It is a tool for self-regulation. And like most tools, there is a process here. It is:
Your body looks at most situations you meet - people, red lights, losing your phone, meetings, seeing your lover, breaking up, and even your own thoughts - in two ways: "fight-or-flight" or "rest and digest".
"fight-or-flight" means your sympathetic nervous system will be turned up.
“rest and digest" situation means your parasympathetic nervous system will be more active than the other one.
Airo works by tracking which of the two nervous system is firing, and it does so every second. It measures your Heart Rate Variability (not to be confused with Heart Rate) - HRV is the variation in the duration of your heartbeat, which caused by your nervous system.
This is how Airo tracks your mental health state - whether it be minor depression and anxiety or major mental illness or high performance. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. Scientists across the world have studied HRV for depression, anxiety, weight-loss, PTSD, stress, heart surgery and it is astounding how well it works. Here are some papers, in case you're like us and find papers interesting.
Heart rate variability and cognitive function.
Federal University of Santa Catarina, Laboratory of Sports and Exercise Neuroscience
Heart rate variability in depressive and anxiety disorders.
Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.
Relationship between major depression and heart rate variability.
Department of Biological Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Evangl Clinics Gelsenkirchen, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Munckelstr. 27, D-45879, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Heart rate variability (HRV) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affair Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Ideally, you want a flexible system that is able to fight or recover as needed but the busyness of our lives has evolved far beyond what our bodies are used to. It is now more important than ever to keep the body and mind in balance.
All of us breathe at different rates. We also all have a specific breathing rate that has the most calming affect on us in the shortest amount of time. Since Airo is already tracking your body continuously, it can detect which breathing method gives you the most benefit. You’ll get used to that breathing rate and apply it every time you need to feel centered!
This way you can also objectively know whether you are ready to push yourself in that moment or should you do some exercises to get there. Of course, Airo will help you with those exercises.
However, there is one case in which Airo may not work. If you are engaged in vigorous motion i.e. running, Airo will not be able to track you. This is because the up and down movement of the sensor prevents it from getting an accurate reading. But then again, if you are engaged in vigorous motion, you are experiencing stress anyways. When you stop, Airo will continue to detect your recovery patterns.