Does having an elevated HR throughout the session interfere with reaching high coherence?
Short answer, in my experience, no. The first time I delivered a HeartMath talk about two years ago I used the emWave for Quick Coherence minutes before the talk began. My HR was 106BPM! But I was also 96% in high coherence.
A high HR can sometimes make it more difficult to get into high coherence though, and depends greatly on what is causing the high HR. Caffeine spikes your HR by stimulating your adrenals. But so does being excited about something (which I was when I gave my first talk). So in my understanding it boils down to what is causing the high HR, and how effective can you be in controlling it through your breath-work and focus... which essentially is exactly what the techniques and monitoring your practice with the technology is all about.
Your takeaway about coherence not being dependant on HR is absolutely correct. We define Coherence as an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in-sync and balanced (the heart-brain, neocortex, and enteric brain). Physiologically the immune, hormonal and nervous systems function in a state of energetic coordination. You could say that this energetic coordination shows up as the smooth sine wave in the HRV trace. The bigger the amplitude of that sine wave the better, meaning your ability to respond appropriately in a given situation increases. The highest and lowest point of that wave will be the highest and lowest BPM at that point. Your HR is then an average of these beat-to-beat changes over time. From this you can then see that Coherence as a psychophysiological state is not dependent on HR.
There is no need to change your practice schedule unless you want to, as long as you feel that your practice isn't compromised by taking the Modafinil, which it doesn't sound like it is. I need to add a disclaimer though: I am not a doctor, and don't have experience with the affect of drugs on HR or HRV.
@Joel... Happy to hear of your purchase and that I could be of service.
@Katolotus... Your progress sounds great. Thanks again for getting this thread started. Please keep us updated, and look out for a PM from me over the next couple of days.
Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach
Relationships | Results | Resilience
A Change of Heart Changes Everything
â€œEvery famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what theyâ€™re doing and say â€˜Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?â€™â€¦ 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€ â€“ Eric Schmidt â€“ Google CEO
maybe relevant, maybe not. maybe interesting, maybe not - but about higher heart rate and coherence - i tried an experiment a few times where i watched porn while doing a session with my emwave software - certainly increased my heart rate relative to other sessions, but didn't have any observable impact on the coherence state percentages i was able to reach.
Here's a quick blog post I know you guys will appreciate, featuring Dave Asprey:
Dave, you shouldn't subject yourself to such experiments just in the name of science.
We appreciate your dedication though...
without sacrifice, there is no progress. :-P
i really jumped the gun on moving up in the levels according to what alan suggests - i was moving up when i reached 10% high rather than waiting for 90%. as such, i have moved back down from highest (level 4) to high (level 3). typically in the 70s - 80s % high there, so not too far from moving back up.
still haven't read the book heart math solution. i've seen dave recommend it and jason hooper too. do you recommend it, alan?
trying to decide which i want to read next - man 2.0 engineering the alpha or the heart math solution. pretty sure i'm reading both eventually, just want to read the more valuable first. i think you've read both katolotus, right? what do you suggest?
That makes sense, Alan. I am understanding some of the numbers on the app a lot better. I did not realize you could interpret so much by looking at them. I will keep experimenting with how modafinil (and caffeine etc) affect coherence.
Also, I just saw a youtube talk on coherence by Dr. Alan Watkins. he talks about how one can be in a negative or a positive emotional state irrespective of HR. So, I take that to mean that monitoring your emotional state is more important than HR. Link below:
that sounds like an experiment worth repeating :cool:
My performance has increased dramatically while away and not training. Getting averages in the 5s and have been hitting over 8 at points during a session (normally 10mins). This is much higher than before where I'd be lucky to see 6.0 and would average around 2.5-3.2 before. Will be interesting if I can continue my progress once I start training hard twice-a-day again.
Been getting roughly 2 sessions-a-day since 3rd June. Currently on level 3 and have changed my music to instrumentals in the last week.
Date: 11 Jul
Date: 12 Jun
SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well
New bulletproof app looks interesting. Looks perfect for me and should complement my inner balance training.
On a side note, those interested in this stuff there's an interesting thread about thoughts while breathing. Really be good to add those thoughts to this thread :-)
@Dave, although the HeartMath Solution is a wonderful overview of HeartMath techniques, I really like and advise The Inside Story (http://www.heartmathstore.com/item/eisb/heartmath-the-inside-story-(e-book)) as a means to quickly grasp the fundamentals. We only have the hard copy available in SA, and it quickly sells out.
