Episode 82 - Heart Rate Variability

heart rate variability



Speaker 1: 00:00 This is Dr Chad Edwards and you’re listening to podcast number 80, one of against the grain.

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Speaker 1: 00:37 Hey guys, welcome back for yet another exciting episode of the against the grain podcast as a new treat. We are joined here today again by Dr Heath Travis. Our amazing chiropractor friend from just right up the road does some really amazing things and I’ve asked him to join us and help us out. So it wasn’t just me droning on and on and on about topics ad nauseum. Dr Travis, start to others. Thank you so much for having us back last time we were here. I am glad you’re here. I’m so good times. So ready to get into this. Absolutely can. Okay. So as we were kind of talking about you know, what to do, I thought about the, some of the stuff that you brought up last time with the sympathetic parasympathetic nervous system and I remember going to a conference a few years ago and there was presented by an obstetrician ob Gyn and in as I did ob Gyn years ago, we would use this, you know, the fetal heart rate monitor and strap it around mom’s belly and we’re getting baby’s heart rate and don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t.

Speaker 1: 01:47 And then we watch the rhythm strip as it comes out and we’re watching certain things and we’re looking for decelerations and those kinds of things. And I never really understood the physiology behind that and what we were looking at. But ultimately what we’re looking at is heart rate variability and you mean, you know, this, I’m saying this more for the, for the listeners, but I just thought it was really interesting that we will look at this test and the reason we put it on there, we were there, we’re watching this thing is we’re looking for when baby is stressed out or when baby’s having a problem, if baby starts having decelerations, um, then we’ve got a problem. There’s something. Yeah, exactly. And we’ve got to intervene. So, and there’s different patterns that we look at, but we wanted, and I remember specifically looking at you want good beat to beat variability and you wanted this nice jaggedy line.

Speaker 1: 02:42 Well, what is that Jaggedy line? It’s heart rate variability. And so we are looking at how stressed out as the baby, how, how adaptive is that baby? Is this baby in trouble, you know, those physiologically speaking. And so at this conference, this guy was promoting a, he was actually promoting the device that measures this. But um, we interestingly, he was selling it for several thousand dollars and I got on Ebay and I found one for like 20 percent of what he was charging for it, brand new from the same company, same everything. It was just, he wasn’t getting the kickbacks from it, which I think were quite substantial. Um, but, uh, so, you know, we started doing this heart rate variability testing and so I thought basically the heart rate variability testing is, is evaluating the balance between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system. And you know, that was one of the things that we talked about, about how many, I mean, how many of your patients do you see on a daily basis that have too much stress? They’re going too fast, they don’t sleep enough. You know what, how many do you see that that’s an issue?

Speaker 3: 03:48 Ninety percent. I mean, it’s overload on everybody. I think as we’ve all changed over the past 20, 30 years with the work we do the computers and everything else, everybody is just at the edge of it. Right? It’s very few that I see that are really balanced. I mean, it takes a while

Speaker 1: 04:04 and they’re probably retired, most of them. Absolutely. They probably have to have a retirement house in Florida and they’re snowbirds and they go stay there. Then they come back here. Yeah, exactly. Every day. Yeah, absolutely. I don’t. I don’t know of anyone that works on really any schedule that maybe if there are nine to noon or something, even if you’re just dropping your kids off at school. I had to. I had the pleasure of dropping my kids off and picking my kids up last week from school and getting in the line. If you’re not there 20 to 30 minutes early. You talked about stress. Holy Crap. It was ridiculous.

Speaker 3: 04:44 Oh, well, you know, I think that’s the whole point too, is we are so fast paced. Even if it’s not us, even if you do take the time to slow down and everything’s everything around you, the people around, everybody’s in a hurry. Every. You know, we’ve. We’ve changed so much over the past hundred years obviously, but it’s Kinda like the Europeans and how they sit down and enjoy dinner. It’s not, they’re not there to eat. They’re there to socialize and relax and spend time and we don’t. We’ve lost sight of that. So it drives all our stress up all the time.

Speaker 1: 05:15 Yeah. There’s no question, no question about that. And uh, you know, I’ve had the opportunity to travel around Europe a little bit and see kind of their culture and spending some time with some friends that were there. And it is, it’s, I wish we had that. I mean, I really do. Plus their food is so much better quality than the crap that we put, you know, that’s another and it tastes so much better. So anyway, talking about this balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic and you know, what we deal with a lot in our clinic is the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal or the HPA access and how the brain responds to these stressors and kicks out a corticotropin releasing hormone and adrenocorticotropic hormone changing. I’m getting into all this biochemical Mumbo jumbo, but all with cortisol and how your adrenals respond to stressors and how you recover from stressors and all of these kinds of different things.

