Meditation has a myriad of benefits, and has become a very mainstream method of self-help and self-development. Research has shown that meditation can also help support the treatment of conditions like PTSD and can have significant benefits for reducing stress and anxiety. But how often to meditate is a common question for the uninitiated, and it’s a deceptively difficult one to answer.

We asked three experts about their own meditation practices, how they integrate it into their work in the healthcare field, and how they came to understand its benefits.

Their general consensus on how often to meditate to see the benefits? It depends, but daily is your best bet.

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Choosing How Often You Meditate


Dr. Monique Gary, DO, medical director of the cancer program at Grand View Health, is an oncologist who used meditation as a tool to help support her patients through their treatments. She says that she recommends people focus on a regular meditation practice so that they can feel the benefits.

“I think in order for it to be a sustainable practice, and one where you can sort of reap the benefit overall as opposed to the transactional benefit of feeling more peaceful, you really need to try to do it three to five times a week, at least," she says.

Gary also founded a holistic retreat called Still Rise Farms. In doing this work, Gary uses a number of practices that include meditation. She says that finding a meditation practice that will work for you—whether that’s a guided meditation, a mantra meditation, or another form—requires a certain willingness to let go of your preconceived notions.

you have to give yourself some grace and be able to laugh at yourself to try some things that maybe don't work so well.

For her, that low stakes failure came in the form of a very popular meditation app, which she says heightened her anxiety rather than lowering it. When she’s answering questions about meditation from her patients, her advice is to customize it to fit you and your situation.

“If you personalize it then I think that that helps you and makes sure that your needs are addressed," she says. "And you feel like an active participant in it, as opposed to a passive person who's being talked at.”

In other words, more isn’t always better, different isn’t always better, what works for you is what is best.

What Are Your Goals?

Dr. Tom Ingegno, DAMC has meditated daily for decades, and uses it as part of his professional life as an acupuncturist.

“If somebody's coming in and maybe they've had a rough week of work, or they got some bad health news, or, [the] loss of a loved one or something like that—we can't take that away," he says, "but while they're in the treatment, we try and create that space. Having them do some breath work or guided meditation, even, can help.”

As for how often Ingegno meditates. he says that he does so daily and that a digital tool known as a Muse headband helps him sustain it.

I'm now over five years of daily meditation and I don't want that number to go to zero…I just don't want to lose that number. So, I will meditate. Even if it's going to be a crap meditation, even if it's only going to be for like two minutes. I'm making sure I do that every morning.


DR. TOM INGEGNO, DAMC

The length of time you’re supposed to meditate at any one time in order to feel those benefits is also a point of contention. Previous research has found that between 5 and 45 minutes is often the best window and that meditating just before bed can help for those looking to reduce insomnia.

In order to reach those goals, Ingegno isn’t alone in using technology. Dr. Geillan Aly (PhD),  the founder and CEO at Compassionate Math who also works within the CUNY ecosystem, has used the muse headband to study levels of math-related anxiety in students.

In her study, a group of students were given the muse headband and tasked with meditating for a short period of time. What happened? The group’s math anxiety scores lowered as compared to a control group. As for the study’s impact on her own personal outlook, Aly says that it has given her even more of a reason to trust in meditation as a support for students, who are probably not the first group you'd think of as regular meditators.

“Rather than just, ‘When I meditate, I feel good. When I meditate, I can be calmer,’ It's seeing a very fundamental, practical application to meditation, which I think is very helpful for people who think that meditation is so woo woo.”

Essentially, choosing a daily meditation practice means building skills that can quickly help you deal with any situation. A situational meditation practice is good too, but you may miss out on some of the benefits of meditating when things are actually going well.

How to Find the Best Meditation Practice for You


Ask three experts in their respective fields about meditation, and how they do it, and you will get three different answers. For Dr. Gary, what her best practice looks like depends on the time of day and her workload, but her weekends provide the most space for meditation.

“It's a completely oversized bean bag chair that I like to sit on. And I'll sit right in the center of it and I'll really just focus on my breathing. And I start by remembering to take deep breaths because I find that even during the day, during the week, I don't breathe enough."

Depending on what's at the front of your mind, the way you meditate can change. If you're working on a big project, a guided visualization might help, whereas as a breathing routine may be more helpful if you're struggling with anxiety.

“[People] tend to think that you've got to find just the perfect pose, and the perfect mantra, and you've got to do your ohms and all these things. And that isn't necessarily the case to see the benefit.”

As someone working in what is historically a form of Eastern medicine, a tradition that is often discredited by Western medical practitioners, Dr. Ingegno says that the influx of interest in tools like meditation shows that healthcare can be democratized when people find a practice that works for them. But only if resources, like those available on YouTube and other free platforms, aren’t drowned out by big money biohacker types.

And, just like with any health practice, the way you enter into something like a meditation practice can differ radically between people. Maybe it has been recommended by a therapist, for example, or maybe you are just looking for something new to help you deal with daily stressors. It's one of the most accessible and flexible self-help methods out there.

Keep in Mind


The most important thing is finding a meditation practice that works for you, but experts agree that once a day is probably an ideal target to consistently feel the impacts of the practice.

However, more important than that is finding a routine that you can do consistently, and that is accessible to you. That may mean just a few times a week, only when you need it, or even more than once a day. The great thing about meditation is that it's very easy for you to control where, when, and how often you do it.

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Free access to sleep care is now available for people without health insurance in southeast Michigan. Established by a University of Michigan sleep epidemiologist, a unique sleep medicine service aims to combat sleep disorders and help reduce poor health outcomes.

 

Sleep is a vital function for overall well-being — impacting physical, mental and emotional health. However, many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep.

 

An estimated 50 to 70 million American adults are affected by sleep disturbances, and one in three adults will experience a sleep disorder at some point in their lives.

 

“Unfortunately, those who are most susceptible to sleep disorders include low-income working adults, immigrants and refugees,” said Galit Levi Dunietz, PhD, MPHan associate professor in the University of Michigan Department of Neurology and Division of Sleep Medicine.

 

“Medical care is often inaccessible for these underserved groups, and they never receive assessment or diagnosis for sleep disorders. Left untreated, they suffer from severe health consequences.”

 

Dunietz partnered with the Hope Clinic, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting underinsured and uninsured individuals, to provide free sleep care to underserved populations.

 

With locations in Ypsilanti and Westland, Mich., the clinics are situated in urban areas of the state with diverse communities, including many immigrants and refugees.

 

The organization provides free medical and dental care, behavioral health counseling and food programs for vulnerable members of the community.

 

“We aim to provide the most extensive range of free healthcare services possible, but sleep medicine has not been accessible to us in the past,” said Ann Marie Peterson, a medical clinic manager at Hope Clinic.

 

“There was a critical need for sleep care amongst our patients, which would have been far too expensive for them to receive anywhere else.”

 

In particular, many patients visiting Hope Clinic were diagnosed with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

 

Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring and frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, and can lead to insomnia, daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Obstructive sleep apnea is commonly treated with nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), a breathing machine that keeps the upper airway open.    

 

Without health insurance, evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea and its treatment are inaccessible. Barriers to sleep apnea care include lack of access to a sleep physician, sleep apnea test and CPAP machines.

