At Bend Counseling & Biofeedback, we offer a specific type of biofeedback called HeartMath. It is a research-based approach to helping people achieve greater coherence and higher functioning. Coherence can be compared to “being in flow” or “being in the zone.” HeartMath consists of tools and technology to help clients learn to manage their emotions and is based on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) or the beat to beat changes in heart rate.
“A change of heart changes everything” is one motto from the researchers at HeartMath. One of the unique factors of the HeartMath system is the role of the heart and emotions. With over 19 years of research, HeartMath has shown that our emotions impact our physiology on a moment to moment basis. Negative emotions tend to cause incoherent heart rhythms and higher cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which is depleting. On the other hand, positive emotions lead to more coherence in the body overall and are renewing. The simple, yet effective HeartMath techniques are designed to cause a shift in both the nervous system and the hormonal system. The biofeedback technology offers clients confirmation that what they are feeling subjectively has a simultaneous response physiologically.
How it works: You hook up to the feedback through either a finger or ear sensor. The output on the screen will allow you to see your level of coherence in any given moment. The coherence levels are calculated by the software and are based on your Heart Rate Variability (HRV). You will be guided through the various research-based techniques to learn to shift to higher coherence levels. Games and visualizers on the software are options during the feedback portion of the training. People say that they like learning the techniques with the verification from the computer feedback because it gives them more confidence to apply the techniques in their daily life. One of the greatest benefits of learning the HeartMath techniques is an increased ability to control and regulate your emotions. Cultivating greater balance in your heart, mind, and body can lead to decreased stress levels, higher functioning, better relationships, and more creativity.
See our Biofeedback page for more information about Biofeedback as a healing modality!
Research studies have been done using HeartMath to help test anxiety, ADHD, hypertension, diabetes, improved performance, decreasing stress, improving academic performance and behavior, PTSD, goal clarity, anxiety, and depression.
I am very thankful to Lindsay and HeartMath for bringing more peace and inner harmony into my life. It is absolutely empowering to see the results of my stress levels with the biofeedback software. This awareness gives me that extra push and validation to make more positive changes in the moment, transferring to ways to increase my coherence and inner peace outside of sessions. Since learning HeartMath with Lindsay, I have noticed that my anxiety has decreased overall. Applying my HeartMath breathing techniques to anxiety-provoking situations outside of sessions is so simple, yet effective. Overall, my stress levels have decreased and my mood has definitely improved, which has led to more balance in my life and relationships.