Speaker 1: 06:10 And so that HPA axis plays a big role in things. And I know that’s a lot of what you do in, in, in treating the end game of that. And we’re gonna act. We’ll take a break in a few minutes and after that we’re gonna come back and talk about all the things that we can do to kind of help mitigate some of the stressors and, and get people where they’re a little more even doubt or they’re kind of dealing with some stress issues better and better adapting their physiology. So the, the heart rate variability test that we do in the clinic is, I call it a poor man’s adrenal stress index, but it’s in some ways is better than that cortisol test. Uh, so, you know, for the listeners, basically what we’re doing is we’re wrapping a, a, a, a heart rate monitor around your chest and buckling on.

Speaker 1: 06:56 I’m sitting here doing the motions, like you can see me, but I’m strapping a strap this thing on. And then we, we measure your heartbeat and we have laid down for a little bit. And then we have you stand up and we watch how your heart rate changes from laying down to standing up, and then also how your heart rate changes because there should be variability. In other words, if your heart rate is 60, you’re beating your heart rate is 60 beats in one minute, then you should not have a heartbeat every one second on the second that’s actually not healthy at all. And so it because that would be a very low heart rate variability components. So we want a good variability and it has to do with the physiology of the cortisol and which system is dominating. Cortisol is very long acting on that sympathetic, uh, and the, the adrenergic portion of the catacholamines are very short acting and they’ve done lots of studies with a special operations guys and which obviously is, you know, near and dear to my heart, but they’ve done these studies where they were looking at how these guys adapted.

Speaker 1: 08:09 And the and the guys that were, that did better at, through these very stressful times actually had the best heart rate variability. They were more variable. The less variable they are in the lesson Daptiv they were, the less they were able to, the less they were able to adapt to the stressful situation. So it’s really interesting some of the science behind this stuff. So the machine that I used was actually developed by a Russian. Alexi is his name and don’t call him Alex. I’m a d designed by him and it was two tests, navy seals. So it was just an interesting history behind this stuff. So we have this test that would measure the heart rate variability and it helps us understand the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal access and what sympathetic system, parasympathetic system and it, you know, you can, I mean, I’m sure you know in your clinic you can get a pretty good idea of somebody wired.

Speaker 3: 09:06 Absolutely. I mean by the time they lay down, when they walk in, you already start to know, right. And you can fill it even, you know, even as I touched their spine and palpate it just through muscle tone. Right? I mean, it’s. So what do you see, what do you see their tension, tightness, you know, almost a, uh, the muscles will be taught that you can’t even really pal this mine and so we have to work through that, you know, have talked about stress relief and the little things that add up, but also you’ll see just this, um, the eyes, you know, the dilation, the, they’re just always going, just like kind of like, um, no time to slow down. You can just tell they were itchy. They want to get out of the office. I mean it’s just go, go, go, go, go. It’s, you know, it’s just time to take a step back.

Speaker 1: 09:50 Why that muscle tightness? Is that just, is that psychological? Is it, is it physiologic with the sympathetic chain? Is it.

Speaker 3: 09:58 Yeah, I think it’s, we get both, but I think the physiological part of it with the sympathetic response, you know, if we’re in constant sympathetic overload, so that’s our, our fight, you know, um, there’s blood being pumped out, you know, especially to the extremities. But the body of the posturing has to be there too so that we can run, you know, so we can get or we or we can throw down. Sure. Right. So when we’re doing that for 24 hours a day, all the nervous system gets fatigued and then we get into the whole, you know, with all the hormone side of things and then the whole system just haywire and there’s, you know, they don’t know where to start because everything is uncomfortable. Everything hurts everything. There’s no peace. Right?

Speaker 1: 10:38 Yeah. And we see that, we see that same thing and I’m, I’m a huge victim of that myself. Um, so my thoughts are let’s go and take a break when we come back from the break. Let’s talk about some of the things that, you know, we get this task, we see it, we see the issues and since I, you know, for the listeners that since I can’t show you what these things look like, I can’t really talk you through. It’s need to be a video podcast when like powerpoint slides and bore everybody to death with that stuff. But, uh, so just, just know that we see certain patterns and certain things and that helps us understand what do we need to do about this. So, um, when we come back from the break, we’ll talk about how do we mitigate some of these stressors, how do we help to optimize that HPA access and get people to where they’re dealing with stressors and mitigating their stress a little bit better so it will be right back.

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Speaker 1: 11:53 five, three, six, three, six, or visit our website@wwwdotrevolutionhealth.org to schedule your appointment today. And we are back talking about heart rate variability. Hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis stressors, parasympathetics, sympathetics, and we’re back with Dr Travis and what, what in your clinic? So you see these patients that they’re stressed out, they get the musculature, you know, you can’t really feel the spine. Um, and so what, what do you, what do you, where do you start?

