Back to Basics is a weekly feature that highlights important but possibly overlooked information that any EHS professional should know. This week, we examine OSHA’s requirements for respiratory protection.

Respiratory protection is important in many different industries, and it has played an even greater role in the workforce since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to OSHA, respirators protect against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays, which are hazards that could cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. Millions of employees are required to wear respirators, and compliance with OSHA’s respiratory protection standard can help avoid thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths every year.

Standard

It is the employer’s job to ensure that all their employees are protected, and so they must provide the proper respiratory protection when needed. According to OSHA, the respirator standard applies to all occupational airborne exposures to contaminated air where the employee is exposed to hazardous levels of airborne contaminant, required by the employers to wear respirators, or permitted to wear respirators.

Four major duties for the employer are required by the standard. Employers must do the following:

  • Use engineering controls where feasible to control the hazard
  • Provide the appropriate respirators
  • Ensure the use of the appropriate respirators
  • Institute a respiratory protection program that complies with the rest of the standard

Employers must select and provide a respirator based on the respiratory hazards that workers are exposed to and workplace and user factors that affect respirator performance and reliability, says OSHA. The respirators must be NIOSH-certified, and shall be used in compliance with the conditions of its certification.

Respiratory hazards in the workplace must be identified and evaluated, and the evaluation should include a reasonable estimate of employee exposures to respiratory hazards and an identification of the contaminant’s chemical state and physical form. If the employer cannot identify or reasonably estimate the employee exposure, the employer must consider the atmosphere to be immediately dangerous to life of health (IDLH).

Respiratory protection programs must be developed in any workplace where respirators are necessary to protect the health of the employee or whenever they are required by the employer. The program must be written and include any worksite-specific procedures, and it must be established, implemented, and updated as necessary to reflect changes in workplace conditions that affect respirator use.

The program should include procedures for selecting respirators for use in the workplace, medical evaluations of employees required to use respirators, and fit-testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators. It should also include procedures for proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations, and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding, and maintaining respirators. It needs to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators.

OSHA also requires that employees be trained in the respiratory hazards to which they are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations, and in the proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations or their use, and their maintenance. Lastly, there must be guidelines for regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

Respirators

Respirators should be selected from an adequate number of respirator models and sizes so that the respirator is acceptable to, and correctly fits, the user. OSHA says that respirators protect the user in two basic ways; the first is by removing contaminants from the air, and the second is by supplying clean respirable air from another source.

The first type of respirators includes particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles, and air-purifying respirators with cartridges and canisters, which filter out chemicals and gases. The second type includes airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.

OSHA provides seven steps on how to wear a respirator correctly at work. The first step is to wash your hands with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol. Then, inspect the respirator for damage, and do not use it if it appears damp or damaged. Put on the respirator by following these instructions:

  • Cup the respirator in your hand with the nosepiece at your fingertips, with the straps hanging below your hand.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the respirator and make sure there are no gaps between the respirator and your face.
  • Place the strap over your head and rest it at the top of the back of the head. If there is another strap, put the bottom strap around your neck below your ears, without crisscrossing the straps.
  • If your respirator has a metal nose clip, use your fingers from both hands to mold the nose area to the shape of your nose.

After the respirator is on, adjust it by placing both hands over the respirator, and then inhaling quickly and exhaling. If there is leakage from the nose, readjust the nosepiece, and if there is leakage from the edges, readjust the straps. Keep adjusting until there is a proper seal, and if no proper seal forms, try another respirator.

Step five is to wear it during work, and wash your hands if touching the respirator cannot be avoided. To remove the respirator, wash your hands and then remove it from the back, while not touching the front. The last step is to discard it in a closed-bin waste receptacle, and wash your hands once again. OSHA notes that if you need to reuse the respirator, wear gloves when inspecting and putting it on, and avoid touching your face during the process.

For more details and information on OSHA’s respiratory protection standards, click here.

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I’ve been there. I’ve had to work on a project, and all of a sudden, there’s this loud noise coming from my room—the kind of noise that makes it hard to concentrate. In this blog post, we’ll give you instructions on how to shut out foundation commotion while concentrating. From turning down the volume in your room to listening to calming sounds, these tips will help you get your work done without distraction.

Tips to Shut Out Foundation Commotion

1. Use noise-canceling headphones or earphones

2. Make sure you are in a quiet place

3. Put on your headphones or earphones and block out all external sounds

4. Close your eyes and focus on your breath

5. Take deep breaths and focus on your pulse

6. Concentrate on your mantra or positive thought

Ideas to Help You Concentrate

First, try to get in a comfortable position. You may find that sitting up straight with your eyes closed and your hands resting in your lap will help you focus. Another idea is to take deep breaths and count to 10 before starting to work on your project. Finally, think about something happy or calming that will help you relax. These techniques may not work for everyone, but they should help some people focus better.

Shut Out Foundation Commotion While Concentrating

When you are working on a task that requires concentration, there will be times when the outside world can become distracting.This article is written by locksmiths-boston One way to minimize distractions is to shut out all external noise. Here are some tips for doing just that:

1) Shut off all electronic devices. This includes computers, phones, and televisions. If you must use electronics, keep them turned off in another room or turning down low, so they are not a constant distraction.

2) Close your curtains and blinds if sunlight is a distraction. Natural light is essential for productivity, but too much of it can be disruptive. If you must work in natural light, try to find a window that faces away from the sun.

3) Take a break every 30 minutes or so if you feel overwhelmed by the outside world’s noise. This gives your mind time to relax and revitalize before returning to the task.

4) Try meditation or mindfulness practices to help quiet your mind and focus on the task. These techniques can be beneficial when trying to shut out other distractions while working on something important.

Tips to Reduce the Noise Levels in Your Office

If you’re like most people, the last thing you want to do is focus on your work when all you can hear are the waves of chatter coming from the people around you. And if that’s not bad enough, those incessant noises can start to interfere with your concentration and make it difficult to get anything done.

Fortunately, there are a few simple tips to reduce the noise levels in your office and help you focus on your work. First and foremost, try to limit the number of people in your office. This will reduce the amount of noise generated and make it easier for you to tune out other voices. And if possible, try to move some of the more noisy equipment out of reach so that people have less opportunity to disturb you.

Another way to reduce noise levels is to take some time each day to silence your laptop or phone and focus solely on what you’re doing. This may seem like a pain initially, but it can help improve your productivity. And finally, if all else fails, consider wearing earplugs or headphones when working to block out as much background noise as possible.

How to Use Meditation and Deep Breathing Techniques to Reduce Stress?

Meditation can help you focus and remain calm. Deep breathing exercises can help your body release excess energy and eliminate unwanted stress.

To begin, find a comfortable place to sit or stand. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose. Repeat this process several times until you feel relaxed.

When you’re ready, begin focusing on your breath. Notice the air flowing in and out of your lungs, filling them with oxygen each time. When your mind starts to wander, focus on the tip of your nose and count each breath until you reach 10. When you finish counting, breathe out through your mouth and let all the air out of your lungs. Repeat this process several times until you feel more focused and relaxed.

Tips for Reducing Distractions in Your Everyday Life

1. Get organized. Please list the things you need to do and when you need to do them. This will help you focus on your tasks and reduce distractions.

2. Set boundaries. Establish time limits for your tasks and stick to them no matter what. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed by everything that needs to be done.

3. Take breaks. When you start feeling overwhelmed and stressed, take a break to relax and center yourself. This will help you return to your work with renewed energy and concentration.

4. Set up a productive workspace environment. Make sure your workspace is organized, clean, and free of distractions. This will help you focus on your tasks uninterrupted!

Shutting out distractions

To successfully concentrate and shut out distractions, follow these simple steps:

1. Shut off all external noise sources, including television, music, and the Internet.

2. Make sure that all electronic devices are turned off and placed away from where you will be working.

3. Find a comfortable position in which you will not be disturbed. If necessary, remove distractions by placing something between you and the object of your concentration.

Tips for focusing

To focus on your work or study, follow these tips:

1. Establish and stick to a schedule. Time management is critical when trying to focus. Make sure you have a schedule for work and school and stick to it as much as possible. This will help you regulate distractions and give you a sense of control over your environment.

2. Create an environment that is conducive to concentration. Working in an office with lots of noise and people around you will make it difficult to concentrate. Try to find an isolated place where you can focus without interruption. Alternatively, try using earphones or headphones to block out external sounds.

3. Take breaks occasionally. Even if you are trying your best to stay focused, your mind will eventually wander. Take a break every 20-30 minutes, even if it means leaving the task unfinished. This will allow your brain time to switch gears and return to the job later.

