Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 21, 2011

HeartMath Program Lowers Stress, Anxiety; Moves the Body Closer to Its Ideal State

If you’re feeling stressed, or want to help others in your organization better manage their stress, HeartMath may have a solution for you.

The company offers what Catherine Calarco, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing, calls transformational programs to help individuals and organizations address their response to stress and figure out to how to better cope with it.

Specific solutions under this umbrella include a device called the emwave2, which has an infrared sensor that measures heart rate. HeartMath suggests that people can use the garage-door-opener-sized box to measure their heart rate twice a day.

When the heart rate elevates or varies drastically over time, Calarco says, it has negative effects on the body. When breathing, heart rate and the brain are in sync – a state called coherence – that’s the ideal situation for thinking and the body as a whole, she says. So HeartMath uses online education, in-person training and other tools to teach breathing, games, visualization and other techniques to get the heart rate and the body where it can function at the optimal level.

People who use the emwave2 and related instruction for 15 minutes a day in the morning and the evening see significantly lower anxiety and depression within two to six weeks, says Calarco. She adds that can be helpful in managing pain and lessening the stress of difficult jobs such as those in the health care field.

While the health care field is just one of many verticals at which the HeartMath solutions are targeted, Calarco notes that the company’s products are used by such big names as Kaiser and Mayo.

The HeartMath on-demand online training Revitalize You is among the company’s offerings aimed at organizations. It includes five one-hour training sessions and comes with emwave2. The company also stages in-person workshops where it trains employees, such as human resource personnel, to teach the HeartMath techniques to their own organizations’ workers.

Calarco says that research shows people who use HeartMath show significant stress decreases. It can mean big drops in medical claims as well, she adds.

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Edited by Jennifer Russell

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