 

The sleep medical care at Hope Clinic not only provides free evaluation and treatment for patients at risk of obstructive sleep apnea, but also replaces dysfunctional old CPAP machines, and equipment needed to use it, for individuals with sleep apnea without health insurance.    

 

To fund the clinical operations of the new program, Dunietz applied for the Community Sleep Health and Public Awareness Grant offered by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation. The grant funds were used to purchase devices for at-home sleep apnea testing and CPAP machines.

 

“We send our patients home with a non-invasive, fully portable device to test for sleep apnea,” said Dunietz.

 

“It relies on a highly innovative technology and is very convenient for our patients.”

 

The test is able to identify pauses in breathing or periods of decreased breathing – called apneas or hypopneas, respectively – during sleep based on specific signal patterns, measured in part from the fingertip by recording changes in pulse.

 

The data from the home sleep apnea testing device is uploaded to the clinic’s cloud server and reviewed by a sleep physician. If the test results are indicative of sleep apnea, the patient returns to the clinic for a consultation with a respiratory therapist who provides the patient with a CPAP machine at no cost.

 

Dunietz recruited volunteer sleep physicians and respiratory therapists from the U-M and Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Centers to help run the clinics.

 

The first monthly clinic took place September 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Starting up during a global pandemic presented challenges, but the most concerning issue stemmed from a major recall of CPAP machines, leading to a severe supply shortage.

 

Dunietz set her sights on local CPAP vendors with existing connections to Michigan Medicine. She convinced them to donate gently used CPAP devices at minimal to no cost, ensuring the clinic could continue to provide treatment.

 

“The equipment and services Dr. Dunietz has provided is invaluable,” Peterson said.

 

“She has not only acknowledged the health disparities in our community, but continued to push for change despite all obstacles.”

 

The free sleep clinic also prioritizes monitoring and follow-up with its patients. The output from the machine tracks use, reporting the number of hours and days per week that it’s active. The data is available to the respiratory therapists and physicians at follow-up visits to Hope Clinic, and can be used to adjust treatment strategies.

 

“When our patients come back for follow-up appointments, that’s when we know we’re making a real difference,” Dunietz said.

 

"It's beyond rewarding to hear them say they’re sleeping better and feel like they can be more proactive in their lives.”

 

Although the grant only provided funds for one year, the sleep clinic still operates this year and plans to continue providing care in 2025.

 

“The patients we’ve seen at Hope are all suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea and could not have afforded to receive treatment otherwise,” she said.

 

“You cannot imagine their excitement. The sleep clinic has had a lower no-show rate than any other subspeciality at Hope Clinic.”

 

Recently, Dunietz was chosen as a recipient of the 2024 Health Care Equity Research Award by the American Academy of Neurology. The award serves as an official acknowledgement of the success she has had in reducing sleep health inequities for underserved communities.

 

“I hope that our sleep clinic will serve as a model for others across the country,” Dunietz said.

 

“I am committed to continuing to provide equitable access to sleep medical care in southeast Michigan.”

 

Volunteer sleep physicians: Ronald Chervin, M.D., Cathy Goldstein, M.D., Shelley Hershner, M.D., William Palmer, M.D., Ronald R. Gavidia Romero, M.D., Anita Shelgikar, M.D., Qurratul Aine Shamim-Uzzaman, M.D, Punithavathy Vijayakumar, M.B.B.S.

 

Volunteer respiratory therapists: Rebecca Aiello, Armando Kurili

 

Donation of home sleep apnea devices by Gregg Gooch, ZOLL Itamar

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I’ve always been a bit highly strung; a self-confessed workaholic attached to my phone and laptop far more than I should be with two young children. Then there was the recent family bereavement that completely floored me, highlighting how little time I spend just pausing.

Having experienced anxiety in the past, I know I never want to go back there. The answer? Some self-imposed switch-off time, and as a health and beauty journalist, there was a wellness trend making itself known in my inbox that felt tailor-made for me. Here's what happened when I spent a month trying them all.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

I visited The Body Lab. Cost: £120 for one hour

What is it? This uses atmospheric pressure to increase your oxygen intake and speed up the body’s healing process, delivering oxygen-rich plasma to damaged tissue. While the FDA has approved HBOT to treat a number of conditions, including non-healing wounds and carbon monoxide poisoning, clinical trials for other conditions, such as COVID-19, are “highly promising” but ongoing. American actor Jeremy Renner, who had a near-fatal snowplough accident last year, shared his twice-daily oxygen therapy on social media. Ronaldo and Tiger Woods also commit to regular sessions and Justin Bieber revealed in his docuseries Seasons, that a large part of his anxiety management has been the use of hyperbaric chambers. With all this in mind, my interest was piqued enough to give it a go.

What it involves: There was a moment, just before the lid of the large coffin-shaped chamber closed over my prostrate body and the bolts slid into place, when I thought… screw this. The staff member shutting me in later admitted he’d had a few people act on the impulse to bolt. Inside, I found an internal panel with three setting options: 1.1 ATA (ATA being the term used to measure atmospheric pressure), 1.2 ATA and 1.3 ATA. I worked my way up to 1.3, and once the initial ear popping had eased off, I managed to relax enough to read a few chapters of my book. But it was always in the back of my mind that exiting the chamber wasn’t instant, and would require a staff member to be alerted via the internal intercom.

Verdict: I left the chamber feeling more buoyant than I expected after an hour of isolation; a rush of elation that I’d managed to swallow my fear and last the full hour? Possibly. As with all the treatments I tried, multiple sessions are recommended for optimum results, but until I’ve tackled a specific concern or injury with regular sessions, I’m not right the person to justifying such a significant cost.

Full-Body Cryotherapy

I visited The Body Lab. Cost: £75 for 3 minutes

What is it? A tate-of-the-art cryo chamber is powered by liquid nitrogen that is at a teeth-chattering -110°C. As you step inside, your body’s ‘fight or flight’ mechanism is triggered, causing blood to rush to your vital organs. Inflammation in the muscles is supressed, and blood flows back to the rest of the body oxygenated and nutrient-rich, making it a go-to for professional athletes requiring quick recovery between training sessions. While more research is needed (as with all the “therapies” I tried), studies indicate that extreme (but brief) cold exposure can also assist with the alleviation of mood disorders (alongside conventional medical treatment) such as anxiety and depression, firing off endorphins (the happy hormone) in the brain.


What it involves:
I hate being cold. I’m a three-layers-in-the-middle-of-summer kind of girl, so how I talked myself into stepping inside a giant freezer with hardly any clothes on is beyond me. When I say freezer. It was the longest three minutes of my life. By the end of it I was doing a comedy dance to keep warm and trying to physically brush the painful cold sensation from my skin.

Verdict: there’s no denying the rush it gives you. I spent the rest of the day feeling energised, invigorated and, strangely, not in the least bit cold. While people swear by a daily cold shower or ice water plunge, dry, cryogenically cooled air that’s gradually lowered is a more “pleasant” experience than sudden immersion in icy water, which requires a longer time to achieve the same results due to the “warmer” water temp, and can leave joints feeling stiff. It’s also worth remembering that cryotherapy is always (or should always) be supervised by a member of staff, whereas the temptation to ice plunge at home alone could be seen as dangerous. In terms of the results, there’s no proof that one is better than the other, but I would justify investing in regular sessions if I was a serious gym enthusiast or athlete in training.

