If you’ve been unfortunate enough to contract the COVID-19 virus, you may have noticed that your COVID cough is lingering longer than after your typical cold. And if it bothers you for long enough, you may even find yourself googling “how long does COVID cough last?”

First of all, you’re not alone. Many people who have had a COVID-19 infection report having a cough that they just can’t seem to shake, even up to a year after the virus has left their system—and, a lingering cough is something you should never ignore. But at what point does your extended cough indicate you have long COVID? After all, one in five adult COVID-19 survivors experiences long COVID symptoms and respiratory issues is one of the most common among them.

But before you worry about your lingering cough being a sign of bigger concern, we’ve spoken with infectious disease experts to help you find out when a COVID cough usually goes away, whether coughing is normal after you’ve recovered, at what point a chronic cough may indicate long COVID development, and how you may treat a cough too.

What is COVID cough and how is it different from other coughs?

Cough occurs in approximately 50% of patients with COVID-19 infection. It is usually dry and nonproductive, says Jill Howard, M.D., national director of infectious diseases at ChenMed. However, “17 to 34% of patients have persistent cough following acute COVID-19 infection.”

Many respiratory infections can also cause a post-infectious cough that lasts (typically) a few weeks after the initial infection ends, says David Cennimo, M.D., associate professor of medicine & pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “This is thought to be due to hyper-responsiveness in the cough mechanism, possibly also due to some damage to the airways from the infection…This has been seen with influenza, COVID-19, and many other infections.”

When will a COVID cough usually go away?

For most people, it can take 3 to 18 months for their lungs to get back to their pre-COVID-19 baseline, says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. According to Hopkins Medicine, after a serious case of COVID-19, recovery from lung damage takes time. There’s the initial injury to the lungs, followed by scarring. Over time, the tissue heals, but it can take three months to a year or more for a person’s lung function to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

In general, the more risk factors for severe infection, and the more severe the initial COVID-19 infection, the longer the patient experiences persistent symptoms, explains Dr. Howard.

When does chronic cough become a symptom of long COVID?

Some people have experienced a prolonged post-infectious cough after COVID-19 that has been characterized as part of the “Long-COVID” syndrome, Dr. Cennimo explains. “In some datasets, around 15% of people are coughing 3+ weeks after COVID infection. In most, this fades over time but it can take weeks to months.”

If a cough develops during acute COVID-19 infection, and lasts 3 months from the onset of illness, it is considered a manifestation of long COVID, says Dr. Howard.

How can you treat a COVID cough?

Treatment for lingering cough related to COVID is not well defined, says Dr. Cennimo. “Many people do find some comfort with cough drops, etc.”

It’s most important to make sure there is not an underlying issue causing the cough, Dr. Cennimo adds. “For instance, some COVID-19 infections do significantly damage the lungs and we can see a decrease in respiratory capacity. Some patients will also have a reactive airway disease triggered (like asthma) and their cough may be masking wheezing.” In these cases, inhalers can help.

When should you see a doctor about your COVID cough?

One red flag is the feeling of shortness of breath, says Dr. Cennimo. “If the cough lasts more than 2-3 weeks or is accompanied by shortness of breath, the person should be evaluated.” Dr. Howards adds that “if the cough is worsening rather than improving, or if it is associated with difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fever or [phlegm] production, seek your doctor right away to further investigate.”

Dr. Watkins adds that your primary care physician “can assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that may include breathing exercises, antibiotics, or steroids. Referral to pulmonary rehabilitation is another option.”

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Madeleine, Prevention’s assistant editor, has a history with health writing from her experience as an editorial assistant at WebMD, and from her personal research at university. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience—and she helps strategize for success across Prevention’s social media platforms. 

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If you’ve been unfortunate enough to contract the COVID-19 virus, you may have noticed that your COVID cough is lingering longer than after your typical cold. And if it bothers you for long enough, you may even find yourself googling “how long does COVID cough last?”

First of all, you’re not alone. Many people who have had a COVID-19 infection report having a cough that they just can’t seem to shake, even up to a year after the virus has left their system—and, a lingering cough is something you should never ignore. But at what point does your extended cough indicate you have long COVID? After all, one in five adult COVID-19 survivors experiences long COVID symptoms and respiratory issues is one of the most common among them.

But before you worry about your lingering cough being a sign of bigger concern, we’ve spoken with infectious disease experts to help you find out when a COVID cough usually goes away, whether coughing is normal after you’ve recovered, at what point a chronic cough may indicate long COVID development, and how you may treat a cough too.

What is COVID cough and how is it different from other coughs?

Cough occurs in approximately 50% of patients with COVID-19 infection. It is usually dry and nonproductive, says Jill Howard, M.D., national director of infectious diseases at ChenMed. However, “17 to 34% of patients have persistent cough following acute COVID-19 infection.”

Many respiratory infections can also cause a post-infectious cough that lasts (typically) a few weeks after the initial infection ends, says David Cennimo, M.D., associate professor of medicine & pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “This is thought to be due to hyper-responsiveness in the cough mechanism, possibly also due to some damage to the airways from the infection…This has been seen with influenza, COVID-19, and many other infections.”

When will a COVID cough usually go away?

For most people, it can take 3 to 18 months for their lungs to get back to their pre-COVID-19 baseline, says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. According to Hopkins Medicine, after a serious case of COVID-19, recovery from lung damage takes time. There’s the initial injury to the lungs, followed by scarring. Over time, the tissue heals, but it can take three months to a year or more for a person’s lung function to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

In general, the more risk factors for severe infection, and the more severe the initial COVID-19 infection, the longer the patient experiences persistent symptoms, explains Dr. Howard.

When does chronic cough become a symptom of long COVID?

Some people have experienced a prolonged post-infectious cough after COVID-19 that has been characterized as part of the “Long-COVID” syndrome, Dr. Cennimo explains. “In some datasets, around 15% of people are coughing 3+ weeks after COVID infection. In most, this fades over time but it can take weeks to months.”

If a cough develops during acute COVID-19 infection, and lasts 3 months from the onset of illness, it is considered a manifestation of long COVID, says Dr. Howard.

How can you treat a COVID cough?

Treatment for lingering cough related to COVID is not well defined, says Dr. Cennimo. “Many people do find some comfort with cough drops, etc.”

It’s most important to make sure there is not an underlying issue causing the cough, Dr. Cennimo adds. “For instance, some COVID-19 infections do significantly damage the lungs and we can see a decrease in respiratory capacity. Some patients will also have a reactive airway disease triggered (like asthma) and their cough may be masking wheezing.” In these cases, inhalers can help.

When should you see a doctor about your COVID cough?

One red flag is the feeling of shortness of breath, says Dr. Cennimo. “If the cough lasts more than 2-3 weeks or is accompanied by shortness of breath, the person should be evaluated.” Dr. Howards adds that “if the cough is worsening rather than improving, or if it is associated with difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fever or [phlegm] production, seek your doctor right away to further investigate.”

Dr. Watkins adds that your primary care physician “can assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that may include breathing exercises, antibiotics, or steroids. Referral to pulmonary rehabilitation is another option.”

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Breathing exercises have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase mindfulness and concentration. There are many apps available to help guide you through various breathing techniques, making it easier to incorporate into your daily routine. In this blog post, we will introduce five of the top breathing apps to help you achieve better physical and mental wellness. Any of these could help you learn about breathwork training, improve your skills, and even guide you to help others with this knowledge in the future should you wish to.

The Best Apps to Help with Breathwork Training

Insight Timer

Insight Timer is a free meditation and breathing app that offers a wide variety of guided meditations and breathing exercises. One of the standout features of Insight Timer is the large community of users, which provides support and accountability. You can join challenges, join a group, or connect with friends to track your progress.

Insight Timer also offers a range of free and paid courses that teach specific breathing techniques, including pranayama and mindfulness. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.

Breathing Zone

Breathing Zone is an app that focuses on breathing exercises to help manage stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. It uses biofeedback technology to guide you through the breathing exercises, monitoring your breathing patterns and providing real-time feedback on your progress.

Breathing Zone also offers a range of exercises that cater to different needs, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, or increasing energy. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.

The Best Apps to Help with Breathwork Training

Pranayama

Pranayama is a yoga-based breathing app that offers a range of breathing exercises to help you manage stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. It provides clear instructions and visual aids, so you can easily follow along with each exercise.

Pranayama also offers a range of free and paid courses that teach specific breathing techniques, such as alternate nostril breathing, breathing exercises for anxiety, and more. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.

Breathe2Relax

Breathe2Relax is a free app designed by the U.S. Department of Defence to help military personnel manage stress. It offers a range of breathing exercises, including diaphragmatic breathing, square breathing, and more. The app provides clear instructions and visual aids, so you can easily follow along with each exercise.

Breathe2Relax also includes a “Stress Tracker” feature, which allows you to track your stress levels before and after each breathing exercise. This helps you see the impact of the breathing exercises on your stress levels and adjust accordingly.

Stop, Breathe & Think

The Best Apps to Help with Breathwork Training

Stop, Breathe & Think is a mindfulness and meditation app that offers a range of breathing exercises and guided meditations. It uses an emotion tracking feature, which allows you to check in with your emotions before each session. The app then recommends a specific breathing exercise or meditation based on your emotions.