4. Practice relaxation techniques before focusing on tasks that require concentration. Some simple methods that have been shown to improve focus include deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. These may help de-stress yourself before attempting more challenging tasks or studying for exams.

Conclusion

When you’re trying to focus, it’s essential to have a comfortable environment in which to work. That means shutting out the foundation commotion outside your door and concentrating on your task. To shut out exterior noise, try using these simple tips: -Put up some white noise (like waves crashing or chimes ringing) -Keep your windows closed as much as possible -Turn off all electronic devices other than the ones necessary for work.

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Technology is changing the way we view our health. New innovations allow us to track and improve our wellbeing, both mentally and physically. Gadgets are being created with a range of incredible functions, helping with anything from exercise recovery to getting good quality sleep.

There's a lot out there we love, but we've narrowed it down to the following picks.

Can't get enough of new tech? Check out our list of the 49 coolest new gadgets in 2022.

MINIMI Bluetooth Smart Body Scale

norden smart body scale

This high-tech piece of kit is much more than just a weighing scale. It's able to display 14 key metrics, including less common measurements such as hydration, visceral fat, bone mass, metabolic age and more. It's able to provide an overall “Body Score” as an overview of your statistics.

It synchronises with an app to give a breakdown of the composition, complete with data reports and graphs. The scale looks beyond weight as the main metric for determining health. It helps measure what you eat, how much you need to drink and how exercise is affecting your body. It’s a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and accomplish any lifestyle goals you may have.

Activ5 Portable Strength Training Device and Coaching App

activ5 Portable Strength Training Device and Coaching App

The Activ5 app aims to provide full body training and workouts wherever you are. It works through isometric exercise, using a mobile app synced with a pad that has to be pushed against and held for a period of time. These muscle contractions are guided through visuals from the app, which can measure strength, precision and reaction performance.

Activ5 claim that through their system, they can increase strength by 30% over a 6-week period of 15-minute daily workouts. The exercises have a low injury risk and can be completed from anywhere, standing or sitting. It's a convenient way to fit exercise into your day, particularly useful if you have a job that requires sitting at a desk for the majority of the day.

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Theragun Mini - Handheld Electric Massage Gun

Theragun Mini

This portable massage gun is small but mighty. Percussive therapy devices claim to help soothe aching muscles, useful for anyone from athletes to office workers. Often, massage guns can be bulky and take up a lot of space, which is why the Theragun Mini is a great option for anyone looking for something more portable.

It features a battery with a lifespan of 150 minutes for extended sessions, which is impressive for a gun of its size. There are three speed options for different intensities and a motor that applies up to 9kg of force. It's also fitted with Active Torque Control, used to maintain continual speed and depth. Theragun claim this gun is extremely quiet, allowing you to relax and enjoy the massage without disturbance.

Dodow Sleep Aid Device

dodow sleep aid device

This device is built to help anyone struggling with sleep. It projects a soft blue light on your ceiling, which expands and contracts. The idea is that you breath in and out in time with the light, which helps to retrain and calm your breath. This helps to create the feeling of slow fatigue that sends you to sleep.

There are two settings to choose from, either 8 or 20 minutes. At the end of the exercise, it turns itself off. The light gradually moves you from 11 to 6 breaths per minute, slowing down your breathing, which Dodow claim leaves you in the ideal condition to fall asleep.

Fitbit Sense 2 Smart Watch

Fitbit sense 2

This smartwatch from Fitbit is designed to help you identify and manage stress, sleep and overall health. It provides tracking and reminders throughout the day, offering a helping hand to check in and see how you’re feeling.

It gives you methods for boosting mindfulness with guided breathing, workout guidance and feedback on heart health. There’s also detailed data on how you sleep and where you can improve, gathered with detailed night-time tracking to create a sleep profile. Fitbit also include built-in GPS, 6+ hours of battery life and six months of Fitbit Premium Membership.

Dyson Purify Hot + Cool Auto React Air Purifier

dyson air purifier

This purifier features three sensors to continually monitor your air quality. It senses air pollutants and filters them, projecting purified air throughout the room. It can capture dust, viruses and allergens, reporting the data with live results which are displayed on the device's LCD screen. There's also a night mode with a quiet purifying setting and dimmed display, so it won’t disturb you if you’re a light sleeper.

A great feature is its ability to control temperature: it can use an air flow to heat or cool rooms, and it can also purify air without cooling you down. While heating your whole home can be expensive, this can control the temperature of a single room. You simply set the temperature and the purifier meets it, then maintains it.

Ordo Sonic and Electric Toothbrush

Ordo Sonic and Electric Toothbrush

It’s becoming common knowledge that an electric toothbrush is essential for ensuring your teeth are as healthy as possible. This toothbrush uses Ordo’s Sonic Pulse Technology, which aims to agitate the fluid surrounding the teeth, cleaning deeper than normal bristles by reaching beyond the surface and cleaning the gaps between the teeth.

Ordo claim this method has been clinically proven to improve oral health by removing more plaque than a manual toothbrush. It features 4 different brushing modes, so you’re able to get a brushing experience that suits you. There’s also a handy 2-minute timer, helping you know when to switch angles when brushing.

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If you turn on the radio, you may hear that “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But the holiday season can bring with it many stressors, from trying to have flawless decorations to making the perfect holiday meal and more. In addition to preventing you from living in the moment and enjoying time with family and friends, this stress can also affect the body and present as physical pain (such as a headache). One practice which can help you live in the present moment this holiday season is mindfulness.

If you find yourself facing stress this holiday season, remember to STOP: Slow down; Take a breath; Observe bodily feelings, thoughts, and possibilities; and Proceed, considering multiple possibilities. This mnemonic device can help you remember an easy way to practice being mindful this holiday season. 

Other beginning mindfulness exercises include mindful relaxation and mindful breathing. To achieve mindful relaxation, consider setting aside a specific amount of time each day to practice a mindful meditation. This could be as little as five minutes. During this time, find a quiet place and a comfortable body position. Focus on your breathing. Deep breathing can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. 



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By Charmaine Caldwell, PhD, LPC-S

Stressful situations are a part of everyday life, but this time of the year seems to be stressful times four! Shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining can cause us to feel tired and frustrated because of all the things we think we must do. It can be difficult to see through the never-ending lists to find something to be thankful for or to celebrate.

The World Wide Web is filled with suggestions for easy meals to prepare, lists to help us be organized, easy cook and freeze recipes to get a head start for the holidays, and maybe a few suggestions for having fun. At times you may feel stressed because of the self-imposed grind we put ourselves through—even having fun can be stressful. Healthy stress can help us get things done, meet deadlines, and accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. What we often do not realize is that our body’s stress response naturally kicks in, causing rapid breathing, a racing heart and a rising blood pressure. We just know that we do not feel well. Unchecked stress can lead to serious conditions such as hypertension, anxiety disorders and addiction.

The good news is that you can take control over your stress by practicing a simple and free exercise that science and thousands of years of practice have proven to be very effective. This exercise would be to take a breathing break instead of a smoke break. Following are controlled breathing exercises that can be done anywhere or anytime you start to feel like stress is taking over and you are losing a sense of calm: 1) Box breathing: inhale for a count of four; pause for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, then pause for a count of four before beginning again. 2) 5-7-3 breathing: simply follow a 5-7-3 pattern of inhaling for a count of five, exhale for a count of seven and pause for a count of three. Begin again. 3) Peace-pause breathing, close your eyes so you can visualize spelling out the word “peace.” Lengthen and deepen your breathing to follow this pace. P-e-a-c-e- for inhale, same for pause, and same for exhale.

Take care of yourself during this holiday season!!

If we can be of assistance, feel free to contact Samaritan at 432-563-4144.

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Health departments in Tampa Bay are giving out free overdose reversal medication at locations around Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties.

Naloxone — often known by its popular brand name, Narcan — helps restore breathing in people who have overdosed on opioids. The medication, which is typically administered as a nasal spray or injection, has no effect on people who do not have opioids in their system.

After administering the medication, it is still important to call 911. The treatment is temporary and it is critical to get a person who has overdosed access to medical help as soon as possible.

If breathing in the person who has overdosed is not restored after administering one dose of naloxone, additional doses may be given.

Related: Sharing stories of hope to reduce opioid deaths in Tampa Bay

The free naloxone kits are made available by the health departments as part of a statewide initiative to help reduce overdose deaths in Florida.

No appointment is necessary to get the medication, but individuals must be at least 18 years old. Recipients should also be at risk of experiencing an overdose, caregivers of somebody likely to overdose, or people likely to witness an overdose to get the medication.

