Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coherence & Nuvaring Update

So, I realised that I keep talking about coherence, and "doing my coherence" and most people probably don't know what I actually mean by it.

In one of my last posts I talked about going to see a counselor and then going to see someone who specialized in biofeedback. During the biofeedback session I did various "stress tests"  (recall a stressful incident, math etc) and saw how various physiological indicators changed (blood pressure, adrenaline, skin temperature etc). (Btw, my adrenaline was very high, all the time. Even when I was relaxing. And by "very high" I mean about 5 x what it's meant to be.)

Anyway, at the end of the session he suggested that I look into (and practice) "coherence", which is basically getting your breathing in sync with your heart rate. For me that means about 8-10 seconds per breath (in and out). I invested in a computer program which was pretty expensive, but very worth it. It has a sensor which I clip to my ear (the sensor measures the regularity of your heart rate) and a number of "games" to help you practice coherence  (if you are "in coherence" you get more gold coins or the hot air balloon moves faster etc).

Eventually the goal is to be able to get into a state of coherence without the program. When you're "in coherence" you feel relaxed, less stressed, more clear headed etc, which are obviously good things! Anyway, I'll let you know how that all goes!

PS I'm loving the nuvaring so far - no side effects that I can tell at the moment! (Though, I'm not sure what my boyfriend will think of it, apparently some guys can feel it during certain activities. We don't engage in those activities when I have my period, which I still do, because he's too squeamish!)

EDIT: I've attached a picture of coherence/my heart rate. On the left it's much more jagged and less even than on the right (when I was incoherence). This is a screenshot from emWave Mac, and I'm sure it belongs to the people who made the program.


  1. That's really interesting about 'coherence', I've never heard of it before. It sounds a bit like meditating in yoga. Does the program measure the amount of heartbeats per breath?

  2. Hey Ali,

    It doesn't, it just measures your heart rate (and your heartbeats per minute). When you're "in coherence" your heart rate gets very steady though - at some point I'll post a pic of mine when I'm in coherence and not coherence, but when I'm not it tends to be much more erratic and less even.

    And yeah, it pretty much is like yoga! I've tried yoga and I like it, but it's much easier for me to be able to see whats going on on my computer!