Inner Balance For Ios Review

Inner Balance Review


Purchased the HeartMath Inner Balance for the iPhone at the beginning of June 2013. First found out about HRV through this post on the Bulletproof Forum in March 2013.


 


http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/2682-interesting-ted-talk-on-hart-rate-variability/?hl=%2Bted+%2Btalk


 


Found the whole thing very interesting (watch part 2 as well) and started to look into it. There are a few examples of HRV monitors out there, which I looked (not particularly thoroughly) into. All priced around the same price of £99 in the UK (cheaper in the US at $99). 


 


Inner Balance (http://www.bulletproof.com/heartmath-inner-balance-sensor-for-ios-lightning)


 


Some others out there:


Emwave2 (http://www.bulletproof.com/heartmath-emwave2-silver-blue)


ithlete (http://myithlete.com)


BioForce HRV (http://www.bioforcehrv.com)


 


Why did I choose the InnerBalance. Basically I starting listening to all the podcast I'd never heard of that Dave Asprey had guested on. He was talking up the inner balance on a few of them and it was something I wanted to try. I've jumped on the bulletproof bandwagon and have found it's worked really well for me and everything I've tried that Dave has talked about has worked. So I though, his been 100% right with everything so far, so Fuck it, I'll be lazy and just follow his advise again. Maybe the others might have been better as i'm into training, but I trusted Dave's recommendation. Should you? No. Research and make your own mind up which one is better for you. 


 


What you get


So after I took delivery of my inner balance, it was time to open it up and see what £99 got me. Basically not too much hardware. All you get is an HeartMath Sensor for iOS and a carrying case. 


 


InnerBalance_1.jpg


 


For iPhone 5 you need to buy a seperate adaptor. £30


(http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MD824ZM/A/lightning-to-30-pin-adapter-02m?fnode=45&fs=m.iphoneCompatibility%3Diphone5)


I'd advise this one, as the smaller one struggles if you have a case on your phone, which you'll have to take off each time you want to use it, depending on cover of course.


 


InnerBalance_3.jpg


 


That's all you get! You actually download the app from iTunes to your phone for free, but you can't use it without the sensor. So I'd actually downloaded in a fair few weeks ago when I looked into it. 


https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inner-balance/id569278747?mt=8


 


So once you've got your sensor, downloaded the app and bought the adaptor if you're on an iPhone 5, you're at last ready to go!


 


What you do


If you plug in the sensor the phone will ask you if you want to go to the app. If the sensor isn't attached and you launch the app you get a 'No Sensor Found' message. If the sensor is attached you're ready to go, once you've attached the clip to your ear.


 


There's four pages to the app, which I'll not go too deep into. Session – Review – Journal – HeartMath. Three are just info and stored data. Not important to start with. You'll just want to go to Session to use the device.


 


The app will run through a guide on first starting up, which you can turn off once you've got an idea of what you're doing. There's no real manual that comes with the sensor, so this is your guide. Worked will for me except for one thing. Stopping the session, which meant I lost a few sessions I did at the beginning. Otherwise it's not too difficult to get going on.


 


InnerBalance_Screen1.jpg InnerBalance_Screen2.jpg


 


Once on Session, you just need to tap once to start the session and get the breathing pacer going. There's a few things going on and I don't want to get too deep into it so I'll just cover the basics. You can change the set-up using the button top right. Once the session starts the pacer will start moving and guiding you on when and how long to breathe in and out. You'll also see your heart rate as a line at the top and a coloured dot to tell you how you're doing. Red, Blue or Green.


 


The idea is you follow the pacer with smooth, regular breathing and as your heart rate regulates you'll turn the dot from Red to Blue to Green at you go into coherence. You want to keep it in the green as you breathe. Every 3 seconds the colour of the dot fills in around the pacer so you can see how you're doing. Once it completes a circle it's around 3 mins done, on which it'll continue around the pacer as your session continues (don't quote me).


 


That's about it! There's lots more, but it's all basically extras. There's 4 other screens you can use instead of the basic one, with different info showing and a dot at the bottom to pace your breathing. I've found the pacing of the breathing is the most import thing to keep in the green and the other screens don't work as well for me, so I've just been using the first main screen. I normally flick through after 5 mins to see my actual heart rate and how my session is going, but will sometimes drop me from Green to blue as I'm messing around.


 


InnerBalance_Screen4.jpg


 


It's advised that you try and do two 5 minutes session a day for 6 days and one longer 10 min session on one day, but you can do more if you have time. I've been doing two sessions each day for at least 5 mins, normally more like 8-11mins. One when I wake up and one before I go to bed. I do them in Bed, lying down and relaxed as possible. Once you've done enough time double tap on the screen to end your session. You can then review it on the other pages or go to Review and see the Date, Length, Coherence and Achievement. This is all data you can track and I don't want to get too deep into it, as I'm no expert. There's also settings before and after when you can pick a face to reflect how you're feeling before and after the sessions. You can turn this off in the settings if you don't want to use it. Not sure how helpful it'll be tracking your data.


 


So how's a session


On writing this review, I've only had it a week and only done around 12 session. Longest has been 12 mins, shortest 5 mins. My achievement and coherence have got slowly better at I've got use to using it and I've gone from Level 1 to Level 2 out of 4. I'm finding I'm getting better at keeping the green light on and getting it back once I lose it. I do need on concentrate of the pacer to get my breathing regulated. If my mind drifts too much, I'll see the colour change from Green – Blue – Red. I currently look forward to my sessions and almost see it as a game to play. The whole process of the session is easy and not a hassle. You can even choose a picture or music from your library to look/listen to while doing your session. At this early stage I like the whole process.


 


So how's it working


Well if it's just a game and it was about getting a good score, it wouldn't last long, as it's not THAT entertaining. It more about the effects and changes it has on you that should keep you doing it. Now it's supposed to do the following.


 


• Transforms your response to stress and quickly rebalance your mind, body, and emotions


• Increases your ability to think clearer, be more intuitive, and make better decisions, especially under pressure


• Improves health, increase resilience and well–being; maintain personal balance


• Decreases stress and burnout in chaotic and changing environments


• Maximizes creativity and innovation


• Boosts performance and overall intelligence


 


Does it? Well, I've only done 12 sessions and not had it a week, but…….I've found my overall mood has improved, I'm a little more happy, relaxed and generally feel like my emotions/feelings (see video above) have improved. It's obviously hard to write down how you feel and how it would relate you someone reading it. But I feel different and a little more bulletproof. There's not been too much going on this week that would interfere too much with my feeling. I'm not particularly stressed to start with, but feel like I'm getting more control of how I feel. A little like the Ted talk mentioned.


 


So is it worth a go. I'll say at the moment yes. £99 so far for a weeks feeling a little better isn't great value, but if it continues to improve it'll be a great purchase. Now I'm not expecting it to continue to increase at it's current rate, but at the moment I'm feeling pretty positive about if's effects and it's ongoing use. Not sure how to end this personal review of the product, but if you want to feel better than you do already, why wouldn't you, give it ago. I can imagine if you had issues that it claims to help with, it might make an even bigger difference. At this early stage I would recommend it highly. 


