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      Characteristics of Resonance in Heart Rate Variability Stimulated by Biofeedback

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          Abstract

          As we previously reported, resonant frequency heart rate variability biofeedback increases baroreflex gain and peak expiratory flow in healthy individuals and has positive effects in treatment of asthma patients. Biofeedback readily produces large oscillations in heart rate, blood pressure, vascular tone, and pulse amplitude via paced breathing at the specific natural resonant frequency of the cardiovascular system for each individual. This paper describes how resonance properties of the cardiovascular system mediate the effects of heart rate variability biofeedback. There is evidence that resonant oscillations can train autonomic reflexes to provide therapeutic effect. The paper is based on studies described in previous papers. Here, we discuss the origin of the resonance phenomenon, describe our procedure for determining an individual's resonant frequency, and report data from 32 adult asthma patients and 24 healthy adult subjects, showing a negative relationship between resonant frequency and height, and a lower resonant frequency in men than women, but no relationship between resonant frequency and age, weight, or presence of asthma. Resonant frequency remains constant across 10 sessions of biofeedback training. It appears to be related to blood volume.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Orienting in a defensive world: mammalian modifications of our evolutionary heritage. A Polyvagal Theory.

          The vagus, the 10th cranial nerve, contains pathways that contribute to the regulation of the internal viscera, including the heart. Vagal efferent fibers do not originate in a common brainstem structure. The Polyvagal Theory is introduced to explain the different functions of the two primary medullary source nuclei of the vagus: the nucleus ambiguus (NA) and the dorsal motor nucleus (DMNX). Although vagal pathways from both nuclei terminate on the sinoatrial node, it is argued that the fibers originating in NA are uniquely responsible for respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Divergent shifts in RSA and heart rate are explained by independent actions of DMNX and NA. The theory emphasizes a phylogenetic perspective and speculates that mammalian, but not reptilian, brainstem organization is characterized by a ventral vagal complex (including NA) related to processes associated with attention, motion, emotion, and communication. Various clinical disorders, such as sudden infant death syndrome and asthma, may be related to the competition between DMNX and NA.
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            Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Increases Baroreflex Gain and Peak Expiratory Flow

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              RESPIRATORY SINUS ARRHYTHEMIA: A FREQUENCY DEPENDENT PHENOMENON.

               A Angelone,  N Coulter (1964)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
                Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1090-0586
                1573-3270
                June 2006
                July 13 2006
                June 2006
                : 31
                : 2
                : 129-142
                Article
                10.1007/s10484-006-9009-3
                16838124
                5117a5b0-d595-422f-91b5-540bb0183c7c
                © 2006

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