Heart Rate Variability

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a form of biofeedback that helps monitor and modify your heart rate in order to maximize your ability to adapt to stress, feel relaxed, and improve your health. Did you know, that if your heart rate is 60 beats per minute, it’s not beating once every second? As an example, within that one minute, there may be 0.9 seconds between two beats, and then 1.15 seconds between two other beats.

Your heartbeat changes in response to many factors such as your level of stress, activity, physical conditions, and what is happening in your environment. Research indicates that when you have a higher heart rate variability, the more likely you are to adapt to these situations so you can perform better physically and psychologically.

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What happens during HRV training?

Conducted in our clinical setting by trained professionals, HRV is a form of biofeedback therapy training that involves feeding back beat by beat the heart rate data during slow breathing so that the breathing matches the heart rate patterns. In essence, you are training your heart rate to slow down and stay consistent during times of peak stress, emotions, or physical exertion. Clinicians will also teach you HRV techniques to use outside of your sessions so you can immediately begin incorporating this training into your daily life.

HRV training is non-invasive and painless; it uses an ear sensor to detect variations in your heart rate and displays that information on a computer monitor.

By controlling your breathing and intentionally focusing on positive emotions, such as care, happiness, or love, your heart rhythms and breathing synchronize to create a healthier emotional and physical state. When doing this, you can gain clarity, calmness, and control over your thoughts and emotions. HRV is also associated with lowering blood pressure and stress hormones, as well as improving your immune system.

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…I have learned much about using my own breathing to control my heart. It is relaxing and easy to learn…”

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How often should I attend an HRV training?

Once you have spent a few sessions with your HRV clinician, you can begin to practice HRV at home. Practicing HRV daily is a simple and easy-to-implement way to improve your mental and physiological resilience.

HRV can help alleviate a variety of physical and emotional conditions. Schedule a FREE consultation with one of our clinicians to find out if HRV will help you.

Conditions HRV training can treat include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Depression
  • Headaches and migraines
  • High blood pressure
  • Temporomandibular disorders
  • Urinary incontinence in males
  • High blood pressure

Very few side effects were documented with HRV biofeedback. Lightheadedness or dizziness may be experienced which are likely due to hyperventilation. In this case, users are recommended to adopt a shallower breathing pattern, and with a brief training period, the side effects tend to decrease quickly, making also the experience of this slow breathing technique more comfortable:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Hyperventilation

If you wish to learn more about Alpha-Stim, or to schedule a session, contact us today.