**top Scores** Inner Balance / Coherence

edited September 2013 in Brain Hacking

Thread for posting your scores on inner balance, or similar device.


 


Rules: 


 


1-pics or gtfo


2-nerdiness is ok in this thread, and is not to be held against members when posting elsewhere


3-kato cannot be allowed to win


4-linking of hrv metrics to other life hacking metrics, and similar general discussion, is encouraged


 


*LEADER BOARD*


 


The Master (highest session coherence score, minimum 1000 achievement points in session, level 4)


7.3 - Baba Yaga 


 


The Bad Buddha (highest peak coherence score, level 4)


11.0 - katolotus  (level 3)


 


The Mad Monk (highest session achievement score, minimum of 80 "high", level 4)


1190 - Baba Yaga


 


The DHEA Doper (highest consecutive 7-day achievement points total)


TBA


 


* FAQ *


 


Why are these people doing this?


 


Studies suggest that sessions of 20+mins a day, 5 days a week, for 1 month, in "coherence", may double DHEA levels, while at the same time lowering cortisol levels. Anecdotally, this practice also appears to significantly improve well being. Still want more benefits? There is also suggestion of improvements in: asthma, hyperventilation syndrome, hypertension, hypotension, anxiety, depression, fatigue, resting heart rate, total heart rate variability, blood pressure and gastric pain.


 


What is coherence?


 


"Coherence" is a term used by Heartmath as a proxy measure for "quality" of heart rate variability (hrv). It is related to the pattern of the hrv, and also to the amount of hrv. A hrv pattern that is more sine-wave like in shape is given a higher coherence score. Higher amounts of hrv (heart rate bpm, over time, "peak to to trough" difference) are also weighted for a higher score. A "coherent" hrv is better than an incoherent one, a bigger coherent pattern is better than a smaller one. 


 


The picture below shows how your heart rate (bpm) can vary 20 or more points in the space of a few seconds (literally a few heart beats), when in "high coherence". Just as important, is the pattern of that variation. A large, "smooth" sine-wave like hrv pattern is linked to beneficial biochemical change in the body. For example, when I am in "high coherence" my heart rate at the top of an inhale is around 90 bpm, it can then rapidly slow to 70 bpm (or less) at the bottom of the next exhale. With practice, you will find that your hrv will increase and your heart rate average will drop, as you do more sessions.


 


9439866089_b48226e092_m.jpg 


 


How do I get coherence?


 


Primarily, a "coherent" hrv is induced through respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Additionally, positive mindfulness/meditation practices and techniques, appear to work well. Additionally, check Alan's post. Also see hacks, below.


 


What is the session coherence score?


 


The session coherence score is a measure related to average hrv coherence for session (total area of session coherence curve / time). It is a proxy measure for the overall "quality" of the session.


 


What is the session achievement score?


 


The session achievement score is a measure weighted for (good) hrv coherence x time. 


 


What's up with the levels? What's the best possible score?


 


See Alan's post here.


 


Any other motivations?


 


One of my favourite sport (super) stars, Cooper Cronk, mentioned on his blog that he uses similar breathing training. If it is good enough for Cooper, it sure is good enough for me. I like this quote from Cooper's site the best:


 


"People often ask me what I’m listening to minutes before the game. The truth is not what you may think. It’s most likely to be something that takes my heart rate down and calms my mind to a place of stillness. Because it’s only in stillness you can find the clarity to achieve greatness".


 



* HRV Hacks *


 


First, read Baba's post (also additional here), and read BP step 3, part 4 (if you haven't already).


 


Below are the top 6 things, I find most useful for hacking hrv. If you have your own, feel free to share.


 


1 - Rhythmic breathing. Equal time inhale and exhale, with typical range between 8 and 13 seconds (total time for one full breath). A "good range" is generally between 10 and 12 seconds (between 5 and 6 breaths a minute, 0.085 Hz - 0.1 Hz). There is some science around this here, for example, page 130: "the resonant frequency of their CVS lay in the range of 0.075–0.12 Hz". Additionally, the Mayer wave is approximately 0.1 Hz.


 


9445400019_b4c5c96061_m.jpg


 


This paper here suggests a method to find your own "personal" optimal breathing rate. By testing which breathing rate "maximises" the amount of low frequency response (typically around the 0.085 - 0.1 Hz range). My own level test is here.  


