The Heart Rate Variability is simply a measure of the variation in time between heartbeats. This variation is controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS is subdivided into two large components, the sympathetic (known as “fight or flight”) and the parasympathetic (known as “rest and digest”). It works independently of your desires and regulates, among other things, our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and digestion.
Why is it important to measure?
HRV and mitochondria – Energy and overall health status depend on the function of mitochondria, as among its many functions it serves as a key component in modulating the stress response. This important cell structure has the capacity to regenerate, known as mitochondrial biogenesis, that it allows it to respond to the internal environment signals and meet the ever-changing body demands. However unrelenting stress may mitigate mitochondrial biogenesis leading to dysfunction and poor energy production. Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly recognized as a key component in acute and chronic disease states, however the extent of its involvement and mechanism of action remains unclear.
By assessing HRV we can gain insights into patient’s level of imbalance and whether chronic stress is contributing to mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic disease.
Much like the ZYTO, we complete an HRV on every new patient and repeat the test on each subsequent follow up visit with the naturopath or after certain therapies to determine general health status or efficacy of treatment.