A stress management training system that monitors stress by measuring a person’s heart rate variability and provides biofeedback to increase this heart rate variability, which correlates with the relaxation response to reduce stress and enhance resilience.
“Healing Tools” summaries are a collection of evidence-based resources to help providers and patients use integrative health approaches to improve health and wellbeing.
This tool is for:
- Patients and their family members
This tool was created by: Quantum Intech Inc., DBA, HeartMath
What is this tool for?
Stress is associated with many health problems, including pain, anxiety and depression as well as high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems, diabetes and fatigue. It can also make many diseases and conditions worse.
When a person experiences stress, his/her heart-rhythm patterns become irregular and the variability between heart beats (a sign of relaxation) goes down. Positive emotions make the heart-rhythm pattern more ordered and coherent.
Managing Stress through Heart Rhythms and Self-Regulation
The emWave training system measures subtle changes in heart rhythms and provides real-time feedback and techniques to help people improve those rhythms and manage stress.
The advanced heart rate monitor, connected through a sensor to the earlobe, measures heart rate variability. The measurements are translated into images that show the level of stress and relaxation.
The training system provides feedback on these heart patterns and exercises to help patients monitor and control their emotions. This is called self-regulation.
Self-regulation helps patients build inner resilience to deal with stress and shift from stress into coherence. Coherence is a state of relaxation, readiness, and revitalization that improves performance, health, and emotional wellbeing.
Training Systems for Patients and Providers
Several options are available. HeartMath offers research-based technology products called emWave and Inner Balance™ for individuals and emWave Pro and emWave ProPlus for providers.
- emWave2: A portable, hand-held device that works by itself and can be connected to a personal computer (PC or Mac.) This device has:
- A built-in coherence coach to enhance the individual’s coherence level
- Guided stress management practices
- The Inner Balance™ Trainer: A coherence sensor and an app for smart phones and tablets (Android and Apple) that guides and trains the user to increase heart coherence and provides progress rewards. It has guided stress management practices.
- emWave Pro: Computer program (PC or Mac) with one heart rate variability assessment. It stores data of multiple users so providers can save sessions and monitor progress.
- emWave ProPlus: Computer program (PC or Mac) with two heart rate variability assessments. It stores data of multiple users so providers can save sessions and monitor progress.
Other HeartMath Products
HeartMath offers other products, including books, an online course, webinars, and technologies.
HeartMath offers training programs for doctors, licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, educational therapists, and other health-care professionals. Products such as books and webinars may also be relevant.
How does this contribute to an integrative approach?
Combining conventional medicine, self-care, and complementary and alternative medicine can help patients achieve optimal healing and health. For providers, managing stress can lessen or eliminate many health problems. For patients, managing stress is a form of self-care that enables them to live a healthier, more resilience life.
What does the evidence say about these tools?
More than 300 independent publications have supported positive outcomes in using the HeartMath system, including emWave products, in a variety of people, populations, and outcomes. These studies have been done in worksites, schools, clinics, with the military and veterans, hospitals, and in community settings.
Typical benefits of emWave and the Inner Balance products, according to study results, are:
- More calmness
- Better sleep
- Less reactivity
- Less worry
- More alertness
- Less pain
- Improved school performance
- Improved work performance
- Better focus and decision making
- More positive attitudes
- More ease and inner peaceiii
What are the drawbacks to using this tool?
People must buy emWave or Inner Balance products. They must use the product regularly, usually for 20 minutes a day for 8 weeks and periodically thereafter.
Providers must buy emWave or Inner Balance products. Use of these products in clinical practice requires extra time. It is best if providers have tried it themselves to optimize use with patients.
Who created this tool?
Quantum Intech Inc., DBA, HeartMath create emWave and Inner Balance.HeartMath develops scientifically-based tools that help people reduce stress and increase resilience. Their research-based programs and products have been delivered with documented outcomes in a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 100 companies, hospitals and healthcare systems, schools, government agencies, and to individuals.
For the public and patients
ABOUT THESE INTEGRATIVE HEALTH TOOLS
At Samueli Integrative Health Programs, we believe that achieving optimal health and wellbeing requires an integrative health approach—one that combines and coordinates conventional medicine, self-care, and complementary and alternative medicine.
Translating Evidence into Action
The goal of these summaries is to help providers and patients learn about and access evidence-based integrative health tools. Each featured tool has been vetted by Samueli Integrative Health Programs. Read about more Healing Tools.
Samueli Integrative Health Programs is a public service of H&S Ventures and does not profit from any of the tools featured in these summaries.
Patients: Contact your provider before starting any new health program. Show him/her these resources.