Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Allen, Ben Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-05052010-021743 Title What Resonates with you? Methods of Induced Cardiovascular Resonance Degree Master of Science Department Psychology Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Friedman, Bruce H. Committee Chair Bell, Martha Ann Committee Member Denbow, Donald Michael Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2010-04-26 Availability unrestricted AbstractPatients with autonomic dysfunction have benefited from balancing of parasympathetic
and sympathetic activity through the practice of slow breathing exercises. In preliminary
studies, patients with various autonomic dysfunctions used biofeedback of respiratory
activity to slow breathing to a cadence of six cycles per minute, a frequency known as the
resonant frequency (Vaschillo, Vaschillo, & Lehrer, 2006). Breathing at this rate
produces cardiovascular resonance (large oscillations in heart rate and blood pressure),
forcing the autonomic nervous system to continuously regulate these changes, thereby
exercising, and eventually strengthening autonomic control over hemodynamic events.
The present study examined several methodologies, such as slow breathing exercises,
which are believed to strengthen autonomic control by inducing cardiovascular
resonance. Specifically, the current experiment compared different methods of inducing
cardiovascular resonance, such as paced breathing and biofeedback assisted protocols.
The utility of positive emotion inductions to attenuate respiratory discomfort during slow
breathing exercises was also examined. Accurate estimation of the resonant frequency
using respiratory methods was largely unsuccessful. However, all respiratory methods
produced profound effects in the cardiovascular system, with some differences in the
magnitude of effect. In addition, the utility of an emotion induction during slow paced
breathing was also demonstrated. The results of this study also support the notion that
slow breathing improves pulmonary gas exchange efficiency, in addition to strengthening
the baroreflex, by increasing heart rate variability.
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