Stop, Breathe & Think also offers a range of free and paid courses that teach specific breathing techniques, such as mindful breathing, breathing for sleep, and more. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.

Conclusion

Breathing exercises are a simple and effective way to improve your physical and mental wellness. These five apps make it easy to incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine, no matter your experience level or schedule. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, or increase mindfulness and concentration, these apps have you covered. Give one or all of them a try and see for yourself the benefits of incorporating breathing exercises into your daily routine.

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Since its launch in November 2021, the programme has helped patients cope with the symptoms of Long Covid and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression

Welsh National Opera (WNO) has today announced the expansion of its Long Covid rehabilitation programme. Wellness with WNO will now be available to patients through six health boards across Wales.

Created in consultation with English National Opera based on its original ENO Breathe project. The programme shares techniques used by professional opera singers to support breath control, lung function, circulation and posture. To remove barriers to those living with fatigue as a symptom of Long Covid, sessions are delivered via Zoom.

WNO producer April Heade said: ‘We know that the arts make a particularly powerful contribution to our health and wellbeing, and we have seen firsthand the enormously positive impact these sessions have had on participants who have attended so far.’

The programme was also devised with NHS medical professionals and works to support patients’ emotional wellbeing through singing sessions and through building a community of participants. Since it was launched in November 2021, participants have reported improvements in mental health, and reduced feelings of anxiety and depression.

Gabby Curly, who took part in Wellness with WNO, said: ‘Physically, the Wellness with WNO programme gave me practical breathing exercises to relieve muscle tension around my ribs and help me to relax with my breathing. Emotionally, the support I received made me realise that I wasn’t alone. In the sessions, all my worries went out of my head and I found a real joy in taking part in singing’

WNO has worked with communities across England and Wales since the 1970s. In 2022, WNO worked with 158,000 participants across 74 projects both digital and in person.

Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan supports the Wellness programme. She said: ‘We are continuing to learn more about the long-term effects of Covid and we believe our approach of treating, supporting and managing people through our unique service model is the most efficient and effective way of achieving the best outcomes for people experiencing Long Covid.’

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What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a medically-supervised exercise and education program designed to help with difficulty breathing or if you are increasingly limited in your everyday activities due to COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is offered at the following locations:

MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center

MercyOne Elkader Medical Center

MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center

MercyOne Oelwein Medical Center

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center

Our pulmonary rehabilitation experts understand the life-changing difficulties breathing problems can cause for you. We will help you improve your quality of life through emotional support, exercise and education.

How does pulmonary rehabilitation work?

Pulmonary rehabilitation incorporates physical reconditioning, self-care education, breathing exercises and techniques to improve your ability to carry out your daily activities. The program will also help you reduce the risks and complications of lung irritation and/or infection and promote social interaction and emotional well-being.

By attending classes, you will learn many things about your lungs. The exercise classes will help you be more active with less shortness of breath. Usually, you will be exercising both your arms and legs. The exercise classes will help you feel better and become stronger by helping you get into better shape.

Pulmonary rehabilitation will help you:

  • Alleviate shortness of breath with activity
  • Cope with feelings of fear or apprehension
  • Improve your quality of life
  • Increase exercise tolerance and strengthen breathing muscles
  • Increase your ability to function independently
  • Learn more about your disease, treatment options, coping strategies and breathing techniques
  • Maintain health behaviors
  • Recognize, treat and resist respiratory infection and flare-ups
  • Reduce and control breathing difficulties
  • Reduce exacerbations and hospitalizations

Who could benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation?

You can benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation if you have had:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • emphysema
    • chronic bronchitis
  • cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • interstitial lung disease
    • sarcoidosis
    • pulmonary fibrosis
  • lung surgery
  • muscular dystrophy
  • and other lung diseases

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Lungs are the main organ of the body’s respiratory system. When we breathe, our lungs absorb oxygen which is transported to and the all parts of our body, harmful carbon dioxide is removed from our system, keeping our body healthy and running. In recent years, due to several lifestyle and environmental changes, our respiratory health is suffering greatly, giving rise to a many acute as well as chronic and long-term lung diseases.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, occupational lung diseases, bronchitis, and pulmonary hypertension are among the most common chronic lung diseases. Children, the elderly, and those with weak immune system are especially vulnerable to the chronic lung diseases. Globally asthma affected approximately 339 million  people, according to the World Health Organization. Even the number of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also increasing. It has affected 384 million  people worldwide.

There are several factors contributing to the increased risk of developing chronic lung diseases. Some of them are:

  • Smoking: Smoking causes damage to the airways and the small air sacs in the lungs which can cause lung disease. People who do not smoke but are exposed to secondhand smoke inhale many of the same poisonous substances and can develop chronic lung disease.
  • Air pollution: According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is second tobacco epidemic and is responsible for 7 million  deaths worldwide each year. Exposure to harmful air pollutants not only damages the lung function and causes chronic lung diseases but also causes inflammation.
  • Burning fuel: People who are exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking in poorly ventilated homes are more likely to develop chronic lung diseases.
  • Genetics: People with genetic conditions are also at the risk of developing lung diseases. For example: Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency effects the lungs and can cause COPD.

Warning signs of chronic lung disease

Chronic lung diseases can be extremely dangerous to one’s health, so understanding the symptoms is critical. Though symptoms may vary in different chronic lung disease but there are certain symptoms which are commonly seen in all the patients are persistent breathlessness, cough, wheeze, chest infections, chest pain, mucus production, and fatigue.

Anybody experiencing any of the warning signs should immediately visit a doctor.

What are the preventive measures against chronic long term lung disease?

  • Eat right- Diet has a significant impact on lung health and can aid in its maintenance. To protect the lungs people should consume citrus fruits, vegetables, and antioxidant-rich foods.
  • Strengthen the lungs-People are advised to do breathing exercises because they help to improve the capacity of the lungs and increase the oxygen in the blood. All of this protects the lungs from developing chronic lung diseases.
  • Regular health checkups- As lung diseases can go unnoticed until they are severe, regular health checkups can help prevent them.
  • Quit smoking- As smoking is a major risk factor for developing chronic lung diseases. So, to protect the lungs, it is best to avoid smoking.
  • Proper ventilation- As exposure to fumes from burning cooking fuel in poorly ventilated areas increases the risk, it is critical to ensure that a place is well ventilated before burning cooking fuels.
  • Reduce exposure to outdoor pollution- Unless necessary, avoid going outside because prolonged exposure to air pollution is harmful to lung health.

Treatment options available for chronic long- term lung disease

  • Medications- A variety of medications can be used to treat the symptoms and complications of long-term lung disease. People suffering from early-stage lung diseases (COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary arterial hypertension) are often prescribed long term medications daily to control and manage their symptoms, thereby preventing the progression of the disease. Combination medications, inhaled steroids and short-acting bronchodilator inhalers are some of the common medications, however they should only be taken after consulting adoctor.
  • Therapy- Along with an appropriate medical treatment plan, additional therapies may provide relief to people suffering from chronic lung disease. For example, oxygen therapy, where extra oxygen is provided to the body, can be helpful for patients with lung disease.
  • Lung transplant- Lung transplantation remains the pivotal treatment option once all the possible conservative treatments are exhausted and disease is irreversible. It involves a surgical procedure that helps replace a diseased or failing lung with a healthy one from a deceased donor. Aside from the underlying pulmonary or cardiopulmonary disease, the main selection criteria for transplant candidates are age, mobility, nutritional and muscular condition, and concurrent extrapulmonary disease.

People who have tried medications or other treatments, but whose conditions have not improved sufficiently are candidates for a lung transplant. Depending on the criteria, a lung transplantation is performed and can successfully improve the patient’s quality of life (e.g., in COPD or emphysema) and/or prolong life expectancy (e.g., in cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and pulmonary arterial hypertension).

The treatment protocol for each chronic lung disease varies depending on its type and spread, therefore patients are advised to work closely with doctor to determine what treatment works best for them. The best way to manage symptoms is to monitor lung disease and collaborate with the doctor.



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In today’s lifestyle we have lost the understanding of the pivotal role breathing has on our body. Breathing provides oxygen to produce energy and maintain normal metabolism.

Exhaling carbon dioxide helps in maintaining pH levels in the blood. Deep breathing activates the relaxation response and reduces blood pressure and heart beat. This helps in reduction of stress. Proper breathing has shown to boost the immune system by increasing oxygenation, and improving mental health.

Our body controls breathing through a complex interplay between the respiratory centre in the brain and the muscles. The respiratory centre is located in the medulla oblongata and pons regions of the brainstem. It receives input from sensory receptors in the body and regulates the rate and depth of breathing. The respiratory centre receives signals from chemoreceptors in the blood and the brain, which monitor the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH in the body. If the levels of these substances change, the respiratory centre adjusts the rate of breathing accordingly. The respiratory centre sends signals to the motor neurons that control the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, which regulate the volume of air in the lungs and the rate of breathing. The process of breathing is regulated by a feedback loop, where the rate and depth of breathing are adjusted based on the body’s need for oxygen and the levels of carbon dioxide and pH in the body.

