Saagara pranayama appLearning how to use breathing to improve health is one of the simplest and most important things I recommend to patients.  It’s also very cost-effective.

I met a British surgeon Nagabhushanam “Bobby” Peddi last night at the #wisdom2conf (https://plus NULL.google NULL.com/s/%23wisdom2conf) holiday event, CEO of Saagara (http://saagara NULL.com). He’s created an app that leads you through breathing exercises (pranayama) to adjust your autonomic nervous system to favor a parasympathetic (rest-digest) state. It’s very configurable.

It’s easy to choose a setting similar to Dr. Weil’s “4-7-8″ breath (http://www NULL.drweil NULL.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises NULL.html) if desired. I frequently prescribe this technique to help patients with anxiety and have even used it successfully to stop paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia in the ER (just as we were about to push adenosine). While I used to write instructions out for people in the office, or refer them to an Iyengar yoga teacher, I can now start by showing them this app which will lead them through it and track their progress.

Even better, the full version is (for now) free on iOS and Mac, and also available on Android:
http://www.saagara.com/health-tools/pranayama (http://www NULL.saagara NULL.com/health-tools/pranayama)

Now we just have to get them to open their API so we can extract timestamped historical data into BodyTrack (http://bodytrack NULL.org) and real-time feedback into Mymee (http://mymee NULL.com).

Paul Abramson MD

About

Dr. Paul Abramson is a medical doctor, engineer, meditator, and founder of My Doctor Medical Group in San Francisco. He trained with Andrew Weil in Integrative Medicine, and is board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. You may follow him on Twitter at @paulabramsonmd.

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  • http://twitter.com/VikramDravid Vikram Dravid

    Interesting, thanks. Good to see this ancient wisdom come of (digital) age. Note: The famous hatha Yoga stalwart is Iyengar, spelled with an ‘I’.

    • http://mydoctorsf.com Quantified Doctor

      Vikram- Thanks for noting the typo.
      I do think technology can be helpful to facilitate people practicing mindfulness in various ways, who otherwise would not seek out traditional methods.
      Thanks for your comments!

  • Nina Pagalos

    Would be awesome if this could be more present in the hospital system. In a society where we constantly self-diagnose and immediately run to the medicine cabinet at the twinge of a headache, this tool is a great reminder of the astounding health benefits that can come from just BREATHING. Thanks for sharing!

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