 


2 - Deep breathing. Approx. 50% of diaphragm range is typically recommended. 


 


3 - Smooth breathing. Diaphragm breathing can additionally help control the smoothness (and rhythm and depth) of breath.


 


4 - Mindfulness. A distracted mind will kill your score. Try not to look at the device, it will mainly distract you. In addition, it helps you to train for "real life". A key goal, for myself, is to create level 4 "high" coherence, on demand, in less than a minute - without relying on being plugged into a hrv trainer.


 


5 - Relax. Particularly on exhale. Do a full body scan of any tension points, and relax these areas.


 


6 - Heartmath techniques. Especially "heart focus" and "appreciation". Sounds kooky, I know. But you can consistently get a 5+ score just by applying "heart focus" to a 5 breath / minute metronome (0.085 Hz). 


 


 


Other useful tips:


 


Sound and light. Contradicts the goal of inducing high coherence without "help", but, a binaural beat with nootropic lighting, may be a useful hack for some. Other music, both relaxing and stimulating may be useful.


 


Pranayama type images. "Taking in your inhalation as though you were savoring a very fine scent. Let your exhalation be long, soft, calm and peaceful."


 


Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

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Comments

  • from last week, level 4, 9.9


     


    http://postimg.org/image/cx35ukk35/

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    Hint: on iPhone, press the round home button and the top lock button at the same time to take a screen shot. ;-)


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited July 2013

    So it just top coherence we're after? As you can see from these two, my top coherence wasn't my best session.


     


    InnerBalance_29Jul13.jpg InnerBalance_12Jul13.jpg


     


    I'm guessing that the Level just changes the green/blue/red levels and doesn't actually effect the coherence levels. Seems like it just moves the bands up. So it doesn't actually change the overall session.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • Would like to create this again photo_zpsd97df352.png

  • edited July 2013

    I'm thinking, these are best metrics. Any thoughts?


     


    -session coherence score (from the history page) 


    -weekly total achievement score (as the studies suggest DHEA increase/cortisol decrease is most correlated to this), a weekly total achievement score (by way of history summary) is probably the go here


    -peak coherence (perhaps just for general ball swinging, etc)


     


    *for a complete techno-fail anti-apple loser, like myself, how do you embed pics...?


     


    edit -- you boys are allowed to graduate to level 4, you know  :-P


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Baba YagaBaba Yaga
    edited July 2013
    Not a boy here, LOL. I did just try level 4, but want to consistently score in the 90s before I move up.


    To embed pics, just add (with no spaces): [ IMG ] your pics URL [/ IMG ] or use the photobucket app.
  • kato - what was your session coherence score for the 94 (12 July)


    baba- what was your session coherence score for the 93 (19 July) 


     


    I'm guessing that coherence scores above 6 will be the best guide for a quality session...


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭


    kato - what was your session coherence score for the 94 (12 July) 6.0


    baba- what was your session coherence score for the 93 (19 July) 


     


    I'm guessing that coherence scores above 6 will be the best guide for a quality session...



    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • edited July 2013

    also what's best ever session coherence score (minimum 1000 achievement points)?


     


    I'm thinking these will be the "leaderboard" metrics


     


    [The Master] Highest session coherence score (minimum 1000 achievement points for the session) 


    [The DHEA Doper] Highest weekly total achievement points 


    [The Bad Buddha] Highest peak coherence score 


     


    edit: op now updated with leader board, let me know if you want anything changed?


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Baba YagaBaba Yaga
    edited July 2013


    baba- what was your session coherence score for the 93 (19 July) 6.1




     


     


    Does anyone know what exactly the achievement points represent?  Is it how long you stay in coherence?  Should we have a minimum time spent in session? 


  • edited July 2013

    My understanding is :


     


    -coherence - proxy measure for average coherence for session (total area session coherence curve / time)


    -achievement - proxy measure weighted for (good) coherence x time


     


    Alan/Heart math - can you confirm? 


     


    -the studies relating significant increase in DHEA/decrease in cortisol (with coherence), used session times of 20+ minutes (approximately 1000-1500+ achievement points), minimum 5 times a week


     


    edit: for example: studies like this


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Interesting study, thank you for the posting the information, now I want to aim for longer sessions. 


