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Train Your Heart & Brain to Work Together Better

By: Dave Asprey

Most people who read my blogs or watch my videos realize that I think Heart Rate Variability training for a few minutes a day is one of the highest impact things you can do to increase personal performance. I use the emWave2, a small device that turns green when your heart rate and breathing are synchronized (like meditation), which has a huge effect on productivity.

I’ve used it for the last year to improve my public speaking and my leadership abilities, and I’ve worked with related techniques for a dozen years. I was CTO of a different heart monitoring company. I even spent a couple thousand dollars and 3 days to get certified with advanced Heart Math training, so I’m certified to teach others some of the advanced techniques to use the devices.

Here’s what synchronizing your heart beats and breathing can do:

  • 40% improvement in long term memory
  • 24% improvement in short term memory
  • Transform your response to stress and rebalance your mind, body and emotions
  • Higher test scores
  • Increase your ability to think clearer, be more intuitive, and make better decisions, especially under pressure
  • Improve health, increase resilience and well-being; maintain personal balance
  • Decrease stress and burnout in chaotic and changing environments
  • Maximize creativity and innovation
  • Boost performance and overall intelligence
  • Better information processing ability
  • Physiological coherence is also associated with reduced blood pressure (did I mention mine is way low?)

The built-in software that comes with the device is fine for training and upgrading yourself, and it’s what I use daily. However, some of my readers are biohackers like me, and they want to liberate their emWave2 data so they can use it for things like art projects or heavy data analysis.

So here’s how to do it.

The easiest way is to  just upgrade your emWave desktop from the limited version supplied with the emWave2 to the full version for $99. (I do not make anything from that link; it goes straight to heart math, but if you support my blog by buying your emWave2 from my sister site, I’d appreciate it!) You can save $70 off the cost of an emWave2 + software upgrade by just buying the emWave Desktop edition, which gets you a USB key emWave that only works with your PC (not disconnected), but has full data export capabilities.

Or if you’re a real geek, you can locate the IBI records in the emwave.emdb file.  They are stored as a ‘blob’ field in the sqlite database.  The millisecond IBI values are stored in the blob stream of 4 byte values, as little endian numbers.  So the upper two bytes of each IBI are always zero, since the milliseconds values are less than 1000.

Then you could write a C# program that pulls the blobs out and exports the file, with a selectable list of which dates you are interested in.  But for $99 it hardly seems worth the effort.

There isn’t a user community forum for HeartMath, so please feel free to post your comments at the bottom of this page or check at www.quantifiedself.com

If you’re a double-geek, here are the instructions on how to use the Export feature of emWave desktop to create a file that can be analyzed by KUBios HRV Data Analysis software:

  1. Use the report filter to get an RR.txt file  from emWave Export feature.
  2. Open the new txt file that you just created and remove the header info.
  3. Delete the information looks similar to this:
    1. firstname lastname Session 1 at 4/2/2010 11:32:36 am 125 points
  4. Now that your data file contains a simple list of the RR numeric values it can be imported into KUBios.

Other Heart Rate Variability posts of interest:

New version of my favorite biohacking tool

7 Steps to Bulletproof Sleep