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Changes in face mask rules and our new HRV scanner.

Update on COVID legal requirement changes.

As I am sure you are all aware, as of the 19th of July 2021 face covering in England will no longer be a legal requirement and instead it will be down to individual choice and individual

businesses’ risk assessments. Over the last year we have worked hard to implement COVID strategies that are designed to keep us all safe, including our most vulnerable patients. With this in mind our current review of risk from COVID 19 means that we will continue to ask patients to wear a mask when visiting the clinic unless they have a medical exemption. This will of course be reviewed over time, and we will keep you updated as things change.

What has your heart rate got to do with your health?

We have recently introduced a state-of-the-art heart rate variability (HRV) scan as part of our new patient visit. We are now one of only a handful of chiropractic clinics in the UK offering this, but what does HRV have to do with your spine?

Most people know that having a healthy heart rate is important for maintaining heart health and pumping blood around your body to organs and muscles.

However, what lots of people do not know is that our heart does not beat at a steady rate and that natural variation is important. Your brain is constantly detecting what is happening inside and outside of your body, and one of the ways it responds to our environment is increasing or decreasing your heart rate.

HRV is controlled by our nervous system, specifically your autonomic nervous system. This controls the things we do not need to think about, like digesting food, and breathing. Good HRV are associated with a high HRV number, and research is starting to show that this is an indication of a healthy body that can adapt and respond to its environment. For example, if you suddenly needed to run quickly, your nervous system would jump into action and increase your heart rate, however, when you are sleeping or relaxed you do not want your heart rate to be as fast and so your brain would slow it down.

In order for your nervous system to respond appropriately to its environment, your brain needs to be able to sense what is going on around it. New research studies are showing that when segments of your spine are not moving properly (Spinal Subluxation) this changes the way your brain perceives, and then controls your body. Research has shown that when your chiropractor has adjusted your body, your brain can more accurately perceive what is going on in and around your body.

A group of researchers have recently looked in HRV. They asked 96 chiropractors to measure their patients HRV before and after a single session, and for some of these patients they measured their HRV over 4 weeks of care. In total 539 adults had their HRV recorded before and after an adjustment and 111 measured over 4 weeks. They found in both groups there was a significant improvement in HRV; in the group that was studied over four weeks, these changes were sustained. When we put this study together with other published research it suggests chiropractic care can improve HRV and importantly in the high paced, stressful lives we often live, chiropractic care seems to improve the healing and calming side of our autonomic nervous system. The role of HRV and chiropractic care needs more research to be done before we can confidently say that chiropractic has an effect on HRV but is an exciting area of chiropractic research and one that we are glad to be at the leading edge of.

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