Dill-Standiford Psychological Associates are pleased to announce that Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training is now available in our clinic. Heart rate variability (HRV) is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. This variation can change in response to physical and emotional demands during the day and high levels of HRV generally reflect better resilience to stress and greater behavioral flexibility. HRV is a marker for mental health and numerous studies have shown that individuals dealing with conditions such as Anxiety, Depression and PTSD often have low HRV.
The regulation of Heart Rate Variability results from the activity of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS regulates a number of involuntary physiological processes in the body, including breathing, digestion, blood pressure and heart rate. The ANS is composed of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous system, which can be generally described as the "React" (sympathetic) and "Relax" (parasympathetic) pathways. For instance, when stressful situations occur, the sympathetic nervous system speeds up the heart, reduces HRV and directs blood away from the gut and towards the muscles and brain. In contrast, when we are relaxed and calm, the parasympathetic nervous system slows the heart, increases HRV and directs blood to the gut to promote digestion.
The balanced activity between the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous system underlies high HRV and is thought to be an important contributing factor in maintaining healthy physical and mental states. However, for individuals with Anxiety, Depression and PTSD, a reduction in HRV indicates that these two components of the ANS are not in balance and that there is a dominance of the Sympathetic Nervous system, which promotes a lasting "fight or flight" condition that inhibits the ability of the body and mind to achieve a relaxed and calm disposition.
Improve resilience and adaptability
Optimize training and recovery
Improve mental health –mood, depression, anxiety
Improve mental performance and cognition
Measure systemic inflammation
Track progress and guide treatment plans
Re-balance the nervous system