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HeartMath is a science-based, evidence-based system of techniques and heart rate variability (HRV) technology for self-regulation that helps to build resilience and bring the mind, body and emotions into better alignment.

 

According to over 400-peer-reviewed journal articles, people who practice with HeartMath’s HRV biofeedback to generate a state of coherence report improved attention and mental clarity, less pain, improved energy levels and better sleep

What is Heart Rate Variability?

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Heart rate variability (HRV), which is at the core of research the HeartMath Institute conducts, is a measure of the naturally occurring beat-to-beat changes in heart rate/heart rhythms. It serves as a critical method for gauging human health and resiliency.

"The study of heart rate variability," according to HeartMath’s signature work, Science of the Heart, "is a powerful, objective and noninvasive tool to explore the dynamic interactions between physiological, mental, emotional and behavioral processes."

Numerous studies show HRV is a key indicator of physiological resiliency and behavioral flexibility, and can reflect an ability to adapt effectively to stress and environmental demands.

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What Happens to HRV When We have Dysfunctional Breathing Habits?

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If heart rate naturally speeds upon inhalation and slows down upon exhalation...

What happens when we are not breathing completely or fully? This is why we are taught that a longer exhale is calming. Because the heart decelerates and it signals the vagus nerve to activate a  parasympathetic response.  Over-breathing is often seen in clients who do not exhale fully, typically shifting them towards chronic sympathetic activation.

What is HRV Coherence?

Coherence is a physiological state that is important for us to build resilience and maintain our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Coherence can be used to describe any system, including the human body, when there is orderly and harmonious connectedness between parts. Borrowing from physics, when we are in a coherent state, virtually no energy is wasted. This is because our systems are performing optimally and there is synchronization between the heart, lungs, nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system.

Our emotions affect our body more than our thoughts. We can generate a state of coherence by shifting to a positive emotional state. These include compassion, care, gratitude or appreciation. In contrast, we can become incoherent when we experience negative attitudes or emotions, such as anger, fear or anxiety.

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Depleting and Renewing Emotions

Every emotion you experience has an effect on your body and on your resilience, whether or not you are aware of it. Every emotion immediately causes changes in your body, affects your ability to build and sustain your energy and either renews or depletes your resilience. The two main physiological systems that control the cascade of these changes in your body are the hormonal system and the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

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