Neuro-relaxation

I visited Remedi London. Cost: £50 for 30 minutes

What is it? Designed to help with a host of health concerns, including mental health and insomnia, this “cognitive trainer” increases alpha and theta waves in the brain, triggering the secretion of “happy hormones” such as serotonin, and activating the calm-inducing parasympathetic nervous system (a one-month study found it reduced the blood pressure and improved the sleep quality of nurses during the pandemic).


What it involves:
After a pint of coffee and a morning of meetings, I was convinced the Rebalance Impulse (also referred to as “as a neuro-relaxation machine”), would do nothing to take the edge off my wired-as-you-like state. After entering a small, dark room and settling on a curved, cushioned bed (in the same position astronauts take off, apparently), a soothing American voice took me through a range of relaxation techniques and exercises. The chromatherapy (that’s the light show) consisted of a round lamp of oscillating multicoloured lights that pulsed satisfyingly in time with the guided breathing. While the lights were visually arresting, chromatherapy is based on the idea that colours create an electrical impulse in our brain, which stimulates positive hormonal and biochemical processes within our body. Scientific studies are limited, but at the very least, it’s believed to “benefit people because of its harmony with nature.”

The verdict: The session lasted 30 minutes, but I fell asleep about halfway through (despite the caffeine spike). It essentially hacks all your senses to improve your brain’s ability to switch off – something I have never managed to achieve during my numerous attempts at meditation. Afterwards, I felt like I’d had the best power nap of my life; recharged and positive, and wishing I could bring the bed home with me and adopt some nightly neuro-meditation. For anyone who is struggling to switch off their busy brain but finds meditation impossible, I would highly recommend this “machine-assisted” approach.

Floatation Therapy

I visited The Float Spa. Cost: £40 for 1 x 30 minutes

What is it? In an age of multi screens and over stimulation, these sci-fi looking pods (filled with warm water and 500kg of Epsom salts) allow you to float weightlessly with no sight (unless you prefer to keep the dim blue light on), no touch, and no sound. A clinical study based on a seven-week floatation program found the subjects’ stress, depression, anxiety, and pain were significantly decreased (with optimism and sleep quality significantly increased).


What it involves:
Most of us will never know what it feels like to float in space, but I imagine this is as close as it gets. The ear plugs provided are essential - water trickling into my ears would have ruined the entire experience. The water is shallow, so you never feel out of your depth, and you can leave the tank within seconds simply by pushing on the lid. I kept having to consciously un-tense my neck, a natural response to being submerged in water with your face so close to the surface, but after a while I managed to master the art of total relaxation.

Verdict: Did my busy brain continue to chatter throughout my hour-long float? Of course it did, but dramatically less so by the time I re-entered the real world, feeling serenely calm and cosseted.

Infrared Sauna

I visited The Float Spa. Cost:£40 for 1 x 30 minutes

What is it? If you're not a fan of hot-as-the-sun saunas, sit tight. The heat generated by infrared is believed to penetrate human tissue better than the warmed air of traditional saunas, dilating blood vessels and boosting circulation to treat anything from pain relief to a boosted immune system.

What it involves: It takes a lot for me to break a sweat, and at such a comfortable heat I assumed I wouldn’t during my half-an-hour session. Wrong! I came out dripping, which seems to corroborate the theory that infrared light allows a more intense and detoxifying sweat at a much more bearable temperature. My little heated hut came with Bluetooth to connect my choice of music, and I even got the option to add some drops of eucalyptus oil to a pot of water to reap the respiratory benefits.

Verdict: I usually step out of a traditional sauna feeling dizzy, dehydrated and drained, but this was an entirely different feeling. Rather than wanting to curl up and sleep, I felt ready to tackle the rest of my day’s to-do list with vigour - a feeling worth every penny, in this bedraggled mum’s books.

Sealed in self-care: My verdict

It’s not lost on me that with the wellness industry worth an estimated at $5.6 trillion, marketing will have us think we need to throw money at sealed-in subscriptions to feel good again. And let’s face it, they’re not cheap. So, is wellness reserved for the well off? I’m lucky enough to live by the sea, the other side of me flanked by miles of lush, green countryside, and the benefits I experienced from my bout of sensory deprivation makes me think I should go back to basics; leave my phone at home and go on a regular walk that will cost me nothing.

While alternative wellness practices are a way of life for many cultures around the world - from Finnish saunas and Turkish Hammams to the mind-quietening practice of meditation in countries such as India - it appears the western world, namely the US and Europe, are becoming late adopters via these modern-day, technology-driven upgrades. Ironic, considering the worsening mental health crisis has been linked to smartphones and social media, but in a world where we run our lives so sufficiently via apps, who’s to say manufactured sensory deprivation isn’t the future of mental and physical health management? I will treat myself to a little float and infrared sauna every now and then, but a mix of money and location makes the others a one-off experiment… for now. When I win millions on the lottery, you will mostly find me in a deeply meditative state (or freezing my tits off) in the wing of my mansion reserved for pods, tanks and chambers (not the sexy kind).

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Humans can go without food for long periods of time and without drinking water for days, but they can only last for a few minutes without breathing.This mechanical action is so important that

we continue to perform It is proven that by doing good work we can achieve very positive health outcomes.

We breathe approximately 21,000 times a day, many of which are uncontrolled and without us even realizing we are doing it.This can be something more, a moment of disconnection, a connection of mind and body, to which we can also add

understanding of oneself.

Rubén Sosa’s Instagram account (@medita_por_el_mundo) already has more than 500,000 followers.

Oxygen Advantage Coach and YogaBody breathing techniques, and knowing that practicing them “is an opportunity to connect with the inner peace that exists within us all.”

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continue

Benefits of good breathing

it can improve sleep quality: If you’re one of those people who has trouble falling asleep or has insomnia, doing some breathing exercises before bed can improve your body’s relaxation, allowing you to enter the REM phase more easily. More efficient way.

Reduce stress and anxiety: This is the key, especially in our daily lives where we have to deal with kids, work…and, even if you are one of those people who always say you don’t have time, you just need a few minutes Stop, let your mind go blank, and disconnect.

Good for digestion: You may be wondering how to do it, but it’s actually quite simple. By breathing deeply, we provide the body with more oxygen while supplying it to the digestive organs so they can work more efficiently. Increased blood flow regulates the nervous system and makes us feel calmer, which is reflected during the digestive process.

relieve pain: When something hurts us or we are hit, we tend to unconsciously hold our breath for a few seconds. But the truth is, there are benefits to this. Try holding your breath and then taking slow, deep breaths to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

We eliminate toxins: Part of the function of breathing is to remove toxins from the body. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste product from our bodies that we must release naturally. But if we do it by breathing quickly, that’s not enough. Therefore, it is recommended to spend a few minutes every day breathing deeply.

Promote relaxation: This is vital to our health. And it’s important to relax, because for people who aren’t used to it, it can even seem like torture. Sitting alone with your thoughts, with no noise and a blank mind, can be more complicated than you think, and breathing is a key tool for success.

