Heart Rate Variability

The Intelligent Heart & Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

The largest oscillator of your body is your heart. It produces the strongest electromagnetic field from your body detectable up to 10 ft in diameter, and this field is up to 60 times stronger in amplitude than that produced by your brain! The heart is an intelligent system capable of processing many types of biological information and of even making functional decisions independent of the brain.

iStock_000017338786SmallNot to be confused with your Heart Rate, your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the interval of time between heart beats, or the interbeat interval. This amount of time varies and is influenced by multiple biochemical processes and biological rhythms. Research indicates decreased, or low, HRV is associated with mortality risk, decreased immune function, and stress. Low HRV can result from unhealthy and stressful emotional states that disrupt the hearts rhythms and begin a cascade of toxins into the body as well. High HRV is associated with decreased risk, cardiac health and fitness, healthy immune system function, emotional balance/control, enhanced creativity and performance and an overall good health profile via autonomic nervous system balance.

Current research in psychophysiology suggests each individual has a resonant frequency, which corresponds with their greatest heart rate variability. This frequency is identified by a spike in heart rate variability around 0.1 Hz and is augmented by certain breath patterns unique to the individual, emotional states, i.e appreciation and calmness/peace, among other things, and that it can be enhanced through training.

Training to improve your HRV can result in a host of benefits: improved emotional control, decreased blood pressure and improved stress management, improved mood, concentration, performance, and HRV directly influences your immune system–your bodys first line of defense via modifications the the balance of glucocorticoids such as cortisol, DHEA (dehydoepiandosterone), and salivary IgA (immunoglobulin A).

More to come on the powerful physiological effects of HRV Training. For a few articles on mortality risk, emotional balance, enhanced performance, and cardiac rehabilitation, check out the Research tab.