 


Stay tuned for updates on my progress and on-going review. Will be interesting if I can keep up the sessions, if I get bored of doing them or if I see a downturn in it's progress. There's plenty of reviews out there and this is by no means the best, but hopefully as a member of this forum you'll trust my honesty and take advantage of my ability to continue to update you, if you're still not sure if you should give Inner Balance ago. The TED talk sold me on HRV, but it took me 3 months to get around to choosing which app to buy and actually start using it. Hopefully this will give you a little push into getting into HRV a little quicker.


Katolotus

MMA Fighter

 

SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

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Comments

  • That was the best review I have read in a while!  Thanks for putting so much time into it.  I have the emWave desktop, and emWave2, and now I want an inner balance.  I hope their development team will come out with an Android version soon so that I can use it on my S4!


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    Been using the inner balance at least twice a day and have seen the Bioforce demo by a mate who has one. Gonna do a bit of an update once I get a few mins.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    Ok, been using the Inner Balance ("IB") iPhone app for just over a week and haven't missed one of my two-a-day session. One upon waking and one before Sleeping. I've tried to make them over 5 mins and have averaged around 10mins a sessions. It's still shiny and new, so want to play. We'll see if it becomes a habit after 6 weeks.


    So I've been using it regularly and have only used in lying down in bed and relaxed. Haven't tried it seated yet and have only done a couple of session in the day, again lying.


    This update to the review has two parts that I've noticed while getting familiar with the "IB".


    Firstly, I found the breathing pacer was a little slow for my breathes, so found in the settings you can change the pacer time. Goes from 0 – 30 and is a slider, which I found hard to adjust accurately. First time I made it too quick and was struggling a little to keep up after a few minutes. Another adjustment has got me a little closer to the pace I find most comfortable.


    From the TED Talk (link on main review) it's about the consistency not the actual pace, so you can adjust without any effects. What I was disappointed about was you couldn't adjust the bottom of the pacer (as in the TED Talk) so you breathe in for 4 secs, hold for a sec and breathe out. There's no way to adjust the pacer it's the same time in and same time out. I'm guessing this doesn't matter to your coherence, but I find it easier with a pause after breathing out to reset.


    To test this and the pacer, I did one session without using the pace. I started the session and put the iPhone down and just breathed without looking at the pacer. Didn't count, just regulated my breathing with a second pause between out and in. The "IB" records my breathing and I showed a pretty good session without the pacer. I've only done it once and have gone back to the pacer to help with regulation. But it's good to know that I can do the breathing on my own. I might try more as I get better, then I can use the technique anytime I can have the time to concentrate.


    Secondly, this week I've been training hard and felt some heavy fatigue after some tough sessions. Over these couple of days when I was feeling drained, I found my session quality reduce dramatically. My coherence was down, my achievement points were down and I was struggling to get the light green for move than a few marks. I was relaxed and lying in bed as usual and was feeling good, except for the training fatigue. Obviously this showed I'd overtrained during this few days and needed some rest. This brings me to the BioForce HRV.


    As mention it was one of the HRVs I looked at when I got interested in trying out HRV. Luckily I have a guy at the gym who bought one a while ago. He liked it and was happy to bring it in to demo it for me. Unfortunately he couldn't get it to link up with his chest monitor (that it comes with) to actually demo it live. But he did give me a general and showed me the app and his recordings.

    BioForce.gif

    The BioForce seems very basic from how it was explained to me. Basically when you wake up, you put on the chest strap and start the app up. Once it links up, it runs for around 5 mins and you just relax and let it take your HRV. My mate doesn't do any breathing techniques, he just relaxes again in bed. Once the app has finished, it give you a score. His last one was around 89. This is your HRV. So you do this everyday for a week to get your base levels, then every morning you can compare your HRV to the last few days and it's will give your score a colour, related to your previous scores. If your HRV has worsened, then you get a red or orange colour on your score. If it's the same or higher, you get a green.


    So you're supposed to adjust your training relating to the score. If you get a poor score, you need to either rest (if it's red or much lower) or do a lighter session to recover. If it's close or green (higher) you can put in a hard session or continue your training as is. Now it's much more complicated and it has a whole manual that comes with it, but that's basically what it does. The app just shows you a score and compares it. The manual can help you sort your training around your HRV, so on some occasions you can train when your score is low, but I obviously haven't gone that deep into it. It's not about improving your HRV or getting into a high coherence with breathing exercise. It just measure your HRV and give it a score. I'm guessing you could use the IB to do the same and just plug it in, record a session and see what scores you get, then compare them yourself. I might give it a go, but feel like I'm wasting the chance to improve and train my HRV.


    So personally it would be good for me to use both apps. One to train my HRV and one to monitor my HRV to give me a training guide. But with the BioForce at $197 to $279, it seems way too expensive to just tell me I've trained too hard and need to rest. It seems from my experience the "IB" can give you the same sort of information, just by seeing how your session are. If my session are bad and I'm losing coherencee and my scores are worse, then I can reduce my training load for a day or two until it comes back. Not a simple as the BioForce, but a lot cheaper.


    Now this conclusion is based off my one experience of overtraining and using the "IB" and seeing a decrease in coherence. The fatigue I had when I noticed the reduction in performance on the "IB" was quite extreme and I knew I'd cooked myself. Whether I'll notice when it's less obviously through my session with "IB" remains to be seen, hence I might need to do a session each morning just breathing normally to notice any differences. As if you actually to the session properly, concentration makes a big difference to your scores, if your mind wonders too much your coherence drops. Just lying there and relaxing and breathing normally would give you a better baseline and take away any inconsistencies.


    This is where the BioForce might come into it's own, as it might see less obvious changes and alert you earlier. I'm interested to see how my continued training on HRV goes. I'd like to purchase the BioForce and run it alongside the IB, but funds aren't there for a $197 purchase just to test at the moment. But if I find I'm not noticing the changes enough on the IB and still overtraining, then I might splash out to help improve my training.


    As for the general IB training, I felt an improvement until I cook myself, but have improved again over the last couple of days. My mood is good and I still feel generally less stressed and happier than before using it. I feel like my general mood has improve around 10% consistently. Again, I've not had anything particularly stressful in my life the last week or so, but have a marked improve since I started using the IB.


    So almost two weeks in and I sill recommend the Inner balance, but if you've not got $99 free, maybe give me a little longer to convince you whether it's worth it or not.


    More to follow ;-)

    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • OceanRayOceanRay
    edited June 2013

    Thanks for the review.


     


    My IB arrived this morning after I'd had a cold shower, BPC and absent-mindedly taken a full Armodafinil pill (rather than the usual 1/3).


    It was the first time I'd taken Ar/modafinil for a while, and I felt off and jittery when I got to my office. 150mg is too much for me.


     


    After a few hours of feeling wound-up. I tried the IB.


    I did not feel good as I started, but after a few minutes I started getting messages from it congratulating me on being in High Coherence.


    I thought it was stupid that I could feel like shit and be in High Coherence.


    Then I realised I didn't feel like shit.


     


    I did 10 mins and felt calm afterwards.


    So a good experience overall.