More information about how to administer naloxone and referrals or connections to treatment programs are also available.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, you can find more information about resources available in Florida at isavefl.com/.

Where to get naloxone around Tampa Bay:

Hillsborough County

  • Specialty Care Center: 1105 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • University Area Health Center: 13601 N 22nd St., Tampa (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Sulphur Springs Health Center: 8605 N Mitchell Ave., Tampa (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Tuberculosis Center: 8515 N Mitchell Ave., Tampa (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

For more information on naloxone in Hillsborough County, call 813-307-8000.

Pinellas County

  • St. Petersburg: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Pinellas Park: 6350 76th Ave. N, Pinellas Park (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Mid County: 8751 Ulmerton Road, Largo (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Clearwater: 310 N Myrtle Ave., Clearwater (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday)
  • Tarpon Springs: 301 S Disston Ave., Tarpon Springs (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

For more information on naloxone in Pinellas County, call 727-824-6900.

Pasco County

  • New Port Richey Clinic: 10841 Little Road, New Port Richey (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Dade City Clinic: 13941 15th St., Dade City (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Wesley Chapel Clinic: 33845 S.R. 54, Wesley Chapel (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
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For more information on naloxone in Pasco County, call 727-619-0300.

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By Dr. Nancy Skopp 
Nov. 18, 2022

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Crenshaw

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Crenshaw

Twenty-first century living is more stimulating and fast-moving than ever before, and the pace of modern life continues to accelerate at breakneck speed. To meet the needs of daily living, we constantly dash from here to there, sometimes neglecting exercise and sleep, scrambling to meet work deadlines, and dealing with the stresses of traffic, dependent care and other daily hassles. All the while trying to balance these demands with those of our home life, which has its own unique stressors.

Our bodies take a hit from the stress caused by the hustle and bustle of daily living. Stress accumulates over time in our bodies1 and influences our moods and ability to regulate our emotions.2 Stress management and mood regulation are important for everyone and are even more critical for people who already suffer from psychological health symptoms such as anxiety and depression.3

Traditional approaches to addressing stress-induced problems typically include evidence-based psychotherapy, medication, or some combination of both. Empirical research suggests yoga may be a beneficial supplement to such treatments, as not all people with psychological health and emotion regulation problems respond to traditional treatments alone.4-6 Mind-body practices that have been practiced for centuries—including yoga, meditation and qigong (a Chinese practice involving meditation, controlled breathing and movements)—are considered an area called Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Formerly viewed as fringe and unscientific, yoga and other .3

Studies of specific types of yoga show it appears to have mood-enhancing properties7, possibly because some specific yoga practices appear associated with inhibited physiological stress8 and inflammation.9 Yoga practice uses breathing intended to promote the flow of energy through the body, which is thought to release accumulated stress and unpleasant emotions. In particular, studied forms of yoga seem to reduce stress perhaps by restoring the balance between the body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Drawing definitive conclusions about the impact of yoga practice on mental health outcomes is challenging because there are many different forms of yoga practice, making it difficult to draw valid generalized conclusions about yoga’s impact on mental health.

Yoga practices of many forms have been incorporated into some DOD clinics as adjunct to evidence-based treatment for mental health conditions. For example, some military Intensive Outpatient Programs  for mental health treatment have implemented certain forms of yoga as a component to their multifaceted treatment protocols  designed to meet complex treatment needs.10 Importantly, mind-body practices such as yoga in any form supporting treatment are intended to help participants to manage emotional dysregulation, and to engage with and remain in evidence-based treatments.11-13 Yoga may also be useful to help veterans manage co-morbid pain and posttraumatic stress disorder as an adjunct to evidence-based treatment.14 More research is needed on the effectiveness of specific forms of yoga as an adjunct treatment for mental health conditions and/or chronic pain in veterans and active duty military.

We all need to take care of ourselves in whatever ways we can to reduce stress and support long-term health. As medical research continues to explore the effectiveness of various CAMs as adjunct treatment to evidence-based care, people—including service members and veterans—may be able to add these tools to their arsenal of resources to cope with the stress of everyday life. At the same time, just as we would consult a medical doctor for a physical injury, it’s important to select qualified professionals to assist with our psychological health. CAMs such as yoga may help with stress and emotion regulation, but complex mental health issues are often best addressed under the guidance of a mental health care provider. Thus, it is important to seek professional guidance for problems that cause significant emotional distress and interfere with daily living.

Other Mind-Body Resources

Yoga and mindfulness training are both mind-body practices intended to help with stress reduction. These apps can be used to practice mindfulness and are available via the App Store and Google Play:

  • Mindfulness Coach - Learn mindfulness skills to manage stress
  • Breath2Relax - Practice diaphragmatic breathing to reduce tension

References 

  1. American Psychological Association (2018, November 1). Stress effects on the body. www.apa.org/topics/stress/body
  2. Richardson, C.M.E. (2017). Emotion regulation in the context of daily stress: Impact on daily affect. Personality and Individual Differences, 112, 150-156. doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.02.058
  3. Aideyan, B., Martin, G.C., & Beeson, E.T. (2020). A practitioner’s guide to breathwork in clinical mental health counseling. Neuroscience Informed Counseling, 42, 78-94.
  4. Burnett-Zeigler, I., Schuette, S., Victorson, D., & Wisner, K. L. (2016). Mind-body approaches to treating mental health symptoms among disadvantaged populations: A comprehensive review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 22, 115–124. doi.org/10.1089/acm.2015.0038
  5. Bukar, N. K., Eberhardt, L. M., & Davidson, J. (2019). East meets west in psychiatry: Yoga as an adjunct therapy for management of anxiety. Archives of psychiatric nursing33(4), 371–376. doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2019.04.007
  6. Tarsha, M. S., Park, S., & Tortora, S. (2020). Body-Centered Interventions for Psychopathological Conditions: A Review. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 2907. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02907
  7. Pascoe, M.C., & Bauer, I.E. (2015). A systematic review of randomized control trials on the effects of yoga on stress measures and mood. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 68, 270-282. www.journalofpsychiatricresearch.com/article/S0022-3956(15)00206-X/abstract
  8. Riley, K. E., & Park, C. L. (2015). How does yoga reduce stress? A systematic review of mechanisms of change and guide to future inquiry. Health psychology review9(3), 379–396. doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2014.981778
  9. Djalilova, D. M., Schulz, P. S., Berger, A. M., Case, A. J., Kupzyk, K. A., & Ross, A. C. (2019). Impact of Yoga on Inflammatory Biomarkers: A Systematic Review. Biological research for nursing, 21(2), 198–209. doi.org/10.1177/1099800418820162
  10. Skopp, N.A., Bradshaw, D., Smolenski, D., Wilson, N., Williams, T., Bellanti, D., & Hoyt, T. (2022). A pilot study of trauma-sensitive yoga and breathe2relax among service members in an intensive outpatient clinic. Unpublished manuscript.
  11. Ford, J. D., Courtois, C. A., Steele, K., Hart, O. van der, & Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2005). Treatment of complex posttraumatic self-dysregulation. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18(5), 437–447. doi.org/10.1002/jts.20051
  12. Held, P., Klassen, B. J., Boley, R. A., Wiltsey Stirman, S., Smith, D. L., Brennan, M. B., Van Horn, R., Pollack, M. H., Karnik, N. S., & Zalta, A. K. (2020). Feasibility of a 3-week intensive treatment program for service members and veterans with PTSD. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(4), 422–430. doi.org/10.1037/tra0000485
  13. Zalta, A. K., Held, P., Smith, D. L., Klassen, B. J., Lofgreen, A. M., Normand, P. S., Brennan, M. B., Rydberg, T. S., Boley, R. A., Pollack, M. H., & Karnik, N. S. (2018). Evaluating patterns and predictors of symptom change during a three-week intensive outpatient treatment for veterans with PTSD. BMC Psychiatry, 18(242), 1–15. doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1816-6
  14. Chopin, S. M., Sheerin, C. M., & Meyer, B. L. (2020). Yoga for warriors: An intervention for veterans with comorbid chronic pain and PTSD. Psychological trauma: theory, research, practice and policy12(8), 888–896. doi.org/10.1037/tra0000649

Dr. Skopp is a clinical and research psychologist at the Psychological Health Center of Excellence. She has over 15 years of experience conducting research with the Department of Defense on topics including suicide prevention, psychological trauma, deployment outcomes, and a wide range of technology-based innovations in support of U.S. service member and veteran behavioral health.

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WORTHINGTON — The stats can look scary: Lung cancer is the third most common cancer and also the deadliest.

Every year, lung cancer claims more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. What do you need to know about lung cancer? Here are the basics:

What is lung cancer?