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Free access to sleep care is now available for people without health insurance in southeast Michigan. Established by a University of Michigan sleep epidemiologist, the new sleep medicine service aims to combat sleep disorders and help reduce poor health outcomes. 

Sleep is a vital function for overall well-being — impacting physical, mental and emotional health. However, many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep.

An estimated 50 to 70 million American adults are affected by sleep disturbances, and one in three adults will experience a sleep disorder at some point in their lives.

“Unfortunately, those who are most susceptible to sleep disorders include low-income working adults, immigrants and refugees,” said Galit Levi Dunietz, Ph.D., M.P.H., an associate professor in the University of Michigan Department of Neurology and Division of Sleep Medicine.

“Medical care is often inaccessible for these underserved groups, and they never receive assessment or diagnosis for sleep disorders. Left untreated, they suffer from severe health consequences.”

Sleep and underserved populations

Dunietz partnered with the Hope Clinic, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting underinsured and uninsured individuals, to provide free sleep care to underserved populations.

With locations in Ypsilanti and Westland, Mich., the clinics are situated in urban areas of the state with diverse communities, including many immigrants and refugees.

The organization provides free medical and dental care, behavioral health counseling and food programs for vulnerable members of the community.

“We aim to provide the most extensive range of free healthcare services possible, but sleep medicine has not been accessible to us in the past,” said Ann Marie Peterson, a medical clinic manager at Hope Clinic.

“There was a critical need for sleep care amongst our patients, which would have been far too expensive for them to receive anywhere else.”

Sleep apnea common

In particular, many patients visiting Hope Clinic were diagnosed with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring and frequent pauses in breathing during sleep and can lead to insomnia, daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Obstructive sleep apnea is commonly treated with nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), a breathing machine that keeps the upper airway open.   

Without health insurance, evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea and its treatment are inaccessible. Barriers to sleep apnea care include lack of access to a sleep physician, sleep apnea test and CPAP machines.

It’s beyond rewarding to hear them say they’re sleeping better and feel like they can be more proactive in their lives.”

-Galit Levi Dunietz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

 

Right equipment

The sleep medical care at Hope Clinic not only provides free evaluation and treatment for patients at risk of obstructive sleep apnea, but also replaces dysfunctional old CPAP machines, and equipment needed to use it, for individuals with sleep apnea without health insurance.    

To fund the clinical operations of the new program, Dunietz applied for the Community Sleep Health and Public Awareness Grant offered by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation. The grant funds were used to purchase devices for at-home sleep apnea testing and CPAP machines.

“We send our patients home with a non-invasive, fully portable device to test for sleep apnea,” said Dunietz. 

“It relies on a highly innovative technology and is very convenient for our patients.”

The test is able to identify pauses in breathing or periods of decreased breathing – called apneas or hypopneas, respectively – during sleep based on specific signal patterns, measured in part from the fingertip by recording changes in pulse.

The data from the home sleep apnea testing device is uploaded to the clinic’s cloud server and reviewed by a sleep physician. If the test results are indicative of sleep apnea, the patient returns to the clinic for a consultation with a respiratory therapist who provides the patient with a CPAP machine at no cost.

Dunietz recruited volunteer sleep physicians and respiratory therapists from the U-M and Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Centers to help run the clinics.

Launched in a pandemic

The first monthly clinic took place September 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting up during a global pandemic presented challenges, but the most concerning issue stemmed from a major recall of CPAP machines, leading to a severe supply shortage.

Dunietz set her sights on local CPAP vendors with existing connections to Michigan Medicine. She convinced them to donate gently used CPAP devices at minimal to no cost, ensuring the clinic could continue to provide treatment.

“The equipment and services Dr. Dunietz has provided is invaluable,” Peterson said.

“She has not only acknowledged the health disparities in our community, but continued to push for change despite all obstacles.”

The free sleep clinic also prioritizes monitoring and follow-up with its patients. The output from the machine tracks use, reporting the number of hours and days per week that it’s active. The data is available to the respiratory therapists and physicians at follow-up visits to Hope Clinic, and can be used to adjust treatment strategies.

“When our patients come back for follow-up appointments, that’s when we know we’re making a real difference,” Dunietz said. 

“It’s beyond rewarding to hear them say they’re sleeping better and feel like they can be more proactive in their lives.”

Although the grant only provided funds for one year, the sleep clinic still operates this year and plans to continue providing care in 2025. 

“The patients we’ve seen at Hope are all suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea and could not have afforded to receive treatment otherwise,” she said.

“You cannot imagine their excitement. The sleep clinic has had a lower no-show rate than any other subspeciality at Hope Clinic.”

Recently, Dunietz was chosen as a recipient of the 2024 Health Care Equity Research Award by the American Academy of Neurology. The award serves as an official acknowledgement of the success she has had in reducing sleep health inequities for underserved communities.

“I hope that our sleep clinic will serve as a model for others across the country,” Dunietz said.

“I am committed to continuing to provide equitable access to sleep medical care in southeast Michigan.”

Volunteer sleep physicians: Ronald Chervin, M.D., Cathy Goldstein, M.D., Shelley Hershner, M.D., William Palmer, M.D., Ronald R. Gavidia Romero, M.D., Anita Shelgikar, M.D., Qurratul Aine Shamim-Uzzaman, M.D., Punithavathy Vijayakumar, M.B.B.S.

Volunteer respiratory therapists: Rebecca Aiello, Armando Kurili

Donation of home sleep apnea devices by Gregg Gooch of ZOLL Itamar

Sign up for Health Lab newsletters today. Get medical tips from top experts and learn about new scientific discoveries every week by subscribing to Health Lab’s two newsletters, Health & Wellness and Research & Innovation.

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Child’s Pose

This pose promotes a sense of physical and emotional grounding, puts the entire body at ease, and leads to complete relaxation

Corpse Pose

This pose can help to relieve stress and rejuvenate the nervous and lymphatic systems. It also promotes mental and physical relaxation

Legs Up The Wall Pose

This pose reverses the movement of the body and blood circulation to promote relaxation. It also offers deep relaxation while increasing lymph flow and circulation

Cat Cow Pose

This pose allows you to connect your breath to your movements while calming your mind and releasing stress

Standing Forward Fold Pose

This pose reduces stress and fatigue, stimulates the liver and kidneys, and alleviates headaches and insomnia

Sukhasna

Sukhasana, also known as Easy Pose, is a simple therapeutic pose that reduces stress and anxiety by gradually strengthening back muscles and improving body posture

Reclining Bound Angle With Bolster

This pose stretches and relaxes pelvic muscles, which relieves menstrual discomfort. Opening up the chest also allows for better breathing, which reduces stress

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He stress and anxiety They can play tricks at any time of the day. However, it is more common for the consequences to manifest themselves at night, when the tensions accumulated during the day fall completely on the body.

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Therefore, it is essential learn some breathing techniques that can improve your sleep and put an end to it insomnia.

This disorder can be caused by several factors, such as chronic pain, aging and unhealthy lifestyle habits, although it usually occurs due to high levels of stress.

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There are different types of breathing techniques that contribute to relaxation. One of these is the diaphragmatic, which is done by gently inhaling through the nose and then releasing the air through the mouth using the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm, which is the thin muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen.

