While we think of our heartbeat as steady and predictable, in fact, there’s considerable variability in heart rate, even among people in good health. In fact, greater heart rate variability (HRV) is correlated with greater health and fitness, as greater variability typically indicates higher functioning, more adaptability, a greater level of resilience.
Key to this relationship is the fact that heart rate is controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system. By assessing the health of the nervous system periodically through heart rate variability testing, Dr. Stills is able to track how a patient is responding to therapies and what therapies would help them best. If you are stuck in a “fight or flight” mode and very stressed out, heart rate variability is the most accurate way to uncover that physiologically and track your return to balance.
What Does an HRV Test Uncover?
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) testing is another tool for measuring overall health. It’s useful for:
- Helping with early detection of disease, including cancer
- Assessing how hard your heart is working to deal with current health and life issues (stress)
- Tracking your progress in treatment and your personal response to therapies
- Evaluating the health of the parasympathetic nervous system
What is an HRV Test Like?
The heart rate variability test is non-invasive and takes about 10 minutes, during which patients remain fully clothed.