Send Them Peace

Send Them Peace

STP Bench Number : 3 - Update - emWave2, One Variable Too Many

Here at STP Lab Bench 3 : HeartMath


In a previous Article, we had been studying "Achievement" as it presents in using the emWave2 device from the Institute of HeartMath.


The goal had been to define those variables that contribute to the "Achievement" variable's values.  One could state the task as a question:


"Does the "Achievement" value depend on : "Average Coherence," "High Coherence Ratio % (green level)," Average Heart Rate, Session Number (=length of training), Session Duration (in minutes)?


We had gotten to a point where the importance of each of these variables could now be stated. As well, the variability observed in "Achievement" had been mostly (98.7%) explained, and as seen below: 



Update of 'Achievement' variables on Jan 28 2016.jpg


But the next day, the relationships between these variables began to destabilize ... What was going on?


Update of 'Achievement' variables on Jan 29 2016.jpg


Often, when something like this happens, one should think about the possibility that a new variable has been introduced. Something which changes relationships of the previously studied variables. 


Hmm... Now what would that be? 


Well, how about this guy ?

Orthomyxoviridae pic 3.gif.jpg

As cells go, this one doesn't look any too friendly...



And here's a little gallery of his spherical  buddies ....



So now the goal of our little study of emWave2 "Achievement" was about to become :


"Does the "Achievement" value depend on : "Average Coherence," "High Coherence Ratio % (green level)," Average Heart Rate, Session Number (=length of training), Session Duration (in minutes), in subjects with and without influenza


Was that the study that we intended to do at the outset? No, not at all.


Q: But does having the flu even make a difference in these variables that concern "Achievement"?  "How would you know?"


Here are mean values and their comparisons using Student's t-test:


Flu effect on emWave2 measurements.jpg

Ans: There are marked differences in these data arising from Heart Rate Variability measurements, when the flu is present. At the bottom, the p value for these means, tells us that the difference with and without the flu is quite significant: Less than 1 chance in 10,000 that an apparent difference in these variables arose by chance. The only variable where "p" is not significant (p=0.49) is for the mean duration of each session, just under 30 minutes, and as planned. Differences in Heart Rate (Avg.HR) and "Achievement" are also significant.


So having the flu makes a huge difference in the outcomes from emWave2 measurements.


Now what?

  1. Hoping that these differences will eventually just get diluted as more data get added is an error. Including the data equates with doing a different study than the one intended.
  2. Let's exclude all the flu-effected data. DO NOT THROW IT AWAY! It's trying to tell us something, perhaps important.
  3. Go back to the "pre-flu" data when studying "Achievement" and its determining variables. As seen below, those data provide a much cleaner answer:



Update of 'Achievement' variables on Jan 30 - after removing influenza data.jpgNotice that "Coherence" plays a very minor role in "Achievement" when compared with other determining variables.


emWAVE2 graphic data


One already had a clue from the progression of the tricolor "Coherence Level Ratio" graphic in emWave2 that something was going on, even without the aide of statistical analysis ...


emWave2 data - Jan 30 2016.jpg



So what is the link, or, is there a link, between influenza, the heart, heart rate variability, the autonomic nervous system, and HeartMath Tools and Techniques such as "Quick Coherence?"  Several times during these "high red" results, "Quick Coherence" was performed to try and increase "Avg. Coherence." It made no difference at all. We'll look more closely at why that was so in a subsequent article. 


In the meantime, here's a reminder about how HeartMath describes their "Quick Coherence" Technique :



Recall that we did not discard the "flu data" but only set it aside. It will serve us well to better understand how influenza impacts heart rate variability. This, in fact, through a full blown and insidious attack on the heart: An attack that has been greatly overlooked in the literature on influenza. 

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