     


    I never liked meditating, so even if the IB is all quackery and hocus-pocus, it gives me an excuse to spend 10+ minutes a day focussed on deep, regular breathing, which is worthwhile in itself. 


  • Level 1 and level 2 are too easy. And they give you a false 'green'. saying you are in high coherence when it's only actually medium. 


    Without the sugarcoating, It might seem harder in level 3, but it's just the feedback is more accurate


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    I'm still on level two. I'm finding as the week goes on and I'm training hard, but the end of the week when I'm pretty knackered, I'm finding it much hard to get into the green, seems to be showing me how fatigued I am.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • Level 1 and level 2 are too easy. And they give you a false 'green'. saying you are in high coherence when it's only actually medium. 


    Without the sugarcoating, It might seem harder in level 3, but it's just the feedback is more accurate


     


    From what I understand, that's the point of the different levels. If you are terrible at getting your HRV in check, because of either lack of mental control or (in Katolotus' case) overtraining, then just getting it to the green on a low level is fine; however, if you want optimal results, you should eventually try to master keeping it in the green at lvl 4. I should note that I don't have a HRV training device yet, so I am purely hypothesizing based on the research I have done on this subject.


     


    @Katolotus Have you tried implementing HRV in a fight/hard-sparing session yet? I know it would probably be really hard to keep your breathing consistent and steady, but it seems like the HRV training would help your fight game in the respects of conquering your nerves and being able to think under pressure. 

  • Hi Guys... Hi Katolotus


     


    My name is Alan, and I'm director and lead trainer of HeartMath in South Africa, HeartMath being the company behind the Inner Balance Trainer. I came across your excellent review and signed up to the forum so that I could reply to you... hopefully answer some of your questions and give you a few tips.


     


    Let's begin with Heart-Rate Variability (HRV) and how it relates to stress. In basic terms your heart speeds up or slows down according to the way you react in a stressful situation. This speeding up or slowing down is linked to your Autonomic Nervous System and the classic Fight / Flight, Freeze / Fold response. When your heart speeds up, there is a release of Adrenalin, and on slowing down there is a release of Acetylcholine. Moreover, every time you have an emotional shift, either from happy to sad or sad to happy (positive emotion to negative emotion and vice versa), there is a cascade of 1400 biochemical changes that take place in your body! Included in this are your Adrenal Glands that produce either DHEA or Cortisol depending on how you're reacting in a particular situation.


     


    As you know, HeartMath's Inner Balance Trainer (and emWave2 and emWave Desktop) measure HRV (the beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate), and monitors your practice of the techniques which help you achieve Coherence. HRV then is your ability to respond appropriately in a situation... sometimes you want a high heart rate (for example to get out of a building that might be on fire), and sometimes you want a lower heart rate (once outside the building you want to be able to "calm down" again, without overtaxing the heart). HRV gives you flexibility in your response to life's stresses. HRV also declines naturally by 2% every year as we age, but the good news is that through mindful practice, linked with deep and rhythmic breathing, we can improve our HRV.


     


    Using the Inner Balance Trainer isn't just about breathing deeply. It's about learning to shift your attention away from your thinking mind (where stressful triggers and patterns are found), shift into heart focus (the source of emotional intelligence), and gain the benefits of Coherence (that optimal state of harmony between mind, body, and emotions.... what athletes call the Zone... where you don't have to think, but just "do", and "do" expertly). Coherence isn't dependant on high or low heart rate (BPM), and is seen as a smooth sign wave (synchronised Sympathetic and Parasympathetic branches of the Autonomic Nervous System).


     


    The challenge levels found in both Inner Balance and emWave serve different purposes. As you achieve 80-90% Coherence continuously over time in one challenge level, you can change to a higher challenge level. In challenge level one physiological coherence can be achieved by following the breathing pacer, but a more refined practice is needed in the higher challenge levels (especially true for the emWave), where you'll need to achieve and sustain a positive emotional shift in order to achieve coherence... the higher challenge levels measure psycho-physiological coherence. Think of it as a microscope that zooms into those beat-to-beat changes. The infra-red camera of the sensor is calibrated differently at those higher challenge levels and is thus more sensitive to the changes in your HRV.


     


    Someone mentioned breathing deeply... Yes, this is a part of it, but only one part. Another is breathing rhythmically, the same count in and out... no holding of the breath (holding the breath is an activity of the Sympathetic branch of the nervous system). So when we inhale and exhale rhythmically, we're synchronising the two branches and enter into a neutral state. Think of it as a Natural Stance in Martial Arts... when you're neither in a deep stance or standing on your toes - you're able to move a lot faster in any direction and respond more appropriately to an attack.


     


    Another piece of information I'd like to offer you about the breath, is that when we look at sports science we find an optimal breathing rate of 6 breaths a minute - or a ten second cycle of 5 in and 5 out. This relates to 0.1 Hz. When you look at the Power Spectrum Density graph on Inner Balance Trainer and emWave you'll see that Coherence lies at 0.1Hz. Generally Sympathetic can be found in the lower frequencies (below 01Hz), and the Parasympathetic above 0.1 Hz. I say generally because there is an emerging theory by Stephen Porges called Polyvagal Theory which suggests another branch of the Parasympathetic lying in the lower frequencies. Think of "relaxed calm" vs "relaxed alert".


     


    Practicing to get to that optimal breathing rate is beneficial for us on a physiological level too (as it relates to the blood pressure wave etc). Not everyone feels comfortable breathing at a ten second cycle, so the window suggested by sports science is 4,5 seconds to 6,5 seconds (the same count inhale, and exhale).


     


    Katolotus, overtraining can result in a release of Cortisol, which could make it harder for you to get into a coherent state. So it's not really about how fatigued you are, but the possible release of too much Cortisol. We need Cortisol, but too much of it isn't good for us. It takes up to 13 hours to metabolise, and if you're not getting enough rest, and balance in your routines, well, I think you understand what I'm saying. Too much Cortisol results in what we call cortical inhibition... or the "science of why smart people do stupid things". As Dr M alluded to, thinking under pressure is dampened by too much Cortisol.


     


    So how does Inner Balance Trainer help in all of this? Firstly, we can learn to shift our mental focus away from the stress and access our neo-cortex... our higher thinking. We can regulate our emotions (emotional intelligence) and bring our body into psycho-physiological coherence, which results in shifting our baseline responses to stress, thereby building resilience. The more time we spend successfully practicing - and using Inner Balance Trainer or emWave to monitor our practice - the longer we can sustain that coherence in our everyday lives. We entrain and begin to recognise that state of coherence, have the possibility to choose more empowering responses, and ultimately benefit our health and general well-being. 


     


    In my own observations I've realised that it is that ability to make that emotional shift at will that holds the real power. Imagine Katolotus, what it would be like if you could prepare for a match and be "in the zone" - in complete control of your nerves, anxieties, frustrations, anger or fears. That's most of the victory already won! That's what the Inner Balance Trainer and HeartMath can do for you!


     


    As a HeartMath Provider and coach there are many more techniques I teach my clients. I work together with my client's towards their goals and often see dramatic changes within a week, although I suggest a minimum of four sessions (spread out over a month). Feel free to visit my website (http://alanstrydom.com/) and check out my blog.


