2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Confirmation that Rhythmical Skeletal Muscle Tension (RSMT) Can Increase Heart Rate Variability

Hannah N. Urban
Dr. Frederic Shaffer, Faculty Mentor

Rhythmical skeletal muscle tension (RSMT), can stimulate the baroreceptor reflex like resonance frequency breathing and increase time- and frequency-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV). The present study replicated the Vaschillo design with 45 undergraduates. The lab monitored ECG, HRV, EMG, and respiration.  Participants were randomly assigned to one of six different orders of 3, 6, and 12 muscle contractions per minute, separated by 3-minute buffer periods. Participants contracted their hands and feet at the prescribed frequencies and respiration rate was equivalent across all three conditions. The 6-contractions-per-minute condition produced the greatest increases in time- and frequency-domain, and nonlinear HRV. These findings partially replicate the Vaschillo, Vaschillo, and Lehrer data and suggest that RSMT offers an alternative method by which clients can increase HRV. 


Keywords: Psychophysiology, Heart rate variability, Truman Center for Applied Psychophysiology


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 7-6
Location: SUB GEO
Time: 3:00

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