Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback Therapy

At Rehab Clinics Group we are always on the lookout for new and effective treatments for drug addiction and/or alcohol addiction. Addiction treatment is an area of study that is constantly evolving as technological advances are continuously being made and scientists continue to understand more about the nuances of addiction.

A form of treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction that has been showing very promising and intriguing results in recent years is Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback Therapy.

We understand that the very phrase Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback Therapy can be quite daunting to read, and it is very common to have questions on your mind such as: “What is the importance of Heart Rate Variability?”, “What are the benefits of HRV Biofeedback for addiction?” as well as the simple question, “What is biofeedback therapy?”

If you are finding yourself in need of professional addiction treatment to help overcome a substance abuse disorder or alcohol abuse disorder, then HRV Biofeedback therapy may be just the thing that you need to conquer your addiction.

However, it is important to do your research into this therapy before committing to a program, so we’re going to be covering all of the things that you need to know about Biofeedback Therapy for alcoholism/substance abuse in order to make sure that you understand exactly how and why this new form of treatment can best benefit you.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback Therapy

What Is HRV Biofeedback Therapy At Its Core?

It is probably best to start by trying to pin down a definition for the key terms Heart Rate Variability and Biofeedback Therapy. It is important to understand what these two ideas mean as Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback Therapy is, loosely, a blending of these ideas.

Biofeedback Therapy, is a non-invasive form of treatment that helps enable individual’s to learn how to control involuntary physiological systems — including the likes of their heart rate, their blood pressure, their muscle tension, and much more.

HRV, on the other hand, is probably best described as a measurement of beat-to-beat variations in an individual’s heart rate.

So, with these ideas in mind, HRV Biofeedback Therapy is a form of biofeedback therapy that is based on feeding back beat-by-beat heart rate data. To an individual during periods of slow breathing in order to make sure that a person’s breathing pattern matches their heart rate shown on the screen.

A biofeedback device, typically an ear sensor that is used to detect heart rate variations, informs the patient once they have managed to maximise this specific interaction upon a display monitor in front of them. The marrying of their slower breathing rate and heart rate, now in unison, positively affects calming of our central nervous system.

A lot of people simply believe that their resting heartbeat will be naturally regular and consistent; however, a person’s resting heart rate can be shockingly irregular.

Therefore, an individual’s Heart Rate Variability can provide a lot of information regarding that individual’s innate behavioural flexibility and ability to cope with stress — with a large amount of variability in their heart rate often being related to such negative side-effects as chronic pain, irritability/anxiety, depression, and much more.


How We Utilise HRV Biofeedback Therapy For Stress And Much More…

Over countless centuries, the human brain has been biologically and environmentally programmed to develop a strong ‘fight or flight’ reflex to external pressures/factors.

However, in our modern landscape, there are fewer instances in which humans are expected to fight for their lives, but our central nervous system is not aware of this fact and can easily become activated by other perceived stressors in our daily life — be it something as small as meeting a new person to worrying if a loved one is safe.

The constant and potentially random activity that some people’s central nervous system can demonstrate can, in turn, present as such things as anxiety/paranoia, rage, or similar emotions.

The understanding that a large amount of variability can lead to such negative side-effects as mentioned previously means that by administering HRV Biofeedback Therapy it is possible to see a marked positive increase in an individual’s general mental health and stress levels.

HRV can also help an individual in their day to day life due to the fact that the ability to regulate your own body during stressful moments means you will be able to perform better at daily life events such as exams at school or maintaining relationships and social interactions.


The Importance Of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Therapy For Addiction Treatment

A recent study into the effects of HRV Biofeedback Therapy on patients who had overcome alcoholism and were living in long-term abstinence showed that, “A randomized controlled study (RCT) recently showed that short-term heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback in addition to standard rehabilitation care for alcohol dependence can reduce craving, anxiety and improve cardiovascular autonomic function.”

It is with this resoundingly positive finding in mind that Rehab Clinics Group have been looking into adding Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback Therapy to our list of potential treatments that patients can receive under our professional and committed care at one of our residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres.

Furthermore, when the researchers associated with the aforementioned study returned to their experiment into the association between HRV Biofeedback Therapy and long-term abstinence a year later, they found that “the rate of abstinence tended to be higher in patients who underwent HRV-biofeedback 1 year earlier compared to those who received rehabilitative treatment alone.”


HRV Biofeedback Therapy May Be Just The Treatment For You

With the incredibly positive findings in relation to a positive relationship between HRV Biofeedback Therapy and long-term abstinence, you would be remiss to not consider how this form of treatment may be able to fit into your long-term goals of overcoming an addiction — as well as the positive side-effects it can have on your general mental health and day-to-day life.

In order to find out more about how Rehab Clinics Group’s residential rehabs can help you to implement this therapy in your pursuit of a long-term recovery from addiction, call us today on 0800 470 0382.