@Reggie, precisely! Monitoring your emotions and learning to manage them moment-to-moment is the ideal outcome. It all comes down to your physiology. It's inescapable that there are approximately 1400 biochemical changes that take place every time you shift your emotions.. either from positive to negative or negative to positive! At the top of those changes is an influx of Adrenaline (or Acetylcholine) and Cortisol (or DHEA). Our habitual thought patterns are triggering our emotions all the time! When we use Inner Balance Trainer to influence HRV, what we're doing is stopping those habitual thoughts and shifting into positive emotions through intention, thereby increasing the release of DHEA in the body (instead of Cortisol). Over time this shifts our baseline response, and the DHEA helps us achieve that "inner balance". Understanding Henry's Axis, which Alan Watkins illustrates, is the key!
Remember, all stress and situations we encounter in life are firstly handled through our perceptions, and then our physiology and biochemistry. Although every individual's perceptions vary significantly - what stresses me out doesn't necessarily stress you out - our biochemistry is our commonality. Your body produces hormones based on neurons firing in the brain. Its the impact of those hormones on our wellbeing that matters. Discovering and understanding those triggers, and then learning to interrupt and manage them, is the "biohacking" we've been talking about. Because the brain has plasticity, we can learn to re-wire ourselves intentionally! HeartMath provides a simple, elegant and practically effortless way to do this, and Inner Balance is the immediate feedback letting you know you're on track.
Cool book, definitely going to check if out. Alan, do you know of any audio resources / books / podcasts that you could recommend with regards to using/describing inner balance / emwave2 / HRV in general? I'm always looking for things to listen to while commuting or while at gym, and this might be ideal.
Speaking of commuting, I better get ready to go out and sit in traffic. I've been told by Dr. Greg Venning you will probably also be at his Mastering Your Mind workshop tonight at Vitality, so if you don't get a chance to see this message let's see if you can recognize me haha. If you do see this message before then, well I look forward to meeting you!
Thank you for the demonstration you gave tonight with Greg, it was great to see the EmWave2 in action. The whole evening in general was like music to my ears because it was just so in line with what I believe in (very much "bulletproof" as we say here on the forums), and what I've personally experienced in my journey from sickness to health and beyond.
There were a couple more questions that I had for you, but I could see that Neal was in greater need of help from you tonight with his stressor and thought it best to leave you two alone to talk.
1) The first is if you have noticed Dave Asprey's new app called Food Sense and whether you have any opinions/thoughts on it. It aims to use heart rate as an indicator for food sensitivity, and it also has HRV capabilities in the premium version used to track your HRV and alert you of fight or flight responses throughout the day. It is supposably designed to work in conjunction with the HeartMath technology in that it is more just for monitoring and coming up with correlating factors, than the actual training of HRV. As far as I can tell, it's a free app which is great, but it doesn't seem to offer anything more than HeartMath does, it's really just the actual strategy of use that counts.
- The description of the app as well as his podcast discussing it with the app developer can be found here: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/find-your-kryptonite-with-the-free-bulletproof-food-sense-iphone-app/
- Katolotus has also started another review discussion thread for it here: http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/4780-food-sense-app-by-the-bulletproof-executive-review/
2) Anyways my second question is to help me decide if I should purchase the EmWave2, or just the Inner Balance Trainer. Apart from the price difference from R2,550 and R1,485 (which isn't really a concern for me, I will purchase the one that I think would benefit me the most). I can't quite figure out how exactly the two products differ - I know you did talk quite a lot about it in your post here: http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/4102-inner-balance-for-ios-review/?view=findpost&p=35673
My understanding is that:
Inner Balance Trainer:
- iOS app that is free, but you need to purchase the sensor required to use it.
- Can perform pretty much everything that the EmWave2 does (and more) - except when it comes to the actual desktop application.
- "Shows more information more readily than the EmWave2, and is customisable by adding your own soundtrack and inspirational image... on-screen prompts, cues, and coherence coach"
- Comes with additional Desktop software, and can have the data saved and exported.
- Comes with a quick state guide and a practice plan.
If I was to purchase the EmWave2, but didn't want to carry it around with my all day every day in addition to my phone, would the sensor that comes with the EmWave2 be compatible with my iPhone 4 and the Inner Balance app without any additional hardware purchases? I think this will be the deciding factor of whether I purchase the EmWave2 or the Inner Balance.
Thanks for your time.
Just wanted to give a heads up, Heartmath is having a sale till August 19th, 25% off select products, Emwave2 is $169 vs $229.
Plus, if you were/are military (my husband is a vet) they offer a very sweet military discount.
Here's an interesting question (for me), hopefully Alan can help. For those not interested in the long theory of mine, skip to below for my questions and you'll get the idea (sort of maybe) .
