Float Away Anxiety - Excerpt 5
Floating improves Heart Rate Variability.
During floating, not only does the blood pressure drop but the heart rate variability, or HRV for short, also increases. This is the variation in time interval between heartbeats.
A high HRV is a sign of health and fitness. A low HRV indicates irregular functioning of the heart and uneven blood flow to the organs.
In sports, the analysis of HRV is used to measure whether the athlete is fit enough for the next heavy training session. This is a tool to determine how hard the next training can be in order not to get injured.
The HRV is the purest indicator we have of the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of our autonomic nervous system that is responsible for our relaxation. Right from the start, floating gives an enormous boost to heart rate variability. This suggests a very strong relaxation response from the body.
Interestingly, when watching a relaxing film, the HRV drops instead of rising. This is the red line on the graph. It decreases by about the same amount, but with the opposite effect to floating.
The measurements were taken with an electrocardiogram, abbreviated EKG. This is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart muscle. The results are 95 % reliable. The blue line on the graph indicates the rising curve at floating.
This is the 5th excerpt of 18 out of Dr Justin Feinstein's talk at Float Conference 2018, Float Away Anxiety. Research results can be found at: