Heart Rate Variability

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is one of the most applied training methods for stress management. In HRV heart and respiration are preferably combined. HRV is the variation in time between consecutive heartbeats. The acceleration and deceleration of the heart rate reflects the body’s ability to self regulate and maintain homeostasis. HRV changes under influence of health, age and our psychophysiological state like during stress, relaxation, exercise but also depends on health and age. HRV is often used to promote emotional and physical wellbeing and enhance relaxation.

During each heartbeat, the heart contracts and pumps blood through the arteries and blood vessels. When there is more stress, the body gets sympathetically activated, increasing heart rate and decreasing the variability in the heart rhythm. Sympathetic arousal also leads to constriction of the blood vessels in the periphery, which lowers the relative blood flow through that tissue. This can be easured by a phletysmograph like the BVP.

How is it measured?

Our biofeedback equipment can measure heart rate (variability) with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) or Blood Volume Pulse (BVP). Respiration is measured by using a breathing belt, mostly around the belly.