HeartMath's Great Stress Relief - InformationWeek

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1/10/2009
02:52 AM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
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HeartMath's Great Stress Relief

Stress is ... a big presentation, managing a budget, dealing with end-user gripes, rolling out a new application, traveling, attending a trade show. But now, thanks to HeartMath emWave, you can effectively manage your stress. This technology is good for an individual, or certainly for a corporation that cares about the well-being of its employees (know any of those?).

Stress is ... a big presentation, managing a budget, dealing with end-user gripes, rolling out a new application, traveling, attending a trade show. But now, thanks to HeartMath emWave, you can effectively manage your stress. This technology is good for an individual, or certainly for a corporation that cares about the well-being of its employees (know any of those?).Here's our video.

emWave comes in two forms. First is a device that plugs into your USB port and clips on your ear -- the piercing comes free and it doesn't hurt (I'm kidding! It just sits on your ear lobe). It measures coherence, which HeartMath defines as the alignment between your heart rate, your breathing, and your thoughts. What it really does it take your pulse, but it's not just measuring beats per minute; it also measures the consistency of the heart beat. It then encourages you to control your breathing and think good thoughts (studies, the company says, show that happy thoughts have a direct correlation to your heart rate). I envisioned being in bed.

All of this is displayed via the company's software, which shows the coherence and maps it out over time. The software also helps guide you through exercises that can help you control that coherence. The thought here is that if you do this to begin the day, or before some stressful event, it can actually help you not only control that stress but, in theory, improve your confidence and performance.

In addition, emWave had a portable device that you can use on the road or during the day to watch your coherence level. This doesn't connect to the computer (the company hinted at a version they are working on that will connect wirelessly), but it shows you in color coding (red, blue, green) how you're doing and gives a breathing indicator that, if followed, quickly gets your coherence back in line.

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