Your body’s cells are always dividing and growing. Cancer is a disease in which some cells start dividing uncontrollably and grow into a mass, also called a tumor. These tumors can begin in any organ or tissue.

Lung cancer describes any cancer that starts in the lungs. From there, this cancer can spread to your lymph nodes or other organs.

5 fast facts about lung cancer

1. Smoking causes around 80% to 90% of lung cancers.

2. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking as soon as possible or never start.

3. In its early stages, lung cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms.

4. Screenings can catch lung cancer early at its most treatable stages.

5. Treatments for lung cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

If you get diagnosed, our cancer care team will tailor your treatment plan to your unique case.

Are you at risk?

Smoking cigarettes is the leading risk factor for lung cancer, and smoking other tobacco products like cigars is also a major risk factor. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of unhealthy chemicals.

When you smoke, you’re breathing in this toxic mixture directly into your lungs. It’s also dangerous to the people around you as secondhand smoke can also cause lung cancer.

The more often you smoke and the more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk. However, no amount of smoking is safe. Your risk of lung cancer goes up even if you only smoke occasionally.

Long-term exposure to radon is the second top risk factor. Radon is a gas that naturally occurs in rocks, soil and water. People can get exposed to radon if the gas leaks into their homes or workplaces. The only way to detect radon is to have your home tested for the gas as it is odorless, tasteless and invisible to the naked eye.

Other risk factors include exposure to asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust and certain forms of other chemicals. Having a personal or family history of lung cancer can also increase your risk.

What are symptoms of lung cancer?

There are many different symptoms of lung cancer. They can include:

  • Persistent coughing or coughing that keeps getting worse, especially if you’re coughing up blood
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue

These symptoms usually occur at the later stages of the disease. The early stages of lung cancer often have no symptoms. That’s why screenings are so important if you’re at risk of developing this cancer.
Should you get screened?

If you’re concerned about lung cancer, there’s one person you should turn to with your screening questions: your primary care provider. They know your health history the best and can make screening recommendations based on your risk factors.

Ask about lung cancer screening if you meet all these criteria:

  • You’re between 50 and 77 years old (age criteria may depend on your insurance company).
  • You’re in good health.
  • You currently smoke or have quit in the last 15 years.
  • You have a smoking history of a 20 pack-year or more. A pack-year is smoking an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for one year. For example, a person could have a 20 pack-year history by smoking one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years.

Lung cancer screenings use computed tomography (CT) scans. These scans combine multiple X-rays taken at several angles for a complete picture of your lung health. Providers then use this image to check for any abnormalities in your lungs.
If your CT scan does catch an abnormality, your provider may want to get it biopsied, which involves taking a sample of the area and testing it for cancer.

What can you expect during a screening?

Sanford Worthington uses low-dose CT scans to screen for lung cancer that take less than 30 minutes and are painless. All major insurance companies cover lung cancer screenings.

Contact your primary care provider or call the Sanford Worthington Clinic at (507) 372-3800 to be qualified and scheduled for a lung cancer screening today.



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We all know that we should take care of our mental health, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. If you're feeling a little lost, don't worry; we've covered for you. Here are five things you can do for your mental health:

We all know that we should take care of our mental health, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re feeling a little lost, don’t worry; we’ve covered for you. Here are five things you can do for your mental health:

Take Care of Your Body

Your mental and physical health are closely intertwined, so it’s essential to take care of your body if you want to take care of your mental health.

Start eating nutritious food, giving you the energy to take on whatever life throws your way. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise; move your body every day, even if it’s just for a little while. Be sure you’re getting enough sleep as well; seven to eight hours a night is recommended.

Connect With Others

Human beings are social creatures, and we need meaningful connections with others to thrive. That’s why one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to connect with others. Isolation can lead to suicide and depression, so make sure you’re staying connected. If you’re feeling lonely, there’s no shame in reaching out to a professional therapist. They can help you find healthy ways to cope with your loneliness and develop lasting relationships.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Everyone experiences stress from time to time, but it’s essential to manage stress levels before they get out of control. Stress can cause various physical and mental health problems, so finding healthy ways to cope with stress is essential. Some helpful tips for managing stress include exercise, deep breathing, and journaling.

If you are struggling to cope with stress in Florida, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner can provide treatment and support to help you manage stress and improve your overall mental health. With the constant changes in the mental health field, it is important to work with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner that is up to date on the latest treatments and therapies. That’s why there are PMHNP online programs available in Florida to ensure you are served by the best in the field.

Talk About Your Feelings

Talking about your feelings can help you understand and process them, leading to healthier coping mechanisms. You can talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone you trust. If you are experiencing anxiety about your health, it may be beneficial to talk to your doctor about your feelings. This will help clear any misconceptions and help you develop a plan to manage your anxiety.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness exercises can help manage stress, anxiety, and depression. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, and journaling.

For a successful mindfulness practice, it is essential to find a method that works for you and to be patient. It can take some time to learn how to be mindful, but it is worth the effort. Pick a particular time of day to practice, such as first thing in the morning or right before bed. Once you have a routine down, it will be easier to stick with it. Also, find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably without being interrupted.

With these five tips, you can start taking care of your mental health today. Everyone’s journey is different, but taking small steps in the right direction can make a big difference in your mental well-being.

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Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, may spread easily at an indoor gathering full of hugs and close friends and family. To protect those most at risk of severe RSV, including babies and very young children, it might be especially important this year to vet people who want to hold your baby based on how sniffly they are or whether they're coughing. 

A wave of RSV cases in children came early this year, and is causing an unusually large number of hospitalizations, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

"It appears that the circulation of (RSV) came earlier than is usual, and the number of cases is more than is typical," Dr. Mary T. Caserta, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, said in a Nov. 17 report from the AAP. "There's been a dramatic increase in the number of cases and the number of hospitalizations."

Contributing to the alarm over higher-than-normal RSV rates and a harsh season of respiratory viruses are other factors that are affecting pediatric health care, like an understaffed health care industry, payment disparities for hospital beds and the mental health crisis in older children, Dr. Moira Szilagyi, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, wrote in an opinion piece for CNN.

A chart of RSV infections in the US

A CDC chart showing an early and steep spike of RSV infections across age groups. RSV was the leading cause of hospitalizations in babies under one year from 2009-2019, according to a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. 


US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

We've already been warned that we are likely in for a rough flu season this year, as public health measures like mask-wearing are phased out after a few years of COVID-19 precautions. But RSV has become an additional concern, as infection waves started earlier than normal and familiar reports of overfilled hospitals flood the media.

RSV is a common virus -- most kids will have it before their second birthday. And while anyone can get it, babies, children under age 5, older adults and people who are immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to severe illness, which can cause pneumonia or bronchitis and require hospitalization. 

While almost all children will have at least one RSV infection before their second birthday and most will recover at home, it's important to know the signs of a more severe infection in order to get the care you need. It may also be necessary (though sometimes awkward) to take some simple preventative measures when it comes to other people holding or being around your child. 

Is that a 'COVID cough' or RSV? 

Coughing is a common symptom of many respiratory viruses, including RSV, COVID-19 and the flu. So how can you tell what's causing your child's cough?

"From a clinical standpoint, it's difficult to determine how coughs might be different," Dr. Syeda Amna Husain, a pediatrician based in New Jersey, said in an email. RSV, COVID-19 and the flu all have the potential to cause bronchiolitis-like (lung infection) symptoms in children, which can make it difficult for them to move their lungs in order to let air in, Husain says. 

Testing is the only sure way to know which virus is responsible, according to Husain, and that may also narrow down some treatment options.

What is RSV? How is it spread? 

Respiratory syncytial virus is a common respiratory virus, which means it's spread to others through tiny droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person. You get it when these droplets get into your eyes, nose or throat, either through contact with someone who's sick, or by touching a contaminated surface then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus lives on hard surfaces (like cribs) for hours. RSV doesn't live quite as long on soft surfaces, like skin or tissues. According to the CDC, it is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in babies under age 1. 

Can adults catch RSV from kids? 

Yes. Children commonly get RSV at school or day care and bring it home to other family members. Most adults, however, will either have mild or no symptoms of RSV. 

Some adults, including older adults, folks with compromised immune systems or adults with lung or heart issues may have more severe illness or complications. 

What are the symptoms in children and babies?

Symptoms usually show up around four to six days after getting infected or exposed, per the CDC. Common signs include: 

  • Runny nose 
  • Sneezing
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Fever

In very young infants or babies, however, the only symptoms may be irritability and fussiness; decreased activity or acting more tired than normal; or troubled breathing, including pauses in breathing.