     


    There is a 20 minute video review I did for Inner Balance Trainer when it first came out (), and you can see me in a 7 minute demo of emWave where I actually think about something stressful, and then shift back into coherence a second later (). 


     


    Feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer them. I'm also available on Skype if you have any personal questions (90% of my coaching is done via Skype).


     


    - Alan

    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • OceanRayOceanRay
    edited June 2013

    Thanks for your post Alan.


    I have only had the IB for a few days, I like it a lot so far. 


     


    Here are suggested tweaks to improve it;


    • The constant reminder/encouragement messages are distracting. Would be great if they could be switched off.


    • There's no need to see each individual heartbeat at the top of the screen. Would like to switch it off.


    • Have the option of a totally clean interface (coherence colour and breath pacer only).


    • I want to close my eyes during sessions, but this means losing track of the pacer. Perhaps a new version could add audio breath pacing?


    • I find those mood face emoticon things silly and simplistic.Could there be an option to turn them off?


    • Provide access to the raw data/make it possible to upload session records directly onto computer (without using FB, twitter, email etc).


    • Make it possible to scroll sideways to compare individual sessions.


     


    Thx


     


    Just noticed the settings page scrolls down further.





  • The BioForce seems very basic from how it was explained to me. Basically when you wake up, you put on the chest strap and start the app up. Once it links up, it runs for around 5 mins and you just relax and let it take your HRV. My mate doesn't do any breathing techniques, he just relaxes again in bed. Once the app has finished, it give you a score. His last one was around 89. This is your HRV. So you do this everyday for a week to get your base levels, then every morning you can compare your HRV to the last few days and it's will give your score a colour, related to your previous scores. If your HRV has worsened, then you get a red or orange colour on your score. If it's the same or higher, you get a green.


    So you're supposed to adjust your training relating to the score. If you get a poor score, you need to either rest (if it's red or much lower) or do a lighter session to recover. If it's close or green (higher) you can put in a hard session or continue your training as is. Now it's much more complicated and it has a whole manual that comes with it, but that's basically what it does. The app just shows you a score and compares it. The manual can help you sort your training around your HRV, so on some occasions you can train when your score is low, but I obviously haven't gone that deep into it. It's not about improving your HRV or getting into a high coherence with breathing exercise. It just measure your HRV and give it a score. I'm guessing you could use the IB to do the same and just plug it in, record a session and see what scores you get, then compare them yourself. I might give it a go, but feel like I'm wasting the chance to improve and train my HRV.


    So personally it would be good for me to use both apps. One to train my HRV and one to monitor my HRV to give me a training guide. But with the BioForce at $197 to $279, it seems way too expensive to just tell me I've trained too hard and need to rest. It seems from my experience the "IB" can give you the same sort of information, just by seeing how your session are. If my session are bad and I'm losing coherencee and my scores are worse, then I can reduce my training load for a day or two until it comes back. Not a simple as the BioForce, but a lot cheaper.


     




     


    the way you describe the bioforce and your intended use (which i think makes sense) reminds me of hearing about restwise on dave's podcast.  might be a good alternative worth looking at.  at the time of the podcast, they relied on a lot of manual data entry, which might be a barrier to effective use.  that was a long time ago and might be easier now.  seemed like a good product and something i haven't tried, but i've thought of maybe checking it out at some point.


    http://www.bulletproofexec.com/podcast-8-quantifying-recovery-with-restwise/


     


    my review of the emwave desktop was not as thorough or formal, but my conclusions were pretty similar - especially with oceanray and the assertion that the lowest levels are too easy.  it's evidently 1-2-3-4 on the ios app and easy-medium-hard-hardest on the desktop app.


    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/3662-emwave-thoughts/


     


    i have since writing that, found that on the highest challenge level, i have to be pretty thorough on the quick coherence technique to get into high coherence and i really only seem to get there when thinking happy thoughts about my kids and really getting the emotional connection.

  • Alan, I’ve a question regarding HRV and meditation. Has there been studied on how the HRV looks like during meditation?


    When I use the Inner Balance I clearly see difference in stressed state and coherent state. Not only in the “green” but also on the pattern on the BPM vs time graph (as well as the fourie transform of it). However,  if I do meditation (vipassana) the goes down from green to the middle. Still, the HRV pattern is very different from poor HRV due to stress.


     


    Stressed state, coherent state and vipassana state show different patterns but the stressed state and vipassna state give approximly the same HRV score in the app. The stressed state has a rather sporadic look (looks like the stock market) where the vipassana state as a regularity in it but it does not look the same as the “sinus” wave you get in coherent sate that give full score.


    Is this something that has been studied? How is it suppose to look?


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  • HI Biochemist, I answered your question in the other thread on HRV, but here it is again for your convenience...


     


    There has been some study on the effects of HRV and meditation, and HeartMath also published a booklet guide for combining meditation practice with the emWave (or Inner Balance Trainer).


     


    I think firstly we need to establish that being in the "red" (as opposed to the "green") on the Inner Balance Trainer (IBT) and emWave is an indication of low (or normal) coherence, and not necessarily a "stressed" state. We are designed for survival, and are almost constantly alert for any signs of danger, but low coherence doesn't necessarily equal stress as we generally think of it. Likewise, poor HRV (the ability of the heart to respond in a flexible manner) is also not necessarily an indication of stress: HRV naturally declines as we age; Health and lifestyle play a factor too; And as you have no doubt experienced, we can improve our HRV through mindful awareness and practice.


     


    Looking at the Power Spectrum Density while you meditate will give you the clue you seek. With the IBT you'd have to record your session and take a look afterwards, or monitor someone else meditating to really gain an objective measure. The emWave Desktop provides a recording playback of your session so you can see it easily.


     


    In meditative practice there will probably be shorter periods of medium or high coherence, but it won't be sustained coherence (which affects your overall coherence score on the IBT, and in the long run is more beneficial in improving HRV). If you look at the wave form you'd see that erratic "stock market" or "earthquake" shape, with periods of sinusoidal patterns. 


     


    A meditative state is similar to a relaxed state, and you'll see predominantly higher frequency Parasympathetic activity in the Power Spectrum. This is the reason you don't get that smooth sinus wave. The sinus wave of coherence is formed through focused rhythmic breathing, which tends more towards the lower frequency range on the Spectrum at 0.1Hz (Polyvagal Theory suggests "relaxed alert" and thus responsive vs "relaxed calm", taking longer to respond, which is Parasympathetic).


     


    In terms of HRV then, the heart's ability to respond is better in the "relaxed alert" state. Again, think of the Martial Artist in a natural stance not holding any tension in the body, able to respond quickly to any attack, vs the Martial Artist in a deeper traditional stance, taking more energy and time to first come out of the stance before being able to respond to any attack.


     


    When we speak about rhythmic breathing, the actual sinus wave form of coherence is formed when our inhalation and exhalation is at the same rate, and a synchronisation of Sympathetic and Parasympathetic occurs. The keywords are deep, rhythmic and regular.. no holding the breath at any point. You're aiming at an optimal breathing rate of 6 breaths a minute, or a ten second cycle of 5 in and 5 out.


