Learning 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).