How Does Our Heart Rate Variability Machine Measure The Effects Of Chronic Stress On The Nervous System?

We think it is so important to scan patients with our technology because it is the only way to track what is happening to the body without simply relying on the way someone “feels”.  We feel great until we don’t so things are going on inside our body that we don’t know about until it is too late.

Dr. David Fletcher, Chairman of the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, tries to simplify the space foundation’s technology that developed the Pulse Wave Profiler for our subluxation station that we use with most of our patients.  Simply put, Dr. Fletcher states that  “Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a representation of the balance existing between the Sympathetic(S) – “Fight or Flight” response and Parasympathetic (PS) – “Rest and Digest” response of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which controls every organ and function of your body”.  We live our life through our ANS and we must make sure that our body regulates and adapts well to all stimuli presented to us each day.  It is what heals us when we are sick and injured and keeps our body working efficiently.

So how is your heart rate measured?

The heart rate is measured using ECG’s or pulse wave profiles (plethysmograms). Increased S-tone relates to decreased variability. Increased PS-tone increases variability. An increase in variability is synonymous with the increased adaptability to environmental stimuli such as chemical, emotional and physical stress. A decrease in variability has been linked to any number of pre- degenerative or morbid, deteriorating physiologic states. HRV is not an exact diagnosis of disease but rather an indicator of the present state of adaptability of the brain and spinal cord.

Chronic increases in health risk can be observed and reported when sequential HRV reading are obtained. The ANS is involved in all disease states and is inherent in promoting a desirable state of wellness and performance. By producing hormones such as adrenaline and glucocorticoids, the sympathetic system stimulates a fight-flight response. The heart rate increases and the vasomotor tone of the periphery constricts (as seen in para-spinal thermal scans).

Chronic stress leading to dis-stress will swing the balance and reduce the variability. Low readings indicate a declining state of health and adaptability. One can easily identify the amount of  “stress reserve.” Stress reserve can be defined as how easily your body can adapt to the stress it is introduced to and get rid of it.  If it can not get rid of this stress, then the body is going to hold onto it and it will be unable to function properly as far as communication with the brain and spinal cord and being ill adapt at dealing with new stress introduced to the body.