You are most likely accustomed to getting certain values read at your doctor’s office: Heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. These are nice numbers to be aware of, but all of those levels are simply a response that the autonomic nervous system is telling your body to change. In other words, the numbers are really just a symptom of how your nervous system is interpreting your internal and external environment. If there is a misinterpretation, there will be a faulty response, resulting in abnormal numbers. Any lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, will have a positive effect on those numbers because of the positive effects those improvements have on the nervous system. Any improvement gained by taking medications is a false improvement as they are only synthetically altering the numbers; they have no positive effect on the nervous system and all come with negative side effects.
We now have the capability to measure how your autonomic nervous system is performing, which is a much more important measurement to be aware of, rather than the symptoms. Heart Rate Variability is a non-invasive measurement and technology that provides vital information about your health, wellness, heart function and autonomic nervous system function. It is an excellent predictor of general health, stress on the heart and sudden cardiac death. It is one of seven physiological functions that are measured in my office with the Neuroinfiniti Stress Response Evaluation.
An easy way to define Heart Rate Variability is the difference in the number of heart beats during the breath in and the number of beats during the breath out. A wider range between those numbers indicates a more adaptable individual with a nervous system that has an accurate perception of the environment. The human heart varies in its rhythms, and strength of contractions as the body’s demands vary continually throughout any given day. Multiple physiological rhythms are occurring simultaneously, having an effect on how the heart is beating. Heart Rate Variability is affected by our physical, mental and emotional states. Studies show wider HRV ranges in more physically active people. Lower ranges have been found in more sedentary individuals, and those that suffer with clinical depression.
Heart Rate Variability can be improved through various treatments such as functional neurology, chiropractic, exercise, meditation and biofeedback. HRV biofeedback is being applied to a variety of conditions, including: anger, anxiety disorders, asthma, cardiovascular conditions, COPD, IBS, chronic fatigue and chronic pain.