What is science of Heart Rate Variability?
Your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the interval of time between heart beats, or the interbeat interval (IBI). 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 heart’s rhythms and release a cascade of toxins into the body as well. High HRV is associated with decreased mortality risk, good 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 as well as certain emotional states like appreciation and calmness. Research also indicates that you can enhance your HRV 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 body’s first line of defense via modifications the the balance of glucocorticoids such as cortisol, DHEA (dehydoepiandosterone), and salivary IgA (immunoglobulin A).