesting. I’ll have to start paying attention to this.

  2. Certainly a viewpoint that strongly resonates with observations…I’ll definitely be more aware of this moving forward.

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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan

In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
  Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.