Heart Strengths Therapy

Imagine yourself about 3500 years ago; its after your last meal of the day, the clan is settling down for sleep and you decide to go for a walk along your favorite path. You know the one, the path along the lake that is always peaceful and tranquil.
As you walk along, noticing the wonderful scent of flowers in the air, the breeze across the lake is just cool and gentle, all is good.

Suddenly you hear a thrashing in bushes and you turn around to see a large black bear running on the path directly toward you.

What do you do? Do you run? Do you hold your ground and fight? Do you freeze with terror? It seems like you have choices but the “fight or flight” survival mechanism only reacts to threat of death or injury, there are no thoughts or choices to make. Your brain is not wired to analyze when your only concern is to survive.

Within seconds the innate survival mechanism kicks-in and the emotional center of the brain sends a signal to the adrenal glands to release adrenaline. Like turning on a light switch this powerful stress chemical changes the way the organ systems in your body function. Only necessary systems for survival are on: heart, muscles, circulation, respiration, brain and nerves. All other organs go into hibernation: stomach, liver and pancreas, kidneys, intestines, genitals, uterus, and ovaries. The brain also shuts down the release of anabolic hormones (estrogen and testosterone) while stimulating the release of catabolic hormones (cortisol).

Acute Stress

If the bear gives up or becomes distracted by other food, GREAT, you win! Your breathing begins to slow along with normalizing your heart rate. You notice your environment again as your analytic brain begins to function. Within 60 – 90 minutes all of your organs systems that went into hibernation are awakened. Life goes back to normal, your nervous system and hormones are back in balance.

Chronic Stress

Now, if you survive the bear attack but are injured your body breaks down tissue (predominately intestines and muscle) and repackages the proteins to repair and rebuild damaged tissue. Your body also assumes that the repair process will take time and you may not be able to hunt and gather food: whatever you eat during the chronic stress period is stored as fat. The fight or flight mechanism doesn’t turn-off.

Chronic Stress in Modern Culture

We are living in a fast-paced 24/7 culture. We go from one stressor to another. Stress at work, conflicts with family, friends and community, financial problems.

Your body and brain do not know the difference from a bear chasing you through the woods or:

• A car cutting you off in traffic • Running late for an important meeting • Caring for a disabled spouse or child • A phone call or email from a emotionally unstable friend or family member • And more, and more, and more.
It turns into a never-ending cycle of stress, causing anxiety, causing depression, causing anger, and many chronic illness: high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric reflux, hypothyroid, weight gain, and low sex drive – JUST TO NAME A FEW.

Stress in our culture is never-ending and unescapable.

Natural Solution for Emotional
Management and Self-Regulation

Heart Strengths

Heart-Strength Therapy (HST) is a process that integrates HeartMath technology tools (CLICK HERE) with positive character strengths (CLICK HERE). As an evidence-based emotional management tool HeartMath has been shown to be effective both scientifically and clinically.

HST BUILDS RESILIENCE AND AGILITY. By combining Heartmath tools with positive character strengths, HST is a personalized and very powerful utilization of the HeartMath tools. This approach makes HST a valuable lifestyle tool for health, business, relationships, family, community, and all social endeavors.

What to Expect from Three One-Hour Sessions

HST is a three phase process that is simple. Each phase builds on the previous one for maximum effectiveness. We use the anacronym A.R.E: Aware, Resilence, Emotional Shifting.


The initial one-hour session shows you how daily emotional stressors are impacting your health and well-being through heart rate variability. By the end of the first session you will be aware of these stressors and learn an important tool to reverse their negative effects.


In the second one-hour session you review your initial skills and learn a second tool that begins to re-pattern negative thoughts, attitudes, and feelings and build resilience.

Emotional Shifting

In the final one-hour session you review your previous skills and learn a third tool for locking-in positive life-long changes.

Contact Dr Gruber for a Free Consultation

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