A three-year-old child coughs while their mother takes their temperature

Filadendron/Getty Images

How to avoid RSV 

Because RSV is a respiratory virus, a lot of the same health precautions we take for other viruses will cut down the risk of you or your child getting it. This includes avoiding contact with people who are sick or have symptoms, avoiding crowded indoor places, and washing your hands before eating or touching your face. 

For babies and younger kids, prevention could extend to not allowing other people to kiss, hold or touch your baby if you're concerned about contracting the virus. (You can also ask them to wash their hands and wear a mask when holding your baby.) Ideally, the CDC says that people with any cold-like symptoms should avoid being around children at higher risk for RSV. 

How about minimizing the risk of RSV in a child who's active and tends to have their hands and toys everywhere? 

"Try to keep your child's hands away from their face, especially the nose and mouth," Husain said, as this is a fast way for common infectious particles to spread. You can also disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, like toys, counter surfaces and door handles.

Signs you should take your child to the hospital 

Signs you should call your doctor or get medical care immediately, according to the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, include:

  • Fast breathing or wheezing
  • Breathing with flared nostrils or "head bobbing" with each breath 
  • Tugging or belly breathing, as shown in a video on the AAP's page (it might look like the rib cage is caving in)
  • Your child can't drink or has symptoms of dehydration (fewer than one wet diaper every eight hours)
  • Your child's lips, skin or tongue are a grayish or blue color

Very young infants (under six months), babies who were born premature, and children who have weakened immune systems, neuromuscular disorders (trouble swallowing or clearing mucus) as well as other health problems have a greater risk of severe illness from RSV. If your child has only mild symptoms, extra treatment probably won't be necessary outside of your home. But according to The Cleveland Clinic, your child may need to receive intravenous fluids (have an IV) if their rapid breathing is preventing them from drinking and staying hydrated. According to the clinic, about 3% of children with RSV will require a hospital stay, and most will be able to go home within two to three days. 

If you're an older adult, are immunocompromised or have an underlying health condition, you may also be at higher risk of severe disease from RSV. In fact, older adults have a higher burden of death from RSV. According to CDC surveillance, RSV is expected to cause at least 6,000-10,000 deaths in adults 65 and older, compared to 100 to 300 deaths in children younger than 5, each year in the US.

If you or anyone around you is having a hard time breathing, always seek emergency care or medical care right away.

Treatments for RSV

RSV is a viral infection, which means antibiotics won't work. Treatment for RSV is typically supportive, and over-the-counter medications (but never aspirin for children) may help relieve common symptoms like cough or congestion. You should consult your doctor before giving your child any drug, even non-prescription, because not all medication ingredients are safe for children and their smaller, growing bodies. 

High risk children that are severely ill are sometimes treated with an antiviral Ribavirin and intravenous immunoglobulin. Treatment may also be considered for severely ill immunocompromised adults. The vast majority of patients do not require these interventions. 

For high-risk infants and children, preventative strategies are available; there is a monoclonal antibody available called palivizumab. It's given in monthly injections during RSV season and meant for children who are at higher risk of being hospitalized. Some eligible children would be babies who were born very premature (before 29 weeks) and young children who are immunocompromised or have other health conditions, like heart disease or neuromuscular conditions. In November, the AAP updated its guidance and suggested doctors consider giving high-risk patients more than five consecutive doses of palivizumab. 

If you believe your child is at high risk and might be eligible for the treatment, reach out to your doctor.

Is there a vaccine?

There is not yet a vaccine for RSV, but scientists are working on it. Pfizer announced promising results in November from its global trial, which found its RSV vaccine, when given to a pregnant person, was about 82% effective at preventing severe disease in their babies following birth, during the first three months of life. It was about 69% effective during the child's first six months of life. 

Johnson & Johnson has also started international trials of its vaccine in older adults.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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What is COPD?

“Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to describe chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and is characterized by breathlessness. Some people with COPD also experience tiredness and chronic cough with or without mucus,” said Army Maj. (Dr.) Nikhil Huprikar, chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC).

“COPD makes breathing difficult for the 16 million Americans who have this disease. Millions more people suffer from COPD but have not been diagnosed and are not being treated. Although there is no cure for COPD, it can be treated,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To draw greater attention to COPD and educate the public about the disease, November is annually observed as National COPD Awareness Month.

Huprikar, and Army Maj. (Dr.) Arthur Holtzclaw, a pulmonologist and chief of Medicine at WRNMMC, explained symptoms of COPD can vary, but typically include decreased exercise tolerance, cough, and increased sputum production, in addition to breathlessness.

“COPD is usually diagnosed through lung function testing such as spirometry, which measures how well the lungs are working,” Huprikar explained. “A person may have COPD but not notice symptoms until it is in the moderate stage. Therefore, it’s important to ask your doctor about testing for COPD,” the CDC states.

Testing for COPD is especially recommended if a person is a current or former smoker, has been exposed to harmful lung irritants for long periods of time, or has a family history of COPD, Holtzclaw furthered. In many cases, COPD may also be caused by inhaling air pollutants, including tobacco smoking (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc.) and second-hand smoke.

Work-related environmental factors, such as fumes, chemicals, and dust have also been linked to COPD.

“Genetics has also played a role in the development of COPD, even if the person has never smoked or been exposed to strong lung irritants in the workplace,” the CDC adds.

There is no cure for COPD, but some treatments can decrease breathlessness and increase a person’s ability to do activities, while other treatments may reduce the risk of exacerbations of the disease, Huprikar explained.

Treatments include inhaled medications called bronchodilators, as well as pulmonary rehabilitation, which can include exercise and oxygen therapy, according to health care providers.

Breathing from the diaphragm is an exercise for COPD. Also called abdominal or belly breathing, the abdomen should rise when you breathe in, and lower as you breathe out when doing diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm, the muscle separating the chest cavity from the stomach, is the main muscle for breathing. When the diaphragm tightens, the lungs expand. The diaphragm is designed to do most of the work of breathing. When a person has COPD, the diaphragm doesn’t work as well and muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back are used. These muscles don’t do much to move your air, according to the CDC.

“Training your diaphragm to take over more work of breathing can help,” the CDC adds.

Diaphragmatic breathing is not as easy to do as pursed-lip breathing, so health care providers recommend people get instructions from a respiratory health care professional or physical therapist experienced in teaching it.

For more information about COPD and its treatment, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/copd/features/copd-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment.html.

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Looking for ways to find peace and tranquility in the midst of life’s daily stressors? You’re not alone! Fortunately, there are numerous apps available to help you find the calm and balance that you need. From relaxation tools to mindful meditations and calming music, here are 15 apps for the calm you’re seeking now. 

The best part about these apps is that you can access them on your smartphone or another mobile device, so calming yourself is always just a few taps away. Give one of these apps a try today and start finding the peace within. 

1) Headspace

This app offers guided meditations designed to reduce stress, increase focus and improve general mental well-being. With a range of sessions from 2 minutes to 1 hour long, Headspace is perfect for everyone from beginners to experienced meditators. 

2) Calm

This app offers calming activities such as nature sounds, guided meditations, bedtime stories, and more to help you relax. You can even set a daily reminder to take a few minutes for yourself each day. After completing the program, you can access Calm’s library of music and videos for free.

3) Buddhify

Perfect for those with busy lifestyles, this app offers on-the-go mindfulness tools and meditations tailored to any activity or situation. You can also track your progress over time and get personalized recommendations based on your usage. 

4) Jackpot Party

Feeling stressed out? This app might just be the perfect cure. It offers a wide variety of free slot machine games to help you relax and destress. Jackpot Party Slots Casino gathers together many well-known Las Vegas free slots and games into one party of casino games full of spins, wins, and joy. With an amazing user experience, graphics, epic sounds and the best rewards, this free slot game will keep you entertained for hours. 

5) The Mindfulness App

calm

This app offers tools to help you practice mindfulness on the go. It has guided meditations, Mindful Breathing exercises, and audio reminders that you can customize. It’s also a great way to keep track of your progress and stay motivated. Once you achieve your daily goal of 3 or more meditations, you get a reward in the form of coins which you can use to unlock new content. 

6) Aura

This app helps you build mindful habits with personalized mindfulness sessions tailored to suit your needs. It also offers inspiring stories, meditation music, and more to keep you motivated. The nice thing here is that you can also track your progress over time, so you’ll know just how far you’ve come and share it with your friends. 

7) Insight Timer

With over 10,000 free guided meditations and talks, this app is a great resource for anyone looking for peace and relaxation. It also allows you to connect with other like-minded people in the community and share your thoughts and feelings. 

