emWave FAQ’s

What is emWave® Pro?

emWave® Pro is a heart rhythm monitoring system for helping you observe the state of synchronization in your autonomic nervous system, known as Coherence. The key to improving this coherent synchronization starts with learning the Quick Coherence®technique. emWave Pro can also be used to see the effects of different techniques such as meditation, breathing and other approaches to stress reduction. Please be aware that the games are controlled by the degree of coherence in your heart rhythms and the Quick Coherence technique is particularly effective in increasing the coherence in your heart rhythm and nervous system.

What is the difference between the emWave Pro and the emWave2 software?

The main differences are as follows:

  • emWave Pro is designed for multi-user, multiple device and multi-database functionality. emWave2 is designed for a single user, with a single device functionality.
  • The emWave Pro uses the Module interface device to interpret the data the comes from either a finger or ear sensor. Whereas the emWave2 acts as an interface device and only uses the ear sensor. It’s worth noting that the emwave Pro will work with the emWave2 hand held device being used as an alternative to the Module interface device, but only using an ear sensor.
  • emWave Pro has the ability to export and import user sessions from different databases
  • The Power Spectrum, Pulse Data and multiple database capability are not available in emWave2

How can I benefit from using this technology?

With a little practice, you can learn to create positive effects in many areas of your life. Change your physiology in ways that can improve health and wellbeing. Help achieve profound control over reducing the background of fear and anxiety that inhibit the efficiency of our actions and the joy of living. Unwind from stress. Gain a more comprehensive perspective and find real solutions to problems. Enhance both creativity and decision-making ability. Used with Quick Coherence, you can use this tool to learn to stop stressful reactions the moment they occur. You will be able to apply these techniques in: Health — to help enhance the immune system, improve cardiovascular efficiency and reduce physical symptoms. Business — to overcome job anxiety, transform stress into creative energy and improve communication with co-workers and clients. Relationships — to successfully deal with family and spousal conflicts, improve communication and enhance the quality of interactions with spouses, partners and children. Sports — to achieve a harmonious, coherent state which improves mental, emotional and physical performance. Meditation and other similar practices — to enhance breathing techniques or achieve new depths of inner vision or calm. Quality of life — to achieve new levels of concentration, creativity, communication and overall well-being, all of which can contribute to greater clarity, efficiency, purpose and fulfillment in life’s activities. With children — to help children establish healthy attitude shifts and reinforce these healthy patterns. Recreation — play the three coherence powered games just for fun or use the Visualizers to lift your coherence to new heights! NOTE: Roller coasters can be fun, but not if our emotions are riding on one! Practice often, to gain the emotional control you’ve been looking for.

How often should you practice?

Many people ask how often they should use emWave® and how long the sessions should last. The most important factor is continuity. Once a day for five minutes is better than once a week for an hour. Coherence is your emotional muscle. You will gain more resilience strengthening your emotional muscle, from once or twice a day for 5 minutes, since you’re working to build a positive emotional momentum that can be sustained. We recommend at least once or twice a day for a few minutes, as long as you can comfortably hold your heart focus. Once you’ve become accustomed to “heart coherence” while using emWave, remember to access this state of coherence during the day as often as you can, especially when stress starts to occur. Instead of engaging in a standard stress response, with the associated mental, emotional, and physical drain, engage that coherent heart feeling to neutralize those stirred emotions. The Quick Coherence® technique can be quite useful for this purpose. It is also valuable practice the Quick Coherence® technique as you wake up in the morning before the “to do” list kicks in, to set the tone for the day. As you go to sleep at night, do the Quick Coherence technique to prepare yourself for deep, regenerative sleep — your body naturally goes into a coherent state during sleep if it is not beset by stress from the day. That is why people under chronic stress often feel like they can’t get a good night’s sleep.

Can I practice the Quick Coherence® technique without using the emWave Pro software?

