New App To Reduce Stress
Did you know that you could decompress and de-stress by consciously focusing on your breathing to slow it down? And that in turn would optimize your heart rate? Well, practicers of yoga have known this as have their teachers who by trial and error have maintained health through relaxation techniques.
And now, producers of MyCalmBeat have capitalized on this information, creating an app which uses a heart rate monitor that attaches to the ear to detect a person's optimal and uniquely individual breathing rate. (Natasha Baker, Reuters) Using the app the client can adjust the variability of their heart rate to lower their stress.
Savannah DeVarney, vice president of product marketing for MyBrainSolutions, commented about her company's new product application, "People don't realize the profound impact that slow breathing can have until they actually sit down and do it for 10 minutes and then they feel completely different."
Purchasers of the app first find their optimal breathing range. Through animated exercises, they learn how to breathe at their optimum as the monitor feeds back their heart rate variability..
According to DeVarney, instead of looking at the heart rate, they are looking at the degree to which the space between consecutive heart beats varies. When a person stresses out, their heart rate becomes consistent and variability is minimized. When they relax, variability is maximized, slowing down as they breathe out and speeding up as they breathe in. People who meditate for hours increase their heart rate variability because they are in a very relaxed state.
"We know that for most people their resonant frequency is between 7.5 and 4.5 breaths per minute. The software maps your heart rate variability through each of those rates to find the breathing rate where it becomes maximized," said DeVarney. (Baker, Reuters)
Dr Richard Gevirtz, a professor at the Alliant International University in San Diego, California collaborated with the company to create the app. Gevirtz conducts research in heart rate variability. (Chicago Tribune)
If the app actually helps individuals increase heart rate variability, then they will be able to lower their stress. To do this it is suggested that they train 10 minutes a day, three days a week.
Available for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android.