Title: Heart Rate Variability Training as an Adjunct to Hypnosis and Psychotherapy
Presenters: Donald Moss
Didactic centre of the Faculty of Law and Administration (Krupnicza 33A)     
Wydział Prawa i Administracji Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego (Krupnicza 33A)    

Room 209 / Sala 209

Time: 14.06.2024 16:00-17:30
Language: EN


Heart rate variability (HRV) has been a medical index for thirty years for physical and emotional illness. Low HRV predicts risk for further cardiac illness and even death after heart attack. HRV is lower in depression, anxiety states, PTSD, asthma, fibromyalgia, and other illnesses. Conversely, high HRV is a marker for aerobic fitness, optimal health, vitality, and resilience. Recently, research has shown that low HRV is a barrier for psychotherapy, and high HRV is conducive to therapeutic success.

This presentation will define heart rate variability, review the physiology of HRV, and introduce potential uses for HRV training as adjunct to hypnosis-based therapies and psychotherapy.
HRV training has applications in psychotherapy, medicine, and optimal performance. Only in the past twenty years have practical technologies developed to provide real time feedback on heart rate variability. HRV biofeedback has been applied effectively for treating many mental health and medical problems but has proven equally useful for optimal performance and coaching interventions.

Recently researchers have shown that HRV is an index of the functionality of the prefrontal cortex of the brain, and also an indicator of processing in the limbic brain. Low HRV is a barrier to successful change in psychotherapy, and higher HRV facilitates cognitive processing in therapy. Accordingly, the simple intervention of HRV training can introduce brain changes conducive to psychotherapy processing.

The presenter will introduce the use of inexpensive entry level HRV biofeedback equipment, and describe a training process that can be delivered with only a breath pacer, to prepare patients for psychotherapy and hypnosis. He will provide case anecdotes in which HRV was integrated with hypnosis and/or psychotherapy treatment to produce an optimal therapeutic effect.