Heart Rate Variability Monitoring

Heart rate variability monitoring gives us a feedback mechanism to evaluate the measurable, physical results of positive emotions and meditative states. How cool is that?

Have you ever meditated and wondered if you were doing it right? Or perhaps you’ve made the effort to stay focused on positive thoughts, only to find that your mind has gone elsewhere and you didn’t know when it happened or how long you’ve been there? For me, HRV monitoring has been an awesome way not only to avoid those type issues but to implement something better.

We normally think of heart rate in terms of the average beats per minute. We know exercise and stress can raise our heart rate and that more relaxing pursuits can lower it. We know that a person’s average resting heart rate can be used as an indicator of their overall health. Aside from all that, did you know that in a normal, healthy adult, the heart rate changes very frequently? For example, during an inhalation breath, the heart rate increases slightly when compared to an exhalation.

The leader in the field of heart rate variability monitoring is a company called HeartMath. The HeartMath technology can accurately measure and analyze the beat to beat differences in our heart rate. This information is plotted on a graph and the normal result is a haphazard, irregular pattern. It’s been found that certain meditative and emotional states will cause this graphical representation to change into a symmetrical, wave like pattern. This wave like pattern is called coherence and occurs when our heart related mental, emotional, and physical states are functioning in an optimal way.

The two most popular devices that HeartMath produces are the Inner Balance and the EmWave2. Both use a sensor that clips to your ear lobe in conjunction with some pretty sophisticated software. The software can be run on a PC, tablet, or smart phone; depending on the model and options chosen. With either device, you can analyze your level of coherence and receive audible/visual feedback through a user interface. You can also store and review your sessions so that you can track your progress over time.

If you’d like to know more about the HeartMath HRV monitoring devices, you can follow the links below for the Inner Balance and the EmWave2.

Inner Balance Trainer, Bluetooth version