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Heart Rate Variability Research

10 August, 2020

Heart Rate Variability Research

Approximate reading time: 3 minutes

The following is a snapshot of some of the research into the biofeedback technique Heart Rate Variability (HRV).

But first, what are we talking about?

What is Heart Rate Variability Training?

Our beating heart has a slightly irregular pattern. This variability gives us resilience to physical and emotional stressors.

We can train our heart rate to be more robust and resilient through heart rate variability biofeedback.

What is biofeedback?

Biofeedback is the feedback about our biological bodily processes.

Feedback, just like a school report or workplace review, gives us the opportunity to learn and grow. That's exactly the aim of biofeedback - to help the body and brain to learn!

Heart rate variability is one type of biofeedback. Other forms can be found here.

Heart Rate Variabiliy Research

So what's the research say about heart rate variability?

Well - we'll save you hours, days and weeks of reading the research with this lighting speed summary.

But first - it's important to know that scientists rank research. There's really top quality research that's very hard to argue against. Then there's other forms of evidence that are weak -- maybe due to small study sizes, badly designed research or bias from the authors or financial backers.

This is why The Association for Applied Psychophysiology tried to make things easier for everyone. They did the hard work collating researching and grouping it according to how strong the research is.

Does no research or low quality research mean that it doesn't work? We don't know. It means we need more research to find out.

Biofeedback Research

Here's some of the research for biofeedback. This includes research for heart rate variability as well as other forms of biofeedback like neurofeedback, muscle feedback or temperature feedback.

About the Author

Fascinated with the body and brain connection, Cassie tries to keep up with the ever accumulating research in the field. An impossible feat. To make it easier to track what she was reading, she started to collate the research she was reading in 2020 - and wish she'd started earlier. In clinic, Cassie is a Chiropractor and Neuro-Rehabilitation Therapist.

Similar articles you'll enjoy:


  • Moss D & Gunkelman J (2002). Task force report on methodology and empirically supported treatments: Introduction. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 27, 261-262. Co-published in Journal of Neurotherapy, 6, 11-23.
  • Tan G, Shaffer F, Lyle R, Teo I & Lyle RR (2016). Evidence-based Practice in Biofeedback & Neurofeedback 3rd Edition. Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeeback.
  • Shaffer F (2018). BCIA HRV Biofeedback Certificate of Completion Didactic Workshop - HRV Biofeedback Applications. Presented at ANSA conference 2018.