Breathing: the best techniquesBreathing: the best techniques

Among its main advantages, Diaphragmatic breathing reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression– This deep, rhythmic breathing pattern can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote well-being.

In this sense, the “Better with health” portal also recommends concentrated breathing to put an end to insomnia. Simply sit with your back straight, inhale deeply through your nose for 3-5 seconds, then hold your breath for another 3 seconds and exhale. It is recommended to repeat the process 8 to 10 times.

Another recommended method is alternative nasal breathing. “This exercise requires a little more practice and, although it may seem complex and even strange at first, it is actually very relaxing, cathartic, beneficial and very good for fighting insomnia.”

Relaxation techniques to accompany good breathingRelaxation techniques to accompany good breathing

The step by step to perform correct alternative nasal breathing is:

  • Sit comfortably and with a straight back.
  • Now close the right nostril with your thumb and inhale only with the left.
  • When you reach the edge of your inhalation, release your right nostril and close your left nostril with your ring finger. Exhale.
  • Repeat the cycle again alternating in one pit and the other.

Relaxation techniques to accompany good breathing

The health portal “Medline Plus”, “everyone has trouble sleeping sometimes.” “But if this happens often, lack of sleep can affect your health and make it difficult to get through the day. Learn lifestyle tips that can help you rest better.”

Some tips for relaxing by practicing abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing, which will improve your heart rate, allow slower and more controlled breathing, as well as reduce anxiety, muscle tension and stress:

  • Drink something warm and caffeine-free, such as warm milk or herbal tea.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.
  • Read a book or magazine.
  • Listen to soft music or an audiobook.
  • Count backwards from 300, by 3.
  • Contract each muscle group for a second or two, starting with your feet and moving toward your head, then relax.
  • Practice abdominal breathing. Place your hand on your belly. Inhale, allowing the motion to push your hand outward as your belly lifts. The chest should not move. Hold your breath for a count of 5 and release the air for 5 seconds. Then repeat the process.
  • Meditate

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Life takes a crucial turn for women after hitting menopause between 45-55 years of age. During menopause or end of menstrual cycle, a woman's body goes through drastic hormonal changes which are visible in the form of many signs and symptoms including insomnia, heart pounding, hot flashes, night sweats among others. Menopause occurs when you do not have menstrual period for a period of 12 consecutive months. After the cessation of periods, reduction in reproductive hormones oestrogen and progesterone can lead to many physical and mental changes in women. These hormones play an important role in regulating various body functions and when their secretion is reduced, it could lead to increased risk of many diseases including cardiovascular illnesses. (Also read | Cold water swimming improves menopause symptoms: Research)

According to British Heart Foundation, a reduction in oestrogen levels can lead to fat build up in your arteries causing them to become narrower. (Shutterstock)

According to British Heart Foundation, a reduction in oestrogen levels can lead to fat build up in your arteries causing them to become narrower. This could increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease, a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, low levels of oestrogen are also connected with weight gain, high cholesterol levels, increased blood pressure and increased amount of fat around heart, which are all risk factors for heart attack.

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"After menopause, it's essential to prioritize your heart health. Engage in regular physical activity, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Adopt a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while minimizing saturated and trans fats. Keep an eye on your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar, as these factors play a significant role in heart health. Stress management techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can contribute to overall well-being," says Dr V. Vinoth Kumar, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, CARE Hospitals, HITEC City, Hyderabad.

"Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are crucial for monitoring and addressing any potential risk factors. They can provide personalized advice based on your health profile, helping you make informed decisions to reduce the risk of heart attacks post-menopause," says Dr Kumar.

Dr. Aparna Jaswal - Director, Electrophysiology and Cardiac Pacing, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla Road, New Delhi, says post menopause, women face an increased risk of heart disease due to hormonal changes, but there are several strategies to help prevent heart attacks and maintain heart health:

TIPS TO PREVENT HEART ATTACK AFTER MENOPAUSE

1. Healthy diet: Emphasise fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats while limiting saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.

2. Regular exercise: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities.

3. Maintain a healthy weight: Keep your body mass index (BMI) within the normal range (18.5 to 24.9) to reduce the risk of heart disease.

4. Quit smoking: Smoking significantly increases heart disease risk, so seek help to quit and avoid second-hand smoke exposure.

5. Limit alcohol: Moderate alcohol intake, defined as up to one drink per day for women, can help maintain heart health.

6. Manage stress: Practice stress-reducing techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or engaging in enjoyable hobbies.

7. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol: Regularly check and manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels to reduce heart disease risk.

8. Control blood sugar: Manage diabetes or prediabetes through diet, exercise, medication, and monitoring.

9. Get regular check-ups: Schedule routine check-ups with your healthcare provider to assess heart health and address any concerns.

10. Medication adherence: Take prescribed medications for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes as directed.

11. Sleep well: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support heart health.

By adopting these lifestyle habits, women can reduce their risk of heart attack and maintain good heart health post-menopause.

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There are a number of a respiratory viruses circulating this winter. You could get hit with the flu, RSV, or, yes, COVID—which is still spreading well after the official end of the pandemic. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the JN.1 variant recently caused a spike in coronavirus cases throughout the U.S., but the agency says respiratory disease activity overall is elevated, making it hard to know whether your symptoms are a sign of COVID or something else.

It's especially challenging to tell the difference between COVID, the flu, and RSV without testing, because "COVID can most commonly present like most other upper respiratory tract infections at this point," Thomas Holland, MD, associate professor of infectious diseases at Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina, told HuffPost.

Nevertheless, many people experience headache or fatigue as their first symptoms of COVID, according to Holland—and those signs can show up before you test positive for the virus.

"There's some evidence that people are more likely to test positive or more likely to reach their maximum viral shedding … a little bit later than earlier in the pandemic," Holland shared. "The counseling for years with COVID was that you were maximally infectious … right around the time that you develop symptoms, and that's probably pushed back a little bit later to a day or two or three days after onset of symptoms, probably because most of us have some immunity to COVID at this point, either from vaccination or viral infection, or both."

That doesn't mean you shouldn't test, however. It does mean that you may test negative when you first come down with a headache or fatigue, before testing positive a few days later.

"It's important to test," S. Wesley Long, MD, medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist Hospital, told HuffPost. "We have medications to treat flu, we have medications to treat COVID [and] they're different, one won't work on the other. And none of those medications will work for the common cold."

Of course, headache and fatigue are not likely to be your only COVID symptoms. And they're two signs that could be associated with "really any respiratory virus," according to Long. Wondering what other symptoms you should look out for as you wait to test positive? Read on for four other common signs.

RELATED: COVID Now Causing These Unusual Symptoms, New Data Shows.

Close up of a woman wearing a light pink dress sitting on a toilet pulling toilet paperClose up of a woman wearing a light pink dress sitting on a toilet pulling toilet paper
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Besides headache, David Strain, associate professor of cardiometabolic health at the University of Exeter, recently told BBC that JN.1 patients are often experiencing diarrhea as an early COVID symptom.

He's not the only medical professional to point this out.