     


    The size of the wave is then our HRV, a bigger wave meaning we have more ability to respond appropriately under pressure. 


     


    In a paragraph above I mentioned focused rhythmic breathing... it's this focus, and in our case of HeartMath and IBT practice, a shift of focus into our heart, whilefocusing on making the inhalation and exhalation the same, that differentiates this practice further from meditation, which traditionally aims at quietening the mind. Essentially, the mind is either still active in the observation of thought, or experiencing moments of "quiet". It's not a sustained practice of coherence... left unchecked the mind tends to wander.


     


    HeartMath adds a third step in this process, a psycho-physiological shift into a positive and genuine heart-felt feeling or emotion, such as Love, Joy, Appreciation, Ease, Peace, Excitement, Enthusiasm, etc. In NLP terms, you're actively and intentionally generating a state, and anchoring that state through your practice. It's this third step which makes it all work so wonderfully together: You've quietened the mind, calmed the body, and you're feeling good. 


     


    One more thing I can add at this point about meditation and coherence, is that meditation - even moving meditation like Tai Chi - is associated with low heart rate (BPM). Coherence isn't dependent on heart rate at all... coherence can be either high heart rate (like excitement and enthusiasm), or low heart rate (like ease and contentment). 


     


    Your practice with Inner Balance Trainer will enhance your meditation though, as HeartMath's underpinning philosophy is to support whatever your preferred practice is - another reason the actual HeartMath techniques are so simple yet elegant in design.


     


    My suggestion is to practice the Quick Coherence techniques as coached by the IBT, and then separately practice your meditation, and notice any results and improvements in the quality of your meditation.


     


    Another way is to use the IBT as a monitoring device occasionally during your meditation, to "keep you on track". Remember though, if you do this, to occasionally just notice or observe the feedback from IBT, and shift your attention back into your meditation. Engaging the mind can bring you out of coherence in the beginning, as you learn to control your focus and regulate your emotional state. (When I give presentations and talks now, after two years of practicing HeartMath techniques, I invite my audience to watch my emWave2 stay in the "green" as I present, proof of me being "in the zone".)


     


    Or simply make your meditation the practice of being coherent. You'll get the same essential results, and in my opinion a far more dynamic range of appropriate responses in a lot shorter time. 


     


    As you can tell I'm really excited and passionate about this technology, as too are my private coaching clients. The learning that takes place on different levels of our psyche when we play with and embody what IBT and emWave allows us to "see" and work with is phenomenal! Here are the actual practical steps towards emotional intelligence!


     


    - Alan


    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO



  • Thanks for your post Alan.


    I have only had the IB for a few days, I like it a lot so far. 


     


    Here are suggested tweaks to improve it;


    • The constant reminder/encouragement messages are distracting. Would be great if they could be switched off.


    • There's no need to see each individual heartbeat at the top of the screen. Would like to switch it off.


    • Have the option of a totally clean interface (coherence colour and breath pacer only).


    • I want to close my eyes during sessions, but this means losing track of the pacer. Perhaps a new version could add audio breath pacing?


    • I find those mood face emoticon things silly and simplistic.Could there be an option to turn them off?


    • Provide access to the raw data/make it possible to upload session records directly onto computer (without using FB, twitter, email etc).


    • Make it possible to scroll sideways to compare individual sessions.


     


    Thx


     


    Just noticed the settings page scrolls down further.




     


    Hi Oceanray... thanks for the comments and suggested tweaks.


     


    Unfortunately I'm not the developer of the Inner Balance app, but I can tell you that closing your eyes during a session will have very little effect on your coherence scores. The breathing pacer is only there to guide you to breathe deeply and rhythmically.. which you can obviously do on your own accord.


     


    I practice HeartMath's Heart Lock-In technique with either my eyes closed or looking at "My Inspiration".


     


    Quick Coherence I practice with my eyes open... which is something you want to actually get into the habit of doing with eyes open as that is when you use the technique most often.


     


    As an example, driving down the highway and someone cuts in front of you... your heart rate increases, adrenalin is released, muscles tense and you react. To lesson the impact of that adrenalin and cortisol, and re-gain control of your state, practice Quick Coherence... which you'll have to do with your eyes open as you're driving!


     


    One of the benefits of HeartMath's techniques like Quick Coherence to regulate your emotions is that you can practice the technique in real-time before, after, or as the situation is unfolding, and no one would know. If you consider traditional techniques for managing stress, you'll appreciate that many if not all take place long after the stressful event has occurred. 

    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • I appreciate your insight here Alan, thanks for taking the time to post. I have an inner balance too and I have hardly used it because I havent had much info about it. That is my biggest issue with it. It does not come with even just a quick start manual on what to do, when or how often to do it. Could you post a real quick concise instruction for us on how exactly to use it and how to progress with it. It would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited June 2013

    Alan,


     


    Great for you to post on here and help with insight to the app. I'm really enjoying using it and would love to get some advice on how to better my sessions and results.


     


    I'll start with a few simple questions.


     


    1. What's the best position (if any) to do the session in. I'm currently lying down for all my session.


    2. Is it beneficial to do it with music in the background or in quiet surroundings.


    3. Does it matter when you do it. I do one on waking (within 10mins) and right before sleeping (hence doing it lying down in bed).


    4. Having the occasional dry throat, yawn, cough which screws up my coherence. Any thoughts on that?


     


    More to come :wink:


     


    Thanks again Alan, you've turned this thread into more that just my personal experience & review of inner balance to a great resource for everyone.


     


    +


     


    I've relistened to the postcast featuring the restwise and am currently looking into the product. They do a free trial, so might check that out and see how it works. Seems a little simple to be honest and I've already got on of the Oximeters. Worth a look though, thanks for the info Dave Rael ;-)


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • Hi Everyone...


     


    Apologies, I've been away delivering training, then took a break over the weekend. :)


     


    Katolotus, I'll start with your questions:


     


    1. What's the best position (if any) to do the session in. I'm currently lying down for all my session.


    2. Is it beneficial to do it with music in the background or in quiet surroundings.


    3. Does it matter when you do it. I do one on waking (within 10mins) and right before sleeping (hence doing it lying down in bed).


    4. Having the occasional dry throat, yawn, cough which screws up my coherence. Any thoughts on that?


     


    Answers:


     


    1. In my opinion, any position is ok to practice in. Remember, what you're actually doing is practicing to achieve Coherence... to "get into the Zone". Coherence isn't dependent on any particular body position, but rather a state as we've discussed before. I practice while lying down, sitting, walking, driving my car, delivering presentations, coaching, training, etc. Here are two thoughts for you to consider though.... 1) It would serve you better not to associate that feeling of Coherence just with lying down - remember, we can become anchored to states (more below under "music"). Lying down can also lean more easily towards Parasympathetic activity associated with feeling relaxed. 2) Because you're lying down, you might easily fall asleep.. sometimes its a good thing and sometimes not.


