Deep Breathing Technique on iPhone App

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There are so many iPhone apps available, just sorting through the list could make you breathless. Not to worry: now there is an app that can help you practice a yoga deep breathing technique.

The 99-cent iPhone app was developed by Darshan Khalsa and his wife Carol O’Donnell Khalsa, who operate the Khalsa Integrative Medicine practice center in Reston, Virginia. The couple has been helping clients with the Kundalini Yoga technique of deep breathing at their facility for years, and now they have a way to offer the practice to others around the world.

Deep breathing methods are well known and proven to reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, provide better sleep, relieve pain, and enhance mood. Although there are several different types of deep breathing exercises and techniques, the basic goal of each one is to calm the mind and body. The consequences of that achievement often manifest as one or more of the benefits just named. Studies indicate, for example, that deep breathing is effective in treating specific medical conditions as well, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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The Reston practitioners told the Fairfax Times that the seed of the idea for the iPhone application was planted when they attended President Obama’s inauguration and heard him tell people to “do some good.” They decided they wanted to help more people learn about the benefits of long deep breathing. That when they teamed up with one of their patients, Jeanne Churchwell, who is also part owner of a software company called Tech 2000 Inc. A collaborative effort among them resulted in the Long Deep Breathing application.

The iPhone application offers information on the history and benefits of the deep breathing technique, a way to set the pace and duration of a breathing exercise session, and verbal prompts to help users along if they so desire. The application monitors each deep breathing session and provides a visual aid so users can perform the exercise for the correct amount of time.

Sure, you can do deep breathing exercises on your own; you don’t really need this new application. But if you have the long deep breathing iPhone app at your fingertips, you may be more likely to remember to practice. Deep breathing exercises can be done just about anywhere, at any time. Since cell phones have become such a permanent part of our lifestyle, better health can be just a fingertip touch away.

SOURCES:
Brown RP, Gerbart PL. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 2009 Aug; 1172:54-62
Fairfax Times.com Dec. 15, 2009
Pomidori L et al. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention 2009 Mar-Apr; 29(2): 133-37

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