"There is some suggestion that JN.1 may be causing more diarrhea than previous variants, but we don't have any firm data supporting that yet," Andy Pekosz, PhD, professor in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, said in an interview for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

RELATED: JN.1 COVID Patients Are Presenting With 2 Specific Symptoms First, Doctors Say.

Menopausal Mature Woman Suffering With Insomnia In Bed At HomeMenopausal Mature Woman Suffering With Insomnia In Bed At Home
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The U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducted a survey in early Dec. 2023 and found that 10.8 percent of respondents reported that they struggled to sleep when they had COVID. In response to the data, a spokesperson for the CDC previously confirmed to Best Life that the agency has been investigating this as well.

"There have been reports that COVID-19 may be associated with insomnia … in some patients, and therefore that can be a general symptom of infection," the spokesperson said.

RELATED: Why the New COVID Variant Could Make You Sick Longer, Doctor Says.

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Last fall, several doctors told NBC News that they were seeing sore throat as one of the first COVID symptoms. Some patients have described "a burning sensation like they never had, even with strep in the past," Grace McComsey, MD, vice dean for clinical and translational research at Case Western University, told the news outlet at the time.

Shot of a young man blowing his nose while feeling sick at homeShot of a young man blowing his nose while feeling sick at home
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After their sore throat clears up, many COVID patients are experiencing congestion, William Schaffner, MD, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told Parade at the end of last year.

This nasal congestion typically comes alongside "a runny nose and feeling run down with fatigue and muscle aches," according to Schaffner.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

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The ancient practice of yoga nurtures physical strength and provides a sanctuary for the mind. Let’s explore some yoga poses that can contribute to a calmer and more centred mental state.

(Isstories Editorial):- Rishikesh, Uttarakhand Feb 14, 2024 (Issuewire.com) – Drishti Yogshala: Drishti Yogshala is yoga Alliance Certified Yoga school in rishikesh. provide certification yoga teacher training courses. 

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Which yoga poses are good for mental health?

In our fast-paced world, finding moments of tranquility and mental well-being is crucial. As we navigate the challenges of daily life, incorporating yoga into our routine can be a powerful ally in fostering mental health. The ancient practice of yoga nurtures physical strength and provides a sanctuary for the mind. Let’s explore some yoga poses that can contribute to a calmer and more centred mental state.

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana):
Begin your journey to mental serenity with Child’s Pose. This restorative pose allows you to connect with your breath and turn inward, providing a sense of security and release. The child’s pose gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, promoting relaxation and easing tension.

2. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):
Transition into a Downward-Facing Dog to invigorate the entire body. This pose not only strengthens the arms, shoulders, and legs but also encourages blood flow to the brain, alleviating stress and enhancing mental clarity. Focus on deep, rhythmic breathing to fully embrace the calming benefits.

3. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana):
Release mental tension and cultivate introspection with the Seated Forward Bend. This pose stretches the spine and hamstrings, relieving anxiety and promoting a sense of calm. Close your eyes, surrender to the stretch, and let go of any mental clutter.

4. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana):
Balancing poses like Tree Pose not only enhances physical stability but also cultivates mental focus and concentration. Rooting down through one leg while lifting the other activates core muscles, grounding the mind in the present moment and fostering a sense of equilibrium.

5. Corpse Pose (Savasana):
Embrace the power of stillness with Corpse Pose. The final relaxation at the end of a yoga session, Savasana, allows for complete surrender. As you lie down, let go of thoughts and tensions, allowing the body and mind to absorb the benefits of your practice. Savasana is a gateway to deep relaxation and mental rejuvenation.

6. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana):
Bridge Pose is a gentle backbend that not only strengthens the spine and legs but also opens the heart. By expanding the chest, this pose releases pent-up emotions and encourages a positive flow of energy. Bridge Pose is an antidote to stress, promoting emotional well-being.

7. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana):
Flow through the dynamic movements of Cat-Cow Pose to promote spinal flexibility and release tension in the back, neck, and shoulders. This rhythmic sequence encourages a mind-body connection, fostering mindfulness and reducing stress. Sync your breath with each movement to amplify its calming effects.

8. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani):
Incorporate this gentle inversion to soothe the nervous system and improve circulation. Legs Up the Wall Pose promotes relaxation and relieves symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. As you rest in this pose, allow the mind to unwind and surrender to a sense of peace.

9. Camel Pose (Ustrasana):
Open the heart and throat with Camel Pose, a powerful backbend that encourages emotional release. By stretching the front of the body, Ustrasana invites a sense of vulnerability and acceptance, promoting mental well-being and inner strength.

10. Mindful Breathing (Pranayama):
While not a physical pose, mindful breathing through pranayama techniques is an integral part of yoga for mental health. Techniques like deep belly breathing, alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana), and ujjayi breath help calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and enhance mental clarity.

Mindful Transitions for Mental Harmony:
In addition to the physical postures, integrating mindful transitions between poses enhances the overall mental benefits of your yoga practice. Emphasize the journey between poses, savouring each movement with awareness. Transition mindfully from Downward-Facing Dog to Forward Bend, feeling the subtle shifts in your body. Cultivate a sense of mindfulness during these transitions, acknowledging the present moment and allowing mental chatter to subside. These moments of conscious movement serve as a bridge, connecting the physical and mental aspects of your practice and reinforcing the therapeutic effects yoga has on your overall well-being.

So, incorporating these yoga poses into your routine can be a transformative journey toward mental well-being. As you flow through these postures, remember that yoga is not just a physical practice; it’s a holistic approach to nurturing both the body and mind. Embrace the stillness, connect with your breath, and let the healing power of yoga guide you on the path to mental serenity.



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Taking a long time to fall asleep and having increased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep correlate with a higher burden of purposeless hand movements, called stereotypies, in girls with Rett syndrome, a new study shows.

These findings may also suggest a “higher risk of insomnia in individuals with [Rett] who have poor social skills, and warrant clinicians to consider such sleep difficulties in their therapeutic approach,” researchers wrote.

Their study, “Sleep and the social profiles of individuals with Rett Syndrome,” was published in the journal Pediatric Neurology.

Affecting girls almost exclusively, Rett syndrome is chiefly caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene. This gene has instructions for a protein with the same name that regulates how key genes for brain development and function are read.

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Rett symptoms include impairments in social skills, disrupted sleep

Symptoms of Rett are diverse and include impairments in social skills, losing the ability to speak, and disrupted sleep, gait, and eye gaze communication.

However, the relationship between sleep and social behavior in Rett patients remains poorly characterized.

With this in mind, researchers from France and the Netherlands analyzed the sleep pattern of 12 girls with Rett, mean age 8.5 years. They used polysomnography (a sleep study) which objectively records brain waves, oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing, and movement during sleep.

Parameters recorded included total sleep time, the time to fall asleep after the lights are turned off (sleep onset latency), the time spent awake while in bed (called wake after sleep onset), and sleep efficiency, which is the ratio between total sleep time and time from lights-off in the evening to lights-on in the next morning.

In parallel, the girls’ parents filled out the Rett Syndrome Behavioral Questionnaire. The researchers focused on 25 social-related items, including general mood and anxiety, and one item assessing daytime sleepiness.

