Heart Rate Variability, or HRV for short, is a relatively new concept outside of elite sport which is now being used by more people as a strong indicator of our body’s (and nervous system’s) ability to withstand stress. In fact a recent study of evidence concluded, “current neurobiological evidence suggests that HRV is impacted by stress and supports its use for the objective assessment of psychological health and stress”. Given the past twelve months, we have decided that it would be a useful addition to our objective assessment of your health. Who hasn’t had a period over the last year when you haven’t felt youself?
The effects of psychological stress associated with the pandemic lockdowns are only just being reported, but we all know from personal experience that this has affected our emotional health in different ways. Symptoms such as poor sleep, irritability, tense shoulders, achy legs, digestive upset, as well as feelings of anxiety, have been reported. These are all signs that our nervous system has been “wound up” and is spending more time in “fight/flight”, our danger-response mode. The prefered mode, “rest/digest/reproduce”, is our default position of healthy function. In fact, some scientists theorise that there can be a third position, “freeze/faint” where issues such as sleep apnea, heart arrythmias and even autistic spectrum issues are thought to occur.
At this point I have to say, if you have any of the above problems, an appointment with a registered health professional is advised. Equally, if you have already had a diagnosis of perhaps sleep apnea, IBS, thyroid under-/over-activity or anxiety, it is absolutely essential that you follow any medical advice. There is never a time when medication should be stopped without having had a full discussion with your GP or consultant.
There are ways in which you may be able to improve your health alongside though.We shall be discussing this at a seminar I am holding on Tuesday 16th March at 8pm. It will be live on our Facebook page, and available as a recording after the 16th. A healthy lifestyle is always something that we consider essential. Whether you have any of the above problems or not, so please feel free to tune in regardless of your current condition.
We are keen to help you to improve your nervous system function. HRV is a good indicator of the function of your nervous system under stress. If you are a current patient, please ask for more details, and we can book you in for a free HRV check, usually at the time of your reassessment visit. If you are not yet a patient with us, please contact us to arrange an appointment. We can discuss and evaluate your current health status. We shall take a full medical and lifestyle history, then check your posture, range of motion, muscles, joints and nerves. Our findings are always shared with you, along with our recommendations for any care we deem appropriate. There is no obligation beyond the consultation.