Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a measure of the minute changes in time between heartbeats. HRV is one of the hottest areas of health and biofeedback research because studies have found that a low HRV is the single most important leading-indicator of heart disease. *Low HRV is a more accurate indicator of impending death from Congestive Heart Failure than obesity, cholesterol or age. Therefore, increasing HRV is the most important preventative measure to reduce the risk of death from CHF. Heart Rhythm Meditation is the most effective way known to increase HRV. No drug has the effect of increasing HRV; this can only be done by breath exercises. We increase HRV by controlling the breath rate to match some number of heartbeats, and then increasing the volume of breath, which is technically called "Vital Capacity." Many benefits result, including the increased ability to cope with emotional stress without physical stress, faster healing, increased learning speeds, and general feelings of well-being.
HRM is the only method that actually synchronizes the two fundamental biological oscillators (heart rate and breath rate) because only HRM makes the heartbeat conscious. Even a beginning student of Heart Rhythm Meditation is able to make an HRV instrument register 100% entrainment consistently.
In advanced HRM, we also synchronize the brain waves to the heartbeat, giving a three-way entrainment. This has the added advantage of calming the mind and increasing concentration ability.
* Ponikowski et al., (1997) "Depressed HRV as an independent predictor of death in chronic congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy." American Journal of Cardiology, 79(12):1645-50 Tsuji et al., (1996) "Impact of reduced HRV on risk for cardiac events. The Framingham Heart Study." Circulation, 94(11):2850-5