A statistical analysis confirmed an excellent consistency in parents’ statements related to four behavioral patterns — “interactive motricity,” mood change, anxiety/agitation, and “gazing” — which were then used in the correlation analysis.

The mood-change subscale included behaviors of screaming without an apparent reason and repetitive hand movements. For “interactive motricity,” most parents reported failure to use hands for purposeful grasping. For “gazing,” reports included an expressionless face and looking through people into the distance.

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A doctor holding a clipboard speaks with a patient seated on an examining table.

The analysis revealed longer times to fall asleep and increased REM sleep correlated with a higher burden of socio-behavioral impairments, particularly in interactive motricity. REM sleep is a stage associated with dreaming, with rapid movement of the eyes behind the eyelids.

A third of the Rett patients (33.3%) had daytime sleepiness, as they required frequent naps during the day. No correlation was seen between daytime sleepiness or sleep-disordered breathing and behavior impairments.

Overall, these findings suggest in Rett, “more frequent abnormal social behaviors, primarily in interactive motricity, are strongly associated with difficulties falling asleep and more REM sleep,” the study concluded.

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As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new health concern has emerged – long Covid. Studies indicate that millions of people worldwide, including children and pregnant individuals, are experiencing this condition. Long Covid is an umbrella term encompassing a range of health issues that persist for weeks or months following the acute phase of a Covid-19 infection. These health issues impact diverse populations, emphasizing the need for further research and support.

The Multifaceted Nature of Long Covid

Researchers have found that long Covid affects each person differently, leading to a myriad of symptoms. These may include a decline in stamina, changes in heartbeat, brain fog, muscle and body aches, difficulty breathing, loss of taste and smell, gastrointestinal problems, extreme fatigue, insomnia, cognitive changes, and depression. The cause and specific treatment for long Covid remain elusive. Doctors currently focus on managing specific symptoms. Fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can persist in the body long after an initial infection, possibly causing ongoing inflammation and contributing to some symptoms. There is also speculation that a Covid infection may awaken existing dormant viruses in the body, such as the Epstein-Barr virus.

Psychological Impact of Long Covid

Long Covid is not just a physical health issue; it also has significant psychological implications. A systematic review and meta-analysis estimated the global prevalence of depression and anxiety among patients dealing with post-Covid-19 syndrome to be 23% and 26% respectively, and the prevalence of sleep disorders at 45%. These figures underscore the need for comprehensive mental health support and tailored interventions for patients experiencing persistent symptoms.

Impact on Sexual Health

Studies have also revealed that long Covid can have a detrimental effect on sexual function. A survey of over 2,000 cisgender women showed that those with long Covid experienced lower levels of sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and pain scores. This suggests that Covid-19 infection may impair both cognitive and physiological aspects of sexual function. However, it’s important to note that Covid-19 vaccination does not cause infertility or have a significant impact on menstruation. There’s a call for integrating sexual health into the broader conversation on post-Covid recovery and care.

Evolving Understanding and Management of Long Covid

As research into long Covid continues, there have been updates on SARS-CoV-2, vaccine effectiveness, and the emergence of new variants. Regarding immunity from a Covid-19 infection, it’s essential to understand that vaccination remains crucial. The oral antiviral medication Paxlovid has also shown efficacy for patients with mild or moderate symptoms.

In conclusion, long Covid is a complex and multifaceted condition that requires comprehensive care and ongoing research. As we learn more about this condition, it is crucial to ensure that public health measures continue and support is available for those affected by long Covid.

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CBD Gummies for COPD from Shark Tank: 8 Interesting Facts

CBD, or cannabidiol, has gained significant popularity in recent years for its potential therapeutic benefits. One of the most intriguing applications of CBD is its potential to alleviate symptoms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this article, we explore the concept of CBD gummies for COPD, along with eight interesting facts that shed light on this emerging trend.

Fact 1: CBD and COPD

COPD is a progressive lung disease that causes breathing difficulties due to inflammation and damage to the airways. While CBD does not cure COPD, it has shown promise in managing symptoms such as inflammation, pain, anxiety, and insomnia. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological functions, including inflammation.

Fact 2: CBD Gummies as an Alternative Delivery Method

CBD gummies are a popular choice for individuals seeking a convenient and discreet way to consume CBD. Unlike smoking or vaping, which may irritate the lungs, gummies offer a non-invasive method of CBD delivery. They also provide a precise dosage, making it easier for COPD patients to control their intake.

Fact 3: The Shark Tank Connection

There have been claims circulating online about CBD gummies for COPD being featured on the popular television show Shark Tank. However, it is important to note that no CBD gummy product specifically targeting COPD has been featured on the show. While some CBD companies may have appeared on Shark Tank, it is crucial to verify such claims and conduct thorough research before making a purchase.

Fact 4: The Importance of Quality

When considering CBD gummies for COPD, it is essential to prioritize quality. Look for products that are third-party tested and certified for purity and potency. Reputable companies will provide lab reports that verify the absence of harmful contaminants and the accurate CBD content. Quality CBD gummies should also be made from organic hemp and use natural ingredients.

Fact 5: Potential Benefits of CBD Gummies for COPD

CBD gummies may offer several potential benefits for COPD patients. Firstly, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce airway inflammation, thereby improving breathing. Secondly, CBD’s analgesic effects may alleviate pain associated with COPD. Additionally, CBD’s anxiolytic properties may help manage anxiety, a common symptom in COPD patients. Lastly, CBD’s potential to improve sleep quality may be beneficial for COPD patients who often struggle with insomnia.

Fact 6: Dosage Considerations

Determining the appropriate dosage of CBD gummies for COPD can be challenging since there is no standardized dosage. Factors such as body weight, severity of symptoms, and individual tolerance levels should be taken into account. It is advisable to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until the desired effects are achieved. Consulting with a healthcare professional experienced in CBD therapeutics can provide valuable guidance.

Fact 7: Legal Considerations

The legality of CBD products varies across different countries and states. In the United States, CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) is legal at the federal level. However, it is crucial to stay informed about local regulations, as they may differ from federal laws. Always ensure you are purchasing CBD gummies from a reputable source that complies with legal requirements.

Fact 8: Potential Side Effects and Drug Interactions

While CBD is generally well-tolerated, it can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects include dry mouth, drowsiness, and changes in appetite. CBD may also interact with certain medications, so it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before adding CBD gummies to your COPD treatment regimen.

Now, let’s address some common questions regarding CBD gummies for COPD:

1. Are CBD gummies legal for COPD patients?
Yes, CBD gummies derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC are legal at the federal level in the United States. However, local regulations may vary.

2. Can CBD gummies cure COPD?
No, CBD cannot cure COPD. It can, however, help manage symptoms associated with the disease.

3. Are there any specific CBD gummies for COPD?
There are no specific CBD gummies designed exclusively for COPD. However, high-quality CBD gummies can still be beneficial for COPD patients.

4. How do CBD gummies work for COPD?
CBD gummies work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates various physiological functions, including inflammation.

5. Can CBD gummies replace other COPD medications?
CBD should not be used as a replacement for prescribed COPD medications without consulting a healthcare professional. It may be used as a complementary therapy.

6. Are there any potential drug interactions with CBD gummies?
CBD may interact with certain medications, so it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD gummies, especially if you are taking other medications.

