Respiratory sinus arrhythmia training (RSA) or Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training offers a unique window into the mind and physiology of the clinical client. The presentation will cover ‘what is RSA and HRV training’, a brief overview
of the stress response, the autonomic nervous system, the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, issues that arise with chronic hyper-arousal and their clinical presentations, and finally, how to integrate RSA training into clinical practice, and use RSA training to teach mindfulness in the treatment of trauma and anxiety.
Mindfulness is one of the common therapeutic modalities utilised in the treatment of torture and trauma survivors suffering from PTSD. Evidence suggests that Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is reduced amongst torture and trauma survivors, and brain wave patterns can be significantly disturbed, with a slow beta-wave in the right pre-frontal lobe, resulting in poor cognitive capacities and reduced concentration.