Deep breathing can increase parasympathetic tone helping you to relax, slow down heart rate etc. It's a useful clinical tool which explains why it is a component of virtually every ancient healing tradition-it has withstood the test of time.
But if deep breathing is a flashlight, then Resonant Frequency Breathing (achieved using HRV Biofeedback) is a laser. Much more powerful. Why? Coherence.
What makes a laser powerful is the coherence or synchronization of the light waves. When light waves are made coherent, new properties emerge e.g. being able to cut through metal. Similarly when breathing at the resonant frequency the cardiovascular system is in sync, and acts to synchronize other systems in the body-what the folks at Heartmath call "Psycho-physiological Coherence".
The effects of psycho-physiological or Mind-Body Coherence achieved via Resonant Frequency breathing include improvements in a wide variety of disorders including Irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, Raynaud's syndrome, anxiety, depression and pain. (HRV is a relatively new technology and there is a need for more research however, in my clinical practice with HRV since 2005 I have seen clear improvements in all of these conditions).
In short, while deep breathing tends to induce a state of relaxation, Resonant Frequency Breathing with HRV tends to induce a state of Balance. Very different. More on that later.
In the next post we'll look at the emerging clinical science of HRV and how it might be applied to Fibromyalgia.