Coherence: Heart Rate Variability & Coherent Breathing

By: Dr. Gary Huber

Posted 12/26/2021

Explanation of the Science

So what is Heart Rate Variability?

The accent here is on “Variability” not heart rate. We can barely see it on paper but we can measure it with sophisticated equipment.

                “Subtle changes in the timing between heart beats.”    

When we inhale our heart rate speeds up and as we exhale it slows down. This is the variability.

Your nervous system has 2 sides: The Sympathetic nervous system makes things speed up, go faster, run harder, respond to stress. The Parasympathetic side does the opposite and is activated to calm us down, relax, digest a meal, go to sleep and feel gratitude.

BALANCE is key. Too much Sympathetic drive from stress will ruin everything.

The brain talks to the heart and the heart talks back to the brain. The heart sends more signals to the brain than the other way around. When that conversation is calm and relaxed we see increased Parasympathetic activity, more variability and greater health.

So what is “Coherence”

Coherence is the coming together of a smooth and rhythmic function between the heart, lungs, brain, and nervous system as it is directed by mood and rate of breathing. Look at the graphic and see that in chaos/frustration the heart rate goes from 60 up to 90 and back down but it is NOT in sync with the breath. In “appreciation” you see the rhythmic increase and decrease of HR with each breath over time. 

Feelings of joy, happiness and peace result in a calm nervous system that promotes the parasympathetic nervous system. Our calm side. If we can maintain this we strengthen our parasympathetic system and it joins in harmony with the hearts signal and our breathing pattern. This coming together results in a flow of energy that is rejuvenating to our body.

The graphic above shows the discord between the brain and heart as we experience feelings of anger and frustration. They are not if rhythm together. The body is fighting itself as the Sympathetic nervous system is driving excess energy. We can endure this for short periods of time but as a chronic signal pattern it is damaging. It leads to disease.

Coherent Breathing

Our breathing pattern greatly influences this harmony versus chaos. Multiple studies show that when we breath in specific pattern it creates an influence on the heart that combines to send calming signals to the brain – RELAX into coherence. This breathing pattern is simply 6 breaths per minute. Inhale for 6 seconds, then exhale for 6 seconds. Move your diaphragm up and down. Use a timer if you need to keep you on track. Paced Breathing APP’s send an audible 6 second music signal that simply cycles over and over. Inhale for 6 then exhale for 6 seconds. If you are unfamiliar with “Belly Breathing” then see Dr. Bianco’s video on this website or my article on Belly Breathing.


In a state of coherence we experience greater function and longevity. We are sending signals to our body, our very cells, that reduce disease and promote recovery. We actually get more done more easily, sleep better, digest better and avoid the danger of todays toxic environment. The brain works more efficiently and effectively so we experience better cognition.

The HEART as a generator of electro-magnetic energy

The heart sends signals to the rest of the body thus affecting the type of energy to share. There is an electrical vs a magnetic effect on the atoms of the body.  The heart generates stronger electrical and magnetic fields than our brain. The heart is the strongest energy field of our body, 5000 times more energetic than our brain. A cardiac EKG produces 100 times more energy than the EEG of our brain. When we choose to experience appreciation, gratitude and joy these emotions are much more than mere words. These emotions reflect “experiences” that generate waves coming from our heart (not our brain). When you see a cute baby do you clutch your brain and say wow, what an emotion? No, you feel it in your heart as that is where emotions live.

Father of quantum physics, Max Plank, discussed a field of intelligent non-conventional energy. Our feelings are speaking to the blue print in the higher dimensions and we are seeing the shadow they cast on our physical world. Simply put, energy is all there is and it moves in ways we barely understand. But we can plug into that energy in a beneficial way when we engage coherent breathing, meditation,

We have the ability through heart based emotion and coherence, to effect the world and the energy all around us. All matter is connected. This is “entanglement”, a concept first introduced by Albert Einstein and later developed by Schrodinger and others in the 1940’s. We are all ONE energy. So, my energy will and does affect your energy. Make your energy excellent through coherent breathing so that you become a positive influence in this world. I’m counting on it.


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