HRV feedback is one of the newer and most promising areas of biofeedback, with applications to the treatment of medical conditions, the enhancement of human performance, and the achievement of higher-level health.
Boulder Creek, CA (PRWEB) May 13, 2008
There's a growing scientific interest in new applications for heart rate variability (HRV) measurements. Innovative programs that help people reduce emotional stress offer new hope for those with a variety of health challenges, ranging from trauma to asthma, and depression. Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., director of research for the Institute of HeartMath has led pioneering research which uses HRV measurements to reflect emotional states. McCraty and researchers at HeartMath identified the psychophysiological state of coherence, now widely used as an effective feedback practice in stress management, emotional self-regulation and performance improvement. Dr. McCraty will be conducting a half-day experiential workshop at the 2008 Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback Conference where event participants will receive instruction in use of HeartMath's heart rhythm technology -- emWave Personal Stress Reliever® and emWave® PC Stress Relief System.
Traditionally, biofeedback has monitored bodily responses such as brainwaves (EEG), muscle tension (EMG), skin temperature, and sweat gland activity. However, HeartMath researchers discovered that monitoring heart rhythm patterns offers several unique advantages over the traditional forms of feedback. Heart rhythm feedback is considerably simpler and more straightforward for people to learn and use. It's also more reflective of changes in both branches of the autonomic nervous system and, therefore, changes in the emotional and psychological states.
The current issue of Biofeedback Magazine features an article authored by Dr. McCraty titled from "Completion to Renewal: Positive Emotions and Heart Rhythm Coherence Feedback." This special issue of Biofeedback Magazine examines HRV analysis as an emerging science and practice in the field of biofeedback. Don Moss, Ph.D., editor in chief of Biofeedback Magazine tells his readers, "HRV feedback is one of the newer and most promising areas of biofeedback, with applications to the treatment of medical conditions, the enhancement of human performance, and the achievement of higher-level health."
HeartMath's scientific contribution to the concept of heart rhythm (or HRV) feedback started with a ground-breaking study which was published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 1995. In this study HeartMath researchers identified a distinct pattern in the heart rhythms that is characteristic of positive emotions like appreciation, care, love, and compassion. This heart rhythm pattern reflects physiological coherence - simply said, coherence is when the heart, brain, and nervous system are working in harmony. Dr. Rollin McCraty says, "Our research identified a specific mode that the body naturally shifts into when we experience positive emotions. We call this the "psychophysiological coherence state," which is characterized by increased synchronization, harmony, and efficiency in the interactions within and among the physiological, cognitive, and emotional systems."
In 1999, HeartMath introduced the first affordable consumer stress-reduction product using their patented heart rhythm feedback. Their focus on heart rhythm feedback provided a refreshing departure from conventional biofeedback practices, and has since been adopted by thousands of health professionals worldwide as an effective and invaluable tool for patients suffering from stress-related issues. HeartMath's emWave technologies opened a door for consumers and health professionals in need of convenient lifestyle tools that offer the same objective feedback as more cumbersome and expensive equipment that has traditionally been used in professional settings.
The emWave products include:
emWave PC Stress Relief System (formerly the award-winning Freeze-Framer®) was created by Doc Childre, founder of HeartMath. The PC program essentially mirrors your emotional state by collecting information from your heart through a finger or ear-clip sensor that plugs into your computer via USB. emWave PC trains you to achieve a high level of coherence. The program translates heart rhythm information into user-friendly graphics on your computer screen. As you apply the stress-reducing Quick Coherence® technique learned from the program, you see your heart rhythms change in real time as you move out of stress and into a more balanced, regenerative emotional state.
The program allows you to track your progress and has three colorful interactive games powered by your ability to transform stress into renewed energy. An innovative feature of emWave PC is its Emotion Visualizer®, a practice application that provides stunning images which emit varying degrees of color and movement as you adjust your emotional state.
HeartMath's emWave Personal Stress Reliever (PSR) - is a mobile lifestyle tool weighing only 2.2 ounces. The device detects your heart rhythms through its built-in finger sensor and gives immediate feedback, reflecting your emotional state through changing colored lights and sound. It includes a hands-free option and animated instructional CD-Rom that guides you through HeartMath's scientifically validated Quick Coherence® technique.
In July of 2007, the American Institute of Stress honored HeartMath's emWave Personal Stress Reliever with their award for Distinction and Innovation. "The emWave Personal Stress Reliever is a unique stress reduction tool that is unusually effective for reducing stress, anxiety and improving performance", says Paul J. Rosch, M.D., F.A.C.P.,President of the American Institute of Stress. "HeartMath has established themselves as a leader in the scientific community through their years of solid scientific research and in-depth understanding of stress and the physiology of emotions."
Both emWave products will be exhibited at the AAPB conference at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, Daytona Beach Florida. Dr. McCraty will lead a short workshop titled, "HeartMath Heart Coherence Training" on Thursday, May 15th from 1:00 pm -5:00 pm where he will demonstrate HeartMath's heart rhythm technologies and teach participants positive emotion-focused techniques for emotional stabilization which have been demonstrated to improve clinical outcomes. Recent research studies in this area will be discussed. AAPB participants can also try out the emWave technologies at HeartMath's booth #7.
About HeartMath® LLC
HeartMath LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quantum Intech, is a cutting-edge performance company providing a range of unique services, products, and technology to improve health and well-being, while dramatically reducing stress and boosting performance and productivity. HeartMath's organizational clients include Duke Medicine, Stanford Business School, Stanford Hospital, Mayo Health System, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sutter Health, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, BP, Cisco Systems, Redken, Kaiser Permanente, Boeing and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as thousands of health professionals around the world.
About the Institute of HeartMath (IHM)
Since 1991 the Institute of HeartMath has been dedicated to helping people find balance between their mind and heart in life's activities. HeartMath researchers have conducted research and clinical studies on emotional physiology, heart-brain interactions, and the physiology of learning and performance. Through their research they have demonstrated the critical link between emotions, heart function, and cognitive performance. IHM's work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals such as American Journal of Cardiology, Stress Medicine, Preventive Cardiology, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, and Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.
gboehmer @ heartmath.com