Autonomic function testing

Specific stimulation of brain regions with autonomic testing

What is autonomic function testing?

Measuring blood pressure may be common, but how a doctor measures your blood pressure can matter! Blood pressure is the force with which oxygenated blood is propelled to all parts of the body. Measuring blood pressure is one of the most commonly performed clinical procedures in healthcare today. This can also be done in an autonomous way. We tell more about this below.

Why is autonomic blood pressure testing important?

While most healthcare providers measure blood pressure only in a sitting position, changes in body posture are also important. Based on research, it appears that a change in posture causes physiological changes in the human body. These changes are also reflected in brain function. Through autonomic testing, we also measure these changes.

How does autonomic feature testing work?

The autonomic nervous system, is traditionally divided into the sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Both are responsible for regulating and integrating the functions of internal organs. In particular, the SNS plays a key factor in the control of blood pressure via specialised receptors. These receptors are called baroreceptors and chemoreceptors.

During postural changes, such as from a supine to a sitting or standing position, feedback loops increase ‘firing’ to sympathetic nerves. This changes blood pressure. With autonomic testing, we measure this.

Even more specifically, we can associate various body positions and blood pressure regulation with the vestibular system. The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is mainly associated with balance, equilibrium, orientation and navigation. All this is done through the vestibulo-Sympathetic Reflex (VSR) .

The VSR reflex is especially important in preventing a drop in blood pressure by allowing the organs of the vestibular system (otoliths and semicircular canals) to perceive movement in the area of gravity within milliseconds. This activates the VSR for the cardiovascular system, with the ultimate goal of maintaining stable blood pressure during position change.

The Vestibular System – because of its influence on balance and navigation – also has connections to brain regions such as frontal lobes (executive planning/motor planning), cerebellum (fine/coordinated movements) and the posterior parietal cortex (spatial orientation).

Therefore, it makes sense that dysfunction in these reflex, feedback loop or association/integration areas could have a significant difference in blood pressure. This may result in symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, fainting, or lead to cognitive difficulties and impaired concentration.

Your road to recovery

One week of intensive treatment

Step 1

The Functional Neurological Examination (FNE).

You share your symptoms with us, prompting us to ask relevant questions and conduct a thorough Neurological Examination. This process allows us to assess whether our treatment is well-suited to your needs.

Step 2

Advanced Machine Testing (quantification)

Based on Step 1, we determine what test are necessary to quantify the underlying cause of the symptoms. To do this, we use a range of computer-controlled equipment.

Step 3

Rehabilitation week (in 5 days)

We address the problems. Through an individual program specifically tailored to your problems, we bring back function during an intensive week of treatment.

Step 4


After the 5-day intensive treatment week, we will give you homework assignments. These are exercises that further promote your recovery. We are happy to keep an eye on these developments with you.

How does autonomic feature testing help?

Evaluating blood pressure on both sides of the body in various positions is crucial for influencing the mechanisms that stabilize blood pressure. We achieve this through autonomic testing, which enables us to identify potential areas of dysfunction that may not yet present clear clinical symptoms. This process has revealed associations with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dysautonomia, orthostatic intolerance, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), diabetes, post-concussive syndrome (PCS), traumatic brain injury, and dystrophy, among others.

What to expect during treatment

What can you expect after treatment?

Following our intensive treatment week, results can be expected swiftly, though initial tiredness is common as your brain processes the week’s activities. Despite potential temporary irritability and mild headaches due to the brain’s adjustment, these symptoms are short-lived with no lasting side effects. As your brain adapts, leveraging its neuroplasticity, the full benefits of the therapy will become increasingly apparent, leading to a significant improvement in your well-being.

We can imagine that you still have questions after looking at our website

For further details, kindly contact our clinic. You will be connected with one of our dedicated assistants.