With millions of people wearing FitBits and iWatches, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) has been gaining more and more attention. First off, what the heck is HRV?
Heart Rate Variability: the variation in the time interval between heart beats.
Why is this important, you ask? Scientists used to think that the heart rate should be consistent since the human body strives for homeostasis. However, recent research has been showing that it is healthy for people to have variations in heart rate. In fact, the more variation the healthier your heart and overall health is. An optimal level of HRV within an organism reflects healthy function and an inherent self-regulatory capacity, adaptability, or resilience. Self-regulatory capacity sure sounds like the nervous system’s innate ability for function and healing. On the other end of the spectrum, too low HRV indicates system depletion, chronic stress, pathology, or inadequate self-regulatory control.
Better HRV = Better Health
This is the interesting part…
Chiropractic adjustments can directly influence your HRV and thus increase your healthy longevity. In a 2001 study1, Budgell et al. showed a cervical (neck) adjustment improved HRV. This stuff is exciting! I hope this gets you fired up like it does for me!
So when you get your chiropractic adjustments, take pride in knowing that it has many positive effects on your overall quality of health for today and tomorrow.
1. Budgell B, Hirano F; Innocuous mechanical stimulation of the neck and alterations in heart-rate variability in healthy young adults; Autonomic Neuroscience. 2001 Aug 13;91(1-2):96-9