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Heart rate variability – HRV – based on ECG

1. Your Guide to Heart Rate Variability (created by a guest writer )

Heart rate variability is a subject that many people are talking about recently. It is used to monitor the overall health through looking at the time between heartbeats in milliseconds.

While heart rate variability is not a new discovery, it is a phenomenon that keeps growing. It has become more popular to the development of devices that can be used on a daily basis.

Heart rate variability is the newest way to track your well-being in the comfort of your own home.

1.1 What is heart rate variability?

hrv-heart-rate-variability-ecg

 

HRV is a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat in milliseconds. The autonomic nervous system controls the variation regardless of what the human body is doing. The hypothalamus in the human brain sends signals through the autonomic nervous system to the body to produce a relaxed feeling or stimulate functions.

Everything that you experience in your daily life from excitement of getting a new job to complete exhaustion from lack of sleep is stimulated through the autonomic nervous system. Due to certain factors in each person’s life, you could suffer through a persistent trigger such as work stress, lack of exercise, and unhealthy lifestyle that can eventually make your autonomic nervous system responses imbalanced.

1.2 Why is it important?

 

 frequency-spectrum-nervous-system-show-in-hrv

Throughout the years, scientists have discovered that a healthier autonomic nervous system allows the human body to become more resilient. The higher one’s heart rate variability is the healthier they are.

Studies have found that people with high HRV can handle stress better and their cardiovascular system works efficiently, while people with low HRV have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, and depression.

Many professionals measure their HRV as a way to improve their lifestyle, motivate them to become healthier, and increase their activity.

2. How HRV is measured

The heart rate variations can be measured using different methods. It detects QRS complex through recording of electrical activity of the heart, as well as normal-to-normal intervals.

2.1 Statistical methods

A series of heart rates or cycle intervals that have been recorded for a long period of time, often for 24 hours long. This method compares HRV that has been recorded during many daily activities such as sleep with an analysis of electrocardiographic recording.

2.2 Geometrical methods

Normal-to-normal intervals can be converted into geometrical patterns using three ways. The measurement of HRV can be converted into a geometric pattern, which is later inserted into a mathematical shape that is categorized based on a pattern to represent a variety of HRV classes.

These methods are used for many heart rate monitors that are constantly improving and growing. The most common way to test your HRV is going to a medical office that attaches wires to the chest.

In the recent years companies have developed an affordable approach to measure HRV, which is through downloading an app that analyzes data from a chest strap heart monitor. You can also purchase a device that is placed on the wrist or finger to check your daily HRV measures.

3. Kari Nokela’s comments – 2 basic measuring method groups

It looks like writer has not told much about the overall variety of Frequency domain methods. Vedapulse analyser uses so advanced Frequency domain algorithms, that they can even show individual diseasies from the Spectrum.  Commonly used terms high and low hrv are rooted to more primitive Frequency domain measurements/calculations. On the other hand the term geometrical methods belongs to the basic group of time domain methods.

The exact terminology and division of heart rate variability into different kind of methods can be found in english language Wikipedia.

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