Research

Research abstracts

The effect of holotropic breathwork on specific personal characteristics

Milan Hrabánek, Jan Benda, Lukáš Langer

 

This study into bolotropic breathwork is currently ongoing in the Czech Republic. In this research, healthy adult volunteers answer a questionnaire before their holotropic breathwork, immediately after it, then again one month and three months later. The following variables are monitored: value orientation, connectedness to nature, self-sympathy, meaningfulness of life, fear of death, consciousness expansion and gratitude. The variables are measured using a questionnaire with value portraits, scale of nature connectedness, scale of self-sympathy, test of life meaningfulness, profile of attitude towards death, self-assessed inventory of spiritual intelligence and a questionnaire on gratitude (six-item form).

The effects of holotropic breathwork on specific personal characteristics of people with specific psychopatological units based on MKN 10. and DSM IV.

Milan Hrabánek, Jan Benda, Lukáš Langer

 

This study into bolotropic breathwork is currently ongoing in the Czech Republic. In this research, adults with various psychiatric diagnoses, who during their treatment program undergone holotropic breathwork, answer a questionnaire before their holotropic breathwork, immediately after it, then again one month and three months later. The following variables are monitored: value orientation, connectedness to nature, self-sympathy, meaningfulness of life, fear of death, consciousness expansion and gratitude. The variables are measured using a questionnaire with value portraits, scale of nature connectedness, scale of self-sympathy, scale of spiritual emergency, test of life meaningfulness, profile of attitude towards death, self-assessed inventory of spiritual intelligence and a questionnaire on gratitude (six-item form).

Measurement of heart rate variability during the holotropic process – method for objectifying the physiological autonomous changes in organism.

Milan Hrabánek, Petr Reimer, Jan Benda, Lukáš Langer

The fundamental prerequisite for human life is the maintenance of stable conditions of inner environment (homeostasis) and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of inner and outer environment. The dominant role in the maintenance of homeostasis is the autonomous nervous system (ANS). The functional proficiency of ANS is the basis of physiological reserves. The analysis of the heart rate variability (HRV) is a non-invasive method for the assessment of the autonomous nervous regulation. Reduced HRV reflects lowered function of ANS – autonomous disfunction (AD). A certain degree of AD is apparent in most chronic illnesses and simultaneously is their adverse prognostic factor.

 

The development of HRV measurement within the clinical research and the effort of introducing it into practice begins in the 80s within the field of cardiology. Progressively, the research of HRV measurement saw expansion into other fields, such as diabetology, neurology, intensive-perioperative medicine and also in psychiatry. In psychiatry HRV was studied mostly in patients with depression, where a decrease in HRV was shown, particularly in the category describing parasympathetic nervous system. The dominant nerve of the parasympathetic system is nervus vagus, whose efferent fibers end with a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of macrophages, where they block the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This neuro-immune connection points to the relevancy of ANS in regulating the inflammation condition of the organism, which accompanies most chronic illnesses, including the psychiatric ones.

 

The HRV measurement in the process of holotropic breathwork can be a method, which objectifies the effects of holotropic breathwork on physiological level of the organism. For the HRV measurement, we use diagnostic device DiANS PF8 (Olomouc, the Czech Republic). The HRV is assessed with a spectroscopic analysis standardized by Task Force Recommendations. We conduct our own HRV measurement during an orthostatic test, which is a very delicate method for the uncovering of real autonomous physiological reserves of the individual.

 

The goal of this work is to evaluate the changes in autonomous nervous regulation with the method of HRV during the holotropic process. No research with such focus has yet been published in the global scientific literature. If there is proven augmentation in the autonomous system after the holotropic breathwork, it will be an objective proof, that this method leads to changes on the physiological level, including the decrease in pro-inflammatory condition, which then improves the overall health of an individual.

 

As a conclusion, the significant American professor of psychology J.F. Thayera: „HRV is important not so much for what it tells us about the state of the heart as much as it is important for what it tells us about the state of the brain“.

 

References:

  1. Ernst G. Heart rate variability. 1st ed. London: Springer; 2014

  2. Tracey KJ. The inflammatory reflex. Nature. 2002;420(6917):853-859.

  3. Vinik AI. The conductor of the autonomic orchestra. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2012; 3:71.

  4. Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Heart rate variability, standard of measurement, physiological interpretation, and clinical use. Eur Heart J. 1996;17(3):354-381.

  5. Reimer P, Máca J, Szturz P, Jor O, Kula R, Ševčík P, Burda M, Adamus M. Role of heart rate variability in preoperative assessment of physiological reserves in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2017;13:1223-1231.

  6. Thayer JF et al. Autonomic characteristics of generalized anxiety disorder and worry. Biol Psychiatry. 1996;36:255-66.

Thayer JF et al. A meta-analysis of heart rate variability and neuroimaging studies: implications for heart rate variability as a marker of stress and health.Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012;36:747-56

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