Yes, in fact, that is exactly what we recommend. They should be done frequently when you are not “connected to the app.” However, emWave Pro provides real-time physiological feedback which helps you become more sensitive to the state of your nervous system, moment to moment. Bring this sensitivity to your daily use of the tools. It will add clarity and power to the application of your heart intelligence.
Remember…your ultimate goal is to be able to get coherent any time, without being connected to the program or equipment!

What does the emWave Pro software actually measure, and by what means?

The direct physiological function being measured is your pulse as sensed in your ear lobe or finger via a pulse plethysmograph. A small LED (light emitting diode) shines light into the skin and a photo-sensor records the changes in the reflected light as each pulse travels through your ear or finger. emWave Pro measures the interval between each pulse and computes your heart rate after every new pulse. Most people’s heart rate varies constantly, speeding up and slowing down. emWave Pro then charts your heart rate as it changes. Heart rate variability (HRV) is also called heart rhythm. HRV is a complex wave that reflects many different things that are occurring inside our bodies — it can be used and interpreted in many ways. In general, a smoother HRV pattern indicates a more synchronized autonomic nervous system, while a more irregular, jagged HRV pattern indicates a less synchronized autonomic nervous system. emWave Pro detects the degree of smoothness or jaggedness of your heart rhythm and feeds that information back to you via the main Session View, built-in coherence powered games and some of the other functions of the program. Other functions within emWave Pro provide different ways of recording, viewing, compiling and comparing your HRV readings. Some of these may be helpful in building your awareness of your own level of physiological balance. Others are more technical and will be of interest only to technically oriented users.

What happened to the old version of the Mandala?

Beginning with version 3.7 of emWave, the Coherence Over Time graph was moved to the main Session View and the Mandala was no longer an option. As of emWave version 3.10 the Mandala is re-introduced as a stand-alone Visualizer in the Games section of the app and may be opened in a separate window.

What is Heart Lock-In®?

Heart Lock-In Technique®: using what HeartMath considers to be one of its foundational techniques for achieving synchronization between the heart and brain, you will learn to achieve and maintain a coherence level that will allow you to distinguish between the voice in your head and the one in your heart, where positive feelings of love, caring, appreciation, etc., will quickly transform you in ways you may never have dreamed possible. Learn the steps of the Heart Lock-In technique in the powerful book The HeartMath Solution, Childre, Martin, 1999.

Why is heart rate variability (HRV) important?

HRV (commonly referred to as heart rhythm) has been at the forefront of heart research for the past decade. It is an essential indicator of the state of heart/brain interaction. Of all the indicators measured in numerous studies (including years of research by the HeartMath Institute), HRV stands out as the best way to measure our inner emotional states and stress from moment to moment. The HeartMath Institute researchers discovered that negative emotions disrupt heart rhythms and upset the healthy functioning of the autonomic nervous system, which affects the rest of the body including your immune system. In contrast, positive emotions create increased harmony, synchronized coherence in the heart’s rhythms, and improved balance in the nervous system overall.

How can I positively influence my HRV?

Actually, the more appropriate question is “How can I use HRV monitoring to help improve my performance, relationships and well-being?” In our research, the Quick Coherence technique has been proven time and again to be associated with many physiological and emotional benefits. By monitoring your heart rhythms as you engage in the HeartMath exercises and other techniques you may want to try, you will receive feedback that can guide, encourage and reinforce positive psychological and physiological improvements. Dramatic changes of both a subjective (internally felt) and objective (outwardly observable and measurable) nature, including changes in HRV, immune function and hormonal balance. However, no single measurement or group of measurements is reflective of all the subjective and objective changes that occur with these exercises. It’s like listening to yourself on tape or watching yourself in an “instant replay”. Your experience of an event is not equivalent to listening to or watching yourself but having that kind of feedback can greatly enhance your awareness and accelerate your progress in managing your emotions and balancing your physiology.

How can I make sure that I’m recording accurate data?

