Relationship between dysfunctional breathing patterns and ability to achieve target heart rate variability with features of “coherence” during biofeedback.

Relationship between dysfunctional breathing patterns and ability to achieve target heart rate variability with features of “coherence” during biofeedback.

Courtney, R., Cohen, M., van Dixhoorn J., Relationship between dysfunctional breathing patterns and ability to achieve target heart rate variability with features of “coherence” during biofeedback. Altern Ther Health Med. 2011 May-Jun;17(3):38-44.

Abstract

 

BACKGROUND:
Heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback is a self-regulation strategy used to improve conditions including asthma, stress, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respiratory muscle function affects hemodynamic influences on respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and HRV and HRV-biofeedback protocols often include slow abdominal breathing to achieve physiologically optimal patterns of HRV with power spectral distribution concentrated around the 0.1-Hz frequency and large amplitude. It is likely that optimal balanced breathing patterns and ability to entrain heart rhythms to breathing reflect physiological efficiency and resilience and that individuals with dysfunctional breathing patterns may have difficulty voluntarily modulating HRV and RSA. The relationship between breathing movement patterns and HRV, however, has not been investigated. This study examines how individuals’ habitual breathing patterns correspond with their ability to optimize HRV and RSA.
METHOD:
Breathing pattern was assessed using the Manual Assessment of Respiratory Motion (MARM) and the Hi Lo manual palpation techniques in 83 people with possible dysfunctional breathing before they attempted HRV biofeedback. Mean respiratory rate was also assessed. Subsequently, participants applied a brief 5-minute biofeedback protocol, involving breathing and positive emotional focus, to achieve HRV patterns proposed to reflect physiological “coherence” and entrainment of heart rhythm oscillations to other oscillating body systems.
RESULTS:
Thoracic-dominant breathing was associated with decreased coherence of HRV (r = -.463, P = .0001). Individuals with paradoxical breathing had the lowest HRV coherence (t(8) = 10.7, P = .001), and the negative relationship between coherence of HRV and extent of thoracic breathing was strongest in this group (r = -.768, P = .03).
CONCLUSION:
Dysfunctional breathing patterns are associated with decreased ability to achieve HRV patterns that reflect cardiorespiratory efficiency and autonomic nervous system balance. This suggests that dysfunctional breathing patterns are not only biomechanically inefficient but also reflect decreased physiological resilience. Breathing assessment using simple manual techniques such as the MARM and Hi Lo may be useful in HRV biofeedback to identify if poor responders require more emphasis on correction of dysfunctional breathing.

Yoga and heart rate variability: A comprehensive review of the literature

Yoga and heart rate variability: A comprehensive review of the literature

Tyagi, A., Cohen, M. (2016) Yoga and heart rate variability: A comprehensive review of the literature International Journal of Yoga 9(2) 97-113

Abstract

 

Heart rate variability (HRV) has been used as a proxy for health and fitness and indicator of autonomic regulation and therefore, appears well placed to assess the changes occurring with mind.-body practices that facilitate autonomic balance. While many studies suggest that yoga influences HRV, such studies have not been systematically reviewed. We aimed to systematically review all published papers that report on yoga practices and HRV. A comprehensive search of multiple databases was conducted and all studies that reported a measure of HRV associated with any yoga practice were included. Studies were categorized by the study design and type of yoga practice. A total of 59 studies were reviewed involving a total of 2358 participants. Most studies were performed in India on relatively small numbers of healthy male yoga practitioners during a single laboratory session. Of the reviewed studies, 15 were randomized controlled trials with 6 having a Jadad score of 3. The reviewed studies suggest that yoga can affect cardiac autonomic regulation with increased HRV and vagal dominance during yoga practices. Regular yoga practitioners were also found to have increased vagal tone at rest compared to non-yoga practitioners. It is premature to draw any firm conclusions about yoga and HRV as most studies were of poor quality, with small sample sizes and insufficient reporting of study design and statistical methods. Rigorous studies with detailed reporting of yoga practices and any corresponding changes in respiration are required to determine the effect of yoga on HRV.

Heart rate variability, flow, mood and mental stress during yoga practices in yoga practitioners, non-yoga practitioners and people with metabolic syndrome

Heart rate variability, flow, mood and mental stress during yoga practices in yoga practitioners, non-yoga practitioners and people with metabolic syndrome

Tyagi, A., Cohen, M., Reece, J., Telles, S., (2016) Heart Rate Variability, Flow, Mood and Mental Stress During Yoga Practices in Yoga Practitioners, Non-yoga Practitioners and People with Metabolic Syndrome Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback 1-1 DOI 10.1007/s10484-016-9340-23

Abstract

 

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia are directly associated with autonomic flexibility, self-regulation and well-being, and inversely associated with physiological stress, psychological stress and pathology. Yoga enhances autonomic activity, mitigates stress and benefits stress-related clinical conditions, yet the relationship between autonomic activity and psychophysiological responses during yoga practices and stressful stimuli has not been widely explored. This experimental study explored the relationship between HRV, mood states and flow experiences in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and people with metabolic syndrome (MetS), during Mental Arithmetic Stress Test (MAST) and various yoga practices. The study found that the MAST placed a cardio-autonomic burden in all participants with the YP group showing the greatest reactivity and the most rapid recovery, while the MetS group had significantly blunted recovery. The YP group also reported a heightened experience of flow and positive mood states compared to NY and MetS groups as well as having a higher vagal tone during all resting conditions. These results suggest yoga practitioners have a greater homeostatic capacity and autonomic, metabolic and physiological resilience. Further studies are now needed to determine if regular yoga practice may improve autonomic flexibility in non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients. Clinical Trial No ‘ACTRN 2614001075673’.