The Body is Intelligent

by Dr Rachel Hall B.Ch.D (Uni Leeds), LDSRCS(Eng), MACNEM, Holistic Dentist, Brisbane, Australia

We traditionally are taught to think of the brain or the ‘head’ as being the intelligence of the body, communicating with the body and telling it what to do. Yet the body is in fact a massive network of nerve and energy pathways that communicate with one another, sending signals and instructions from one part of the body to another, cell by cell. Information travels to the brain from the body and from the body to the brain. We know that the brain sends signals to the body, but have you ever stopped to consider that your body may actually be communicating with YOU, sending you subtle messages and information for you to respond to?

The body is in fact an intelligent organism capable of acting independently of the mind via its own self-regulation and feedback systems. Within the body there are areas or foci of cellular activity which contain concentrated energy and nerve systems that are capable of sending signals to the brain and body and as such these centres or foci actually have a strong influence on the body, its reactions and our emotions.

One area of the body that communicates powerfully and extremely effectively with us is the heart. Have you noticed that in certain situations your heart may skip a beat, get palpitations, feel all warm and fuzzy; flutter or feel like it is about to burst or perhaps even stop depending on how you are feeling or what is happening around you?

Throughout history, philosophers, poets and prophets have regarded the human heart as the source of love, wisdom, intuition and positive emotions. We are all familiar with expressions such as, put your heart into it, wearing your heart on your sleeve, follow your heart not your head, find it in your heart, from the bottom of my heart, big hearted, warm hearted, heart-to-heart, open your heart and so on which suggest that the heart is more than a physical pump that sustains life.

The fact is that the heart is much more than just a pump, with a complex system of nerves and energy centres that send more signals to the brain than the brain sends to it and scientific research has found that the heart has the ability to regulate itself and the rest of the body. The human heart contains an intelligence independent from the brain that can be a source of guidance for our individual lives and for our collective potential as human beings. This is significant as we have a powerful intelligence right there in the middle of our chest with a wisdom that is vast, much more so than we realise. In actual fact, every cell in the body is intelligent with the heart being like a conductor for the cellular processes taking place within us in each and every moment. The heart is the overseer of the whole intelligence of the body and science is only just beginning to tap into and understand the wisdom of the heart, a wisdom that has been spoken of and recorded by many cultures, religions and scholars.

Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., Director of Research at The Institute of HeartMath, California has begun to examine the messages the heart sends to the brain and how the brain responds to them, exploring the role the heart plays in creating emotional experience and accessing intuition, as well as its role in the physiology of optimal function. Recent work in the relatively new field of neurocardiology has firmly established that the heart is a sensory organ and an information programming and processing centre, with an extensive in-built nervous system that confirms the heart is much more than a muscle pump and has a sophisticated intelligence that is much more advanced than previously considered or realised by science.  The heart’s circuitry enables it to learn, remember and make functional decisions independent of the brain itself. The heart is in continuous communication with the brain and body through multiple pathways: neurologically (through nerves), biochemically (through hormones), biophysically (through pressure and sound waves) and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). This makes the heart unique as it can act as the overall coordinator of bodily functions, synchronising the system as a whole because of the extent of the heart’s influence on physiological, cognitive and emotional systems.

The fact that there is a heart and brain connection, as first postulated by the psychologist William James, has been known since the late 1800s, but has largely been ignored. Whilst it is recognised that the heart signals that flow to the brain have a regulatory influence on many aspects of the nervous system, including most glands and organs, it is less commonly appreciated that they also have profound effects on the higher brain centres. Cardiovascular nerves have numerous connections to higher brain centres where they play a direct and important role in determining our perceptions, thought processes, and emotional experiences. It has also been shown that our emotions are reflected in the heart’s rhythmic patterns.

The heart also has an energy field, called the energetic heart, which is coupled to a field of information that is not bound by the classical limits of time and space. Experimental studies have investigated the proposal that the body receives and processes information about a future event before the event actually happens. One of these studies, conducted at the HeartMath laboratories, showed that both the heart and brain receive and respond to pre-stimulus information about a future event. But even more surprising is the finding that the heart seems to receive and/or respond to the intuitive information before the brain. This suggests that the heart is directly coupled to a subtle energetic field of information within the range of energetic fields in which the body is surrounded.