8) 10% Happier

This app provides short guided meditations with simple steps that can be done anytime, anywhere. It also offers helpful articles and resources to help you build your practice. 10% Happier also has an active community of meditators, so you can connect with other like-minded individuals and stay motivated. 

9) Smiling Mind

This mindfulness app is designed specifically for young people, offering tailored programs that are perfect for those aged 7-17. The program helps young people develop positive mindsets and learn the skills needed to navigate life’s challenges. 

10) Abzu

Abzu is an app specifically designed to help you find calm and relaxation. It features calming visualizations of the ocean, ambient music, and guided meditations to take you away from your troubles and help you find a place of peace and connection. 

11) Breathe2Relax

This app provides a set of simple breathing exercises to help you reduce stress and anxiety. It also offers audio guidance and helpful tips on how to better manage your emotions in stressful situations. 

12) Sleepio

 

For those having trouble sleeping, this app provides personalized sleep programs with tailored techniques that can help you get some restful shut-eye. It also offers access to expert sleep advice from registered psychologists and other sleep professionals. 

13) YogaGlo

This app provides yoga sessions tailored to any level of experience. With a wide range of poses and sequences, you’re sure to find something that works for you. Also, with new classes added every week and more than 4,000 on-demand classes, you’ll never run out of fresh content. 

14) Buddhify 2

This app offers guided mindfulness practices, soothing audio and video meditations, and tips to help you stay mindful throughout the day. It also allows you to customize your own practice and track your progress. 

15) Stop, Breathe & Think

This app offers tailored meditations and breathing exercises based on how you’re feeling. It also allows you to track your progress, earn rewards for completing activities, and connect with like-minded people in the community. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, these 15 apps offer a variety of tools to help you practice mindfulness and manage stress and anxiety. From guided meditations to breathing exercises, personalized programs, and helpful resources, they can provide the calm we’re all seeking. Whether you’re looking for a way to stay motivated or just need some restful sleep, there’s an app for that. The right combination of these tools can help you achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. 

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As per World Health Organization (WHO), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common, preventable, and treatable chronic lung disease that affects men and women globally. COPD at the same time is called emphysema (destruction of tiny air sacs at the end of airways in the lungs) or chronic bronchitis (chronic cough with phlegm) for common people.  Approximately 90 per cent of COPD deaths in those under 70 years of age occur in low- and middle-income countries. COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019. 

During the winter season, as AQI gets deteriorates, it leads to exacerbation of COPD problems. Environmental exposure to tobacco smoke, indoor air pollution, and occupational dust, fumes, Biomass Fuel and chemicals are major risk factors. COPD should be considered in any patient with the following clinical features- breathlessness progressive over time, characteristically worse with exercise, and persistent Chronic cough, which may be intermittent and may be unproductive but is associated with recurrent wheezing. As COPD progresses, people find it more difficult to carry out their daily activities, often due to breathlessness.  

Diagnosis of COPD is made by considering three points of a triangle. The three points that are required to sum up the diagnosis of COPD are- 1) symptoms (shortness of breath, chronic cough, sputum), 2) risk factors (host factors, Tobacco, occupational exposure, indoor/outdoor pollution), 3)Pulmonary Function Test (to establish the diagnosis). Apart from these, the patient suspected of COPD is also subjected to other investigations like sputum examination, chest X-ray, and several other investigations to rule out co morbidities that play an important role in the management of COPD. 

Management of COPD can be divided into two parts non-pharmacotherapy measures and pharmacotherapy measures. Non-pharmacological therapy includes- smoking cessation (it has the greatest capacity to influence the natural history of COPD), avoidance of air pollution, avoidance of biomass exposure(use of clean energy resources), vaccination(pneumococcal influenza, Covid etc ), and pulmonary rehabilitation (which also includes, Yoga, Pranayam and Breathing Exercises).

In addition to this, various pharmacological therapies are used in the management of COPD. Out of these, the mainstay is the bronchodilators via inhaled route. Advanced cases of COPD, mainly emphysema or bulla, are subjected to surgical interventions. 

Uncontrolled symptoms of COPD make the patient vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Hence COPD should be managed properly to reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection. The use of masks not only prevents COVID-19 infection but also helps in preventing people from air pollution. 

                                                                                                                                                              The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) releases COPD guidelines annually. The first gold guideline was propounded in 2001, and the GOLD report has been updated every year. As per new guidelines released for the year 2023,  the global prevalence of COPD is 10.3 per cent. According to GOLD's new guidelines, COPD is increasing rapidly worldwide due to increased smoking in developing countries and the elderly population in rich countries.

The new report estimates that by 2060, the number of deaths from COPD due to increasing smoking (in poor countries) and elderly persons (in rich countries) could exceed 5.4 million. COPD is higher in ex-smokers (who have smoked for at least one year) and smokers (people who smoke) than nonsmokers (who do not smoke). Smoking is the major risk factor for COPD.

 According to the new report, 50 per cent of smoking and 50 per cent of non-smoking factors are responsible for COPD. Three billion people in the globe utilize biomass fuels (coal, cow dung, wood, fireplaces, earthen stoves, etc.) for cooking, heating, and other purposes. It is referred to as biomass fuel exposure. All of these individuals are also at elevated risk for COPD. 

COPD patients should talk to their doctors about getting flu, corona, pneumonia, Pertussis and Varicella vaccines. There are new rules about COPD and Covid-19, updated reports for telemedicine, and rules about spirometry. Lung cancer is usually the cause of death for many COPD patients. Because of this, people with COPD who got it from smoking should get a low-dose CT scan once a year as a screening tool for Lung Cancer. Both lung cancer and COPD can be treated better this way. 

Bone illnesses, depression, and anxiety disorders are frequently neglected in COPD patients. These disorders should be adequately investigated and treated in COPD patients. In addition to this, COPD patients should also be treated for their other diseases while receiving COPD treatment (heart disease, diabetes, etc.). 

Apart from this, innovation has been incorporated into the new COPD guidelines by modifying some new definitions, diagnostic procedures, treatment strategies, inhaler devices, investigation methodologies, etc. 



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Man with black skin breathing in natureOver the course of your life, you may have tried to slow your breathing to calm down, focused on your breath, or taken a breath and counted to ten before deciding to get angry.

Breathing to control nerves and emotions is something that many have heard of or believe in, and now a new study is suggesting how the very act of breathing may contribute to brain health.

Researchers synthesized results from rodent, monkey, and human brain imaging to create a computational model that illustrates how breathing may influence the brain’s expectations.

They found that across humans and animals, as well as tasks, brain rhythms are closely linked with breath rhythms.

The data suggested a higher degree of sensitivity to the outside world during inhalation, while the brain seems to tune out more when breathing out. For example, it may help explain why breathing can become so important in certain sports.

Marksmen, for instance, are trained to pull their trigger at the end of an exhale.

The results published in Psychological Review indicate that breathing is more than what living creatures do to stay alive. Still, it may impact emotion, attention, and how the outside world is processed.

The study author said, “difficulty breathing is associated with a very large increase in the risk for anxiety and depression. Respiration, respiratory illness, and psychiatric disorders are closely linked.”

It’s possible that this newly discovered link between breath and the brain may help explain why traditions like yoga and meditation can help to calm nerves.

These findings are still introductory, and the link between respiration, the brain, and its effect on mood and emotion should be further studied. They can, however, give you something to think about if you need to calm yourself quickly.

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With a better oxygenation level in your body, the absorption of nutrients is better and can result in proper nourishment and strong immunity in the long run. Read on to find out more about it. 
 

Control your diabetes by practising deep breathing sur
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First Published Nov 29, 2022, 7:30 AM IST

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases worldwide. The number of diabetic patients has doubled and will be around 134 million individuals by 2025. Many factors cause an increase in your blood sugar. Lifestyle and genetic factors affect your blood sugar levels and can often lead to specific organ damage. Our inactive lifestyle, eating excessive calorie-rich foods, obesity and stress increase the risks.

Also Read: 3 yoga asanas that can help in improving your metabolism and speed up your weight loss journey

Taking measures to reduce high blood pressure and stress is crucial. One simple and easy solution to control both these issues is the method of deep breathing. According to experts, 10-15 minutes of deep breathing per day can help in controlling diabetes and can also reduce blood pressure and prevent the risk of any heart disease.

Connection Between breathing and Blood Sugar 

Increased blood sugar levels can cause severe damage to multiple body organs, such as hearts, kidneys and nerves. But it can also potentially impacts the body's lung health and breathing ability. A healthy diet and regular exercise can restore your breathing patterns effectively. Deep breathing can also help reduce stress and improve glucose management in your body. 

