HRV in Professional Practice


Well trained health and fitness professionals successfully empower clients to “enhanced health and fitness” with education and coaching in the areas of self-awareness, stress management, nutrition and exercise. That said, with increased exposure to (and understanding of) the concepts relative to HRV, health and fitness professionals can enhance the process. Because of the association between HRV and the “status, activity, tension and efficiency of the autonomic nervous system” (Kucera, 2004, p. 6), HRV analysis provides a non-invasive, cost-effective, cutting-edge tool for building health in patients, which can be used in the following ways:

As a constant reminder to view the health and function of the body from a holistic, integrated perspective. The very nature of HRV provides a snapshot of how the ANS is interacting with the environment to maintain homeostasis (Kucera, 2004, p. 5) – it provides a “big picture” perspective of function. Knowing this not only keeps health professionals and clients thinking about health from a holistic perspective, but it also serves as a symbolic foundation from which a new “standard practice” of medicine can be created – a standard that turns more to holistic philosophy over the currently used reductionist/specialist approach.

As a visual tool to motivate and promote compliance. As mentioned above, the data obtained from HRV analysis gives specific insight into the underlying physiological action that’s taking place as the body adapts to its internal and external environment. Being able to “see” the typically “invisible” world, and witness the dynamic changes occurring as the body responds to treatment often makes HRV tests a “fun,” motivational tool.

As a vital tool for developing and monitoring nutritional protocols. When performed in conjunction with an individualized nutrition program, the data from HRV analysis can reaffirm the current “state” of a client’s ANS function and enable health and sports practitioners to more confidently determine a “starting point” for suggestions that will support natural health. Follow-up HRV tests will illuminate the client’s overall response to the nutritional protocol (among other things) and enable efficient fine-tuning, as necessary.

As a vital tool for “prescribing” precise exercise protocols. The data from HRV analysis provides a snapshot of the current “state” of a client’s ANS function and enables health professionals to more confidently determine a “starting point” for an exercise program (i.e. Should the client emphasize parasympathetic training, or are the regulatory systems functioning efficiently, thus allowing for training that is sympathetic dominant?). Follow-up HRV tests will illuminate the client’s overall response to the exercise protocol (among other things) and enable efficient fine-tuning, as necessary.

The premise behind mitochondrial therapy is as follows:

Cells, as the basic unit of life, provide the foundation for proper function of the body at every level of organisation (cell – tissue – system – organism). If intracellular function is poor (particularly regarding the mitochondria) – either because of irreparable physical damage or loss of efficiency due to aging and/or chronic stress – total organism function is poor, regardless of the care that’s being taken to enhance it. Reducing stress, eating quality nutrition and performing “ideal” exercise will have no impact, reduced impact, or even negative impact because the cell’s mitochondria aren’t efficiently producing energy. HRV works in conjunction with a supplement-aided, support program to “estimate the current health state of the individual’s fundamental regulatory controls . . . and to track the effectiveness of therapy as the patient’s body works to reestablish health from the cellular level, up.

As can be seen, health and fitness professionals can add exceptional value to their services and provide immeasurable benefit to their clients with the help of HRV analysis. With any luck, the utilization of HRV will become a more common practice as the future unfolds.

Conclusion

Inhabitants in today’s world have paid a high price for speed, technology and material abundance that surrounds them.  Their reduced connection with nature, combined with excessive mental, emotional, spiritual and physical stress, has given rise to an epidemic of chronic disease that reduces quality of life and threatens their very survival.  The discovery and understanding of HRV, the single most common risk factor in chronic diseases, gives people hope for creating health, while giving professionals the means to help their clients to do so.   As the future emerges and HRV becomes a more commonly used vital statistic, patients/clients will have another tool to help them remember to stay in touch with themselves, to bring more balance to their lives . . . and to enable them to live with the health that is their birthright.

Resources:

Kucera, M. (2004). System securing integrity of organism and its internal environment stability – forgotten healing power. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Michael Kucera.

Copyright ©2013 Christopher Warden