The fact that the heart appears to receive intuitive information before the brain is perhaps not as surprising as it first seems, it just confirms what people mean when they speak of the intuitive heart or the wisdom of the heart – something that has been a key component of wisdom teachings and mystical texts for aeons. The energetic heart is coupled to a deeper part of ourselves. When we connect to the heart we align with a deeper source of intuitive intelligence, which produces an increased flow of intuitive information that is communicated to the brain resulting in a stronger connection with our inner voice thus allowing us access to the largely untapped potential within.

  • This research demonstrates that the heart has its own intelligence, that the heart IS intelligent, is capable of giving instructions to the brain and communicating directly with us. Thus it is now being affirmed by science that “instinct”, “sixth sense” and “intuition” come from the heart.

One of the philosophies that come from the Esoteric Medicine presentations by Serge Benhayon is that the inner-heart is the seat of intelligence for the body and that the body does have its own knowing or wisdom. From this philosophy emerges the concept of connecting to yourself and listening to your heart and your body, which, as even science has demonstrated, has the ability to communicate with us. If we were to stop for a moment and feel we would realise the body actually talks very loudly.

At first this may seem a strange concept, however, what I found when I experimented with this was that quite amazingly when I sat quiet and still, simply breathing gently I could feel a beautiful warmth in my chest where my heart resides. I discovered that I could use that feeling of warmth as a barometer of what is true for me or not. I noticed that when I made choices that were more caring and loving, the feeling of warmth increased and the opposite occurred when I was less considerate of myself and the warmth diminished and felt less evident. In addition I found I could rely on my heart when making decisions and to discern if my thoughts were from my body or not. I was able to better gauge situations and remain unaffected by events and people around me.

So what if we chose to listen to the messages from our body, especially our heart, and made lifestyle and dietary choices based on those messages rather than waiting until we become ill? Why wait for science to play catch up to what the intelligence of the body already knows and is communicating to us – but which we are not listening to?

So much credence has been given to listening to our mind however, as we have seen, it is not the only site of intelligence in the body and yet it is the body that has to live with the consequences of all the choices made from our mind. The mind in fact is a central processing unit that receives and processes all the messages from the body. Our body, and every single cell within it, is able to work innately without having to rely on the mind, in fact the foci in the heart and other areas of the body are wiser than the mind, yet we simply ignore or overrule their messages and signals. The heart however works as the “mastermind”, the overseer and coordinator for the rest of the body, with its own energy field and the ability to regulate the processes and reactions of the body and respond to external energy even more rapidly than the mind. The mind as we know it can lead us astray, can override the messages of the body to allow us to carry on behaviours which are harming for the body. Thus, although the mind is a great central processing unit for all the messages in the body, it is not the true source of intelligence that we have been falsely lead to believe it is. As such we should be giving the heart more precedence over the mind and any gut feelings, as only the heart acts on the higher centres of the mind bringing intuition, intelligence and connection to our inner voice.

The body is a whole system where all the parts are communicating and interacting with each other and where change in one part affects the whole. It is detrimental and incorrect to see the body as separated parts working in isolation to each other and it is important to realise that any lack of regard or consideration for one part of the body will affect the whole body system. The body therefore has intelligence throughout it, rather than discrete isolated sections working independently to each other which is the impression we get when we only focus and rely on the brain in separation to the body.  The heart exists as the true source or centre that feeds the mind which we can then choose to either listen to or override and ignore. An important aspect is the discernment of the messages from the mind and whether they have come first via the heart or not.

As this is the case, why then are we not taught to listen to or tune in to the wisdom within our body? Given that the body is innately wise, surely it would make sense for us to pay attention to it, to listen to it and in particular the messages from the heart such that we may live more instinctively and intuitively?

Listening to and feeling the feedback of the body via the heart can allow for more supportive and harmonious choices that lead to better health and improved moods and energy levels. If we choose to live, eat and care for ourselves based on what the body and the heart are telling us, then perhaps we might realise that true intelligence resides in the whole body and not in the head!

Give it a try – you might just surprise yourself as to how intelligent and naturally knowing the body really is.


  1. The energetic heart is unfolding 

511 thoughts on “The Body is Intelligent

  1. Thank you Rachel, super supportive to read how it has become a proven fact that the heart communicates with the brain, and how our instincts and sixth sense comes directly from the heart, which makes perfect sense because neither of those are learnt actions or knowledge they come from a greater wisdom from within.

