Society is experiencing a pandemic of stress. But Syntropy has a vision for a better future!
Syntropy is a simple and effective way for people to boost their health and wellbeing through art, music, breathwork and relaxation.
Syntropy is so effective because we blend art with science. Our Breath Pacers and Relaxation videos employ the scientifically proven benefits of breathwork, art and music therapy, meditation, and emotion regulation. Large bodies of current research support our approach
Slow, deep and balanced nasal breathing at a rate of around 6 breaths per minute has multiple benefits including improved mood and feelings of calm alertness; optimal physical and cognitive function (coherence); optimized energy supply; improved CO2 homeostasis; benefits to cardiorespiratory health; increased vagal tone.
Using Audio Visual breath pacers is a form of Focussed Attention Meditation (FAM) where attention is place on both an external (the art and music) and internal (the breath) source. FAM improves interoception, benefits cognitive performance and attention and reduces stress.
We have the ability to choose our emotions. Choosing to enjoy beautiful art and music generates positive emotional states. Positive emotions benefit physical and mental health; cognition; build resilience; help us to develop new relationships and strengthen existing relationships.
Art has the power to absorb the mind and reduce anxiety. Abstract art bypasses the conscious "meaning making" mind. Geometries like mandalas have been shown in clinical studies to reduce stress; lower blood pressure; reduce depression; ease pain; improve sleep and boost the immune system.
Slower and more rhythmic music reduces stress; increases relaxation; benefits cardio respiratory function; reduces pain and facilitates the experience of positive emotions.
Coherence is an optimal physical and psychological state.
Coherence has a variety of meanings, all of which have relevance to
human health and wellbeing. In common use coherence generally means
clarity of thought and communication, or unified wholeness. In physics,
coherence refers to harmonious, ordered and energy efficient
synchronisation within a system or between systems. We can think of
humans as a whole system made up of numerous integrated sub-systems
such as cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, digestive, endocrine etc.
These sub-systems are regulated by homeostasis and coherence practise
appears to restore and sustain homeostasis, thereby helping the body and
brain to repair and revitalise itself (Gevirtz, 2013; Kim et al, 2013).
Sustained or frequent stress – be it physical, mental, emotional, or
existential, creates wear and tear (allostasis) which, over time, will result
in physical and/or mental health problems.
We can all intentionally create and increase our levels of coherence and
even begin to create a new unconscious baseline of coherent physical and
mental functioning. And the good news is that it is quite simple to do.
Coherence can be achieved by regulating your breathing and increased
further by intentionally experiencing positive and pleasant emotions.
Firstly, we need to learn how to optimise our breathing. Research shows
that breathing slowly and deeply at a rate of around 6 breaths per minute
quickly shifts most people towards coherence. 6 breaths per minute
equates to a 10 second breath cycle. Most people breathe far too quickly
and shallowly with the average person taking between 12 to 20 breaths
per minute. Breathing at 6 breaths per minute is the most effective rate
for creating coherence within the autonomic nervous system and between
heart and brain (Schwerdtfeger et al 2020) and inducing feelings of calm
alertness (Szuiczewski, 2019; Noble & Hochman, 2019).
Additionally, you should breathe in and out through your nose, not your
mouth. Nasal breathing kills more bugs; allows more oxygen into the
blood and creates 50% more resistance than mouth breathing. This extra
resistance gives your heart and lungs a workout and keeps them strong
and healthy (New Scientist, 2020).
Deep, slow, nasal breathing at a cycle rate of around 10 seconds also has
a profound impact on physiology. It quickly increases your Heart Rate
Variability (HRV); this means that there are greater variations in the beat-
to-beat changes in your heart rate. It also shifts your heart’s rhythm into
coherence. This means that your heart rate is progressively speeding up
and slowing down in a repeating pattern (Shaffer et al 2014). The heart
produces the strongest electrical signaI in the body and, when coherent,
the heart rhythm oscillates at a frequency of 0.1Hz. Brainwaves
synchronise to the 0.1Hz oscillations and synchronisation spreads to other
areas of the brain including the prefrontal cortex (Schwerdtfeger et al,
2020; Herrero et al, 2018). As activity increases in your prefrontal cortex
and decreases in your stress centres it improves your capacity for self-
awareness and self-regulation of feelings, thoughts and behaviours (Bates
et al, 2019).
During physical, mental and emotional stress our body and brain shifts
into fight, flight, freeze mode and our heart’s rhythms become more
chaotic (incoherent). Our heart sends incoherent signals to the brain
which sustains increased activity in our stress centres and reduces activity
in our prefrontal cortex. Our prefrontal cortex is responsible for self-
awareness and self-regulation and these skills are compromised when our
prefrontal cortex is less active. Stress affects our brain a bit like a
lobotomy, albeit a reversible one! However, if you can at least realise that
you are stressed, coherent breathing can enable you to quickly change
the communication between your heart and brain. Your coherent heart
rhythms change the information going to your brain and the activity in
your stress centres quickly reduces and as a result, increases in your
prefrontal cortex (Hinterburger et al, 2019). This then facilitates emotional
and behavioural self-regulation (McCraty & Shaffer, 2015).
Gavin looks after business strategy, marketing and sales.
He has a background in Media and Training and is Managing Director for HeartMath UK and Ireland.
Allie Joy creates and curates the art. She has exhibited her art internationally and is an artist in residence at Birmingham Open Media and Pervasive Studio at Watershed, Bristol.
Sam built and maintains the Syntropy app. He runs a small app development agency apperfect and has been developing apps for over 10 years. When Sam’s not coding, he’s probably thinking about coding, or you’ll likely find him out exploring the countryside with his dog.
Phoenix grew up around technology, and is fascinated by all things tech, especially when it can really help people – like Syntropy. Phoenix describes himself as “just a pretty normal nerd” who loves films, comics and cooking. And he’s a damn fine gamer too!
James watches over Syntropy’s social media platforms and communications. James has a background rooted in editing and writing and you would know something is very wrong if you ever caught him without a book on his person. Ever curious and deeply compassionate, James has a natural love for helping others.