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The Neurotherapy Clinic Victoria

Yarra Ranges Counselling

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Heart rate variability refers to the amount of time between heartbeats. These brief pauses should have a flexibility that responds to rhythmic breathing (rather than fixed rigid intervals which are not healthy).

Healthy functioning hearts have high variability – heart beats intervals vary and recovers quickly post stress. Unhealthy heart function will have low variability and heart beat intervals have poor variability and this is a sign of imbalances of the autonomic nervous system that can be associated with a number of chronic illnesses and conditions including inflammation/infections, chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia and increased risk of cardiac related diseases, and poor immune function.

HRV training is a form of biofeedback therapy that involves feeding back information beat by beat heart rate data during slow breathing so that the breathing matches heart rate patterns. A biofeedback device shows the patient when they have maximized this interaction on a computer monitor.

Healthy behaviors will all have a positive impact on your heart rate variability:
  • Good Sleep Hygiene
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Exercise
  • Adequate Hydration
  • Healthy Diet – eat more leafy greens
  • Limit/moderate Alcohol
  • Improve Work-Life balance
  • Develop and Gratitude practice
  • Spend time outdoors, in nature
  • Yoga or Tai Chi
  • Meditation