  2. When we live in a quality of tenderness and self care the body knows how to restore itself to a balanced and harmonious state. However when we live solely from the intelligence of recalled knowledge we can override the natural feedback systems of the body and ignore the wisdom that is being communicated.

    1. That’s very true Jenny, the natural feedback systems are part of the body continually restoring itself to harmony, the more we can listen and stay connected to the body we can actually begin living in harmony with ourselves.

  3. We have learnt to ignore our body’s messages when they appear to get in the way of how we have been taught to live our life. Yet if we consciously understood that it is in listening to these messages that bring us back to a quality of living and true vitality we would change our whole relationship with ourselves and be far more loving, nurturing and honouring of our body.

  4. Very timely read for me right now, as I am nursing my cold and finding myself reverting back to what I remember has worked in the past, rather than simply listening to the body.

  5. ” Why wait for science to play catch up to what the intelligence of the body already knows and is communicating to us – but which we are not listening to?” Great comment Rachel. Why indeed when so many Universal Medicine students (who pay attention to what the body says) are confounding the ‘norm’ by living healthy vibrant and amazing lives is there such resistance to accepting that there is another way to live? Slowly some doctors are now catching on to the fact that lifestyle medicine is the way to go in an effort to reduce the likelihood of serious disease.

  6. Such a simple but profound thing you are sharing here Rachel that we can actually feel a difference in our bodies and our hearts when we honour what we are feeling in the inside and make a decision based on this intuition and when we override this knowing and make decisions based on information outside of us. I can certainly feel the difference and I will be using your heart warming idea more in future to really sense what is going on.

  7. Given that our minds can be so destructive, in that we can allow all sorts of negative and self-abusive thoughts through, thinking that they are us, how would our relationship with ourselves change if we were taught from young how to discern where our thoughts are coming from: our hearts or our minds? To know that there are only two sources: one loving and encompassing of the all, and the other not, would significantly impact our well-being and our health.

  8. We may ignore, block out and go with the mind, for as long as we like but the body will always let us know what’s right. Our every cell, when allowed sure speaks loud. Thank you Rachel for prompting me to ask, do I really need to make my body get its loudhailer out?

  9. ‘An important aspect is the discernment of the messages from the mind and whether they have come first via the heart or not.’ This is definitely key, since the messages sent from one or another site are very different among them and take us to very different points. Discernment so, offers to us the freedom of choice.

  10. I love the fact that the heart sends more signals to the brain than the other way around – clearly we are giving too much authority to the mind over the body, instead of the mind serving the impulses of the body.

    1. We have a choice and overriding the body, that choice has a lot of negative consequences but I am unaware of negative consequences of listening to the body.

  11. Wow, this is a fascinating study. Thank you, Rachel. It all makes sense and proves that we were not entirely oblivious to the intelligence of the heart as we all have experienced its wisdom at some stage. And your question “Why then are we not taught to listen to or tune in to the wisdom within our body?” really just reveals the fact that world we live in is built by and around the intelligence of the mind to sustain the system and keep producing the like-minded people.

  12. Wow I didn’t know it was proven that the heart and brain communicate with each other, and that it’s also proven the heart has its own intelligence. It makes so much sense to me and I’ll definitely be paying super close attention to my heart today and what it feels like.

  13. There is a guiding wisdom offered by the body; one that is simple and clear. A very different feeling than how the mind communicates with lots of thoughts, chatter and pending complication.

  14. The fact that most people do not intimately know the connection between the heart and the mind is simply showing us that we have disconnected from our body and are walking around as if we are literally heads with legs. No wonder we lack awareness!

  15. The body is undoubtedly a complex organism of interconnecting systems, strong and delicate, adaptable. It has so much to communicate about our environment, our lifestyle, the society norms we live within if we can just be open and honest to what it is communicating.

  16. After reading this, it seems crazy that we are not taught to connect to the body as a whole. I imagine that once upon a time we were taught that the body communicates with us, that it was a birth right to know how to treat wounds and illness with known herbs and mixtures. It seems we are stepping further away from what we once knew as common sense. So even though modern medicine is an amazing support that saves lives and has come so far, there is still a sense that we are disempowered and that we have broken everything up in to parts, including the human body, rather than viewing the body as one big communicator that is designed to bring us back to harmony. The heart is a great compass in this way.

  17. It is so gorgeous to read of the studies that are beginning to show the wisdom of the heart. This is something we should be all taught at school so that we don’t grow to disregard it as we often do, denying the deeper source of intuitive intelligence that in connection is innate.

