Heart rate variability (HRV)
is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. It is a functional measure of the variation in the beat-to-beat interval.
The origin of heartbeat is located in a sino-atrial (SA) node of the heart, where a group of specialized cells continuously generates an electrical impulse spreading all over the heart muscle through specialized pathways and creating the process of heart muscle contraction synchronized between both atriums and ventricles. The SA node generates such impulses about 100-120 times per minute at rest. However, in healthy individuals resting heart rate (HR) would never be that high. This is due to continuous control of the autonomic nervous system over the output of SA node activity, which net regulatory effect gives real HR. In healthy subject at rest it is ranging between 50 and 70 beats per minute.
Health risk diagnosis is a profoundly important aspect of practice for all health care professionals. New technology has emerged that enables Functional Neurologists to quickly monitor the subtle changes in the vibratory rates of the parasympathetic and sympathetic activities. Autonomic Function tests painlessly and non-invasively observe these minute changes that give impactful insight as to the body’s autonomic regulatory functioning ability.
In more common terms, being able to observe these subtle rhythmic patterns of the heart rate (aka Heart Rate Variability (HRV)) allows Functional Neurologists to determine the effectiveness of given treatment plans including Autonomic Biofeedback techniques long before any serious physical symptoms arise.
The traditional approach of western medical practice is targeted on treating a specific disease. Once we realize we have a health-related concern, we usually pay a visit to a doctor. Upon doing a routine health checkup, which includes health questioning, physical examination and perhaps some basic lab works, the doctor comes up with a certain diagnostic hypothesis and prescribes an appropriate treatment. Symptomatic treatment is common and often the only treatment strategy. It consists of eradicating clinical symptoms of the disease and mitigating the patient’s condition. In some cases this strategy helps the patient to effectively fight the disease. In other cases, it is not enough and in the long run the disease will continue to develop.
A more thorough health evaluation could find the real causes of the disease, which are typically coming from more complex disturbances of the body’s inner regulatory mechanisms. The diagnosis and treatment of almost every disease, health risk and health care issue can be greatly enhanced by monitoring your Heart Rate Variability and assessing the autonomic balance.
Heart Rate Variability information can be readily utilized to evaluate and determine the effects of any of the following:
- Heart Function
- Blood Pressure
- Blood flow
- Immune system
- Blood sugar
- Respiratory system
- Bowel function
- Hormonal system
- Kidney function
- Liver function
- Bone density
- Metabolic system
- Sleep & Relaxation
Once a person’s neurological lesion or area of dysfunction is identified, then various modalities such as neuromuscular rehabilitation exercises, auditory stimulation, different visual stimulations, neurofeedback training, cognitive exercise and/or balance rehabilitation may be utilized to either increase or decrease function of areas of one’s nervous system.
The Functional Neurologist is specifically trained to determine the appropriate modalities and to determine one’s metabolic rate in order to maximize change.