, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 177-191

Resonant Frequency Biofeedback Training to Increase Cardiac Variability: Rationale and Manual for Training

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Abstract

Heart rate and blood pressure, as well as other physiological systems, among healthy people, show a complex pattern of variability, characterized by multifrequency oscillations. There is evidence that these oscillations reflect the activity of homeostatic reflexes. Biofeedback training to increase the amplitude of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) maximally increases the amplitude of heart rate oscillations only at approximately 0.1 Hz. To perform this task people slow their breathing to this rate to a point where resonance occurs between respiratory-induced oscillations (RSA) and oscillations that naturally occur at this rate, probably triggered in part by baroreflex activity. We hypothesize that this type of biofeedback exercises the baroreflexes, and renders them more efficient. A manual is presented for carrying out this method. Supporting data are provided in Lehrer, Smetankin, and Potapova (2000) in this issue.