  • RagRag
    edited July 2013

    I don't think I'm winning any honors, but here are my entries

     

    for peak coherence:


    rsz_ib1.jpg

     


    for highest session coherence score:


    rsz_ib2.jpg


  • give it up. I win:


     


    rsz_1ib3.jpg


  • InnerBalance_31Jul13.jpg


     


    Better session last night. Went to bed early as I was tired and ended up doing 20mins extra! Not sure if it's worth 20mins lost sleep ;-)


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well



  • So it just top coherence we're after? As you can see from these two, my top coherence wasn't my best session.




     




    My understanding is :


     


    -coherence - proxy measure for average coherence for session (total area session coherence curve / time)


    -achievement - proxy measure weighted for (good) coherence x time


     


    Alan/Heart math - can you confirm? 




     


    ----


     


    I attended another workshop that Alan from HeartMath SA held this morning, and asked the question him (based on this thread) how coherence level or coherence quantity compare.


     


    Basically in terms of effectiveness:


    - The quality of your coherence over a sustained period of time is more important than the quality of your coherence at a single point in time.  


    - You will generally benefit more being able to obtain a reasonable level of coherence consistently than a very high level of coherence for a very brief period.


     


    But of course I would imagine trying to stretch the limits of your coherence and reach higher levels will always benefit you, as long as it doesn't too frequently compromise your overall HRV training.

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013

    sounds pretty reasonable.


     


    So we're looking for the highest average Coherence on the review page.


     


    InnerBalance_Review_1Aug13_zpse47b66fd.j


     


    Anyone know how the Achievement points are calculated. Would that be just as good to go on?


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • edited August 2013

    all three sessions yesterday 5+, think I am getting the hang of it.


     


    9420688466_eb79c96f63_m.jpg


     


    edit:


    coherence is like quality - average coherence for session


    achievement is like quantity - related to time for session


     


    see op leaderboard for scoring, and let me know if you want changes


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • all sessions today above 5 as well, think I am getting it, I'll stick the top one in as the first "Mad Monk" qualifier...


     


    9420172161_65b2688b9e_m.jpg9422940316_a4d2c940c3_m.jpg


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • :S  I can't even get over 2.0 coherence for an overall session on level 1. Might explain a lot...


  • Had a good session last night, had pretty much my worse one ever this morning!


     


    InnerBalance_02Aug13_zps1a4e2286.jpg


     


    Let's hope it's just a blip.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • op is now updated with a faq, as well as leader board metrics


     


    let me know if you want any additional metrics added, or if I have got anything wrong with the faq...


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • this morning's sesh also above 5, getting into a groove with this thing


     


    9426989878_9c35d5e0bd_m.jpg


    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 



  • :S  I can't even get over 2.0 coherence for an overall session on level 1. Might explain a lot...




    __________________________________


     


    Get hold of AlanStrydom who's a HeartMath Coach. He might be able to get you some coaching lessons via skype that'll help you improve.


     


    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/4102-inner-balance-for-ios-review/page-3

    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well



  • My understanding is :


     


    -coherence - proxy measure for average coherence for session (total area session coherence curve / time)


    -achievement - proxy measure weighted for (good) coherence x time


     


    Alan/Heart math - can you confirm? 


     


    -the studies relating significant increase in DHEA/decrease in cortisol (with coherence), used session times of 20+ minutes (approximately 1000-1500+ achievement points), minimum 5 times a week


     


    edit: for example: studies like this




     


     


    Correct! :)

    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 August 2013


    :S  I can't even get over 2.0 coherence for an overall session on level 1. Might explain a lot...




     


    Simplified, your goal is to get into the green and stay there as long as possible. For some people, depending on a number of things, it's easy to get into the green, for others it's more difficult. So let's break it down a bit:


     


    Firstly, being in the red, or low (normal, everyday) coherence, isn't bad. Don't see the colour red here as doing badly.. it's just a colour to differentiate from the other two coherence ratios (medium is blue, high is green). I've had some clients think red is bad, stress over it, and not be able to get out of low coherence. This just adds more pressure. Understanding that it's just a way of differentiating the ratios, and that low is actually normal (average experience of everyone on this planet), eases the tension and allows us to focus on what we need to in order to better our ratio... our mindful deep and rhythmic breathing.


