emWave Mac Stress Relief System review

The emWave Mac Stress Relief System, developed by the Institute of HeartMath, is a real-time biofeedback Mac and PC software program designed to be used as a stress-reduction and stress-management tool.

The system includes a patented heart rhythm monitor enabling the user to manage, change and reverse negative impacts of stress. You do this by learning to change heart rhythm patterns using controlled breathing and visualisation techniques. At least that's the idea behind the system, which the makers expand upon online and in documentation.

Anyone who’s suffered from stress will know that it can cause frustration, anxiety, poor performance, anger, worry, depression, and fatigue.


emWave Mac Stress Relief System measures stress levels for you and, armed with that knowledge, you can then work to shift your emotional state. Learning to manage stress responses over time is key to entering into ‘the zone’ – a state where apparently your heart and mind are working together to avoid getting you worked up.

HeartMath claims that this non-invasive stress-management tool is being used and adapted by teachers, students, health care professionals, sports practitioners, the military and creatives.

The system adds some simple but effective interactive games to help reduce stress.

Included in the emWave Mac Stress Relief System is an USB pulse sensor that clips to the ear. Heart rhythm information is collected by the ear sensor and fed into your Mac, where the software interprets data into dynamic user-friendly graphics.

The sensor momentarily illuminates to indicate connection to the computer. There is then a short calibration period before the session can start tracking the beat-to-beat change in heart rhythms. Prior to clipping the sensor on to the earlobe, it is advisable to warm the earlobe first – this allows the sensor to better detect pulse signals.

A lapel clip included helps keep the sensor in place. Sit comfortably and as still as possible to allow for accurate recordings.

NEXT: 'Sessions' and ‘Coherence Coach’


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