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Associate Services: HRV Biofeedback

HRV Biofeedback Coaching

meditating monk

Heart rate variability Biofeedback services Are currently available at the Healing Arts Health & Wellness Centre, by appointment only, on Saturdays of every week through Stan Stelos Wellness Services. 


Fees for three session Program:

Initial consultation (80 min)  $120

Session Two  (60 min)  $95

Session Three  (60 min)  $95


For further information about the program, or to book an appointment, please contact stan directly at

To learn more about Stan, please click here


Science has increasingly focused on the beneficial effects of meditation and slow breathing techniques.

Several decades ago, biofeedback researchers from the United States first began placing bio-sensors on monks and swamis to monitor the physiological effects of their efforts to produce health promoting states of mind. 

While similar studies had been undertaken previously with a focus on the monitoring of research subjects’ control over their sympathetic nervous system responses, these later studies focused on the monitoring of parasympathetic nervous system control.

It became evident that in achieving the states of mind that were targeted, all of the various practitioners studied had concentrated on producing a characteristic, slow breath rate along with a mental state of mindfulness.

During slow breathing, heart rate and breathing rhythms synchronized in a way that produced resonance effects in the cardiovascular system and lead to very significant increases in beneficial heart rate variability. This induction of resonance, when practiced over time, was discovered to increase healthy flexibility in autonomic response and individual resilience to physical or psychological stress. Improvement in the functional balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and sharpened mental clarity were also a result.


“It turns out that everybody has their own unique pace, where breathing in and breathing out at that pace… seems to have tremendously beneficial effects. Again, we often see this as a brand new idea that’s 2500 years old because this is exactly what the yogis (and monks) were doing.“


– Richard Gevirtz PhD, Pioneer in HRV biofeedback


Today, HRV biofeedback techniques that were derived from such studies enable individuals to learn in a matter of several sessions some of what yogis and monks had historically spent years of effort to master!




Once the resonant breathing frequency is identified, and following regular breathing practice at this rate, use of the technique has the potential to aid in the enhancement of wellness, mental clarity, stress control, productivity, and competitive performance 2,3,4

Health challenges for which HRV biofeedback has been clinically demonstrated to be of benefit include*

  • Asthma 6,7
  • COPD 8
  • Fibromyalgia 9
  • Chronic Muscle Pain 10
  • Hypertension 11,12
  • IBS 13,14
  • Anxiety 5,16,17, 18
  • Inflammatory issues 19


Our Practice


We strive to assist individuals in their achievement of wellness goals through the use of HRV biofeedback techniques and state-of-the-art monitoring and data processing equipment.

Our focus on the use of this approach for the purposes of stress management and performance optimization allows clients to benefit from the improved sympathetic/parasympathetic balance that they acquire and has the potential to also indirectly assist those coping with various stress related performance issues.

*Disclaimer: It must be emphasized that information provided above regarding clinical applications of HRV is for informational purposes only and that we do not offer, or imply the offering of, any form of treatment for medical and/or psychological conditions at our practise. Those seeking such services are advised to consult with an accredited health care professional trained in the use of HRV biofeedback.

The Process (Three Session Program)


HRV biofeedback coaching begins with an introduction to the basic concepts of successful HRV training/practice and assessment of a client’s breathing performance, baseline HRV, and stress response. Home study breath-work is assigned. If necessary, proper breathing techniques are taught and reviewed until they are mastered by the client. Coaching then moves on to determine the client’s unique resonant frequency breath rate and practice at that rate using biofeedback is begun.

Optional sessions, beyond the basic program of three, focus on the fine tuning of breathing skills using biofeedback to achieve technical proficiency and can include confirmation of proficiency under challenge.

HRV coaching might best be thought of as analogous to personal training in which several sessions with an instructor are meant to train and guide an individual in his or her off-site practice. In a manner similar to the process involved in body building, gains from about 15 minutes a day of regular breathing exercises at the resonance frequency are cumulative and, over a period of several months, lead to physiological changes that allow one to enjoy all of the health benefits of HRV training even while resonance breathing is not being actively practiced.

