Heart Rate Variability

At the Nutritional Wellness Center of Ithaca, we use clinical nutrition with sophisticated analytics to optimize your health. One of the analytical systems that we use is Heart Rate Variability Analysis. This system evaluates your vital functions via two methods:

  • Health-Express 
  • Nerve-Express

Our clients in Ithaca, NY, and the Greater Finger Lakes region appreciate this non-invasive, computer-based analysis. Our practitioners use this tool to assess your Autonomic Nervous System and overall health.


This method provides a “big picture”; it looks at your general health status.

Health-Express accounts for factors such as physical fitness, wellness, and your capacity to function well each day. Notably, at Nutritional Wellness Center, we use this marker to arrive at your physiological age.

This number may differ dramatically from your chronological age.

We use this proven system to measure and monitor changes that occur related to your physical and emotional well-being over time. With these conclusions in hand, we’re able to elevate your nutrition and, along with it, bring your vigor, endurance, and overall physical and emotional well-being to the next level. We consider this to be a vital instrument to optimize your wellness and improve your life quality. 


The second method in this two-pronged approach, Nerve-Express, gets to the bottom of how your Autonomic Nervous System operates.

The ANS regulates those internal bodily processes, which we are not consciously aware of; for instance, rates of heart contractions and respiration, the volume of stomach acids that are secreted, and the time it takes for food to pass through the digestive tract. The ANS is divided into the following sides (think of them like your body’s gas pedal and brakes):

  • Sympathetic Nervous System – The SNS speeds up our body’s processes when we’re stressed out internally and externally, for example, when our bodies are fighting off infections. At its most extreme, you may know the SNS as “fight or flight,” the response to emergencies that is akin to flooring the gas pedal in a car. SNS is necessary and can even be a lifesaver; however, it is also a biological marker of age that prevents the Parasympathetic Nervous System’s proper operation. Sympathetic dominance often results in an individual that is “keyed-up,” hyper, and can’t calm down. These clients also tend to have poorly functioning digestive systems, insomnia, a racing heart, and spend a lot of time in the bathroom! Our SNS-dominant clients crave more brakes!
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System – The PNS represents, effectively, those “brakes.” It influences how well we rest, nourishes, repair, and rejuvenate our bodies. Just as with the SNS, if the PNS is out-of-whack, this imbalance can result in problems that affect our quality of life. PNS-dominant clients tend to have low energy and may have frequent bouts of sickness. It can take them longer to heal from being sick. They may also have exercise intolerance and lack motivation. These clients need more acceleration to balance excessive “braking”!

If both SNS- and PNS-dominant symptoms sound familiar to your situation, you are not alone in feeling this way. Our clients may wildly swing like a pendulum between Sympathetic dominance and Parasympathetic dominance. They are challenged to find a happy medium between these extreme states. Clients in these situations would benefit from nutritional support that accounts for both the SNS and PNS sides. We’ll likely suggest modifications to your diet, as well as supplements, herbal products, and changes to your lifestyle. Even simple changes to your behavior and habits can help properly regulate the SNS and support the PNS. It takes professionals with extensive experience and training in heart rate variability and nutritional counseling to understand each side’s specific minerals, nutrients, and fuel controlling mechanisms. We also account for the emotional factors that can trigger such imbalances or result from one side’s dominance over the other.

For now, we encourage you to contact us to learn about our services and to schedule an initial assessment. Don’t wait to feel more like your “old self” again!