Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heart beats. It is measured by the variation in the beat to beat intervals. A healthy heart rate variability is reflected by lots of variation in the time between successive heart beats. This would indicate a very robust autonomic nervous system. Someone with less variation between one heart beat to the next has low heart rate variability and indicates decreased autonomic nervous system regulation. The importance of Heart Rate Variability is that it is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and therefore is a window into its function. The autonomic nervous system automatically influences the visceral organs, smooth muscle, such as the blood vessels and glands and obviously a big influence on the heart. There are 2 branches to the autonomic nervous system, the Sympathetic nervous system and the Parasympathetic nervous system. The Sympathetic nervous system deals with stress situations and is sometimes referred to as the “fight or flight” system and is triggered by any stress such as conscious or unconscious psychoemotional stress, toxins and electromagnetic influences. The opposite is the Parasympathetic nervous system and is coined the rest and digest system.
So what does this all mean?
Essentially - using a traditional method developed thousands of years ago to ‘check in’ on the body, we can determine things like how your body is currently dealing with stress, see if there are any indications that there are acute or chronic issues in various organs in the body, get an idea on how the heart is handling the strain of your current lifestyle or imbalances, check in on the different bodily tissues to make sure they are being supported, and look at the energetic balances of the chakras. The fun twist is that we get to use a very modern take on this traditional modality, with a much more acutely accurate reading.
Ayurveda & Dosha Types
Ayurveda is a 3,000 year old system of Medicine, originating in India. It’s often coined as the ‘Sister Science to Yoga’. It is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole body) healing systems, but most certainly maintains a strong and vibrant evidence based presence today. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems. Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).
Imbalances in these different areas provide an environment that can contribute to different types of chronic issues or states of disease in the body. For example, those with a very high amount of Vata dosha in their body, may be more prone to developing anxiety, asthma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is due to an increased amount of Space and Air in the body. It is a complex and extremely accurate form of looking at the body systems, and how disease develops from a small state of imbalance.
So, to simplify, there are 3 different types of Dosha types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Everyone has an innate Dosha type, also called your Prakriti. And any current imbalances or trends in your body systems is called your Vikriti.
Prakriti = Nature.
Vikriti = Imbalance.
It is with this knowledge, your current state of balances or imbalances, that we can begin to determine lifestyle recommendations, assess the functional state of your autonomic nervous system, make dietary and supplement recommendations, and determine a plan to invite health and wellness back into your life.
So what does the Veda Pulse do?
The Veda Pulse, is a diagnostic tool that allows us to see an extremely accurate view of the heart rate variability. It was developed in collaboration with thousands of comparisons between highly sought after Ayurvedic Practitioners and Doctors in India. The ability for the Veda Pulse to pick up on distinctly more subtle difference in the Heart Rate Variability allows for an even more accurate assessment of the bodies current balances, imbalances, and state of health. The Veda Pulse is also able to determine your innate Dosha and your current imbalances. This information is vital to determining the best plan of care for you on a very individualized basis.
What should I expect?
During your appointment, we will start with a brief discussion about your personal history and health. This helps us to determine your Prakriti, your inborn Dosha type. After that, the Veda Pulse assessment will be completed. This involves sitting comfortably in a chair, with electrodes placed on either wrist. The scan itself takes between 6-8 minutes. This assessment allows us to see your current state of imbalances, or the Vikriti. Initial results are immediate and can be reviewed during the visit. A more thorough report and basic lifestyle recommendations will be emailed to you following our visit.
Recommended Plan of Care
Establishing your Prakriti (or innate dosha type) is essential to determining dietary, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations. This is part of the initial appointment, and does not change. The most accurate way to determine this is by questionnaire, looking at your health history, current underlying conditions, and overall pattern of health.
Balances and imbalances are affected by the seasons, time of day, cyclical patterns in the body, and current health related practices. Your diet, medications, menstrual cycle, level of stress, and environment can all impact your dosha balances. With this in mind, the recommended time to assess and reassess imbalances are:
Every 3 months w/ Seasonal Changes
The development of new acute or chronic diseases
Any time symptoms of imbalance present themselves
Before and after the initiation of any new therapies (medicinal or otherwise)
With this in mind, we recommend a Wellness Plan that includes seeing us for an initial Ayurvedic Assessment, and then seasonally after that. This means approximately 4 scans a year, and additional ones as needed based on the situations above.
Contraindications for a Veda Pulse Scan
There are very few contraindications, but they are important, as they can impact the accuracy of the assessment.
Having eaten 1 hour prior to the assessment
Having exercised 1 hour prior to the assessment
Certain medications (primarily heart medications and antidepressants)
These contraindications do not mean that a scan cannot be completed. They will be discussed on a case-by-case basis. However, food and exercise do have a significant impact on the accuracy of the scan.
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