     


    Secondly, the first challenge level on IBT or emWave has an algorithm which facilitates physiological coherence. Meaning, that (heart) focused breathing will get you into the green the more you practice. So on level one you're doing two things: 1) You're learning to focus away from the mind chatter and into the heart, 2) You're regulating your breathing and synchronising the two branches of the autonomic nervous system, while focused away from the busy brain and into the heart.


     


    The Inner Balance Trainer coach encourages you to take another step and focus on positive feelings. So even while you're training on level one you're adding that third step, the culmination of all three steps which we call Quick Coherence, and you're activating a psycho-physiological coherent shift. 


     


    The more you can complete all three steps successfully - stay focused on the heart (not in the thinking, rationalising, justifying, reacting mind), stay focused on controlling your breathing (regulating and influencing your HRV and nervous system), and stay focused on positive emotions (producing a cascade of beneficial hormones in the body, leaving you feeling good) - the better. And the longer you can do this for consistently, through one session and across all your sessions, the better.


     


    Taking it up a notch to challenge levels 2, 3, and 4, you'll need to maintain that emotional (or psycho-physiological) shift to get into and stay in the green (high coherence), because the algorithm is set more sensitively... i.e... it's picking up the finer beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate. Fortunately though, you'd have already begun your practice of that shift at level one, where it was easier, and so you begin to build your resilient muscle... much like when you go to the gym for the first time you don't pick up the heaviest weight, but gradually train yourself to do so over time.


     


    Following on from the gym analogy then, regular gym sessions mean that you become fitter, stronger, and build endurance. You're then able to pick up heavy boxes, or walk long distances, or climb a flight of stairs, without much effort because you're fitter. The same goes for HRV training and the accompanying emotional intelligence aspect of it. You're building resilience to life's stresses. 


     


    Some days your training will be spot on and you'll have an awesome session. Some days it'll be different. There's a host of reasons for this, and at the top of the list will be "what's going on in your life at that time?". Ask any golfer about their emotional and mental state during their best game ever, and they'll tell you they were feeling calm, confident and peaceful (not much thinking going on). Ask them about swinging the club while they're thinking of their work stress or something going on at home, and they'll tell you how bad their game was.


     


    IBT trains you to focus away from the stressors, and onto what's truly important to you. When we do that, and we're no longer producing stress hormones for Fight or Flight or Freeze in the body, we're producing feel good hormones which encourage creative solutions and responses to life. 


     


    So for your own practice, introduce the feeling of ease into your sessions. Allow your thoughts to be "heard", acknowledge them, then become mindful of turning your attention away from them, focusing into the heart, counting your inhalations and exhalations to make your breath even (or follow the breathing pacer). Spend a couple of minutes just on these two steps. When you notice the mind is quiet, the body calm, and there is a regular rhythmic pattern emerging, identify the way you're feeling at that moment as Ease, and become more aware of that, breathing that feeling in more fully. 


     


    Even with other factors that might influence your day to day training, this practice will bring success over time.


    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 August 2013

    Here's a session I had yesterday morning, playing around with the accumulative results of coherence and the levels: http://alanstrydom.com/ready-for-your-day/


    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

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013



    Here's a session I had yesterday morning, playing around with the accumulative results of coherence and the levels: http://alanstrydom.com/ready-for-your-day/



     


    __________________________________


     


    Not seeing anything at the mo! Links not working for me.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • thanks Alan - great to see you in here - have added a link in the op to Alan's post above

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 



  •  



     


    __________________________________


     


    Not seeing anything at the mo! Links not working for me.



     




     


    Interesting, link's working my side.


     


    Here's a screenshot. Basically after a hectic week I decided to be easy on myself and have a session on level 2 again. Five minutes in I was"feeling it", stopped the session, changed to level 3, and went for ten minutes. I've been playing around with this idea whenever I'm feeling stretched (old habits die hard :) . What I've begun to notice experientially is something I learned cognitively, that the practice of coherence has an accumulative effect. Where I might have struggled to get a good coherent score "diving in the deep end" on level 3 after a hectic week, first going easier on myself, and then upping the challenge worked to sustain a good coherent score. 

    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

«1345678
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