The Maxpulse is an FDA cleared device that measures several heart functions through photoplethysmography and autonomic (automatic) nervous system function through heart rate variability. It is a non-invasive test and only takes minutes to perform. Four essential functions are measured and compared with other individuals in North America on a percentile basis. Obviously, an individual wants to score as high as possible in these categories. These measurements can be used as a baseline and monitored to determine the effectiveness of diet, lifestyle, nutraceutical, or prescription medication intervention. The heart variability measures the relative balance and strength between the sympathetic (fight/flight) and parasympathetic (digestion and healing) nervous systems.
We are divinely designed to live in a predominantly parasympathetic state with occasional emergency needs for symapthetic dominance. However, in today’s world, we find 4 out 5 people are locked into a sympathetic dominance for extended periods of time. We are able to monitor and demonstrate movement back into a more parasympathetic influence after making appropriate recommendations. This has a profound influence on enhancing qualitative longevity. Positive effects are often seen on the cardiovascular and hormonal systems within 30 minutes to 2 hours after interventional nutraceutical treatment or the use of BrainTap, an audio-visual entrainment device.
Report Interpretation Guide
Excerpts from Chapter 9: Monitoring and Managing Stress in Today’s World from the book, 13 Secrets to Optimal Aging, by Kelly Miller DC NMD FASA FBAARM CFMP.*
*Currently licensed in Missouri in Chiropractic and Acupuncture. “Certified Health Coach” in Florida.
One of the many challenges I have with patients these days is helping them to better handle the stress in their life. Many if not most people have difficulty in handling the many stressors in their life. Stress can come in many forms – genetic variances, environmental toxins, trauma, food, water, and beverages consumed, too much or too little sleep, too much or too little exercise, the air breathed, and most detrimental of all – negative thinking. Although I am a strong advocate for daily prayer, I find most people do not have the discipline to take 20-30 minutes each day to do this or practice yoga or meditation, or even exercise for stress reduction. However, most people have no problem spending hours on the computer, listening to music with ear buds or headphones, or watching television. I have found a couple of tools to reduce stress that work extremely well for almost everyone that they can fit into their busy schedules.
One of the observations I have made since consistently using system survey forms and the heart rate variability on the MaxPulse is that the vast majority (75-80%) of people are locked into a sympathetic dominant autonomic imbalance. What this means is that their physiology and chemistry is operating as if they were fighting for or running for their life – not a good way to go through life. This is due to an abundance of stress factors such as food/chemical allergy/sensitivity, environmental toxins in food, air, and water, not enough sleep at the right time (10 PM – 4 AM), and most especially negative thought patterns of anger, fear, or hopelessness. All these stressors cause the sympathetic response (fight/flight) with adrenaline followed by cortisol production.
The vast majority of people by age 40-45, if not sooner ( my clinical observation), exhibit four areas of dysfunction – hormonal, blood sugar regulation, liver/biliary (gall bladder), and digestive. Although nearly 40% of Americans will have cardiovascular disease that will reduce the quality and/or longevity of their lives, the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease are much less observable to the average person. This is another reason for the use of a device like the Maxpulse as a screening and monitoring tool as it will demonstrate measurable changes in the thickness and stiffness in blood vessels way before symptoms or a cardiovascular event like heart attack or stroke occurs.
The chronic sympathetic response and cortisol production which can be caused by multiple life stressors creates more hormonal deficiencies over time. Long term cortisol production causes a reduction in the anabolic (tissue building) hormones like DHEA and testosterone and an increase in insulin and thyroid receptor resistance. Cortisol, being a glucocorticoid, produces glucose (sugar) in larger amounts. The more cortisol produced due to the stressors the more insulin resistance occurs with resultant higher blood sugars, leading to type II diabetes. The more cortisol produced from stressors the less DHEA and testosterone produced further increasing insulin resistance while decreasing lean mass. The more cortisol from stressors produced the more body fat will accumulate. The more body fat an individual has the more estrone they produce. The more body fat and estrone present the more inflammation there is and the more cortisol production is triggered. This becomes a negative self-perpetuating loop. The higher the estrone/estradiol levels the more thyroid functions are inhibited. The more cortisol produced the more rT3 (reverse T3) and thyroid receptor resistance there is. Consequently, controlling the sympathetic response and cortisol production is critical to our long-term health and well-being.
