Monday, September 18, 2006


(Heart Rate Variability)

If the time between different heartbeats is t1 , t2 , t3 , … , tn milliseconds , then HRV is the mathematical variability between these intervals .

From clinical observation , it has been ascertained that low HRV is strongly correlated with further myocardial infarctions (MI) after a first MI .

In general , it is strongly suspected that low HRV is a macro-indicator of the vulnerability of an organism to a sudden shock .

Cells and nerve complexes optimize on heartbeat and breath.
Heartbeats during Inbreath accelerate .
Heartbeats during Outbreath decelerate .

Chaotic processes can be entrained .

Evolutionary :
1 .Gradual selection pressures operate at extremes .
2 .But today’s extremes are tomorrow’s survivor norms .

Combine the two principles over time :
Organisms without drop-dead immune systems like sharks or crocodiles are driven to evolve into more-and-more specialized forms by competition from their relatives . Since each competition takes place in a finite arena , the organism evolves to fit the arena . If the arena changes , the organism cannot handle the change and becomes an ex-organism .

The relevance to HRV is that the environment (arena) of each cell in a creature with a heart and lungs are governed by two macro-factors :

Energy (ie oxygen and glucose) is more available during the systolic pulse and less available during the diastolic pulse . Waste products have to be removed .

Evolutionary systems zero in on this difference and optimize for glucose and oxygen availability  during inbreaths . Metabolic rates are at a maximum and waste products build up (since , by definition , the cell is at a relative extreme) .

This is expanded upwards into nerve-complexes : ie
Inhalation is accompanied by stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system of fight-or-flight.
Expiration is accompanied by stimulation of the para-sympathetic nervous system of recuperation .

The breathing rate has a direct influence on the cellular metabolic rate . More important , the neural and hormonal paths developed to control this has a single point-of-influence : the breathing rate .

The question here is : why can the breathing rate still be under conscious control ?
The answer seems to be that there are too many receptors monitoring the breathing process : the movement of muscles and skin-pressure receptors .

There is also a meme-connection : knowing when to fight-or-flee when the only input is sociological has a major survival advantage . (If the king gives you a hate filled glance , run like hell)

How it may seem , humans can control their breathing rate consciously . This affects their nervous system and ultimately their cells .

Yoga is one discipline that uses this interface . But it is slow . Western science gives various routes which are quicker .

Biofeedback and entrainment might not give wisdom , but it can teach you to do the same tricks in a few hours as a fakir spent a lifetime in mastering .

So what we do is combine western electronics with eastern mysticism to form a result which is repetitive on demand .

There are two types of this system:
! . Continuous feedback (like in bio systems or sociological systems).
2 . Interrupted feedback (or quantal feedback) . This is the usual modality with humans sociological systems .
The usual evolutionary path is from big chunks to smaller chunks of info. The chunks get smaller , but in real life they do not go infinitesimal . The only way it can do that is by superposition , in which case the basic assumptions that something is identifiable is no longer valid .

Essentially , a quantal universe is unstable . And may you have joy of that observation.

To get back to HRV.
Training heartbeat then simply  involves :
  1. Taking a measurement of blood pressure and heartbeat (Standard BP instrument)

  2. Input Heartrate into HART program. (say 90 beats per minute)

  3. Set target Heartrate (say  70 bpm)

  4. Input breathing rate (eg 6 per minute)

  5. Breathe according to forced timing , while watching entrainment of heartbeat on screen. This enforced entrainment is per inspiration and expiration .

  6. Check Bloodpressure and heartbeat at end .

The Breathrate driver’s width fluctuates according to the chaotic driver input.

This is a KISS system..It cannot get simpler .