Speaker 3: 12:23 You know, so obviously we’re gonna Start Musculoskeletal roast, talk about the things that hurt the pain side of things. But really what we start to find a real quickly is that it’s all the other things will start talking quality of life now, right? Their stomach.

Speaker 1: 12:37 So I, I’m interrupting you and I apologize, but it’s one of those things, I’m sorry, but not really. Anyway, so you’re telling me that somebody comes in and they’ve got, let’s say back pain. Okay? So mid thoracic back pain or something like that. Uh, so in the kind of, in the middle of her back. So you’re telling me that that’s not, they’re out of alignment necessarily. You’re telling me that there may be something else. Now you’re, you’re a chiropractor. You’re telling me that it’s not just an alignment thing, is that right?

Speaker 3: 13:04 That’s the term you know, and it’s. It’s funny because it starts somewhere else, so let’s say we get into this and we have this hormonal response that sends the body into this sympathetic thing from the nervous system and now all of a sudden muscles tighten, right? Right. So muscles have attachment points, right? Insertions and origins, and when we’re talking paraspinal muscles, those insertions in origins are on the vertebrae themselves, so if we have a muscle in the left side of the body that all of a sudden sent into tightening and the muscle and the right side of the body may tighten a little or it may just stay relaxed. Well, if this pools it is going to pull on both ends and it’s going to pull vertebrae out of position, so it may not start initially with that vertebrae, but it’s brought in from the muscular system, so people, sometimes they’ll come to my office and say, Oh dog, it’s just a pulled muscle.

Speaker 3: 14:00 I don’t think I probably need to be here. Well, they may be right. Maybe a pulled muscle, but that’s going to pull the vertebrae, which is then going to put pressure on the nervous system. Right. And then we’re all so we’re in the circle together, you know, on how we, how we all work together to treat these things because yeah, it’s not just musculoskeletal, it may not just be autonomic when we start getting into the hormones. I mean, that’s, that’s the part I think that just really put the whole thing into this out of Control Smith, right. Where, you know, that’s when we have to have everybody centered synergistically working because you can’t just do it all one.

Speaker 1: 14:34 Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It’s, it’s, um, you know, I love what you were saying about the and obviously I was being ridiculous about. You mean it’s not all alignment, but I mean I, I had to point that because so many people think that, you know, all you do is, you know, Chiropractic, all it is, is just crack my back and that’s the end of it. And that’s just not the case, at least for many chiropractors. Some that may be sure, but you know what, what I focus on at revolution is the we, and we’ve got some podcasts on this one, you know, things to, to mitigate stress because of that stressor is a major problem. Major player for a number of things make blood pressure go up. So you know, hypertension plays a major, plays a major role in hypertension. It shuts down the immune system or it decreases the immune response. And so you can have cancers go up. I mean just really any, any measurable metric for health declines in a stressed environment. It just overtime everything gets worse, which I think is one of the reasons that chiropractic for example, is beneficial if for no other reason just by optimizing that sympathetic chain, that nervous system function and how it can play a role in overall health and not just my back feels off or my pelvis is a little bit high on one side or when I run, I got to know him

Speaker 3: 16:00 except bounce absolutely thing. And so, and I tell patients and you know, I’ve sent several few patients over to see you and I’ll tell them the reason we’re doing this because we want somebody to run some testing that is going to look at things not like everybody else has looked at because there’s a bunch of ways to interpret results. Absolutely. We’ve all been shown one way, right? We run these blood tests and you know, you can take them to five different doctors and all the doctors say, Oh yeah, you’ve got this, this, this, this. But when you find somebody who knows how to look functionally, then all of a sudden, you know, what was thought to be x, Y, Z, that may be a component of it. But now there’s more to the story. We can start doing other things to bring balance. Right? And that’s why when we talked about working together, that’s the thing is I need to find people who can help the patients understand their bodies and like you guys do. And that’s the cool part. And I think that’s the big thing that we all kind of missed some time whenever we’re just going down the street.

Speaker 1: 17:00 Yeah. And, and it’s, uh, it’s the same thing from my side because if, if I fixed all their hormones and your or optimize their hormones should say fixed, but optimize their hormone levels and all of those kinds of things, but they’ve still got sematic dysfunction and their, their uh, how to say it in a non osteopathic type way. Their spines out of alignment. They got muscles pulling, they’ve got, you know, those different things. Uh, you, you’ve still got the groundwork laid for problems. So all of that needs to be addressed. And so I definitely liked that, that comprehensive overall approach. And I think all of that needs to and should be evaluated.