There are various breathing patterns, each with a unique impact on the body. Some of the most common types include: Diaphragmatic breathing which involves breathing deeply into the diaphragm, expanding the abdomen, and filling the lungs with air. Another is controlled breathing which refers to techniques used to regulate the rate and depth of breathing, such as slow, deep breathing or breath-holding. Whereas mouth breathing refers to breathing through the mouth rather than the nose, and can impact the body’s ability to filter and humidify inhaled air. Shallow breathing involves taking shallow breaths that do not fully expand the lungs, and can be a sign of stress or anxiety. Rapid breathing is when the rate of breathing increases, can be a symptom of a variety of medical conditions, including panic attacks, asthma, and heart problems. It’s interesting to know Clavicular breathing is a type of shallow breathing that involves only the upper chest, and can occur as a result of stress or tension. The most famous Yogic breathing is type of breathing which involves various techniques used in yoga and meditation, including pranayama, which involves controlled breathing to promote physical and mental well-being.

Different activities and situations may require different breathing patterns. Diaphragmatic breathing involves using the diaphragm, a muscle at the bottom of the ribcage, to control the flow of air into the lungs. To practice diaphragmatic breathing, lie down on your back, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, and breathe deeply, focusing on moving your belly up and down as you inhale and exhale. Whereas slowing down the rate of breathing and taking deep breaths can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. To practice slow and deep breathing, inhale slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth, focusing on the sensation of your breath. On the other hand, breathing through the nose can help filter, warm, and moisten the air before it enters the lungs, which can improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory infections. Pursed-lip breathing involves exhaling through pursed lips, like you’re blowing out a candle. It can help improve lung function and reduce shortness of breath in individuals with lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In general, the correct way to breathe is the one in which you feel comfortable and allows you to take deep breaths without strain. If you have a medical condition that affects your breathing, it is important to consult a doctor for specific guidance.

Advantages of proper breathing are many like Improved oxygenation, reduced stress and anxiety, increased energy levels, better posture, improved focus and concentration, reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders, improved digestion, enhanced athletic performance, better sleep quality, boosted immune system, etc.

As we all know, yoga and deep breathing helps calm the nervous system. The breath aspect of yoga is called ‘pranayama’. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word which means "regulation of breath." It is a type of yogic breathing that involves controlled breathing exercises to promote physical and mental well-being.

In pranayama, the focus is on controlling the breath through specific techniques, such as slow and deep breathing, breath-holding, and alternate nostril breathing. These techniques are believed to help regulate the flow of prana, or life force energy, in the body, promoting physical, mental, and emotional balance.

Pranayama is often used in conjunction with yoga postures (asanas) and meditation, as a means of calming the mind and reducing stress. It is believed to have several benefits, including improved respiratory function, increased oxygenation of the body, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved overall well-being. Pranayama should only be practiced under the guidance of a trained instructor, as improper technique can lead to health issues.

We can also improve our breathing patterns by regularly exercising, maintaining moderate weight, avoiding cigarettes and tobacco consumption, avoiding eating large meals, staying hydrated, etc.



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High blood pressure—hypertension—refers to blood pushing against the walls of the arteries with chronically elevated force. Blood pressure that rises above normal levels and remains high can lead to serious health problems including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The top number, known as the systolic pressure, represents the pressure within the arteries when the heart contracts while pumping blood. The bottom number, diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between beats and fills with blood.

Normal blood pressure is defined as less than 120 over less than 80. A person whose blood pressure runs between 120–129 over less than 80 is said to have elevated blood pressure, a classification that is used to further encourage taking preventive diet and lifestyle measures. Stage 1 hypertension is diagnosed for those with systolic numbers between 130 and 139 OR diastolic numbers between 80 and 89. Systolic numbers that are 140 or over OR diastolic at 90 or over is considered Stage 2 hypertension, which is a serious risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular events.

Blood pressure changes repeatedly throughout the day; it is lowest during sleep and increases upon waking. It also goes up when a person is excited, nervous, or physically active.

Hypertension is the most common risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the United States, affecting one in three adults, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Untreated hypertension can lead to arterial damage, which in turn can result in impaired blood flow to vital organs, potentially leading to heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, eye damage, or aneurysm. Fortunately, once identified, high blood pressure often can be controlled to some degree with changes in diet and lifestyle.

What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension is often called a “silent killer” because even when severe, it often has no obvious symptoms. Some patients report headaches, dizzy spells, or nosebleeds, but these symptoms usually don’t occur unless there has been a rapid, acute change in blood pressure, or until blood pressure has reached dangerous levels.

What Are the Causes of High Blood Pressure?

The risk of developing high blood pressure increases with age as arterial walls lose their elasticity. There can be many contributing factors, yet doctors often cannot identify an exact cause for high blood pressure, in which case the person is said to have “essential hypertension.” Potential contributing factors include but are not limited to:

  • By chronically activating the sympathetic nervous system, stress can cause the arteries to maintain a more rigid tone.
  • Excessive salt consumption: The sodium in salt can cause excess water retention, which expands blood volume and ultimately increases blood pressure.
  • A diet low in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These micronutrients help regulate the muscular structures of arterial walls and imbalances can influence arterial tone.
  • Insulin resistance: This condition can increase blood pressure by various mechanisms including increased systemic inflammation and sodium retention as a result of kidney damage.
  • Excessive alcohol intake, defined as drinking in excess of two drinks daily for men under age 65, or in excess of one drink daily for women or men over age 65.
  • Being overweight. The heart has to work harder to maintain circulation through excess adipose tissue.
  • Some prescription drugs, including steroids, birth control pills, decongestants, NSAIDS, and diet pills can raise blood pressure. Some over-the-counter medicines, such as those containing licorice root, ephedra, guaraná, kola nut, yerba maté, ginseng, and yohimbe may also raise blood pressure.

Some health problems including chronic kidney disease, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea may also cause blood pressure to rise.

According to the NHLBI, high blood pressure is more common, occurs at an earlier age, and is likely to be more severe among African Americans than in Caucasians or Hispanic Americans. Even young children can develop high blood pressure, but these cases often go undiagnosed. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimates that one in 25 youths ages 12 to 19 has hypertension, and one in 10 has elevated blood pressure. The principal cause is the ongoing epidemic of childhood obesity. It’s estimated that up to 30 percent of overweight and obese children have high blood pressure and that the problem is likely to worsen as the epidemic continues.

In some cases, blood pressure temporarily increases when it’s taken in the doctor’s office. This is due to a patient’s anxiety and is probably a conditioned response to seeing a doctor (“white-coat hypertension”) and, perhaps, to what physicians have told patients about the dangers of hypertension during previous visits. The best way to determine whether the elevated readings obtained in the doctor’s office are solely the result of white-coat hypertension is to check your blood pressure at home with a well-calibrated blood pressure monitor (they are widely available). If you decide to do this, check your blood pressure at least twice a day, at random times, and keep a log of your results to share with your doctor.

How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed?

Most people are familiar with blood pressure testing, which is performed using an inflatable arm cuff and a pressure-measuring gauge. As mentioned earlier, if your blood pressure is in the range of 120–129 mg Hg over less than 80 mmHg, a diagnosis of “elevated blood pressure” is considered. Blood pressure readings that range from 130–139 mmHg systolic OR 80–89 mmHg diastolic signal stage 1 hypertension. More severe hypertension—stage 2—is defined as a reading of 140 mmHg or higher or a diastolic reading of 90 mmHg or higher. Unless your blood pressure is extremely high, or you are having symptoms related to high blood pressure, your physician will probably ask you to return in a few days or weeks for a repeated set of blood pressure measurements before instituting therapy. A diagnosis of high blood pressure should not be based on a single high reading.

Several medical organizations, including the American Heart Association, recommend that anyone who has high blood pressure invest in a home monitor to perform regular blood pressure checks on their own and monitor response to treatment. This was proposed because only one-third of the 72 million Americans who have high blood pressure have it under adequate control. Frequent monitoring at home also provides doctors with documentation of your blood pressure outside the office and the effectiveness of prescribed medication, as well as the impact of lifestyle measures such as weight loss, exercise, and limiting salt intake.

What Is the Conventional Treatment?

Conventional treatment usually begins with recommendations to lose weight, get regular exercise, and quit smoking. Even a 10 percent weight loss can sometimes bring high blood pressure under control. Limiting intake of caffeine (in coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks) and alcohol can also help.

Medication usually is prescribed if blood pressure readings consistently exceed 140/90 (or 130/80 for diabetics or those with kidney disease), despite lifestyle changes. But even when drugs are prescribed, physicians usually recommend adhering to a low-salt diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruit, exercise, and stress reduction techniques, all of which can help keep the required dosage of medication to a minimum.

There are several different types of drugs used to treat high blood pressure. Here’s a rundown and brief description of how each type works:

  • Diuretics: Help the kidneys to flush excess water and salt from the body.
  • Beta blockers: Help the heart beat more slowly and less forcefully, and also relax arterial walls, together resulting in less pressure within blood vessels.
  • ACE inhibitors: ACE stands for angiotensin-converting-enzyme. This class of drugs inhibits the production of the hormone angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow, thereby increasing the pressure inside.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers: Protect blood vessels from the hormone angiotensin II so that the blood vessels can relax and widen.
  • Calcium channel blockers: Prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, allowing both to relax.
  • Alpha blockers: Reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely.
  • Alpha-beta blockers: Reduce nerve impulses and slow heartbeat.
  • Nervous system inhibitors: Increase nerve impulses from the brain to relax and widen blood vessels.
  • Vasodilators: Relax muscles in blood vessel walls.