Now the Food Sense app is available which does the same job (in theory) as the BioForce mentioned earlier in this thread. This gives you a HRV score everyday (0-100) to give you an idea of how stressed you are, which I would guess would give you an idea of overtraining like the BioForce, as that's a stress on the body that would show up. So BioForce scores you and if you're stress is high and it gives you a low score, you back off training a bit, rest more, until your morning score increase enough, then you train harder again.
Now I'm hoping to use the Food Sense HRV feature in the same way, so in my (sometimes) twice-daily training sessions. I can either push hard and maybe add a few bits in, or do the bare minimum and check my HRV score the next day and adjust again. Sounds like a great plan to me and easier than trying to look at the Inner Balance twice daily and see if my scores have dropped and how I'm getting into coherence. Now this is were my questions come from.
Basically the BioForce and Bulletproof Food Sense (Sweetbeat) apps take your HRV scores each morning. You hook yourself up it takes 60+ seconds and gives you a score, 0-100 and colour codes it 3 levels. Good/OK/Bad in theory. That's great, but with the Inner Balance app I've been training to get into coherence (which takes more than 60 secs) for 10 mins twice-a-day. Been training with it nearly every day for 7 weeks now and feeling great general from it. Now as these are two different styles of HRV apps, it's thrown up the following questions about my use of them and how it would effect my daily life.
Obviously the answers to some questions will make others null and void, but with no answers yet, I'm going for broke
1. How does Inner Balance effect my waking and general Heart Rate and/or HRV when not in coherence?
2. Will the training with Inner Balance effect the scores on the other apps (sweetbeat, bioforce etc), making them less reliable?
â€¢ would my HRV show up better than my clones who's not using Inner Balance, but training the same?
â€¢ would my HRV show up the same as my clones who's not using Inner Balance, but training the same?
â€¢ if my HRV show up the worse as my clones who's not using Inner Balance, how's using it helping (take it this is unlikely)?
â€¢ If my waking HRV is the same as someone (i.e. my clone) not using Inner Balance, how is the info from the other apps useful?
â€¢ if I use my trained breathing patterns from Inner Balance while using the other apps, would this effect the other apps scores?
3. How does this effect the physical stress from training and my HRV data?
4. If Inner Balance doesn't effect my heart rate (HRV) when I'm not breathing correctly, how has it effected my general mood?
5. If Inner Balance does effect the heart rate (HRV) when not in coherence, how does that effect my physical body, i.e. muscle damage from training, recover speeds, general physical abilities.
6. Is it possible that using Inner balance training can have effects on my physical body if I'm recovering quicker, training more than if I wasn't using it?
Ok, that's enough for now, think the above questions repeat a little, but I've confused myself too much, so it'll have to come out in the wash I hope. If any of these questions can be answered, then i'll probably have a lot more questions in whichever direction the info sends me, so I can make the best use of both apps (Inner Balance & SweetBeat). This takes me back to how I first heard about HRV, which was a posted youtube video on this forum (I re-linked it at the start of this thread), which mention high-level athletes in Rowing, Golf and Cycling.
Now I'm looking to apply multiple HRV apps to hack my life/training/performance.
All from my iPhone! SUCK IT android users
I've been working with the Inner Balance app for the last 4 days. Level 1 & 2 went quickly for me, pacing my breath is something I learned from yoga/pranayama. Level 3 has definitely taken it up a notch for me.
Last night as I was practicing I was watching the mandala expand and contract it reminded me of how the breath moves in pranayama. The mandala was a visual reminder to let my breath widen and touch the side ribs. As the breath rises the ribs move laterally to the sides, horizontal expansion, and then the sternum bone lifts, connecting the sternum bone to the skin on top of the sternum. So essentially, with inhalation we're very consciously lifting and expanding, rib by rib, pulling the breath up to the level of the heart.
It's taught not to drop the sternum as you exhale, but to keep it lifted, so you retain the lift into the heart. This has really helped me stay in coherence, yesterday had my highest level at level three, 6.1, and 740 achievement for my 10 min session.
Another "hack" discovered last night was that I could sustain a much longer focus if I felt the intrinsic qualities of the heart rather than using a memory. Focusing on the natural energy of heart, being with that, feeling it, then let my mind "rest" there.
If your mind wants to play in Inner Labrador mode, this technique I learned from Anna Wise "The High Performance Mind" is very helpful. Relax your tongue, let your tongue rest along the floor of your mouth. (Rather than pressing it up against the hard palate.) The tongue and the internal dialog are very much connected; when the tongue is pressed up against the hard palate it's as if it's on pause, ready to jump and respond to the direction of the mind. So by unplugging that connection, you can quiet down the internal dialog and more easily shift your focus to the heart.