How it works
The human organism is under the continuous control of the autonomic nervous
system (ANS). The ANS is evolutionarily the oldest part of the human nervous
system that cannot be voluntarily controlled by our thoughts. The main purpose
of the ANS is to control all organs and systems to maintain optimum performance
of the organism influenced by various internal and external factors. This control is
carried out by the two branches of the ANS called the sympathetic nervous
system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous systems (PNS).
Generally SNS causes the so-called 'fight or flight' response needed to mobilize
all of our organisms’ resources to withstand any stress factors (stressors) -
certain changes in outer or inner environment that cause discomfort or even
harm to our organisms. Once the immediate threat of stressor is alleviated, PNS
takes control of the organism, bringing it back to normal optimum function. Strong
functioning of both the SNS and PNS allows our organisms to function effectively
Chronic long-term stress often causes malfunctioning of ANS regulatory
functions, which can become a precursor of various detrimental health
conditions. Under chronic stress, the PNS primarily suffers. This results in an
inability to adequately regulate body function. This fact shows a strong reason to
give people a tool to positively affect on PNS to bring it back to normal
Everybody knows that human muscles become stronger and function more
effectively if regular physical exercises are given to them. Same can be done to
the PNS. Fortunately there is a key element of PNS that can be positively
affected in a special training regimen serving as a sort of exercise to the PNS.
This is the mechanism of baroreflex. Its basic function is to regulate heart rate
(HR) depending on actual level of blood pressure (BP) in central blood vessels,
primarily in aorta. Its main goal is to provide an adequate blood supply to all vital
organs, such as brain, heart, lungs, etc. There are special sensory cells in the
aorta wall called baroreceptors that sense the level of BP and send the signals to
the brain structures via special nerves. Those baroreceptors, nerve fibers and
specific brain structures are all part of the PNS. Their job is to check the BP level
and send signal back to heart to set certain level of HR. It works in such a way
that if BP in aorta drops, HR rises and vice versa. This mechanism adjusts the
HR to maintain balance and keep the blood supply sufficient.
Thus to train PNS system we need to have a positive impact on the baroreflex
mechanism to cause increased stimulation of PNS. It appears that deep
breathing is an easy mind controlled way to do such stimulation providing an
effective exercise regimen to the PNS. It was found that baroreflex mechanism is exceptionally responsive to periodic stimulation at certain rate, particularly at 0.1
Hz (also called the resonant frequency), which can be provided when breathing
deeply and evenly at 6 breaths per minute. This regimen is especially effective
when such breathing is controlled by a specially established visual and/or
auditory pacer (or metronome).
Below is a diagram describing how baroreflex mechanism works.
Below is the diagram showing relationship between breathing, BP and HR as per details above.
This diagram shows that when breathing occurs at resonant frequency, HR should have the most profound oscillations synchronous with breathing. By the end of deep inhalation HR reaches its maximum level and respectively by the end of exhalation HR reaches its minimum level.
This physiological phenomenon, also known as respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), sets the ground for a training technique as a key element of the AWS Heart Tracker system.
The training tool has means to provide both visual and auditory breath pacer as well as the way to read actual HR. Breathing according to breath pacer and observing actual HR establishes a biofeedback loop, which is essential to have a successful training outcome.
Important! None of the physiological data measured by the Heart Tracker is to be used for diagnostic purpose in the USA. The information being recorded will vary greatly between individuals. Age, heart irregularities, chronic conditions all could affect the reading by this instrument.
Important! Individuals should use this instrument for achieving better function of the internal regulatory mechanisms. It is important to understand that no dramatic improvement could happen overnight. Regular use of this tool (10-20 minutes per day) should gradually bring your regulatory systems to better function enhancing your overall health condition.