Heart Quest

What Is Heart Rate Variability?

Heart rate variability is the degree to which the heart speeds up or slows down.
The greater the variability, the healthier one is. The changing intervals between
two heart beats will give an accurate picture of the ability of the body to recover
from stress and strain. It reveals the importance of life style and emotions on our
general health. As we grow older HRV reduces naturally and will get worse with ill
health and long term stress. A low level of HRV indicates that an individual is at
risk of developing a serious illness or is aging prematurely. Research shows that
HRV levels can predict future ill health as well as the likelihood of sudden cardiac
death. Advances in our understanding of HRV and chronic disease give us valuable
new methods of preventing and treating severe, long term conditions. If we can
maintain our HRV at a high level, this will benefit our health and performance. It
will enhance brain functions such as concentration, focus, memory, flexibility of
response, intuitive insight, judgment and decision making.
Decreased HF (parasympathetic) or increased LF (sympathetic) activity will result
in reduced HRV. The usual culprits that affect HRV are psychoemotional stress,
toxic body burdens, electromagnetic radiation, and infections to name a few. A
good indication of this is the SDNN number.
Heart Quest is an advanced, non-invasive assessment software system that looks at the human biorhythms and regulatory systems.
Heart rate variability is a well-accepted technology in the medical literature and there are numerous research articles written about it in relationship to the autonomic nervous system and the effects of various modalities and medications influencing autonomic nervous system function. Heart rate variability measures the beat to beat changes between one heart contraction to the next using a simple ECG recording. What was found is that the people who have very little variation are the ones who are at risk for heart attacks on Monday morning, returning to work after the weekend. What controls these beat to beat changes is the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is the nervous system that controls all the body functions such as heartbeat, respiration, digestion etc... an it does it automatically. The two branches that are in control of this are the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems. They need to be able to shift back and forth as the body needs to make changes based on the body's needs and environmental changes.