  18. Last night as I drifted off to sleep I was aware of a deep and wide flow that I could feel in my whole insides – it reminded me of a huge slow moving river, with no jagged edges or barbs – no issues. It was simply beautiful and as I take that into my morning it has the ability to inform me when something does not feel right as it does not match that quality I can feel within. All I have to do then is to express that….

  19. The emotions from our mind completely underestimate the clarity and wisdom we get from feeling with our heart.

  20. So much is rightly turned on its head when we restore the heart to its central governing place in the body – and turned on its head it should be, for clearly ‘leading with our heads’ hasn’t solved the greater conflicts (and smaller) in this world.
    It is our hearts that need to open to ourselves, others, and the part we can all play in navigating a truly purposeful and caring way in this world.

    1. And if we ‘lead with our hearts’ and build our life on the principles of absolute care and purpose – how does that change our physiology?

  21. This is a truly great article – showing us a truth held by many through the ages, inclusive of Pythagoras and the cardio-centric focus he brought to his teachings about ‘the Way’ to live life in true accord with the All.

  22. The heart is the power centre of the body, it is through our inner heart that our connection with our soul is formed and thence the messages of the soul can be heard.

  23. We definitely have to shake off this perception that the body is merely a puppet of the brain that carries out its bidding and it looks like we are beginning to understand that the body has a intelligence and wisdom that is far greater than the brain and far grander than we were led to believe.

  24. It’s just plain obvious that the body is a much larger, more intelligent organism then just restricting our experience of intelligence to the brain. We are so much more than what we have been taught – we feel, we sense, we experience and it’s bringing that together into a whole that feels amazing. Add to the fact that this way of living connects us to something much deeper – our soul.

  25. “as first postulated by the psychologist William James, has been known since the late 1800s, but has largely been ignored. ” That is amazing that we have known about the intelligence of the heart for centuries yet it is still totally ignored by science and psychology. Time to start paying attention to the heart and the ways of it communicating with us.

  26. We give great creed to the ability of our mind, and how much we are able to educate ourselves, however what if we were to give the same amount of time in connecting to our body from within our heart, we would find that it is actually our heart that responds quicker than our mind, and we actually have access to a far greater wisdom.

  27. Thank you Rachel for this very thorough analysis of our body intelligence. It makes so much sense, and yet as you note it’s odd that we give so much credence to one part (our mind) while ignoring the rest and that decisions by the mind affect the body. I know those heart based feeling you speak of and I also know the drive of the mind. The world actively encourages the latter and we need desperately to live more of the former so we can be whole bodied in how we live.

  28. A really supportive and amazing sharing on our true intelligence and the magnificence of our body and especially our heart, with clarity and understanding that makes absolute sense and is known and felt inside us all so beautifully. Who would what to live any other way than in connection to the all when this truth is made so obvious to us all.

  29. Thank you Rachel, it’s a fabulous blog to read. I found it very confirming it read all you have shared, I feel we are innately wired to refer first to our heart and body but the education process is weighted towards the mind so we are kind of trained away from the heart. Interesting too regarding your experience with loving choices bringing a feeling of warmth to the heart area, and unloving or uncaring choices bringing on a shutting down of that warmth.

  30. While the body is so intelligent the majority of people in this world tend to live from their mind instead. Why is this? may you ask. To me, as my heart is showing me clearly, it is because our body lives as part of a whole and our mind lives in its self-created world and it is that creation we give precedence to and we do not like to give up our individuality and become one with the all.

  31. A very insightful article around the body, the heart, the mind and their intelligences. As with everything it makes more sense to consult or take care of everything and not just hone in on one part. The basic current mode of thinking is around the brain being the central intelligence we have and yet if we have a real look around us we are getting more and more unwell. Coupled with the fact that the brain sits on top of the body even maybe an indication of where we should be looking. There are more and more studies showing how intelligent and connected our heart centre is to everything and also we are becoming more and more aware that how we are going about things is seriously hurting us. Perhaps and as this article talks about, it is beyond time for us to make a change.

  32. One great and simple way to listen to and connect to our heart is to very gently tip our head forward towards our heart – the opposite is to tip our head backwards which actually cuts us off.

    1. True meditation is all about connection – connection to ourselves, our body and our inner-heart. Never is it about escaping or checking out. Funny (not) how many “meditation” photos you see with people tipping back their heads back and lifting their jaw up which is a posture of disconnection or people sitting in a torturous position which is again not in connection to the body.

