Heart Rate Variability

It's Heart Month and what is one of the measures we look at to see your heart health and overall wellness? Let's have a mini-science lesson on the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) testing using the Pulse Wave Profiler (PWP). You've probably seen it on your first chiropractic visit!

“The HRV is a simple and accurate test that uses complex mathematical calculations to analyze the rates and rhythms of the resting heart beat pattern. The data can be evaluated to reveal the intricate balance between the Sympathetic Nervous System (our fight or flight branch of the autonomic nervous system) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (rest and digest). The PWP allows us to quickly assess the effect that long term stress is having on the general state of a patient’s well-being... and shows the overall lifestyle and environmental stress load.”

Reduced or modified HRV has been shown to be connected to decreased heart health, diabetic neuropathy, depression, PTSD, and anxiety. Of course, not our goal in care.

The goal is to have an increased VARIABILITY of the heart rate, which is related to increased parasympathetic tone (again, the part of our autonomic nervous system relating to growth and healing, digestion, and reproduction). An increase in variability means there is an increased adaptability to environmental stimuli and stressors, meaning you can return to an optimal state faster after a stress. We can use your HRV to monitor changes in care, as well as how your body is responding to life factors.

~ Dr. Josephene
(All information and quote from Chiropractic Leadership Alliance)


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