Questions about coherence and HearthMath products

edited May 2017 in Stress Hacking

I can not get my head around the products made by HeartMath.
Please bring me some enlightment to the the following questions.

When creating coherence, is there a unique breathing pace that is dependent on the current HRV? For example (I am making the numbers up) when the HRV is 70, then the ideal breathing pace is say 8 seconds long, and when the HRV is 90, then the ideal breathing pace is say 10 seconds long. Or, is the breath pace not dependent on the HRV, and a rule of thumb is, for example "longer paces creates more coherence"?

When using a Heart Math product, is the product one day directing the user to one breath pace and on another day guiding to another pace (if HRV is different between the two days), or is the pacing guide always steering the user to a fixed breathing pace, say, 10 second paces?

I have seen some Android apps that uses a HRV reading to indicate how close the user is to a state of coherence. They seems to use the rule that "the longer the pace the better". They seems to not alter the recommended pace due to the current HRV.
Also, how possible is it that these apps make correct calculations of coherence? Is there an app that display a correct coherence measure?

Have a good one!


  • In my limited experience: Play with the different breath paces to find what works for you. I have found that 6 breaths per minute works really well for me. Different people have different lung capacities. I worked with a Naturopathic Doctor before I purchased the Heart Math Sensor and that is the rate she helped me find. If I vary it, I find my ability to get into coherence is lessened.

  • whitesawwwhitesaww
    edited September 2017

    Great question. Your resonant breathing rate is not a function of HRV. HRV is generally higher when you are breathing at your resonant breathing rate. But, there are multiple things that can impact HRV at any given time. Most people find breathing at a rate of 6 breaths a minute (10 second breath cycles) is the magic number for them. The power spectrum graph will show a single peak right at .1 Hz and there were be little to no power distributed to the left or right of that peak.

    HeartMath has multiple products. To find out your optimal breathing pattern, it is easiest to figure out using the emWave Pro on a computer. It allows you to see and change the breath pace during a session. It also allows you to see the power spectrum reading during the session. Neither of those is possible with the InnerBalance app on a phone. You have to flip back and forth between the screens which is annoying. You can see it all at one time on the computer screen. Start with breath cycle at 7 seconds for at least a one minute session. Notice the maximum height of the power spectrum. Increase the cycle to 8 seconds, let it run for a minute and make note of the height of the power spectrum. Keep increasing by one second up to where it is uncomfortable or you reach a 14 second cycle. The rate at which you achieved the maximum power spectrum rating is your resonant breathing rate. It is also the rate at which you have the maximum difference between the peak and the trough of your HRV wave. This can be done with InnerBalance but it is clunkier. As you get better at resonant breathing and your body gets in the swing of things, you may be able to slowly increase the breath cycle time and score more points faster if you get addicted like I have.

    Each app has their own definition of the score they calculate. HeartMath determines where your peak is on the power spectrum and then adds up the power distributed .015 to the left through .015 hz to the right of it. That is defined as peak power. Coherence = peak power / (total power - peak power).

  • There is a way to synchronise your breathing with your heartbeat and reach your max levels of HC without using any equipment.

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