     


    2. Music is a wonderful addition that can enhance your practice. Ideally the music should be instrumental and something that really inspires or moves you... something you really like. Music with words or lyrics will engage your mind and make it more difficult to keep your focus on your heart, your breathing and a positive emotion. I use Gary Malkin's "Letting Yourself Be Loved" (instrumental)  and The Life of Pi Soundtrack. "Letting Yourself Be Loved" is just under 6 minutes, so I know how much time has passed when that track is finished, and then I can mark out the rest of my session with The Life of Pi, and never concern myself with how long my session has been. Listening to music allows you to get into that feeling state of psychophysiological coherence more easily, because music is by nature emotive. Finally, using the same tracks for all your sessions sets up a natural anchor... you begin to associate that feeling of being in the Zone with the specific tracks, and you achieve coherence quicker. With Inner Balance Trainer you can add music through the app and set the volume independently of the coherence audio cues. By the way, you can also use the coherence audio cues (the pinging), as a means to guide you in your session if you decide to practice with your eyes closed, especially good for longer sessions.*


     


    3. Just after you've woken up is an excellent time to practice, as it sets the mood for the rest of the day. It's good to catch yourself in that quiet mind before you start thinking about your day and all you have to do. By practicing and achieving Coherence right from the start you are sending a clearer signal to your mind and body, and you'll stay in the flow longer. Before you go to sleep at night is also very good, as it resets and quietens your mind and body again, aiding in a more restful and deeper sleep. You can also "top up" any time during the day with shorter sessions if you like, but that ten or twenty minutes in the morning and evening will bring great benefits. In my own experience, when I first started with HeartMath years ago, I overcame depression through twice daily practice every day, within two weeks!


     


    4. Don't worry about those coughs, yawns, sneezes etc. You might "lose" Coherence momentarily, but it's your ability to shift back again quickly and then sustain that that counts, and ultimately you're developing resilience. You could think of those little "bumps" metaphorically... We can't take them away or get rid of them, just like we can't get rid of stress, but we can learn to manage it all.


     


    * Practice with your eyes open in some sessions and closed in others, interchanging whenever you feel like it.


     


    Eveland, a couple of tips for you:


     


    Once you have the ear sensor securely attached and have navigated to the start of the session, begin by following the breathing pacer for a couple of breaths. Note if you're able to keep in sync with the breathing pacer, and adjust accordingly for your next session by changing the breathing rate in the settings. Ideally you're aiming at 5 seconds inhalation and 5 seconds exhalation.


     


    Following the breathing pacer should be enough to get you into high Coherence (green) on the first challenge level. No matter how long your session is, you want to be able to sustain that "green" for as long as possibly continuously (for example, 3 out of 5 minutes). The longer the session the more challenging it will be to do so (19 out of a 20 minute session). You're aiming for 80% to 90% medium (blue) to high (green) Coherence during your sessions, and when you start doing that more and more, then proceed to challenge level two and higher.


     


    There is also an on-screen "coach" which will guide you throughout your session, telling you to shift your attention, focus on your heart, focus on a positive feeling etc.


     


    Inner Balance Trainer isn't just about the breathing, but more importantly, its about the feeling. You access the feeling by first shifting your attention away from the mind's busy activity towards your heart, and keeping the attention there while still breathing deeply and rhythmically, remember a time, place, person, or event that you felt a positive heart-felt feeling for. Those feelings could be anything from bliss, peace, ease, joy, contentment, love, appreciation, passion, excitement, entusiasm etc. Once you have that feeling, then "lock it in" and keep your attention on feeling it for as long as possible, while continuing that heart-focused breathing. 


     


    When I first practiced this I actually went into panic. My coach said for me to go into appreciation, and all of a sudden I realised that although I considered myself to be a "happy-go-lucky" person, I couldn't think of anything that I sincerely appreciated in my life at the time. I thought a bit and remembered a photo of me taken in Kosan Road in Bangkok, the first time I was there... backpack on my back surrounded by all the sights and sounds and smells... a moment frozen in time. I was in awe! I focused on that photo and remembered what I was feeling at the time... continuing the heart-focused breathing. That image has now become my "default" memory for appreciation... a memory that can't be corrupted, doesn't contain any additional emotional baggage or associations, and always takes me straight back into appreciation. However, if I had to remember the rest of my trip in Thailand I'd go into an incoherent state, as I would remember the motorbike accident I had there and the scars I still have on my knee. In other words, if I lost focus of that moment of appreciation, and allowed my mind to wander, I could go into stress. 


     


    So it's important to find a memory or thought that is uncontaminated with anything else but a positive heart-felt emotion. Why heart-felt? Because our values, those things most important to us, come from the heart, and lie at the core of who we are. Our core values are those things that we won't compromise on, and if we do, we find ourselves in some stressful situation. 


     


    Inner Balance Trainer provides a mechanism for us to get in touch with these values more readily, and manage the stress that might arise when we're not in alignment with those core values. In fact, through the use of the various tools in the HeartMath "toolbox", we can create a strategy with practical and easy steps that we can take to change at a deep level, achieve our goals, improve our relationships, and live a more fulfilling life. 


     


    I trust this helps a bit :)


    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • alan,


     


    thanks very much.  this is useful.


     


    i've been doing my practice in the same place at the same times every day and usually with eyes closed.  going to try mixing it up at your recommendation, especially body position.


     


    my initial experience is similar to what you outlined - the abstract "happy thoughts" were difficult to achieve until i started going to a default photo in my mind.  on new year's eve, my son went to bed and my daughters were trying to stay up until midnight.  eventually, a little short of midnight, my oldest daughter got very close to me and my other daughter immediately followed.  soon the 3 of us were all sleeping snuggled together.  my wife took a photo and shared it with a caption to the effect of how hard the 3 of us tried to make it to the new year awake and fell just short and i see that image every time i'm trying to get to a heartfelt emotional high.  it's the most effective thing i've found in this practice.  i've been trying to think of other things to get that response and cycle in lots of images of vacations, times with wife and kids, successful basketball games or work days, but seem to always come back to that one picture of that one night as the failsafe.


     


    thanks, too, for your #4 reinforcement about being ok to lose measured coherence and that the important thing is to recover and build resilience.  that's appealing and helpful.


     


    i wonder a little about trying to take your focus to your heart and emotion while doing a dangerous activity that requires focus itself like operating a motor vehicle.  otherwise, very glad to hear your advice.

  • Hi Dave


     


    That's the perfect image to visualize and come back to as your "default emotional high". I found for myself that soon after I began practicing and associating that feeling of appreciation to being in Thailand, I found more things to appreciate in my life.


     


    It's a wonderful process to engage with actively and intentionally, this system called the Reticular Activating System... which basically regulates arousal and tells our brain to look out for what's important to us. Ever heard the old adage "what you focus on multiplies"?... that's the RAS at work. What you focus on you get. So when you're spending quality time immersed in a positive emotion you're telling yourself that this state is important, and you start to "look around" for more of it. Evolution, or grand design, however you wish to view it, did us a huge favour in creating us this way... the RAS is part of our limbic (emotional) brain and kept us primed for survival.. so why not work with it from the reverse of that point of view?  ;) 


     


    Eventually my practice has led me to feeling appreciation for my heart beating in this moment... which keeps me very centered and in-the-moment, present awareness. And on those days that I struggle to get into that zone, I return to my own "default emotional high" of being in Thailand, a positive feeling that won't get corrupted.