Speaker 3: 17:42 Well, I think it’s cool as you’re talking about this too and can refer up to him, but no, you know, one of the things I talk about a lot to my patients, you know, our thoughts are one of the biggest triggers to add insult to our body. Okay. So I think it’s really cool that we can take a test based on the heart, heart rate variability and measure the nervous system. Right? I mean, you know, for relatively inexpensive, right? I mean this is not a. So that’s really cool that we have that power to do that and you know, that brings about that balance and that’s another thing that we talked about, is it not just the everyday stress of what’s going on around you, but how about the stress that we create ourselves and what’s the story people are telling themselves?

Speaker 1: 18:25 Yeah, exactly. You know, there’s, um, do you guys deal with pseudoscience? No. Are you familiar with that? No. So that’s where a woman wants so badly or thinks that she is pregnant so much that she actually stops having periods and can actually start gaining weight and will exhibit physical manifestations of pregnancy when she’s not pregnant at all. That’s that the mind is just absolutely an amazing thing. Absolutely. Um, so there’s, you know, and, and to that end we have to make sure that there is mental relaxation. There is things like, um, you know, one of the programs that we were talking before with um, uh, Diana, my wife and I are working on is, you know, just that overall foundational health with nutrition and exercise and rest and how do we address that stuff and you don’t need to come to the clinic to get that stuff, but there are things that you need to do.

Speaker 1: 19:16 So we’re working on this program that we can get out to people that will kind of address a lot of that stuff as a, as a foundational kind of program, but things like meditation, prayer, uh, anything to reduce stress and it can make a major difference and get that mind focused on healthy, calm, relaxing things. Then I’ve got a podcast on, I don’t know if you, if you heard that one on eft or emotional freedom technique. So yeah, that, that stuff, it sounds Hooky as all get out and please don’t do it if you’re driving down the road and you don’t have tended to windows because you will probably get pulled over and sent to the loony bin. But uh, or at least somebody going to video you and post it and it’ll go viral, but it looks crazy. It looks freaky, but it works cool stuff and it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s great stuff. And then if you talked to anyone

Speaker 3: 20:07 buddy that has adapted meditation into their daily life, right? Truly. And who does, you know, they actually really get into it and they may say, man, I was real leery and I think that was funky. But they will go on and on about the benefits, the, how their life has changed since beginning of meditation. Right? I mean, I’ve ever talked to one person who hasn’t just rave saved.

Speaker 1: 20:28 I think I heard I was at a four m conference just recently and I heard somebody say that the one thing that has been shown to extend life is mindfulness. I think that’s amazing to hear like Mike Drop. But what else are you going to say? No, there are some supplements that we can use. We’ve got some mental calming supplements, a calm that we use in our clinic. That’s the one that we, uh, we produce. It has our, that’s what we call it. It’s not natural column, it’s calm. Uh, there’s, there’s more to it than, than just the magnesium that’s in natural calm, which is common, but it just works fantastic. Making sure that sleep is optimal, making sure that we do everything that we can and there’s, there’s a multitude of supplements. There’s a multitude of things that we can do to make sure that overall foundational health is optimal, certainly from a structural perspective with what you do, uh, which can balance the overall inside and outside and then evaluating is there, is there other issues or other infections that need to be addressed or their nutritional deficiencies that decrease your adaptive mechanisms. There are all kinds of things and so if you are listening and you have a lot of stress, if you know one that has no of someone that has a lot of stress, I would strongly recommend an evaluation either by Dr Travis or someone that can evaluate your structural symptoms. It may simply be as straightforward as, excuse me, as straightforward as just a muscular skeletal alignment, a concern that some manipulative medicine may make a big role, and if, if there’s a better way to say it, please jump in.

Speaker 3: 22:11 Well, you know, just the evaluation and getting to just to bring it about balance, you know, it’s cool, but just in that same vein, you know, it’s like, why is it important to get a hold and judge everything and see where the imbalances are coming from, if it’s, if it’s more than that.

Speaker 1: 22:25 Absolutely. Absolutely. So Dr Travis, they want to come see you. They’re all jacked up and they want to get their, their head on straight and they want to track state right down the highway. How do they get in touch with you?

Speaker 3: 22:37 They can give us a call at nine. One eight, two, two, four, two, two, two, five. Um, our, our website is www dot sapulpa chiropractic, tor tor.com. And then of course facebook, you know, facebook is great. Facebook.com/Travis chiropractic. Love it. Where do they get to you though? So,

Speaker 1: 22:57 uh, we’re, we’re everywhere. We’re in your thoughts about color talk, our clinic and I went eight, nine, three, five, three, six, three, six or our website@revolutionhealth.org, certainly our podcast and against the grain.com, Dr. Travis, thanks for your time. Thank you so much. I appreciate you being here. Uh, we’ll, we’ll be back soon. I look forward to it anytime. You guys have a great day.

Speaker 4: 23:21 Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast with Dr Chad in tune in next week where we’ll be going against the grain.