Conventional physicians are also likely to recommend the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), developed at the NHLBI (pdf) based on a large-scale study that identified the foods that affect blood pressure. It emphasizes generous amounts of fruits and vegetables and low-fat or fat-free dairy products that provide adequate calcium. The diet is also relatively low in fat and sodium. DASH researchers have shown that diets rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and low in sodium (2,400 mg or less), play an important role in blood pressure control.

In addition to checking your blood pressure, a physician may recommend a urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate the electrical activity of your heart, and perhaps other tests for signs of heart disease.

What Therapies Does Dr. Weil Recommend for Those With High Blood Pressure?

To lower blood pressure naturally, Dr. Andrew Weil recommends the lifestyle measures and nutritional supplements described below. If those changes don’t help, he recommends you seek guidance from your physician about prescribing one or more of the conventional medications described above. Here are Dr. Weil’s tips on how to lower your blood pressure.

  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Avoid processed foods. These are the biggest sources of sodium in today’s diets.
  • Maintain optimal weight. Even losing a small amount of weight can lower blood pressure.
  • Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and biofeedback can help lower blood pressure. Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, such as walking, can help lower blood pressure.
  • Check your medicines. Discuss your current medications and their risks of increasing blood pressure with your doctor.

Nutrition and Supplements for High Blood Pressure

Dr. Weil recommends the DASH diet and the nutritional measures listed below:

  • Eat eight to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit per day.
  • Limit animal protein to six ounces per day.
  • Limit salt intake. If you are salt sensitive or have a family history of hypertension, reducing salt to about 1 teaspoon a day may help control your blood pressure.
  • Use garlic. It has a modest effect on blood pressure, potentially helping to relax blood vessels.
  • Consume four to five servings of nuts, seeds, and dry beans per week. This is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds, or 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans.
  • Eat plenty of fish. Include at least three servings of fish a week, emphasizing cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Take fish oil supplements if you cannot get enough omega-3-rich foods.
  • Take calcium and magnesium. Inadequate intake of both of these minerals has been associated with high blood pressure. Women should get between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium a day from all sources, while men need no more than 500–600 mg daily from all sources and probably do not need to supplement.
  • Take vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with mild to moderate hypertension.

Republished from DrWeil.com.

Sources

adc.bmj.com/content/101/11/998https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm

cdc.gov/bloodpressure/youth.htm

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179812/https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/key-minerals-to-help-control-blood-pressure

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8109864/

grassrootshealth.net/blog/daily-magnesium-supplementation-shown-reduce-arterial-stiffness/

Epoch Health articles are for informational purposes and are not a substitute for individualized medical advice. Please consult a trusted professional for personal medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. Have a question? Email us at [email protected]

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By Kirsten Antony R.N. ~

Just breathe.  These are two incredibly powerful words that can transform your health.  Seize the moment right now and just focus on your breathing.  Take an inhalation through your nose deep into the depths of your belly.  Feel the power of your inhalation.  Feel the power of your exhalation. Repeat as often as you need to until you attain a sense of relaxation.  It shouldn’t take long before you observe a shift in your energy.  Breath is life.  The Latin word spiritus (spirit) is translated to breath, life and soul.  Breath is life force energy and is the first action we take as we enter this world as a newborn and the last action we take at the end of our life.  It is so fundamental and simple, but can move heaven and earth.

From a physiological standpoint, on average, 12-16 breaths per minute is necessary to bring oxygen into our lungs and release carbon monoxide for cellular functioning.  Air enters through our nose or mouth through the throat, larynx, trachea and into the lungs.  The respiratory system works in conjunction with the autonomic nervous system (ANS).  The ANS works like autopilot and many people have breathing habits in which stressors have triggered the fight-or-flight response.  This can lead to shallow breathing.  We have to power to override the ANS by using breathwork, intentional breathing, to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and–digest) in which breathing slows and induces a relaxation response.  

One of the first steps in breathwork is to become aware of your current breathing pattern.  Many people breathe in ways that don’t fully engage their diaphragm, which in a relaxed state, is how we were made to breathe fully.  The diaphragm is a muscle at the base of the chest which you can feel move at the bottom of your ribcage when taking a deep breath.  Breathing should be relaxed and full, inhaling into the diaphragm in and out through the nose.  Breathing through the nose has many benefits.  The nose is a filter that helps capture unwanted guests to our respiratory system like allergens, viruses and bacteria.  Breathing through the nose produces nitric oxide which aids in this immune function as well as being a vasodilator which improves oxygen circulation.  The nose is also a natural humidifier and breathing through the nose can improve lung capacity and strengthen the diaphragm.  Take deep breaths, into the diaphragm, breathing through your nose.  Stress can easily shuffle a healthy pattern into chaos.  Breathwork can help inform our bodies back into homeostasis.

Breathwork can benefit the body in many ways.  It can help relieve pain, decrease stress, increase energy levels, improve the immune system, improve the digestive system, stimulate the lymphatic system along with decreasing blood pressure and heart rate.  Working with the breath can also have profound effects on the emotions.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the emotion of grief is associated with the lungs.  Deep breathing can assist with the release of the tightness and heaviness in the chest associated with sadness and grief.  Suppressed emotions can manifest into physical ailments.   Working with emotions through the breath can assist in transforming the energy into a healthy flow state help alleviate feelings of grief, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.  Reconnecting to our breath helps us reconnect with our inner world as well as our outer world and helps us become more adaptable to our daily dilemmas.  Breathwork helps to make the unconscious conscious.

There are types of breathwork that are practiced that can bring the practitioner to increased spiritual awareness and altered states of consciousness.  Practices such as Holotropic, Shamanic, Rebirthing, Transformational and Wim Hof are all methods of breathwork that are used therapeutically. Like with many exercises, there can be contraindications.   If you suffer from certain conditions please consult a physician before trying a new exercise.  Breathwork can be intense, so please never attempt a breathing exercise if it makes you uncomfortable.

Breathwork is also often used in conjunction with other holistic modalities to obtain a deep state of relaxation.  Practices such as Qigong, yoga, meditation, visualization, mindfulness and sound healing may all incorporate breathing exercises into a session.  Breathwork in conjunction with these practices encourage a deeper healing effect and can enhance just about any practice.

An example of incorporating two modalities is the use of toning and breath together. Toning is the use of the voice and vowel sounds to bring balance to the body.  The combination of the two can be very dynamic in moving energy.  To reconnect to the heart and lung center of the body, the sound “ah” is very powerful and is the sound of letting go.  If you feel stressed, anxious, depressed, or are grieving, this sound can help move stagnant energy.  Try the “ah” sound during exhalation and see how quickly you feel a change in emotions and state of relaxation.  You should feel it resonate in the chest area.  With practice, this can help repattern your energy to a state of homeostasis, but can be practiced at any time you need a shift of emotions.

Breathwork is a beautiful entry point to healing.  But know that healing isn’t necessarily a cure and healing isn’t always a destination point from A to B.  Healing is an expression and renewal into wholeness.  It is a spectrum of energies that flow from one state to another just like the inflow and outflow of the breath.  Healing should be playful and joyful.  Play with the breath and feel the energy of your emotions and where they reside.  Relax.  Breathe deeply.  Go inward.  Rest in this moment for each breath is life and each breath is a gift.

This content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician and/or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.

Kirsten Antony

Kirsten Antony

Kirsten Antony is a Registered Nurse and Holistic Health Care Practitioner.  She offers in-home services of foot care, reflexology, sound healing and healing touch to those in the Denver Metro Area.  For more information please visit: www.kirstenantony.net or www.facebook.com/soultosoleholistichealthcare or call 303-668-8992.

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5 ways to deal with emotional eating

Representational image. News18

Emotional eating is referred to as eating when you actually feel low and want to suppress your negative feelings. Emotional eating can make you feel guilty. It can lead to a cycle of consumption in excess, weight gain, and other related issues. It is common to sit on the couch and mindlessly eat a whole bag of chips after a hectic day. However, eating such foods can actually make you feel worse. Fortunately, there are ways to stop such emotional consumption that may have a negative impact on your diet in the long run. Let’s have a look at some of such foods:

Find other ways to deal with negative emotions: You should find a way to deal with negative emotions. Try writing a journal or doing some deep breathing exercises. You need to experiment with different activities as shifting your mind from reaching out to food to other ways is usually time-consuming.

Identify the root cause: Emotional eating may stem from small or bigger issues, too. These include fights with a friend or some chronic stress, depression, long-term anger, and other concerns. First, find the root cause and you may then go for counselling.

Practice Healthy lifestyle habits: When you’re relaxed, physically strong, and well-rested, you handle the ups and downs well. But when you are already exhausted, eating mindlessly is something that happens with most of us. Exercise and sleep, along with other healthy lifestyle habits, help us to get through difficult times without any emotional eating.

Choose foods that fight stress: Consume foods that help you to fight stress. You may drink hot tea as it contains helpful antioxidants. Matcha tea, green tea and white tea have an amino acid called L-theanine that is beneficial in reducing stress levels.

Connect with others: Close relationships and social activities are very helpful in dealing with stress. Spend some time with positive people who you like as this will help protect you from the negative impact of stress.