     


    Your question about operating a motor vehicle is a good one. The answers to many of those types of questions become apparent when you really go into the practice of all the HeartMath techniques. There are about 8 that I teach over 4 one hour sessions, and you get to apply them to your own life in a very practical and effortless way.


     


    For now though, to answer your question, it's quite safe as long as you have your eyes open :). (Another reason to practice with eyes open as well as closed). The type of awareness you can develop is the type that allows you to listen and sing along to a song on the radio while driving. Don't tell anyone, but one morning on the way to deliver training I was connected to my emWave2 (which does the same as the Inner Balance Trainer, but without the screens), texting on my mobile phone, singing along to Dakota by Stereophonics at the top of my voice, while driving in morning traffic!! And I was completely in the "green" and coherent on level 3! 


     


    Another way to look at that heart-focus and heart-feeling (emotion) is to use it as a way to prepare for that activity. Imagine what it would be like for kids in school to use before they enter the exam hall? Instead of feeling nervous and having their focus on "did I study enough?", they'd be feeling calm, confident, at ease and ready to answer anything (physiologically the signal to the brain from the heart via the vagas nerve is clear and "smooth", producing what we refer to as cortical facilitation). They would be in the zone!


     


    For a long time now "the zone" has been thought of as this magical state which occurs at random times. I remember Tony Robbins once talking about deciding ahead of time to create the desired state you want to be in before you begin the activity you would like the state for. I remember clearly he spoke about running at the time... how good a run can sometimes feel, and other times not... and what the difference between the two runs were. It was the state you were in during the run. So why not choose beforehand? And up until now there hasn't really been an accurate measure of state, and while we attempted to create a high performance state, we secretly wondered if we were really "in it" ... however, HRV with Inner Balance Trainer gives us that immediate feedback, and more! It really is about training your inner balance.... to choose to be more and more in the moments of peak performance. 


    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • Hi Alan. Thank you for all your responses! They are really informative and make me want an Inner balance all the more. I just had an idea for you to suggest to the Heartmath people. You know those tattoos that vibrate when you get a call? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/vibrating-tattoo-nokia-patent-phone-ringing_n_1369978.html You guys should set up a system with the Inner balance so that you can have the phone in your pocket and the IR sensor on your ear and have the tattoo vibrate when you're in a state of coherence. That way you wouldn't even have to be paying attention to your phone to know if you're in the zone. Just be sure to remember me when you make millions.


  • thanks very much alan.  i like the perspective of looking at it as preparation.  that makes sense.


     


    i've had the feeling of being in "the zone" playing basketball where it seemed that everything i did was right and that i was in the right passing lanes to get steals and couldn't miss any shots and just seemed to find the right position for rebounds every time a shot went up.  i've always looked at that as just a place where focus is so single-minded that every bit of being in the mind is going into creating success in the target activity that it's just inevitable.  i've experienced it writing software as well where i the code just poured out of me such that i produced in ways i didn't think possible.  i hadn't previously thought of associating that state with hrv training.  the impact of what i think you are saying is astounding.  if you could prepare for and choose to be in that state, that's the holy grail of biohacking in my mind.  if your coaching could help to get me to a place where i could tap that once-in-while dominance on a predictable basis, you've got something extraordinary.  i'm bookmarking your site and will follow you a bit.  i'm glad you made yourself known here.


     


    and your secret about what you do while driving is safe with me.   ;) 



  • Hi Alan. Thank you for all your responses! They are really informative and make me want an Inner balance all the more. I just had an idea for you to suggest to the Heartmath people. You know those tattoos that vibrate when you get a call? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/vibrating-tattoo-nokia-patent-phone-ringing_n_1369978.html You guys should set up a system with the Inner balance so that you can have the phone in your pocket and the IR sensor on your ear and have the tattoo vibrate when you're in a state of coherence. That way you wouldn't even have to be paying attention to your phone to know if you're in the zone. Just be sure to remember me when you make millions.




     


    Hi Dr M... Interesting idea... vibrating tattoos and sound cues! It's an amazing time to be alive with all this great stuff at our disposal! Unfortunately I'm not part of the development team for the Inner Balance, but if I see anything like that happening I'll remember where I read it first! ;)

    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • edited July 2013


    thanks very much alan.  i like the perspective of looking at it as preparation.  that makes sense.


     


    i've had the feeling of being in "the zone" playing basketball where it seemed that everything i did was right and that i was in the right passing lanes to get steals and couldn't miss any shots and just seemed to find the right position for rebounds every time a shot went up.  i've always looked at that as just a place where focus is so single-minded that every bit of being in the mind is going into creating success in the target activity that it's just inevitable.  i've experienced it writing software as well where i the code just poured out of me such that i produced in ways i didn't think possible.  i hadn't previously thought of associating that state with hrv training.  the impact of what i think you are saying is astounding.  if you could prepare for and choose to be in that state, that's the holy grail of biohacking in my mind.  if your coaching could help to get me to a place where i could tap that once-in-while dominance on a predictable basis, you've got something extraordinary.  i'm bookmarking your site and will follow you a bit.  i'm glad you made yourself known here.


     


    and your secret about what you do while driving is safe with me.   ;) 




     




     


    Dave, that's exactly what I'm talking about! It's not a far-fetched notion at all, and in fact very accessible.


     


    NLP has made wonderful contributions in eliciting and anchoring peak states which we would then be able to recall at will by re-firing the anchor. The trick for me was always in having to trust that the peak state and anchor was achieved, and that the re-firing of the anchor would do it's job in recalling the same peak state. Now that we have easy access to HRV feedback, which gives us that immediately.. we know without a doubt when we're in the peak state (Coherence), and our practice teaches us to shift attention into that "single-minded" focus whenever needed.


     


     


    If I may, and to offer another practical example, I watched the video of Katolotus's most recent match (the link is in his signature). First off, I have to say I admire anyone dedicated to their passion... and for a man to have the body you do Katolotus, at your age, is fantastic! I'm 41 and very envious.. and very grateful my girlfriend is happy with my body as it is... but Dude, well done! I'm going back to yoga! Thanks for the inspiration! Watching the match, and having trained in Aikido, Tai-Jitsu, and Tai-Chi in my late teens and early 20's, I couldn't help but wonder how much adrenalin must course through your body as you enter the ring and confront your opponent. Although I never faced an opponent in the ring, I could relate, as the dojo is it's own ring, as well as being a microcosm of the world at large. Even just in the moments before getting into the ring, psyching yourself up, your heart rate is most definitely very high, and your excitement can easily turn into anxiety, or the other way around as you think about confronting that opponent. No matter how well you have trained your body and your reflexes, your mind and state can still slow you down. It takes more energy to move from a tense position than from a more natural and "loose" stance. What tenses us up? It's our thoughts and feelings about something. And how different could such a match be if you were able to neutralise any such thoughts and emotions, and completely get into that peak state at will? What sort of advantage would that have?


