HRV (Heart Rate Variability) is not only of interest as a powerful predictor of cardiac and other health outcomes, it can be used as a new and promising mode of biofeedback. Neuroscientists and biofeedback experts have been measuring and practising how the heart reacts during stress, peak performance, trauma healing and in processes of frustration and appreciation. We usually think of the heart rate as varying over periods of minutes – for example a resting pulse may be 70 beats per minute (bpm), increasing to 150 bpm after exercise. Closer examination, however, reveals that heart rate is not as regular as is often thought. The apparently steady 70 bpm is in fact irregular, with a different period between each individual beat. The heart accelerates and delays constantly.

HRV can be trained by HRV- biofeedback instruments to create 'cardiac coherence', the regularly acceleration and delay of the HRV, a state of the body with very positive effects:

  • resilience: maintain emotional clarity in the midst of chaos
  • lowering stress hormones and lowering blood pressure
  • reduction of test anxiety, enhancement of concentration
  • facilitate clients to feel emotions that have not been felt in years
  • transforming of depression, treatment of PTSD and ADHD
  • facilitate trauma healing
  • facilitating authentic choices, based on intrinsic motivation
  • better sleep pattern
In the pictures below you can see the chaotic heart rhythm during anxiety and cardiac coherence where the HRV is changing more smoothly and balanced.
In cardiac coherence the sympathetic and vagal branches of the autonomous nervous system are in sync with each other. HRV (HeartRate Variability) can be considered as the 'language' of the heart, that can be heard each moment all over the body. HRV can be seen as an integral communication form in the whole body.

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