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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 564340, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/564340
Research Article

Improvement of Circadian Rhythm of Heart Rate Variability by Eurythmy Therapy Training

1Task Force Integrative Medicine in Pediatric Oncology, Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Otto-Heubner-Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (OHC), Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany
2Department of Medical Engineering, University of Applied Sciences Jena, 07745 Jena, Germany

Received 19 June 2012; Revised 29 November 2012; Accepted 18 December 2012

Academic Editor: Thomas Ostermann

Copyright © 2013 Georg Seifert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Impairment of circadian rhythm is associated with various clinical problems. It not only has a negative impact on quality of life but can also be associated with a significantly poorer prognosis. Eurythmy therapy (EYT) is an anthroposophic movement therapy aimed at reducing fatigue symptoms and stress levels. Objective. This analysis of healthy subjects was conducted to examine whether the improvement in fatigue symptoms was accompanied by improvements in the circadian rhythm of heart rate variability (HRV). Design. Twenty-three women performed 10 hours of EYT over six weeks. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) were recorded before and after the EYT trial. HRV was quantified by parameters of the frequency and time domains and the nonlinear parameters of symbolic dynamics. Results. The day-night contrast with predominance of vagal activity at night becomes more pronounced after the EYT training, and with decreased Ultralow and very low frequencies, the HRV shows evidence of calmer sleep. During the night, the complexity of the HRV is significantly increased indicated by nonlinear parameters. Conclusion. The analysis of the circadian patterns of cardiophysiological parameters before and after EYT shows significant improvements in HRV in terms of greater day-night contrast caused by an increase of vagal activity and calmer and more complex HRV patterns during sleep.