How can deep breathing manage diabetes?

  • According to experts, 10-15 minutes of meditation daily can help you manage your blood sugar levels. 
  • Deep breathing also regulates your body system, which controls blood glucose levels and balances insulin production in your body.
  • Deep breathing helps in muscle relaxation, dilating blood vessels and promoting better flow. It also helps in lowering your blood pressure and heart stress.
  • While you take deep breaths, your body utilises more oxygen, which can increase the energy levels in your body.
  • It helps improve your body's functioning and reduces the production of a stress hormone called cortisol.

Also Read: Winter is here! Try these delicious, healthy desserts to make your day special

Last Updated Nov 29, 2022, 7:30 AM IST

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A pulmonary embolism (PE) can be life-threatening because a blockage in the lungs damages them and reduces the blood's ability to receive enough oxygen to support the rest of the body. With rapid treatment, most people affected by a pulmonary embolism can recover.

This article discusses breathing exercises and how to do them if you've recently had a pulmonary embolism.

DjelicS / Getty Images


About 1 in 1,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism annually.

Breathing Exercises

Generally, the diaphragm can easily move oxygen and other gases in and out of the lungs. After a pulmonary embolism, the lungs might have more difficulty completing this task. If practiced regularly, breathing exercises can help make the lungs more efficient.

Two types of breathing exercises that may help include:

  • Pursed lip breathing is intended to reduce the number of breaths taken and to keep airways open a little longer. To practice this exercise, breathe in through the nose and breathe out about twice as long through pursed lips (as if you're using a straw).
  • Belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing: Start by breathing in through the nose and paying attention to how your belly fills with air. Breathe out through the mouth at least two to three times longer than you inhale. While doing this exercise, keep your shoulders and neck relaxed.

Other Recovery Strategies

Although there is no standard guideline for post-pulmonary embolism rehabilitation, there are best practices to help with recovery. Speak with your healthcare provider about which of the following exercises can help assist you with your overall health outcome:

  • Exercise training can improve motor function and strengthen breathing muscles. Ensure that exercises help both upper extremity function (which helps decrease fatigue) and lower extremity function (which helps increase endurance and improves breathing function).
  • Health education should include preventing pulmonary embolism, understanding your treatment options, and learning healthy habits to improve lung and overall body function.
  • Psychological intervention: A life-threatening medical diagnosis can cause fear, anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress, negatively affecting the healing process. Your healthcare providers should ensure you have resources to assist in regulating emotions, decreasing stress and anxiety, and modulating emotional reactions.
  • Nutritional supplementation: PE can adversely affect nutrition, so speaking with a dietician who can provide a treatment and a recovery-friendly nutrition plan can be helpful.

Monitoring Symptoms

Once a pulmonary embolism is diagnosed, the primary treatment is an anticoagulant; this medication is designed to stop the blood clot from growing and to give the body time to break the clot down naturally. It's typically used for three months or longer after a PE diagnosis. Since the use of anticoagulants requires some monitoring, expect follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

Any shortness of breath resulting from a PE typically resolves within a few weeks to months after the initial diagnosis. If shortness of breath remains six months after treatment, it is important to consult a healthcare provider. Further testing might be indicated to determine if the PE scarred the lung or the lung's blood vessels or if other treatments are needed.

Tips After a PE Diagnosis

Additional items your healthcare provider might encourage after a pulmonary embolism diagnosis include:

  • Compression socks help increase pressure in the veins of the legs to prevent blood from pooling and clotting. Increased pressure forces the blood to keep moving, making it harder for a blood clot to form and break off, becoming a pulmonary embolism.
  • Bleeding precautions: It's essential to be aware of anticoagulant interactions that may decrease their effectiveness. Examples of things to avoid while taking anticoagulants include alcohol, over-the-counter (OTC) medications (like aspirin), and certain foods.

Summary

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lungs that can block blood from being oxygenated to support the body's functions. Once a diagnosis is made and a treatment plan begins, it is helpful to learn breathing exercises to help the lungs regain optimal function.

There are also additional considerations for strength training, nutritional support, psychological care, and health education to assist with a successful recovery after a pulmonary embolism diagnosis.

A Word From Verywell

A life-threatening diagnosis of pulmonary embolism can be frightening and stressful. Understanding the disease condition is important, as is knowing how to regain optimal health and wellness. Collaborating with your healthcare provider is vital to ensure any additional activities or treatments are recommended and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long will I be breathless after a pulmonary embolism?

    Feeling short of breath after a pulmonary embolism can often resolve quickly. In 3% to 4% of people affected by a pulmonary embolism, the damage can cause scarring, which can cause shortness of breath for weeks or months. If you're still experiencing shortness of breath six months post-treatment, you must talk to your healthcare provider to determine if additional testing is required.

  • What are the long-term effects of a pulmonary embolism?

    As with other lung conditions, people affected by a pulmonary embolism experience different degrees of respiratory symptoms and impaired motor functions for several weeks or months after the initial diagnosis.

    Current best practices to improve health after a pulmonary embolism include breathing exercises, exercise training, health education, nutrition improvement, and psychological intervention if depression or anxiety is present.

  • How much exercise should you do after a pulmonary embolism?

    Generally, exercise is safe until any pain or difficulty breathing is noted; if this happens, stop exercising immediately and contact your healthcare provider for further guidance. Before starting any exercise regimen, speak with your healthcare provider so they can ensure your lungs and motor function are stable enough.


By Pamela Assid, DNP, RN

Pamela Assid, DNP, RN, is a board-certified nursing specialist with over 25 years of expertise in emergency, pediatric, and leadership roles.

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People experience stress for various reasons. It is caused by a change in the environment, such as moving to a new city, starting a new job, or getting married. Stress can also be caused by internal changes, like having surgery, becoming ill, or suffering from an injury that requires physical therapy. Relationships with friends and family members also cause stress when you argue or have a falling out.

Stress episodes happen when demands placed on us exceed our resources for coping, and the holiday season can often feel like one of those times, with its increased financial burdens and calendar commitments. It is not unusual to have brief periods when we feel stressed out or overwhelmed during this season. 

Stress becomes a problem when we can’t cope with life's demands and experience prolonged bouts of it, so we need to incorporate some habits in our lives to help us reduce stress.

Dr. Phil McGraw says we need to incorporate some habits in our lives to help us reduce stress.

Dr. Phil McGraw says we need to incorporate some habits in our lives to help us reduce stress.
(Getty)

Here are several effective ways to incorporate stress relief into our daily routines: 

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Meditation: This is an exercise in which a person clears their mind of all thoughts, focuses solely on their breathing, and lets peace surround them. Meditate on the love of God and invite God into your peaceful place.

Deep Breathing: Deep breathing helps reduce stress because you are taking in more oxygen than usual. Breathing increases blood flow and relieves stress. 

Reading: The best stress-relieving book is, you guessed it, the BIBLE. It teaches you to be more mindful of God's promises and how to let go of negative thoughts. 

Watching a comedy show or movie: We all know stress causes us to feel down, so why not watch something that will lift your spirits. A good comedy show is perfect for this. "A cheerful heart is a good medicine," Proverbs 17:22 (NLT).

Talking to friends/family: One of the best ways to relieve stress is talking with people who care about you. Stress relief is essential, and talking to friends/family helps more than you think it would. Most people deal with stress every day but don't give stress the credit it deserves because they take it for granted, and they often forget about the Scriptures that can help them in stressful times.

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In Philippians 4:6, the Scriptures tell us that God gives us the strength to deal with anything we may encounter in life. As you read Scriptures and learn how to convert negative emotions into positive ones, you can become more peaceful. If you control your negative emotions and reactions to stress, then you can deal more effectively with the challenges you face in your life. 

Dr. Phil offers a number of Bible verses that can be helpful in times of stress.

Dr. Phil offers a number of Bible verses that can be helpful in times of stress.
(Reuters)

Here are a couple of verses that have been particularly helpful for me:

Isaiah 26:3 – Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 

Psalm 118:7-8 – The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

A great exercise is to write out your favorite Scriptures that give you hope and remind you of God's love for you. Write about the times when you were weak, but your faith allowed you to overcome something you didn't think you could. Remember Luke 11:9-10, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

AMERICANS SHOULD GIVE THANKS FOR HARD TIMES THAT HELP US FIND FAITH IN MIRACLE OF AMERICA

"For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

A great exercise is to write out your favorite Scriptures that give you hope and remind you of God's love for you, writes Dr. Phil.

