Society of African Journal Editors

Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

An integral, positive psychology paradigm for global coherence, research, and health promotion

Authors: Steve Edwards

Journal: Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

This study is motivated by many problems confronting planet Earth. Its goal is to promote local and global coherence, research and health. An integral theoretical, positive psychological paradigm is used to introduce HeartMath and Global Coherence Initiatives as evidence based interventions for promoting coherence, research, health and well-being. Interventions are  essentially scientific advances on cardiorespiratory based methods which have been used for millennia in various wisdom,  knowledge and spiritual traditions such as ancestral consciousness and reverence, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism,  Christianity and Islam. The article reviews research evidence in relation to psychophysiological coherence, which is  characterised by a heart rhythm pattern of elevated amplitude in low  frequency heart rate variability of around 0.1 Hz. This is  associated with  synchronisation between various physiological systems, positive emotions,  athletes’ “zone” experience,  enhanced spirituality, effective prayer, personal, social and global coherence and health. For example, research evidence is provided for the effectiveness of an African heart breath healing method, specifically developed  around the concept Shiso, an  ancient isiZulu respectful (hlonipha) term for a human being, which became an acronym for Spirit (umoya), Heart (inhlizyo), Image (umcabango), Soul (umphefumulo) and Oneness (ubunye). Subsequent independent and collaborative South African research, validating various HeartMath techniques, is described. This includes an African Global Coherence Initiative Site, established on a private game reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal, providing valuable research data, applicable to all academic fields and scientific  disciplines, which is freely available for use. It is concluded that many more integral healing approaches are needed, as is  collaboration between all caring stakeholder individuals, communities and countries in the world. Keywords Integral theory, positive psychology paradigm, global coherence, health promotion