  33. A great point you have highlighted Rachel, that it is worth considering that “our body may actually be communicating with YOU, sending you subtle messages and information for you to respond to.” If we deeply consider this as possible, it opens our awareness to build a deeper relationship with our body and to really listen and respond to the inner wisdom of our body when it is communicating and guiding us on how we are living that either supports the body to maintain harmony and balance or not.

  34. The heart as the conductor of the body is a powerful image. It occurs to me that the brain/mind like to be the puppet-master, in absolute control of it’s subject, whereas the heart leads the whole to work in true harmony together.

    1. Indeed Lucy, there is a great integrity and responsibility gap between the mind and the heart. While the mind can act only for its own benefit and in that cause harm to others. Our heart however will never be able to make such choices and perform such acts because, as you say Lucy, it works in true harmony together with all.

  35. The inner heart has shown me the way for over a decade now, providing insights and readings on life and being a guide that I can without exception rely on.

  36. I used to live as if my head was all there was. The disconnection with my body apparent with constantly tripping over or knocking myself and very little co-ordination. Everything felt rigid and separated from the warmth, connectedness and fluid movement I feel in my body now. Thank you Serge Benhayon for giving me the opportunity to make different choices and begin to return to the truth of who I am / we are.

  37. The layers of the heart and body is our number one point of call in showing us the way to understanding true health and vitality. When choose to stop and take a moment to make this the source of our movements we are then offered a whole lot more in the quality in which we heal and grow.

  38. I always thought that my brain was my best attribute and the source of all my intelligence. How wrong I was! I have discovered how my body is much more intelligent than my head and it never lies whereas my head is constantly lying to me and anyone who will listen.

  39. There is growing evidence, as you have shared here, that the heart has an intelligence that is far more acute and reliable than that of the brain. When we start tuning in to this, and let’s include the Inner Heart, of which Serge Benhayon speaks, it has us wholeheartedly( pun intended) living our life from the truth of who we are, resonating with absolute truth and true love.

  40. I feel that we have always known that the heart is so much more than a pump, yet somehow modern medicine has managed to reduce it from its awesomeness to a mundane piece of function. The marriage of modern western medicine with esoteric medicine will restore the cardiocentric understanding of the human being as Pythagorus taught over 2500 years ago.

    1. It’s true Doug. When we only look at a small part of something instead of the whole, as so often is done in modern medicine and scientific research, we run the very real risk of reducing it into these parts and ignoring the magnificence of the whole.

    2. Well said Doug, it is this working together Western Medicine and Esoteric Medicine that will help restore true health rather than just settling for a restored version of function without true vitality.

  41. We are taught from a very young age that our intelligence comes from our minds. We are taught to overlook the body and we learn to hide or bottle up our feelings. So sadly by the time we are 5 or 6, much of what we know to be true is gradually replaced in favour of the mind.

  42. True intelligence comes from the body and the heart is of so much importance it simply makes sense. Giving power to the mind as we are taught is devoid our our natural innate connection to the universe and needs to be learnt when we have it all inside our bodies waiting to be connected to. How beautiful is this 🙂

  43. Before I came across Universal Medicine I didn’t regard the body as a whole seeing the mind as separate to the body and what’s more I never questioned it although I distinctly remember feeling the separation in my body. It showed me how I was living my life overriding my body and listening to the mind but this abusive way of being eventually caught up with me with a diagnoses of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 1995.

  44. Thank you Rachel for getting to the energetic heart of the matter. We are so much more than our physical body.

  45. The wisdom of the heart is a support and guidance in my life which even in the darkest times, it has never failed to be there for me. The difference between the intelligence of the heart and of the mind for me, is there is a feeling of settledness and surrender when the heart leads, it is very warm and still, but there is a feeling of unsettledness and often panic when the head leads, it is like turning in circles repeatedly without end.

  46. We place such credence on our minds, yet it is one removed from where we feel and of course it can re-interpret what we feel, and yet we can feel, so why ignore it through our mind’s reinterpretation. The body knows and we know this. Why not live it?

    1. The mind is the tool of the incarnated human spirit that separated from the oneness to explore its own creations, whereas in the inner-heart resides the connection to the oneness that we have never lost but simply disconnected from. We need to return to an understanding that we are multidimensional beings and so so much more than the physical function we can see.

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