For performance related goals, breathing at the resonance frequency prior to the start of competitive or challenging activities is believed to help facilitate a subject’s ability to “enter the zone”, a state of mind involving mental focus and calm confidence that is associated with optimal performance. Indeed, a current developing field of research in HRV biofeedback training involves studies aimed at better understanding and making use of this effect. 20,21,22

Coaching might take up to four or five, sixty-minute session equivalents, in addition to home practice, in order to achieve maximum psychological, physiological, and performance gains.22


Watch our video to learn more (3.5 min)





1  Richard Gevirtz PhD  HRV Training and its importance Thought Technology Ltd November 10 2014

2  Lagos, L., Vaschillo, B., Vaschillo, E., Lehrer, P. M., & Bates, M. (2008). Heart rate variability biofeedback as a strategy for dealing with competitive anxiety: A case study. Biofeedback. 36(3), 109–115.

3  Thurber, M. R. (2006). Effects of heart-rate variability biofeedback training and emotional regulation on music performance anxiety in university students. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press.

4  Strack, B. W.  (2003). Effect of heart rate variability (hrv) biofeedback on batting performance in baseball. APA Psychnet

5  Lee J, Kim JK, Wachholtz, A.  (2015). The benefit of heart rate variability biofeedback and relaxation training in reducing trait anxiety.

6  Lehrer, P. M., Vaschillo, E., Vaschillo, B., Lu, S.-E., Scardella, A., Siddique, M., & Habib, R. H. (2004). Biofeedback treatment for asthma. Chest, 126(2), 352-361.a

7  Lehrer, P. M., Smetankin, A., & Potapova, T. (2000). Respiratory sinus arrhythmia biofeedback therapy for asthma: A report of 20 unmedicated pediatric cases using the Smetankin method. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 25(3), 193-200.

8  Giardino, N. D., Chan, L., & Borson, S. (2004). Combined heart rate variability and pulse oximetry biofeedback for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Preliminary findings. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 29(2), 121-133.

9   Hassett, A. L., Radvanski, D. C., Vaschillo, E. G., Vaschillo, B., Sigal, L. H., Karavidas, M. K., . . . Lehrer, P. M. (2007). A pilot study of the efficacy of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback in patients with fibromyalgia. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 32(1), 1-10.

10  Hallman, D. M., Olsson, E. M., von Scheele, B., Melin, L., & Lyskov, E. (2011). Effects of heart rate variability biofeedback in subjects with stress-related chronic neck pain: A pilot study. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 36(2), 71-80.

11  Reinke, A., Gevirtz, R., & Mussgay, L. (2007). Effects of heart rate variability feedback in reducing blood pressure. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 32 (abstract), 134.

12  Lin, G., Xiang, Q., Fu, X., Wang, S., Chen, S., Shao, L., . . . Wang, T. (2012). Heart rate variability biofeedback decreases blood pressure in prehypertensive subjects by improving autonomic function and baroreflex. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 18(2), 143-152.

13  Dobbin, A., Dobbin, J., Ross, S. C., Graham, C., & Ford, M. J. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of brief intervention with biofeedback and hypnotherapy in patients with refractory irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 43(1), 15-23.

14  Stern, M. J., Guiles, R. F., & Gevirtz, R. (2014). HRV biofeedback for pediatric irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain: A clinical replication series. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 39(3-4), 287-291. doi:10.1007/s10484-014-9261-x

16  V C Goesslt, et al. 2017 Psychological Medicine Cambridge university press

17  Henriques, G., Keffer, S., Abrahamson, C., & Horst, S. J. (2011). Exploring the effectiveness of a computer-based heart rate variability biofeedback program in reducing anxiety in college students. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 36(2), 101-112.

18  McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., Lipsenthal, L., & Arguelles, L. (2009). New hope for correctional officers: An innovative program for reducing stress and health risks. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 34(4), 251-272.

19 Lehrer, P.M.,  Gevirtz, R.  2014. Heart rate variability biofeedback: how and why does it work? Front Psychol.; 5: 756.

20  Gruzelier, J., Thompson, T., Brandt, R., & Steffert, T. (2014). Application of alpha/theta neurofeedback and heart rate variability training to contemporary dancers: State anxiety and creativity. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93(1), 105-111. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2013.05.004

21  Raymond, J., Sajid, I., Parkinson, L. A., & Gruzelier, J. H. (2005). Biofeedback and dance performance: A preliminary investigation. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 30(1), 64-73.

22  Lagos, L., et al. (2011). Virtual reality assisted heart rate variability biofeedback as a strategy to improve golf performance: A case study. Biofeedback, 39(1), 15-20.