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Another day, another outrageous sleeping hack. If you’re like me and can’t instantly fall asleep at night you’re probably always on the lookout for sleeping hacks. However, I don’t know how I feel about taping my mouth before I fall asleep, even if it does health benefits. But, according to a neuropsychologist taping your mouth shut at night might be better for your health.

Apparently up to half of all adults breathe through their mouths. Most people do this because their noses are blocked or restricted, but mouth breathing was not nature’s intention and can actually have a negative impact on your health.

Why mouth breathing could be impacting your health

“It’s very simple: noses are made for breathing, and mouths are made for eating, with air inhaled through the nose warmer, humidified, and filtered making it better for your overall health,” Dr. Elisabeth Honinx says.

“When you inhale through your nose, the mucous membranes and hairs in the nose are able to trap particles and help to prevent allergic reactions. Nose breathing also produces nitric oxide which relaxes the walls of blood vessels, helping to increase blood flow in the lungs and increase the amount of oxygen passing through your body.”

In contrast, mouth breathers have to compensate for their inefficient breathing with a higher-than-average respiratory rate and volume to help get enough oxygen to their cells and organs which can lead to a myriad of other health problems:

  • Dry mouth - Mouth breathing can cause the mouth to become dry by reducing saliva production which can lead to bad breath, tooth misalignment and even tooth decay.

  • Respiratory problems - Mouth breathing can cause the throat to become dry and inflamed, leading to respiratory problems such as sinusitis and bronchitis. Some studies have also shown that chronic mouth breathing can lead to sleep apnea which has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues, diabetes and even premature death.

  • Poor sleep - Mouth breathing can disrupt sleep through snoring or discomfort, leading to poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue for you and any partners.

Why taping your mouth can help

Mouth taping is a technique that involves covering your mouth with tape or an adhesive patch while sleeping to help encourage nasal breathing. It’s natural to find nose breathing difficult to practise at the start, but once you get started it will be much easier to stick to the habit, and mouth-taping can help,” Honinx says.

She continues: It might take some time to get used to, so it’s best to be safe and test it for a short period since it might cause discomfort or slight panic when you start.”

Start by taking short naps using mouth tape to help yourself get used to the sensation – you could even set your alarm slightly earlier and have a doze while taped up.

Then, once you feel comfortable you can progress to wearing tape overnight. Practising how to breathe through your nose during the day can also help, with Dr. Honinx recommending daily breathing exercises to help you make it a habit.



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Earlier this month, we held the first inaugural Strong Women Wellbeing Summit in partnership with Fitbit. The theme? How to thrive in an uncertain world. ‘Oh, how pertinent,’ I hear you thinking. Well, we might not be able to control the rate of inflation, the goings on in Westminster or the war-hungry antics of certain world leaders, but better wellbeing is something we can work towards.

Wellbeing, at its very core, is about feeling good. It means having the energy to go about our day-to-day lives with reserves for the odd stressful event or speedy 10k. It’s having the mental bandwidth to concentrate and a positive mood that sees us able to socialise, work and relax without feeling pranged out.  

Who wouldn’t want to feel more well, especially now, when we’re constantly fighting off bad news, time suckers and screens? Read on for five simple tips that our brilliant Summit experts offered for living a happier, stronger, more focused life in 2023.  

Get up at the same time every day for more energy

Ahead of the Summit, we asked three Stylist staffers to track their sleep on a Fitbit. The idea was to find out their sleeping patterns and then have an expert look over the data to see what could be improved. Interestingly the one thing each of our panellists seemed to struggle with was waking up in the morning – for different reasons. Fliss, for example, is a new-ish mum who’s kept awake by her daughter crawling into bed with her. Ellen’s still recovering from years of eye-watering shift patterns and Zoe commutes between London and Aberdeen. Enough said. 

Three of our most tired staffers shared their sleeping habits with a sleep therapist.
Three of our most tired staffers shared their sleeping habits with a sleep therapist.

While they each received a bunch of personalised insights based on their Fitbit data, sleep therapist Natalie Pennicotte-Collier suggested that the single best thing everyone could do was to wake up at the same time every day (or six mornings a week) and actually get out of bed when your alarm goes off. Why? Because snoozing can lead to ‘junk sleep’ – the kind of restless, rubbish sleep that leaves you feeling drowsy throughout the day. 

You’re better off, Pennicotte-Collier told us, getting up when you intend to and getting into some sunlight. You can always go back to bed for a nap later on. 

Raised push-ups are better for you than the knees-down variation

Hands up if you always do push-ups on your knees. It’s an option PTs always offer during class workouts but you may have found it really hard to progress from knees to a full push-up. That’s because, Gauri Chopra explained: “When we’re doing a push-up, we want to think about a rod going from the base of the head, through the back to the sacrum,” she explained. The problem with doing the move on your knees, Chopra says, is that “it takes out the lever to help push you up and train you how to do a full push-up. Instead, try to do push-ups against a wall or raised surface.”

In other words, if your knees are on the floor, you’re cutting the journey between the top of the position to the floor in half – and that makes it really difficult to progress.

How to do a chair/box push-up:

  1. Place your hands on the chair or box, hands besides your chest (slightly wider)
  2. Step back so you’re in a plank, with hands under shoulders
  3. Keep pushing up through the hands to engage the core and retract the shoulders
  4. Slowly bend your elbows to bring your chest towards the box/chair
  5. Push back up

It doesn’t matter if your chest doesn’t meet the chair or box – the idea of this move is to work up to increasing depth. 

Five minutes of breathwork can significantly calm you down

It’s fair to say that before the Summit started, several members of the Strong Women team were feeling on edge. You just never know when it comes to live events – anything can happen. 

Fortunately, the first speaker to come onto the stage was breathwork facilitator Rebecca Moore. She got us all to close our eyes, sit with our feet grounded on the floor and then try the following simple breathing exercises:

Exercise one

  1. Place your hands over your belly
  2. Allow your belly to soften, as if it’s dropping into your hands
  3. Breathe slowly into the palms of your hands
  4. Release naturally
  5. Repeat twice

Exercise two

  1. Put your left hand on your chest, keeping the right hand on the belly
  2. Inhale, sending the breath into your right hand
  3. Take another inhalation to bring that breath into your chest 
  4. Steadily release the breath
  5. Repeat twice

Exercise three

  1. Inhale for four seconds
  2. Pause at the top for four
  3. Exhale for four seconds
  4. Repeat three times

Exercise four

  1. Lastly, inhale for four seconds
  2. Exhale for four seconds
  3. Pause at the bottom for four seconds
  4. Repeat three times

Need a little more guidance? The Fitbit Sense 2 smartwatch tracks stress and offers guided breathing techniques for calming down in next to no time.

Add beans to your rice to up your plant protein and fibre intake

We’re constantly being told to eat more fruit and veg, with Dr Tim Spector leading the charge to encourage people to eat 30 different plants a week. But plants go way beyond broccoli and apples. Seeds, nuts, legumes, pulses – they’re all brimming with fibre and they all count.

And one very simple way to increase your plant intake is to simply mix beans with your rice.

Registered dietitian and lecturer Tai Ibitoye told us that while we’re advised to eat 30g of fibre a day, most Brits are only getting around 18g. That can have dire consequences for gut health as a whopping 95% of our serotonin is made in the gut and 80% of the immune system is located there too.

Fibre has a number of benefits, including:

  • Increasing short-chain fatty acid production
  • Improving our mood and cognitive processes
  • Increased feelings of fullness and satiety 
bowl of rice and beans
Mixing beans into your rice is a simple way of upping your plant protein intake.

Ibitoye explained that upping your fibre intake even slightly can help to support blood sugar levels: “Soluble fibre forms a gel with water, which helps to slow down the entry of glucose to the bloodstream.”

And the soluble fibre superstars? Beans. One cup of black beans has 4.8g of soluble fibre. Add them to your regular rice and not only do you end up with a cheap, filling side dish that contains a minimum of 9g of fibre, but also plenty of protein. 

We all know that animal-based foods such as eggs, fish, poultry, red meat and dairy are ‘complete’ sources of protein. That means they contain all nine essential amino acids that we need to get from food in adequate quantities.

But it’s also more than possible to get complete vegan protein sources by combining various plants, such as beans and rice. They each contain the amino acids the other food is missing.  

Focus on feeling grateful for yourself, rather than always looking externally

Neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart specialises in neuroplasticity, the nervous system’s ability to change its activity in response to stress. “The way to get cortisol out of your body is by sweating it out physically, getting the negative emotions out by journaling or speaking to someone,” she told our audience.

While that might not come as a surprise to come, more interesting was her tip for getting the most out of journaling.

“What has built up my resilience more than anything is switching my focus from gratitude for external things (such as friends, family, career opportunities and travel) to internal factors (such as my creativity, vulnerability and ability to adapt),” she continued.  

“So now, when something stressful happens, through journaling I’m much more aware of what tools I have to help me to deal with the situation.”

If you tend to think about what you feel grateful for before bed, try to redirect the focus to your own attributes. Perhaps you handled a tricky situation at work and are thankful for your resilience. Maybe you’re thankful for prioritising rest over a brutal gym session. Or maybe you’re just grateful for the culinary skills that helped you put together a plate of beans on toast. Either way, doing that might well lead to feeling happier, calmer and more at peace. 

