Two new services we now offer at Upper Valley Family Practice and Urgent Care are Body Impedance Analysis (BIA) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) testing. They are new technologies we learned about at the American Functional Medicine Association meetings in Atlanta in March. They both provide an entire new level of diagnostic ability for those who feel poorly in almost any way.
Heart Rate variability assesses the health of your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). That is the nervous system that allows you to respond to changes in your environment and remain stable without you being aware of it. As our lives become ever more hectic the ability to smoothly adjust to stress becomes more critical. Dysautonomia, or the inability to so respond, is responsible for about half of sudden cardiac deaths in this country. It also is involved with most fatigue and depression, fibromyalgia—almost anything where we just “don’t feel good”. Think back to the last fetal heart rate monitor you watched during labor. Do you remember how the tracing sort of jumped around and seldom looked “smooth”. We like that appearance; it means the baby is responding moment to moment to its “environmental stress”. It is a sign of health. Good heart rate variability is reassuring in adults too. It represents the ability of your ANS to appropriately respond to the stress of life (even just standing up or holding your breath). We look at your results as a sign that you are in trouble or not. If you are, then we will move into other testing that will tell us what exactly you are missing. Then we can supplement those measured deficits naturally and fix them before they become a “problem”.
Body Impulse Analysis takes advantage of the fact that various cells in your body conduct an electrical impulse differently. Fat conducts electricity differently than does muscle or bone. From this non-invasive, pain-free testing, we can tell you what you are “made of” and exactly how many calories you must limit yourself to daily in order to lose weight. But another truth about cell conductivity is that the impedance or resistance of “well cells” is lower than that of “sick cells”. This is reflected in a component of a BIA called the “phase angle”. From this single test we can learn whether or not your cells are mostly sick and dying or if they are mostly well and healthy. It almost approaches Dr. McCoy’s fictional, hand-held “triquarter” from Star Trek.
So how do they work?? Say you come in feeling poorly. We will take a careful history to learn the duration and nature of your symptoms. Then the BIA and HRV will tell us whether your symptoms are significant and represent potentially serious illness or if it is all just short-term stress or a virus. And from these, other, more specific tests, will tell me what natural substances (vitamins, cofactors, amino acids, neurotransmitters, etc.) you lack allowing us to then create a corrective program to see you back to good health and vigor.
Most of us either feel unwell or know someone close to us who does. So the ability to accurately assess that and plan a natural solution to it before it becomes serious is a huge breakthrough! Call us (356-8883) and make an appointment to come in for your testing today. BIA and HRV are just two more reasons we can promise to help you feel better no matter who you are. At Upper Valley Family Practice and Urgent Care good health does not have to be just a memory! Call or come in today and let us remind you how good you can feel!
Make sure to check out our other blog posts for other great information about Testosterone, Feeling Good and other important medical needs!