     


    I'm not talking about meditation here as an answer to those questions. Although very beneficial, meditation is a quietening of the mind, and a relaxing of the body (Parasympathetic, which we can physically see on the Power Spectrum of the Inner Balance Trainer)... and although both can be associated with being Coherent, what I'm talking about here specifically is having flexibility in your response, coming from a natural or neutral place (much like being in neutral first before going into a higher gear while driving a manual car)... where you have enough free energy available to choose your response appropriately in the moment, without having to necessarily "think" about it, because you've done the practice before the time.


     


    And thanks for keeping my secret!


    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • edited July 2013

    This is an absolutely fantastic thread, thank you so much everyone for all the input you have given here (especially you Katolotus for starting it up).


     


    What you said in your first post resonates so well with me, in that if Dave recommends something so often and enthusiastically is must be worth it right? I mean after all everything else that I've learned from him has been incredibly life changing. He has completely transformed the way that I look at life. So you got me strongly considering looking into Inner Balance regardless of the cost, simply because of the potential benefit for it. The only thing that was still holding me back is wondering how difficult or pricy it would be to get hold of it here in Cape Town, South Africa. 


     


    As you can imagine I was pretty stoked when I scrolled down a bit more and AlanStrydom introduced himself, and that he is also from Cape Town!! What are the chances of that?


     


    Alan, I've definitely added your blog's RSS feed to the long list of many that I follow (complete information overload junkie), and I'm sure after a bit more research you will see a purchase from me coming your way.


  • Hey GGS! Great to see a fellow Cape Tonian here :) Feel free to call me anytime regarding HeartMath or Inner Balance Trainer. I'm presenting a talk on the first of August if you're interested.... 


    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • Quick related question: is this product identical basically to the Emwave2?  I am considering one or the other and am not sure if buying cheaper here is buying dire...


  • @Alan that would be awesome thanks, I would definitely be keen to check it out. Could you possibly please message me some more details? 


     


    @Joeld123, as far as I can tell yes it is the same thing. Looking at the link that Alan gives in his signature to http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/ and http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/ shows the products being emWave2.


  • edited July 2013


    Quick related question: is this product identical basically to the Emwave2?  I am considering one or the other and am not sure if buying cheaper here is buying dire...




     




     


    Hi Joel


     


    I get this question a lot actually, so here are some of the main points of comparison that I look at:


     


    1) Both can be used on-the-go, although I personally find it easier to use the emWave2 as a portable device for a couple of reasons:


     


    a) The emWave2 is already "set up" and a self-contained unit. I have mine in the pouch that clips onto my belt. I drive with mine on, use it while flying, walking in the forest, watching a movie at the cinema, etc. In those cases I use it to monitor my sate of "unconscious" coherence... if you think in the terms of unconscious competence. 


     


    B) For me the Inner Balance feels like an additional "step" to take to set up, either on my iphone or ipad mini. Although I initially loved the idea of having the same technology at my fingertips via attached to my iphone, and only having to carry the connector and ear sensor with me, I've since felt the "disconnect"  from the Inner Balance and my phone, because my phone is, well, a phone. Personally I can't get used to the idea of using my phone in that way... but that's just me ;)


     


    c) In the evening my emWave2 lies next to my bed, ready for a night or morning session. My iphone sleeps in my study at night.  


     


    2) emWave2 can be attached to your computer or laptop and run through the supplied software, as well as being able to download, save and export your sessions if you want.


     


    From a coaching point of view this is particularly handy for me. I have the emWave Desktop (professional) version as well, and some of my clients that I see face-to-face bring their own emWave2 and I can download their sessions and save it under their name on the pro version, thus keeping track of all their progress. 


     


    3) The Inner Balance Trainer shows more information more readily than the emWave2, and is customisable by adding your own soundtrack and inspirational image for on-the-go practice. The on-screen prompts, cues, and coherence coach make it easier to focus and achieve coherence (the emWave2 seems to take a bit more practice).


     


    a) Once on a particular flight home I had a very nervous young girl sitting next to me on the plane. I talked her through the steps of Neutral during takeoff, and shortly after we were airborne I took out the Inner Balance Trainer and hooked her up on my ipad mini so she could "see" what she had just practiced, and at least anchor some of that experience for her. I wouldn't have been able to do it quite as easily with the emWave2, being that it isn't as visual.


     


    4) The emWave2 software has additional games and visualizers, as well as "My Inspiration" and the Coherence Coach. Some people don't like looking at graphs (which can cause more stress and performance anxiety), and prefer the games. There is a timed game wherein you have to sustain medium to high coherence in order to "colour in" a black and white garden within three minutes. This is great for kids and people who are more visual.


     


    a) As a comparison, the Inner Balance only has "My Inspiration", and two breathing pacer screens to choose from, and then the different graphs. 


     


    Hopefully this was a little helpful. It would really depend on how you intend using it. Both will monitor your practice in coherence, but from a price point of view it's a no-brainer... 


    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach

     

    Relationships | Results | Resilience

     

    A Change of Heart Changes Everything

     

    http://alanstrydom.com/

    http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathstore.co.za/

    http://www.heartmathproviders.co.za/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartMathSouthAfrica

    https://www.facebook.com/HeartMathSouthAfrica

     

    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • RagRag
    edited July 2013

     This is my first post on the forum. First off, thank you Alan and others. I have been following this thread for a while and the information here has helped a lot in improving my HRV practice sessions.


     


    I have been using the iOS trainer on iPhone with the Inner Balance App. I usually train for 20 mins/day (two 10-min sessions) 4-5x/week. Right now, I am at Level 3 and my target for every session is to be in the green coherence zone for >70% of time in the 10-min session. 


     


    One of the takeaways for me from this thread has been that coherence is not directly related to heart rate (HR). So, one can be in high coherence with low HR or high HR depending on the type of task, current state of mind, time of day etc. 


     


    Now, I take 200mcg Modafinil on certain days. The dose is always at the same time (~10 AM) and my HRV training sessions are at ~7:30 AM and ~11:00 PM. On non-Modafinil days, my HR usually fluctuates between 55 and 80 bpm during the night session. On modafinil days, my HR is consistently higher- between 85-110 bpm- during the night session (about 13 hrs after dose). However, there is no significant difference between HRV on these days and I'm able to stay in the green zone for >70% regardless of whether I dose with modafinil or not. Also, my HR for morning sessions is 55-75 bpm on all days.


    • Does having an elevated HR throughout the session interfere with reaching high coherence? I'm guessing it doesn't as long average coherence is not affected
    • Would you recommend any changes to HRV training schedules on modafinil days?
    • Anyone else noticed something similar?

     


    Of course, it is possible that modafinil may not be cause for increased HR and there may be other confounding factors. I will keep testing, but I have observed it too many times for it to be a coincidence.


  • Thanks Alan, that's more than a little helpful.  I have ordered the Inner Balance, I think it will suit my needs better.  Your feedback helped me make an informed decision :)


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    I've just moved up to level 3 after improved performances during my break. I've also changed the music to instrumentals, which has made the session more focused. Been getting regular coherence scores above 4.0 for my two 10min sessions per day.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

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