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When you breathe correctly, you pump cerebrospinal fluid into the brain to reduce stress and cure anxiety.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “just breathe through it.” When a situation is stressful, breathing deeply and evenly can help to cure anxiety and reduce stress. Why is that so? There’s a very important link between feeling calm, nasal breathing, better sleep, and brain health.

In Taoist philosophy, it’s taught that “The wise man/woman breathes from his/her heels.” Physically speaking, this phrase is a reference to the fact breathing deeply into the body is incredibly good for health. Today research is revealing how breathing affects the brain.

The human brain is bathed with crystal clear liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF carries oxygen and nutrients to brain cells while removing waste products. Recent studies using magnetic resonance imaging show a link between CSF flow and breathing.

In this article, we’ll explore the process of breathing and how it affects the brain.

Cerebrospinal Fluid–The Brain’s Life Blood

Perhaps the most important fluid in your body is the 250ml of cerebrospinal fluid that flows around a system of pipes in the brain called the ventricles. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced by the choroid plexus in the third ventricle, and from there it circulates through the brain via the ventricles and then to the spinal cord.

Each day the entire volume of CSF is replaced four times. During sleep, the blood-brain barrier relaxes to let CSF into the neurons and flush out the build-up from the day. This is a big reason why sleep is so important.

How Breathing Affects the Brain and CSF

A good night’s sleep is easier said than done for some, but there are ways to get better sleep by breathing consciously. Breathing influences CSF flow dynamics by changing pressure in the chest. Recent studies have shown how breath can affect the flow of CSF directed through the ventricles of the brain. This is important because you need to make sure your brain gets the most CSF it can.

If you sleep badly or wake up feeling tired or anxious, then it might indicate a sleep disorder. Conditions such as snoring, sleep apnea, and other issues are known to affect CSF flow to the brain.

Studies show that pressure in the chest influences the pressure in vessels like arteries and veins. It was previously thought that changes in CSF flow responded to arterial pressure during deep inhaling, however, it was recently discovered that the direct change of pressure in the chest during breathing is likely responsible.

Diaphragmatic breathing affects the pressure of the veins around the thoracic vertebrae (located in the mid-back), and the veins in the chest respond to these changes in pressure by pumping CSF into the spinal cord.

Breathing Shifts CSF Via Pressure in Chest Veins

The veins around the chest vertebrae column transmit pressure upwards to the brain. They make up a sprawling network of tinier veins that extend up into the epidural venous system of the spinal canal called the venous plexus.

During inhalation and exhalation, the chest rises and falls. The change in pressure flows upward to the CSF dynamics around the brain. Here’s how it works:

Breath in (inspiration): Lowers chest pressure and empties the venous plexus. CSF flows down the spine.

Breath out (expiration): Increases chest pressure and fills the venous plexus, pushing CSF up the spine into the head.

As you can see, breathing conducts a rhythm of flow of CSF up and down the spinal cord.

Deep Breathing and the Brain

Most veins in the body have valves to stop blood from flowing backward. However, the thoracic plexus is valveless, and any pressure will cause a flow in either direction. More pressure from deep breathing causes more CSF to flow into the brain.

2013 study showed that the depth of breathing can even change the rate of CSF movement through the brain, with deeper breaths pushing CSF further up into the brain. Researchers also tested breath holding and found it also produces increased CSF flow.

Pressure changes of CSF likely then push CSF into the lymphatic system, so with each breath, CSF is flowing into your brain. The body then exits it into the lymphatic system to be met by the immune system.

Easy Breathing Tips for Better Sleep and Stress Reduction

Now we know how breathing bathes the brain in CSF, it’s important to know that how you breathe during your waking hours will be reflected in your breathing pattern while you slumber. Priming your body for good breathing during sleep may help nourish the brain in CSF.

For better sleep and a healthier brain, and to reduce stress and anxiety, practice the following breathing exercises.

Step 1: Deep Breath to Reduce Stress

  • Lay on the floor with two hands over your stomach.
  • Seal the tongue firmly to the roof of the mouth, seal the lips and breathe deeply through the nose.
  • Breathe deeply into the diaphragm. Your hands should rise as the stomach expands. Breathe in for 4 seconds.
  • Take a slow exhale for 8 seconds.
  • Continue for 30 breaths and repeat 3 times.

Step 2: Expand Your Breathing Capacity

  • Repeat the steps above, and when you reach your capacity, make a conscious effort to extend your breathing.
  • Lengthen the exhale to 10-12 seconds.
  • Feel the rush of CSF to your brain. As you expand you feel comfortable in slow, deep breathing.

Step 3: Improve Your Spinal Posture

Remember, CSF moves up the spine into the brain as you breathe. Your spinal posture will influence that pathway. Here’s an exercise to increase core mobility with standing Chi Gung. Hold the following posture for two minutes:

  • Draw the body’s weight to the middle of the feet, slightly away from the heels.
  • Extend your arms in front of the body.
  • With every breath as the chest expands, shift your body weight forward, taking additional weight off the heels.
  • To balance the forward motion, extend the spine and stretches through the heels.
  • Ensure the downward stretch and forward motion are exactly balanced so that there is no visible movement of the heels.
  • To an observer the heels appear to be in contact with the ground, but internally they are engaged in a downward stretch with each breath.
  • Feel the stability of the spine and visualize CSF flowing up the spine.

Your brain depends on deep breathing patterns to help bath it in cerebrospinal fluid. Using your diaphragm to maximize pressure shifts in the chest cavity will help to boost the flow of CSF to the brain.

Republished from GreenMedInfo.com.

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Many people who contract COVID-19 make a full recovery weeks after infection. But for those who don’t, the side effects can last months and even years. Last year it was reported that around two million Britons were living with post-Covid syndrome - more commonly known as long Covid.

She said: “Apart from the well-known symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness, and brain fog, long Covid symptoms can also include pins and needles, dizziness, joint pain, tinnitus, earache, heart palpitations, skin rashes, as well as changes to smell and taste and loss of appetite and nausea.

“Some studies have also reported hair loss, headaches/migraines, muscle pains and coughing as long Covid symptoms.

“Changes in your menstrual cycle, diarrhoea and stomach pain are others.

“All of these symptoms can be debilitating and affect your daily life especially if you have multiple symptoms, and it can take weeks or months, or sometimes years to recover.”

DON'T MISS

Healthily ran a survey of 1,000 women with long Covid in 2022 in order to establish the prevalence of certain symptoms.

Of these women almost half (49 percent) said they experienced low sex drive as a result, and 60 percent said they were suffering from “disrupted” sleep.

The most common symptom was fatigue, which was reported by 76 percent of participants.

While 74.5 percent said it affected their periods, with this rising to 86.5 percent for women aged between 25 and 40.

READ MORE: Three drinks that can help you fall asleep and boost sleep quality - expert

Low mood and brain fog were also common symptoms, experienced by 66 and 50 percent respectively.

Worryingly though, half said they felt their problems were “not taken seriously” and 48 percent said this extended to medical professionals.

A further 65 percent said they were not offered any tests for long Covid.

Professor Baker warned that there is no one-size-fits all treatment for long Covid, but specific symptoms can be addressed by different treatments and therapies.

“For example, people with long COVID breathing problems can do specific breathing exercises or see a specialist lung physiotherapist for therapy,” she said.

“Those with brain fog may have to stick to an easy-to-follow daily routine, use memory aids, do brain exercises and ask family and friends for support.

“Often there is a sense of loss of control from coronavirus, so find ways you may regain control.”

If you think you have long Covid it is worth seeing your GP.



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Whether you're driving the children to after-school clubs, trying to become a partner at a major law firm or both, it's hard to find people who don't consider themselves super-busy. Even retirees complain of having too much to do. But the dark side to our increasingly frenetic pace of life is the amount of stress we are putting ourselves under.

A work crisis hits, the wi-fi goes down, the plane gets delayed and we are left feeling mad – and producing more of the stress hormone cortisol than our body needs.

To be healthy, you've got to calm down.

Today, in the second part of my series giving you tips on how to live a longer and healthier life, I will explain why stress is so bad for us.

Candle meditation is great way for beginners to de-stress

Candle meditation is great way for beginners to de-stress

You might have wondered why it is that when you finally take a break, you catch a cold or the flu? Well, that's because every stomach-churning, stressful moment we put ourselves through is damaging our defences.

Our immune system is constantly under attack and most of the time we stay healthy because the trillions of cells inside the body are always at work to keep us safe.

But when our bodies encounter too many chemicals – and that includes the hormones released during periods of excess stress – our defence system, which is quite strong, can falter if put under too much pressure, and this malfunction results in prolonged inflammation.

As I explained in yesterday's Daily Mail, when any kind of threat – bacteria, toxins, trauma, even extremes of temperature – injures our tissues, they become 'inflamed' as part of the immune response.

This is usually only temporary and the inflammation is crucial in triggering the process by which the body protects and heals itself.

But in some situations, the inflammation lasts too long and can result in DNA damage because too many defence cells (white blood cells) heed the body's call and join the fight.

Sometimes these cells attack our own organs or otherwise healthy tissues and cells.

Those attacks age our tissues, eroding our overall health and can, in some cases, lead to autoimmune conditions such as coeliac disease or multiple sclerosis. Researchers call this reaction 'inflammaging' (inflammation plus ageing).

