By: Jessica Mattern
The Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is an assessment tool that is utilized to accurately, and quantitatively, assess the present status of the autonomic nervous system, as well as the regulatory capacity of the client. The HRV, is a computerized system with a heart rate monitor. It is a noninvasive procedure which measures the heart rate throughout the examination, evaluating Heart Rate Variability. Based on these findings, a quantitative assessment of the Autonomic Nervous System can be formed.
The Autonomic Nervous System is the part of the nervous system and it controls functions such as respiration, blood circulation, temperature control and digestion, There are two parts of the ANS:
1 - Sympathetic Autonomic Nervous System (SNS): Is responsible for triggering our reaction system to a stressful situation, controlling our “fight and / or flight” reaction, increasing our blood pressure, heart rate and blood flow in the muscles.
2 - Parasympathetic Autonomic Nervous System (PSNS): Is the system that heals, digest, rests and conserves our energy.
The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Autonomic Nervous System must be balanced to improve health and performance.
As the Autonomic Nervous System is responsible, among other things, for the control and determination of the heart rate. Therefore, by quantifying it through HRV, we can assess the organism's ability to perform its usual functions. From the quantitative findings of the HRV we can assess the following:
(1) Degree of Physical Fitness at the time of the examination;
(2) The level of stress on the body and its ability to adapt;
The great advantage of this method is the ability to detect early signs of functional changes associated to stress. In addition to being a non-invasive procedure, the test is completed in approximately 10 minutes.
The HRV acts as a faithful parameter of fitness, health and stress levels.
About Dr. Hill
Dr. Lester (Ted) Hill is a licensed Osteopathic physician, an advanced clinical Nutrition Response Testing® practitioner, and the founder of East Liverpool Family Practice.