In order to record your heart rhythm accurately, you should avoid moving while the sensor is recording. It is recommended that you cease conversation and sit or lie down quietly while using emWave Pro software. Normal conversations often include gestures and body language motions that may be picked up by the pulse sensor and result in inaccurate data recording. When you have started a session, you may notice that as the sensor begins to record data on the Heart Rhythm Graph, one or several red lines (artifacts) may appear in the graph from time to time. This usually indicates that inaccurate or no data has been recorded at that moment, and that the program is compensating by leaving a gap in the data. The data inaccuracy or gap is usually caused by movement or a poor connection from the ear or finger sensor. Check the placement of the sensor for a good connection between the finger pad and the sensor window or vary the placement of the ear sensor on your ear lobe. Don’t worry if you see some of these red lines (artifacts), especially when you are learning how the run a session, you will get used to how the sensor works with your body. Also, just because you have a few red lines (artifacts) doesn’t mean that your session is ruined, or the app is defective. Just study the areas where you have an accurate pulse reading.

Are there any Guidelines for Using the emWave Pro software in the Classroom?

  • Introduce the emWave Pro software by doing a classroom demonstration. Begin the class by asking a student volunteer to connect themselves to the emWave hardware. Ask the student to shift focus by doing deep heart breathing (in for 4-5 seconds out for 4-5 seconds) and generating a feeling of appreciation. After several minutes ask the rest of the class to comment on what they observe on the computer screen. Explain how the emWave program is a new technology that helps people deal with stress and perform better. It is currently being used by thousands of people including Health professionals and athletes.
  • Suggest classroom etiquette when using the emWave program. Ask students to respect each other’s privacy by refraining from talking, touching or interrupting one another when in session. Add that no one is expected to get a high score right away. Also, ask students to turn the sound off on each computer. The chimes are a distraction for students.

Note: Discourage score comparisons or competition among students in advance. Coherence is not a competition…it’s a contribution to a better world!

  • Have students practice the Quick Coherence technique. Before moving in to the emWave program, guide the class over several sessions to practice deep slow breathing through the area around the heart (in for 4-5 seconds out for 4-5 seconds) and generating a positive emotional state. Practicing the Quick Coherence technique for around 2 minutes each time (depending on age appropriateness) is optimal because it helps students perform better on the emWave program. Note: Age appropriateness means that some children especially, under 8 or 9, will have difficulty maintaining a sustained focus past 30 seconds to one minute. Some kids have different temperaments that make using the emWave program challenging for any sustained period of time which is a requisite to doing well in a Session or in the games. As a rule of thumb, we recommend that children under 8 are not skilled enough to maintain long periods of focused attention to do well in the emWave program. But of course, there are plenty of exceptions.
  • State that the goal of the emWave program is to transfer the skills they learned using this technology to real-life situations where they may be feeling too much stress conflict or a need to perform better in some area of their life.
  • Identifying a personal goal. Before using the emWave program, students should first identify and write down a specific goal that is immediately do-able and concrete. Some students will need guidance in arriving at the specific goal(s) they wish to accomplish at home or school.
  • Begin practice of the emWave program with the students. Instruct students to first begin using the Heart Rhythm Coherence Skill Building (Session View) section. During their first few sessions they should not practice much longer than 2 minutes each time to become comfortable with the technology. Have them record their results on a scoring sheet or on the computer itself in their personalized User account.
  • Move onto the Software Games (under the Hot Air Balloon icon). When a student has lowered the coherence score to 50% or less in the red color (low coherence entrainment) they are ready to begin playing the software games. The software games progress from 3 to 5 to 7 minutes long. To stay focused for 7 minutes will be challenging for a number of students. So, the idea of students building towards increased level of sustained focus over time is an important benchmark to communicate early on so they have the confidence to succeed.
  • Check regularly with students on their progress. Monitor student use of the emWave program, frequently checking on their individual scores and the relative success of meeting their goals. Students should use the emWave program a minimum of 6 to 10 times to best internalize the skill sets learned from this technology. It takes practice, so exhibit patience. The first few sessions in the emWave program should last only about two minutes, so they become more familiar with the technology.

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