HOW STRESS ACCELERATES THE AGEING PROCESS

In as little as 30 minutes, anxious thoughts can weaken your immune response

In as little as 30 minutes, anxious thoughts can weaken your immune response

When stressed, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. In short spurts, cortisol limits inflammation. However, if you are continually stressed and develop high levels of cortisol, your body adjusts to the high level of this hormone and it ultimately leads to an increase in inflammation – and so, inflammaging. This lowers your ability to fight infections.

In as little as 30 minutes, anxious thoughts can weaken your immune response.

The raised cortisol involved in chronic stress also correlates with increased appetite and weight gain. It can lead to binge-eating unhealthy snacks or excessive alcohol consumption, both of which can cause nutritional deficiencies and a further weakened immune system. That's why maintaining cortisol balance is essential for health.

Cortisol is your body's emergency department, there for momentary crises but not a substitute for daily good habits. Managing stress by reducing its triggers – toxic thoughts, places, people – can help unlock the secrets to better immune health and lowered inflammation.

Everyone experiences stress differently, so you can decrease it in a variety of ways, including breathing exercises and meditation.

Try these proven techniques to help deal with it.

EXTINGUISH THE FIRES INFLAMING YOU

BREATHE LIKE A LION 

Called simhasana in Sanskrit, the deep-breathing technique Lion's Breath can help relax your face and jaw muscles, relieve stress and improve your cardiovascular function.

Sit, leaning forward slightly, with your hands on your knees or the floor. Spread your fingers as wide as possible across your knees.

Inhale through your nose. Open your mouth wide, stick out your tongue and point it down toward your chin.

Exhale forcefully, carrying the breath across the root of your tongue. While exhaling, make a 'ha' sound from deep within your abdomen.

Breathe normally for a few moments. Repeat up to seven times.

Meditation turns off what psychologists call the 'monkey mind', that constant loop of anxiety and worries that creates mental chaos. When you meditate, you sweep that disorder away. The goal is to become unseen, unreachable – even if only for ten minutes a day.

Your body already has the tools to meditate and uses them. The reticular activating system (RAS) – a network of neurons located in the brain – determines how you perceive and react to the external world. In broad terms, it controls your consciousness, gatekeeping all the data you collect through your senses.

For example, in a loud restaurant, with a friend or partner, you can tune out all the extraneous noise to concentrate on your conversation. That's your RAS in action. It allows your mind to work in the background, keeping your systems active without bombarding them with constant sensory input.

Your RAS creates an intentional filter for your focus of choice. It sorts through the sensory input and displays only what's relevant. You can harness the power of your RAS to concentrate on the moment.

TRY STARING AT A FLICKERING CANDLE 

Candle meditation is great for beginners. Light a candle and dim the lights so the flame becomes the focal point of the room. Place the candle at eye level on a table, and sit in front of it, 2ft away. Keep your back straight to allow your diaphragm a full range of motion.

Set a timer for ten or 15 minutes. Take a couple of deep, slow breaths. Relax and release any tension in your body.

Focus solely on the flame. Observe as it flickers, changes shape, emits a halo and flashes a variety of colours. If your mind wanders, don't worry. Just lead it back to the flame.

You may have to corral your mind several times. The more you practise it, the easier it becomes.

MASTER THE ART OF DEEP BREATHING 

When you breathe in, blood cells receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide, the waste product you exhale

When you breathe in, blood cells receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide, the waste product you exhale

When you breathe in, blood cells receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide, the waste product you exhale. When you take a deep breath, air fills your lungs and your lower belly rises. But many of us don't breathe deeply enough and this limits the diaphragm's range of motion, resulting in the bottom part of the lungs not receiving enough oxygenated air.

You may feel out of breath or anxious as a result. Breathing problems can also cause fatigue, panic attacks and other physical and emotional problems because they disrupt the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Deep breathing, on the other hand, can lower or stabilise your blood pressure while also slowing your heartbeat. To do this, you need to breathe deeply and slowly.

4-7-8: A METHOD YOU CAN COUNT ON

This exercise naturally relaxes your nervous system. Until you master it, do it seated with your back straight. After that, you can do it while lying in bed.

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth. Completely exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound again, to a count of eight. Repeat three times.

MAKE SURE YOU GET A GOOD NIGHT'S KIP

Sleep might not feel like a priority sometimes, but a lot of critical activity takes place in your body when you rest, including the production of molecules that fight infections. Sleep is just as important as food and water for the best physical and mental health.

Fewer than seven hours risks all the negative outcomes you can imagine: while more than seven hours gives your body enough time to reset.

The threefold increase in sleep deficits in recent decades has contributed to the obesity epidemic, partly due to the disruption of hormones – including those that govern hunger – that occurs when our sleep is interrupted.

Unfortunately, obesity impairs the immune system, which in turn opens the door to infections and disease.

A few nights of bad sleep won't destroy your overall health but a chronic pattern of poor sleep can lead to increased calorie intake, weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other problems.

Think of a road with ruts carved over centuries by countless wheels. If one vehicle goes slightly east, it won't change the ruts. If several thousand cars drive east, they'll form a new rut that will take future drivers to a different destination.

When it's time for you to sleep, your circadian clock sets the process in motion.

At various points in your sleep-wake cycle, your brain also releases a variety of hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol, histamine and norepinephrine, which counter sleep to help you wake up, but if you are under chronic stress, your body produces too much of these hormones, especially cortisol.

Studies show that sleep deprivation harms memory, motor skills and the brain. But you have the power to change all that.

The following daily habits will lead to better rest at night:

GET SOME SUN

Daylight has a strong influence on circadian rhythms. Daily exposure to sunlight will help synchronise your internal clock.

BURN ENERGY

Exercise benefits cardiovascular health and sleep quality. You don't need to be a triathlete to reap the benefits. Even a moderate walk can help and it's also a great way to get some daylight exposure.

LIMIT ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS

Turn off the TV an hour before you want to be asleep. Dim indoor lighting with a dimmer or use a low-watt lamp.

If you spend too much time in front of a computer screen or smartphone, consider getting eyeglasses that protect you from blue light, as it can cause retinal damage.

AVOID PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS

This includes caffeine, alcohol and a wide range of medications containing psychoactive substances. Talk to your doctor about any medications that might be interfering with your rest.

JUST RELAX

It sounds simple, but in our go-go-go world we often forget to relax. A warm bath or yoga can help you unwind, as can meditation and deep breathing.

Before bed, avoid intense reading material. You want to unplug rather than activate your intellect.

© Dr Leo Nissola 2023

  • Adapted by Libby Galvin from The Immunity Solution: Seven Weeks To Living Healthier And Longer by Dr Leo Nissola, to be published by Countryman Press on February 10 at £23.99. To order a copy for £21.59 (offer valid to February 12, 2023; UK p&p free on orders over £20), visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.

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Melis Yilmaz Balban is part or a researcher team at Stanford University that studied several different types of stress reduction techniques. They found that people who engage in cyclic sighing breathing exercises see a greater reduction in stress than those engaging in mindfulness meditation.

Graphical abstract. Credit: Cell Reports Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100895

Graphical abstract.
Photo: Cell Reports Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100895

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Whoop has teased, in an email, a few upcoming software updates including strength training features, breathing exercises and more.

The company has previously stated that they will prioritise software over hardware in the near future. And they’ve been hard at work keeping their word. We are therefore not expecting Whoop 5.0 to land before 2024.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Check our our full review of Whoop 4.0. The device is one-of-a-kind in terms of the breadth of its recovery insights. This ultimately assists you in training smarter. Other brands are attempting to replicate Whoop’s recovery stats, but they still have a long way to go.


Long-term trends, 2 week storage, more journal and strain logging options

The most recent crop of improvements includes weekly, monthly, or 6-month views of your Sleep, Strain, and Recovery trends. This makes it easier to spot what you are doing right and where you are going wrong.

When you are unable to use your phone or bluetooth, your WHOOP will now automatically store up to two weeks of information. Your saved data will be uploaded once you reconnect to wifi or cell service. If you are still using WHOOP 3.0 or an older firmware version, you will only have a 3-day data capacity.

Ice Skating, Handball, Paintball, Percussive Massage, and Air Compression have also been added to the app. This gives you more options for logging strain.

Hopefully, you’ve been making full use of the Journaling feature. It is extremely beneficial in terms of determining how your habits are influencing your recovery. The most recent update includes the ability to log vacation time, cold showers, zinc, calcium, and a few others.


Strength training, breathing exercises and more

More interesting is a larger firmware refresh expected probably in the next month or two. The company has previously said the update will “give users additional reason to wear WHOOP 24/7”.

We suspected it had something to do with strength training. To remind, Whoop recently acquired PUSH. We reviewed their fitness band back in 2017. It does take some time to learn how to interpret the data, but once that is done, the wearable is very useful. It removes the guesswork from lifting.

Now these features are coming to Whoop.

The app will be able to measure the impact of your strength training workouts and the strain they place on your body, as shown in the screenshot below. The software will presumably count your reps and sets, as well as calculate tonnage and cardio versus muscular impact of your workout.

Whoop weight lifting

Breathing exercises are another feature that will be added in the near future: According to Whoop, they were created in collaboration with neuroscientist and human performance expert Dr. Andrew Huberman. There will be many to choose from, and they will focus on enabling better sleep, reducing stress, and assisting you in remaining alert.

Finally, you can expect an updated Home Screen that will allow you to see more of your health and fitness data at a glance. There will also be additional activities to track, as well as new insights.

