Autism: Heartbeat as a stress reliever

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Autism: Heartbeat as a stress reliever


Many people with autism experience significant fatigue, difficulty sleeping, or feel anxious or depressed. They often live in a constant state of turmoil and uncertainty. Some can no longer tolerate stress and avoid situations, staying inside and ceasing to take any action. Others try to maintain a pace that is too fast for them, risking burnout or burnout. However, there is a solution to reduce this internal agitation: a simple breathing technique that can be measured using biofeedback. Backed by science and with the right guidance, this technique can bring significant peace of mind. This applies not only to people with autism, but also to those who suffer from over-stimulation, fatigue and exhaustion due to a hectic life.

Read also: How to prevent stress from turning into exhaustion?

Breathing techniques for people with autism

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It is also a useful technique for people who are sensitive to hyperventilation, anxiety, panic, or are at risk of burnout. However, the approach is different and there is a specific heart coherence approach specifically designed for people with autism. Auticoach Stiene Van den Eynde offers a Online cardiac coherence training suitable for autism But training is also available in its practice.

Read also: Correct breathing: Heart toning as an answer to stress, fatigue and hyperventilation

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Benefits of cardiac coherence in autism

Heart coherence is beneficial for people with autism for several reasons.

  • First, it focuses on reducing excessive stress and anxiety, which are common challenges in people with autism. By promoting a coherent heart rhythm pattern, cardiac coherence helps restore balance to the autonomic nervous system, which can lead to feelings of calm and overall well-being.
  • An important aspect that contributes to its effectiveness is its measurability. For people with autism, who often need clarity and structure, the fact that heartbreak leads to measurable outcomes provides an element of reassurance. Precise breathing technique and measurable results of heart coherence can contribute to a feeling of control and predictability.
  • Compared to more abstract methods, such as meditation or mindfulness, heart coherence is more concrete and specific. Clients can see whether they are using the technique correctly or not, which can reduce the uncertainty and anxiety that sometimes accompany less structured methods.
  • Another benefit of heart coherence is that it enhances communication between the heart and brain, indicating that there is no cause for stress or anxiety. This contributes to a feeling of safety and calm, which is especially important for people with autism who often find it difficult to regulate their emotional state.

Read also: Dysfunctional breathing: What are the symptoms of incorrect breathing?

How can you start exercising on your own?

Cardio coherence exercises focus on controlling breathing to create a harmonious heart rhythm pattern. Here’s a simple description of a basic core core exercise that you can do on your own. Do the exercise at first when you are already calm. Breathing rhythmically while focusing on chaos creates more stress.

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This is an example of a core coherence exercise with intuitive piano music, you can use Katrien Geeraerts’ breathing accompaniment “Keep Breathing” for this.

  1. Sitting position: Sit comfortably with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.
  2. Breathing: Breathe in slowly through your nose, then exhale slowly through your mouth or nose. Focus on regular, but gentle, rhythmic breathing. So don’t force yourself.
  3. Breathe according to this rhythm: inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds, repeat 6 times per minute.
  4. Biofeedback: If necessary, use biofeedback equipment to measure the coherence of your heart rhythm. This lets you know if you are achieving your desired cardio consistency.

It is important to repeat this exercise regularly to get the best results.

Read also: Why is breathing through the nose healthier?

Catherine Geraarts, the best-selling author of Keep Breathing, has written a book on the subject in collaboration with Louis Van Nieuwland. She provides cardio coherence training for professionals, and has now, in collaboration with robotic trainer Stijn van den Ende, created a course specifically designed for professionals who work with people with autism. You can find more information here.

Last updated: February 2024

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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