"The primary objective of chiropractic care is to optimize health and well-being through the enhancement of nervous system function by reducing nerve interference caused by vertebral subluxations." While that may be the objective, most chiropractors also seek to repeatedly measure and prove it as well. Have you ever exercised and watched your heart rate? With all of the fit bits, watches, and heart rate monitors, it is easier than ever to have our data during exercise. But have you ever heard of heart rate variability? It differs greatly than just watching your heart rate before, during, and after exercise. All over the world, chiropractors, exercise physiologists, and cardiologists are assessing their patients functions by measuring heart rate variability. It is even being used to predict illness in elite level athletes.
Heart rate variability in general terms determines that when you have more variability in between beats of your heart, the healthier and more fit you are. The more variability means that your cardiac system is reacting well to the changes in your body during exercise, such as the changes in oxygenation when you inhale and exhale. Heart rate variability also indicates whether your central nervous system is in a fight or flight mode (low variation) or a rest and repair mode (high variation). As seen in the chart above, the sympathetic nervous system is what most people now are in a constant overdrive setting. Meaning, we are so chronically stressed, that we even think our exercise has to be so intense for a long period of time that we never give our heart rate time to recover, and therefore actually do more harm than good while exercising. This can be damaging to our nervous system which leads to illness and disease.
Chiropractors in Australia looked to quantify exactly how heart rate variability can change or improve with chiropractic care. Their study followed patients over the course of 10 to 52 weeks and saw major improvements in their heart rate variability. Just like eating right, exercising, and proper sleep, chiropractic care keeps the body functioning at its best, allowing for a long, healthy, and fit life. Have questions about heart rate variability or want it explained in more detail? Schedule with us to improve this often overlooked aspect of our health!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Nicholas J. Knutson
MOUNTAIN ISLAND CHIROPRACTIC
10917 Black Dog Ln., Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28214
Tel (704) 394-8556
Fax (704) 395-8556
"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." JV
Haas, A. L., PhD, DC, & Russell, D, BSc(Psych), BSc(Chiro), Cer TT. SUSTAINED IMPROVEMENT OF HEART RATE VARIABILITY IN PATIENTS UNDERGOING A PROGRAM OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE:A RETROSPECTIVE CASE SERIES. Clinical Journal of Australia, 45(4). 339-358.