Whoop breathing exercises

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A community group in north Norfolk is helping people to improve their health, not through the usual routine of push-ups, pull-ups or crunches - but through singing.

The Singing for Breathing group meets on Monday afternoons at St Joseph's Church Hall on Cromer Road in Sheringham.

It is run by an organisation called Playing for Cake, which was set up by Sheringham woman Tina Blaber.

North Norfolk News: People doing breathing exercises at a Singing for Lung Health group in Sheringham.People doing breathing exercises at a Singing for Lung Health group in Sheringham. (Image: Sonya Duncan)

Ms Blaber, 56, said: "We meet and have coffee and tea, then we have an hour of singing.

"They are all breathing exercises, all based around good breathing, from the belly, the diaphragm, exercising the support muscles.

"We get people working their abs," she added.

Ms Blaber worked with the pulmonary rehabilitation team at Kelling Hospital to develop the course.

This was in line with work going on within the local Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) to help join NHS and community-based services, so people can help themselves stay well and relieve pressures on the NHS.

North Norfolk News: Tina Blaber leading a Singing for Breathing group in Sheringham.Tina Blaber leading a Singing for Breathing group in Sheringham. (Image: Sonya Duncan)

Ms Blaber became a musician after a career in local government, community development and research into environmental sciences at the UEA.

Her own music career began during time off work in 2007.

"I started playing music, self-taught, when she was off work for six months. I dusted down an old guitar in the loft and started teaching myself again."

She initially formed Playing for Cake as a band  - the name inspired by their reward for performing in cafes and teahouses - but when her bandmate was diagnosed with early onset dementia, and had to go to a care home, she set up the community group and gave it the same name.

In 2017, she trained with the British Lung Health Foundation, where she learned about singing for health.

"It has taken over my life really. It's been so rewarding. I meet the most amazing people at the Singing for Health group," she said. 

"We have a wonderful team of volunteers who help so much. We couldn't do it all without them."

North Norfolk News: People doing breathing exercises at a Singing for Lung Health group in Sheringham.People doing breathing exercises at a Singing for Lung Health group in Sheringham. (Image: Sonya Duncan)

As well as the Monday group, there are also community sessions, called Singing for Health, Wellbeing and Fun, which take place on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Sacred Heart Hall in North Walsham and every Wednesday at Sheringham Community Centre.

More information about the sessions can be found at playingforcake.uk.

North Norfolk News: People at a Singing for Breathing group, run by Playing for Cake, in Sheringham.People at a Singing for Breathing group, run by Playing for Cake, in Sheringham. (Image: Sonya Duncan)

Singing for Breathing

Ms Blaber works with the Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Team at Kelling Hospital, Active Norfolk and Asthma and Lung UK to bring Singing for Lung Health (SFLH) services to north Norfolk. 

The current Singing for Breathing course, which lasts 10 weeks, is full, but to register interest for the next course you can email Ms Blaber at [email protected]

In the Singing for Breathing group, the songs used are specifically tailored around breathing exercises using established Singing for Lung Health techniques.  

Some gentle movement is also encouraged as part of warm-ups and throughout the session to help increase general health benefits and physical activity. 

Although sessions are designed for participants with lung conditions and breathing difficulties, the course is also ideal for people with anxiety, stress or depression. 

Kelling Hospital also run the North Norfolk Breathe Easy Support Group which meets at Sheringham Community Centre monthly.

North Norfolk News:

This story is part of the North Norfolk News' 'Help at Hand' campaign, which shines a light on people and groups in our community that help others in some way.

If you have an idea for a story in this series, email the NNN's community editor Stuart Anderson at [email protected] or call him on 07584311481. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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PRESS RELEASE

Published January 27, 2023

Pocatello, ID - Over the past few years, rapid advances in medicine, progressive specialization, and technology have allowed individuals to see more disconnected and fragmented parts of a whole, with very few medical professionals taking a holistic patient-centered approach. Integrated Counseling and Wellness believes in reconnecting the disparate parts of an individual, family, and community to create long-term wellness, healthy lifestyles, and optimal mental health. The team uses empirically-based interventions to make treatment plans that address each patient's healing and wellness goals. While they embrace holistic treatment, they may use one of the therapies if clinically indicated to help patients on their journeys.

Mental health issues are common, leading many people to lose motivation in their daily lives. They can become overwhelming, making it hard to know how to cope or react in productive, healthy ways. Although most people go through periods of increased stress and anxiety, various factors contribute to being wrapped up in thoughts and emotions. Fortunately, Integrated Counseling and Wellness Pocatello empower patients to live calmer and more peaceful lives. The team treats patients with anxiety, ADHD, addiction, depression, behavioral/eating disorders, stress, PTSD/trauma, and many more. They use mindfulness, breathing exercises, psycho-education, and other integrated techniques to create a safe space, support system, compassionate therapeutic perspectives, and patient confidence.

Families and couples undergoing trials of grief, anger, guilt, or challenging feelings that cause conflict and a mental cloud can visit the clinic for couples counseling and family therapy. Counselors help spouses and children struggling with substance abuse, dealing with financial/behavioral problems, going through mental illness in the home, living with special needs family members, and grieving the loss of a loved one. Through family therapy and pre-marital, marriage, infidelity, divorce, and disruptive behavior counseling, spouses/partners and families can get through tough times, open lines of communication, protect their futures, learn about healthy conflict resolution techniques, and improve relationships.

Besides family, couples, and wellness services, the clinic offers online psychiatric medication management. Psychiatric nurse practitioners use evidence-based treatments to prescribe mental health medication while working collaboratively to give the correct diagnoses, extensive resources, and guidance for calmness and symptom reduction. Call (208) 747-8050 or visit integratedcounselingandwellness.com/locations/pocatello to schedule an appointment. Integrated Counseling and Wellness is located at 155 S 2nd Ave Suites E, Pocatello, ID, 83201, US.

Media Contact

Company Name
Integrated Counseling and Wellness
Contact Name
Brandon Browning
Phone
(208) 747-8050
Address
155 S 2nd Ave Suites E
City
Pocatello
State
ID
Postal Code
83201
Country
United States
Website
integratedcounselingandwellness.com/

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Recovering from Plastic Surgery: Tips for Staying Active and Healthy
Recovering from Plastic Surgery: Tips for Staying Active and Healthy

Recovering from Plastic Surgery: Tips for Staying Active and Healthy : Recovering from plastic surgery can be a complicated process. But following the proper steps can help you recover quickly and safely. Staying active and healthy ensures a speedy recovery and avoids potential complications.

This blog provides tips to help you stay active and healthy during your plastic surgery recovery. By following these tips, you can return to your routine as soon as possible.

Postoperative Guidelines

After your plastic surgery in Dallas, it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for recovery. This includes specific instructions on how to take care of your incisions and physical activity limits. Be sure to follow their advice to ensure the best possible outcome.

In general, a surgeon can recommend the following:

  • Avoid aggressive exercise
  • Adequate rest
  • Wash incisions properly
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity
  • Do not smoke
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Stay active during recovery

You must maintain a healthy activity level during the healing process. Gentle exercise can help speed healing and improve muscle strength and flexibility. Also, staying active and moving enough prevents blood clotting and reduces inflammation. But, it is crucial to listen to your body and avoid any type of exercise that causes pain or discomfort. Here are some ways to stay active during the healing process:

  • Walking- Walking can help strengthen muscles and improve mobility in the operated area. It improves blood circulation and increases oxygenation to the body.
  • Stretching- Stretching can help you recover from plastic surgery, especially if muscles or joints have been affected. Help improve flexibility and relieve stress.
  • Breathing exercises- Simple daily breathing exercises can reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Strengthening exercises- They can help you recover from plastic surgery, particularly if muscles in the operated area have been affected.
  • Yoga- Yoga is a great way to stimulate the body and promote healing.

Rushing through exercise can prolong the recovery process. Give the body time to heal correctly and avoid overdoing it as much as possible. Follow your surgeon’s instructions and consult your surgeon if you have any questions.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during recovery reduces the risk of complications and speeds up the healing process. Here are some suggestions for staying healthy:

  • Eat a healthy diet- Incorporate foods rich in vitamins and minerals into your diet. These compounds help reduce swelling and bruising, which are common after surgery. Consuming a healthy amount of protein can help speed up the healing process.
  • Start an exercise routine Exercising can help improve circulation and control weight, which can affect healing. Consult your surgeon to find out what types of exercises are appropriate. Avoid strenuous activity until your surgeon gives you the go-ahead.
  • Manage stress- Stress can slow down the healing process, so it is essential to find ways to manage stress. You can practice meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.
  • Stay hydrated- Drinking enough water can help improve circulation and skin health and promote healing.
  • Incorporate supplements into your diet- Several supplements can boost the immune system after surgery. Nutrients such as vitamin C and fish oil help reduce the risk of infections and speed up recovery.
  • Protein shake- It can help increase protein intake and speed up the healing process after surgery.

Conclusion

Remember that staying positive and avoiding stress are essential during your healing process. Try to maintain a positive attitude by relaxing and eating healthily. Although you may be tempted to return to your routine as soon as possible, taking it easy during recovery is crucial. This will help ensure that your body has the time and energy to heal properly. With the right approach, you can have a smooth and successful recovery and enjoy the results of your procedure for years to come.

 

 

 

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