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HRV and Neuromodulation

Three (3) Key Markers directly related to optimal human Health

  1. Stress (sympathetic)
  2. Vagal tone (parasympathetic)
  3. Heart Rate Variability (HRV-balance)

Neuromodulation is defined as “the alteration of nerve activity through targeted delivery of a stimulus, such as electrical stimulation or chemical agents, to specific neurological sites in the body.”

Imbalances of the parasympathetic (rest, heal and calming) and sympathetic (flight/fight/freeze) branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) are directly linked to a wide variety of pain and diseases. Designed for short term survival, “upregulation” or persistent tone in the sympathetic system, called stress, is directly related to a cascade of negative neurophysiological responses that are directly connected to chronic disease and impaired exercise tolerance. Real time analyses of sympatho-vagal responses may be now accurately measured using electro-cardiograms (ECG).

Sympathetic Stress

Sympathetic Stress is the “gas” of the human body. It represents the percentage (%) of body’s immediate current cardiac muscle oxygen demand in relation to heart work (amount of stress the body is experiencing at the present time), and measured as the stress index (SI). Stress Index is correlated to C-Reactive Protein and is a marker of sympathetic failure. C-Reactive Protein is produced by the liver and increases with inflammation. It is well-established that high stress values (sympathetic over activity) are implicated in cardiac pathology, morbidity, reduced quality-of-life, and precipitous mortality.

Parasympathetic Vagal Tone

Parasympathetic Vagal Tone is the “brakes of the human body”. It is involved with restoration and repair, nourishment, digestion and detoxification, immunologic balance, and provides our innate sense of vitality and well-being. This control of the sympatho-vagal response is mediated through the 10th cranial nerve (vagus nerve) and results in slowing of the heart rate, controlling sweating, regulating blood pressure, stimulating peristalsis and controlling vascular tone.​ Low HF values are cited with poor sports recovery and reduced muscles strength and sub-optimal health. Parasympathetic health is represented in vagal tone and is measured in Electro-Cardiogram (ECG) testing as the marker High Frequency (HF).