There are several things that will inhibit or counter cortisol production. Nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, and omega-3s reduce cortisol. The hormone pregnenolone counters cortisol. Music at the frequency of 50 hertz, massage, sexual intercourse, meditation, and prayer help reduce cortisol. One of the simplest and most effective treatments I have found in my practice for patients that are feeling “stressed out” is the BrainTap. BrainTap is a powerfully effective mind developmental tool designed to overcome the ill-effects of the fight/flight response while helping to achieve physical, mental, and emotional balance. BrainTap encompasses five different technologies simultaneously during its operation.
The MaxPulse is a device that I use as part of my initial examination of all patients. The Max Pulse gives two separate reports – one report gives four functional cardiac indictors on a percentile compared to same gender and age in North America and the other report is the heart variability. There are several reasons we use this device to analyze the current function of the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems of our patients. The first reason is that almost 40% of the U.S. population will die prematurely from cardiovascular disease and many times there are few signs and symptoms to indicate there may be a problem. Approximately half of all heart attacks prove fatal. This is not the way you want to find out you have a problem. This device has several features that demonstrate vascular wall thickness and elasticity, left ventricle contraction strength, and level of venous return. In addition, the heart rate variability monitors the relative balance and strength of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls all body functions automatically (auto-pilot). This is invaluable in determining the patient’s potential for healing.
The autonomic nervous system is divided into the sympathetic and the parasympathetic divisions. Most organs and tissues have nerve supply from both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. One system acts as the accelerator and the other system acts as the brake. The same system may act as an accelerator for one organ while it is the brake for another. For example in the heart, sympathetic stimulation increases the heart rate while parasympathetic stimulation decreases the heart rate. In the digestive system, parasympathetic stimulation facilitates digestion function while sympathetic stimulation slows or stops the process. This is why high levels of emotionality can cause a rapid heart rate accompanied with nausea, stomach upset, or even vomiting. This is why you should be relaxed when you eat. You will digest better. The sympathetic system is stimulated in the fight/flight response. The parasympathetic system needs to be dominant during digestion and during the night for proper sleep allowing detoxification, repair, and regeneration.
It has been my observation using the heart rate variability on the MaxPulse that most people are locked into sympathetic dominance which is one of the reasons digestive and sleeping problems are so prevalent. The sympathetic (fight/flight) response is synonymous with stress, inflammation, and cortisol production. Excess cortisol production is synonymous with stress as covered in the chapter on cortisol. Excess cortisol will cause chronic disease accompanied with negative emotions, and early death. The cortisol response is exaggerated and prolonged as we age. Being able to down-regulate or turn down the sympathetic system is a key to qualitative longevity.
In general, a higher HRV (heart rate variability) indicates parasympathetic dominance which promotes relaxation, digestion, sleep, and recovery. The parasympathetic nervous system is also known as the feed and breed or rest and digest system. In other words, the more variability there is in the heart rate, the better. Among the elderly, a high HRV is strongly associated with healthy longevity, the kind of aging free of chronic illness/disease we all deserve.3
On the other hand, a lower HRV indicates dominance of the sympathetic (fight/flight) response associated with stress, over-exercising, and inflammation. This is a novel concept for most people. We have been led to believe that a steady heart beat like a metronome is good. This is the exact opposite of the truth. Low HRV is a great predictor of overall poor heart health, risk of heart attack and stroke, coronary artery disease5, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.6 In fact, low HRT is prevalent in people who have had heart attacks, and among patients who have suffered a heart attack a low HRT indicates a higher risk of dying in the subsequent three years.7
Call today 816-210-6913 in Missouri and 813-985-5190 in Florida to schedule in for stress help.