A great exercise is to write out your favorite Scriptures that give you hope and remind you of God's love for you, writes Dr. Phil.
(Reuters)

Stressors can't be avoided; but it is possible to manage stress more effectively so that it doesn’t negatively influence your health. Stress is a silent killer because it often gets to us more than we care to admit. Don't ignore stress just because you don't see it coming or feel it happening at the moment. Trust me; stress is there! 

Did you know stress affects our health more than many well-known diseases like cancer? Stress begins as an emotional strain that develops into a physical one if left untreated. If stress goes unaddressed for too long, it can change ordinary emotions into extreme ones such as anxiety, anger, or depression.  

Here’s a suggested Scripture passage that I found is helpful for meditating on in order to reduce stress:

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

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And here’s a suggested prayer to invite God to help you reduce the impact of stress in your life:

"Dear God, I choose to believe in the truth of God’s word from Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Whenever I focus on you, I can do anything. Thank you for your steadfast love and keeping me comforted in stressful times. Thank you for always being by my side whenever I’m anxious or depressed. Thank you for being my comfort and my strength. 

"Thinking of you, and reading your word gives me comfort every day. I will trust in you and your plan for my life, for you have my entire life mapped out. I pray for your will to be done in my life and in this world. I pray you give me peace with whatever your plan is. In Jesus’s name, Amen."

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What is COPD?

“Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to describe chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and is characterized by breathlessness. Some people with COPD also experience tiredness and chronic cough with or without mucus,” said Army Maj. (Dr.) Nikhil Huprikar, chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC).

“COPD makes breathing difficult for the 16 million Americans who have this disease. Millions more people suffer from COPD but have not been diagnosed and are not being treated. Although there is no cure for COPD, it can be treated,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To draw greater attention to COPD and educate the public about the disease, November is annually observed as National COPD Awareness Month.

Huprikar, and Army Maj. (Dr.) Arthur Holtzclaw, a pulmonologist and chief of Medicine at WRNMMC, explained symptoms of COPD can vary, but typically include decreased exercise tolerance, cough, and increased sputum production, in addition to breathlessness.

“COPD is usually diagnosed through lung function testing such as spirometry, which measures how well the lungs are working,” Huprikar explained. “A person may have COPD but not notice symptoms until it is in the moderate stage. Therefore, it’s important to ask your doctor about testing for COPD,” the CDC states.

Testing for COPD is especially recommended if a person is a current or former smoker, has been exposed to harmful lung irritants for long periods of time, or has a family history of COPD, Holtzclaw furthered. In many cases, COPD may also be caused by inhaling air pollutants, including tobacco smoking (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc.) and second-hand smoke.

Work-related environmental factors, such as fumes, chemicals, and dust have also been linked to COPD.

“Genetics has also played a role in the development of COPD, even if the person has never smoked or been exposed to strong lung irritants in the workplace,” the CDC adds.

There is no cure for COPD, but some treatments can decrease breathlessness and increase a person’s ability to do activities, while other treatments may reduce the risk of exacerbations of the disease, Huprikar explained.

Treatments include inhaled medications called bronchodilators, as well as pulmonary rehabilitation, which can include exercise and oxygen therapy, according to health care providers.

Breathing from the diaphragm is an exercise for COPD. Also called abdominal or belly breathing, the abdomen should rise when you breathe in, and lower as you breathe out when doing diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm, the muscle separating the chest cavity from the stomach, is the main muscle for breathing. When the diaphragm tightens, the lungs expand. The diaphragm is designed to do most of the work of breathing. When a person has COPD, the diaphragm doesn’t work as well and muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back are used. These muscles don’t do much to move your air, according to the CDC.

“Training your diaphragm to take over more work of breathing can help,” the CDC adds.

Diaphragmatic breathing is not as easy to do as pursed-lip breathing, so health care providers recommend people get instructions from a respiratory health care professional or physical therapist experienced in teaching it.

For more information about COPD and its treatment, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/copd/features/copd-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment.html.







Date Taken: 11.28.2022
Date Posted: 11.28.2022 12:34
Story ID: 434031
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If you suffer from depression and anxiety, then these 8 apps to better release stress can help you meditate and regulate sleep.

If you are a person who lives a busy day to day or is immersed in multiple tasks and activities, it is likely that you suffer abundant stress and anxiety.

And it is that this type of feeling can be caused by multiple problems, whether they are money, health, family or any situation or thought that makes you feel tense.

7 good apps to reduce stress and anxiety from iPhone

Reduce stress and anxiety with these iOS apps

If you want to prevent your problems from becoming a state that affects your personal well-being, then take a look at these apps to reduce stress and anxiety from iPhone and iPad.

Psychology apps for professionals and patients

Apps to reduce stress and anxiety: the best for iPhone and iPad

  • Pure Mind: Meditation, sleep
  • Zen: Meditation and Dream
  • anti-stress exercises
  • Colors: Stress, Dream, Relax
  • anti-stress breathing
  • Simple Habit Dream, Meditation
  • Calm: Meditation and Sleep

The stress It is a response of the body to a possible discomfort or threat and is closely related to anxiety symptoms. And although it is a very common problem, in some cases it is hard to control.

Fortunately, the Apple store offers several apps that can help you reduce stress and anxiety levels from the comfort of your mobile.

Pure Mind: Meditation, sleep

Pura Mente: sleep better, calm your mind, gain energy

Pura Mente: sleep better, calm your mind and gain energy

pure mind is an application that teaches you to meditate from scratch and in this way it helps you control your stress and anxiety levels. In these cases, the platform accompanies you at every step by offering programs for users beginners, intermediate and advanced.

Its platform hosts sessions and relaxation courses, anti-stress meditationssounds to sleep and readings to improve your rest. And not only that, but it will also help you improve your attention, manage emotions, improve your self-esteem and, of course, reduce anxiety and stress.

Its interface is very comfortable to use and its design is beautifulso it gives the user a wonderful experience to find your inner wellness Y enjoy a full life.

Zen: Meditation and Dream

Zen-Meditation and Dream

Zen: meditation guide to calm stress and anxiety

Zen it is one of the best apps to reduce stress and anxiety from iPhone. Its database contains content and attributes that will help you improve your Personal life.

In short, it is a guide with meditations for relaxationaudios and videos, morning music for positive energy, mood lifting therapiesASMR audio, realistic 3D soundsmood monitoring and much more.

anti-stress exercises

anti-stress exercises

Learn to control your breathing with Esercizi antistress

Did you know that breathing can help you relax? That’s right, and if you don’t know how to do it, anti-stress exercises It will be your best guide during the process.

With only 5 minutes for 30 cyclesthe application is able to offer you breathing techniques Y cardiac coherence that positively influence your life.

Best of all, the practices include sound of inspiration so you can do it from anywhere and without having to look at your mobile.

The results are immediate, since you will not only see a reduction in depression symptomsbut also, you will feel better physically and mentally and you will even be able to improve memory and coordination.

Colors: Stress, Dream, Relax

Sleep with the movements of colors

Sleep with the movements of colors

If after an intense day of work you find it difficult to sleep, then Colors: Stress, Dream, Relax is the perfect app for you.

It is another good alternative for reduce stress and rest better with the help of colors. it offers personalized color light sessions professionally oriented for the whole family.

The programs are designed for any moment or situation of your day to day, and can be long (5 or 7 days) either short (minutes per day). In addition, you can accompany them with nature sounds for greater effectiveness.

anti-stress breathing

Breathing exercises to lower anxiety levels

Breathing exercises to lower anxiety levels

anti-stress breathing is another good alternative that shows how to achieve wholeness and calm through breathing exercises: cardiac coherence.

With this platform you can practice where and when you want with 5 minute sessions. Its interface is similar to the one offered by anti-stress exerciseshowever, it is still a very effective option for reduce stress and anxiety.

Simple Habit Dream, Meditation

Wellness and sleep therapy sessions for the whole family

Wellness and sleep therapy sessions for the whole family

If you want to sleep better and improve different aspects of your life, then check out everything it offers. Simple Habit Dream, Meditation.

This platform provides the user wellness and sleep therapy sessions to feel less tired and stressed.

And not only that, since its database includes mindfulness, guided meditations and constant training with the help of mental health professionals.

Calm: Meditation and Sleep

Reduce stress and get more sleep with Calm Sleep & Meditation

Reduce stress and get more sleep with Calm Sleep & Meditation

Last but not least, we have: Calm: Meditation and Sleep. An application designed for sleep more and stress less.

And it is that it is proven that the restful sleep generates a highly positive impact on healthand this application is ideal to accompany you in your episodes.

On its platform you can get guided meditationsbedtime stories, breathing programsmaster classes and Relaxing musicperfect for adapting to routines, concentrating and calm anxiety.

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