Heart Rate Variability-Biofeedback for Peak Performance Training
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a biofeedback modality that assesses, and trains heart rhythms, as well as heart-brain interactions and communication. Variability means changes in the interval or distance between one beat of the heart and the next. The interbeat interval (IBI) is the time between one R-wave (or heart beat) and the next, in milliseconds. The IBI is highly variable within any given time period.
Multiple biological rhythms overlay one another to produce the resultant pattern of variability. Interbeat interval variations, or heart rate variability, have relevance for physical, emotional, and mental function. The heart and the brain interact via the Vagus Nerve and that interaction is 95% afferent. That is, 95% of the information about our emotions and behaviors go from the heart to the brain.
HRV biofeedback increases athletic performance by optimizing heart rhythmicity which optimizes brain-body functioning. A healthy HRV correlates with increased blood perfusion and oxygenation to the brain, which in turn enhances cognitive performance resulting in better focus, increased self-confidence, better executive functioning, optimized memory and overall better health.
After 5 minutes of HRV training (coherent breathing technique) the μ desynchronizes (deactivates) and the athlete is more present and therefore adheres faster to the recovery process both physically and mentally.