7. How long does it take for CBD gummies to take effect?
The effects of CBD gummies can vary depending on factors such as metabolism and dosage. Generally, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects.

8. Can CBD gummies make COPD symptoms worse?
CBD gummies are generally well-tolerated, but individual reactions may vary. It is advisable to start with a low dosage and monitor how your body responds.

9. Can CBD gummies help with COPD-related anxiety?
Yes, CBD’s anxiolytic properties may help manage anxiety associated with COPD.

10. Are there any age restrictions for using CBD gummies for COPD?
Age restrictions for CBD gummies may vary depending on local regulations. In some places, individuals must be at least 18 years old to purchase CBD products.

11. How should CBD gummies be stored?
CBD gummies should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain their freshness and potency.

12. Can CBD gummies cause addiction?
CBD is non-addictive and does not produce the “high” associated with THC.

13. Are there different flavors of CBD gummies available?
CBD gummies come in a variety of flavors, including fruity, sour, and chocolate, among others. Choose the flavor that suits your preferences.

14. Can CBD gummies be taken with other CBD products?
Yes, CBD gummies can be taken alongside other CBD products, such as oils or topicals, for a more comprehensive CBD regimen.

15. Are CBD gummies suitable for everyone with COPD?
CBD gummies may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with specific medical conditions or taking certain medications. Consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD gummies.

16. How long do CBD gummies last?
The shelf life of CBD gummies varies depending on the brand and storage conditions. Generally, they can last anywhere from six months to a year.

17. Can CBD gummies be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
CBD use during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended, as there is limited research on its effects in these situations.

In summary, CBD gummies offer a potential alternative for COPD patients seeking relief from symptoms such as inflammation, pain, anxiety, and insomnia. It is essential to prioritize quality, consult with healthcare professionals, and stay informed about legal considerations. While CBD gummies cannot cure COPD, they may provide a complementary approach to managing the disease’s symptoms.

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Cardio health benefits

Health Benefits Of Incorporating Cardio In Your Workout Routine

Cardiovascular exercises, also known as cardio, are activities that increases your heart and breathing rate. These exercises primarily target the cardiovascular system, including the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Examples of cardio exercises include running, jogging, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, and jumping rope.

When you engage in cardio activities, your heart pumps more blood to give oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, while your lungs work harder to take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. Over time, regular cardio exercise strengthens the heart muscle, improves lung function, and enhances overall cardiovascular health. Also, it can help in weight management, boost mood, increase energy levels, improve sleep quality, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases among others.

It is advised that you aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week.

Read on to know some of the health benefits of incorporating cardio exercises into your workout routine.

Improved heart health

Cardio exercises such as running, cycling and swimming enhances your heart health. Engaging in regular cardio workouts strengthens the heart muscle, improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. This reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and atherosclerosis.

Weight management

Cardio exercises help in burning calories and in weight loss or weight maintenance. Activities like brisk walking, jogging or using cardio machines like ellipticals or treadmills can help create a calorie deficit, leading to fat loss. Also, cardio workouts improve metabolism even after you’ve finished your workout, helping in calorie burn throughout the day.

Improved lung function

Cardio exercises improves lung function by increasing the demand for oxygen-rich blood in the body. The respiratory system works to deliver oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. This not only improves exercise performance but also supports overall respiratory health, reducing the risk of respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Reduced risk of chronic diseases

Studies have shown that regular cardio exercise can lower the risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Cardio improves blood sugar levels and reduces blood pressure and inflammation, all of which help to prevent chronic disease.

Improved mood and mental health

Cardio exercises stimulate the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and reduce stress and anxiety. Regular cardio activities can improve mood, cognitive function and reduce risks of depression and anxiety disorders.

Better sleep quality

Research shows that incorporating cardio exercises into your routine can improve the quality and duration of sleep. Regular physical activity helps regulate your circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Also, the stress-relieving benefits of cardio can help alleviate insomnia.

Increased energy levels

Despite the initial fatigue that may happen due to intense cardio workouts, regular workouts can boost energy levels in the long run. Cardio exercises improve circulation and oxygen delivery to tissues, improving overall energy production and stamina.

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Health Dangers of Pests at Home
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Pests, particularly blood-feeding insects like mosquitoes, can be dangerous to your health. Vector-borne diseases (VBD), or infections transmitted to humans by blood-feeding arthropods, account for over 17 percent of all infectious diseases, causing more than 700,000 deaths every year.

Parents must be aware of the dangers of these pests to protect their family members, especially their kids. This short guide underscores the importance of preventing pest infestations to reduce the health risks these pests can bring into your home.

The Health Dangers of Pests

Pests are unwanted intruders for multiple crucial reasons. They make people uncomfortable, cause property damage, and pose a threat to our health. They contaminate surfaces in our homes and spread diseases, some of which can be fatal. 

People with weak immune systems may suffer severe allergic reactions to these unwanted guests. Pests can also worsen the symptoms of pre-existing health conditions. Knowing the health risks of pests can help families take precautions and prevent infestations in their homes.

Disease

Pests contribute to health problems by spreading diseases. Their urine, fecal droppings, and shedding of skin or fur can carry diseases that can spread to humans.

VBD remains a pertinent public health concern, contributing to 700,000 deaths every year. Examples of these diseases include the following:

  • Malaria
  • Dengue
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Onchocerciasis
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Human African trypanosomiasis 
  • Chagas disease
  • Yellow fever
  • Leishmaniasis

These diseases can be found in tropical and subtropical regions, affecting economically disadvantaged areas. Since 2014, the world has witnessed significant outbreaks of diseases like dengue, chikungunya, malaria, yellow fever, and Zika. 

The event is causing significant human suffering, loss of lives, and overwhelming strain on healthcare systems globally. Moreover, chronic ailments like leishmaniasis, chikungunya, and lymphatic filariasis are leading to long-term suffering, persistent morbidity, disability, and occasional social stigmatization.

The spread of VBD depends on a complex interplay of demographic, social, and environmental factors. International travel and trade, unplanned urbanization, and economic development contribute to the dynamics influencing the spread and impact of these diseases.

Impact on pre-existing health issues

Pests can also worsen the different symptoms of pre-existing health conditions. For instance, people with asthma can be significantly affected by cockroaches, which breed at an alarming rate. Once a single cockroach gets in your home, it will not be long until you have a serious infestation. 

These insects regularly shed their skin and leave droppings that break down and turn into airborne particles. As they increase, the airborne particles can aggravate people with breathing conditions like asthma. In some instances, cockroaches can cause asthma in young kids if there is a history of asthma in the family or sustained exposure.

Mental health

It is not often a topic that is always spoken about, but pests, even tiny bed bugs, can have adverse effects on mental health. Due to bed bugs, some people suffer from anxiety and insomnia even after treating the infestation.

Moreover, the stress from discovering a pest infestation and the extensive work required to remedy the problem can be taxing. People with phobias of particular pests, like cockroaches, may suffer from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when encountering pests in their homes.

A phobia is not only about fear of a situation or an object. It is a form of psychological disorder that can lead to malfunction and disorientation. The disorder can make pests seem more threatening and deadly, making the person feel like the world is ending by just thinking about them.

Allergic reactions

Today, there are a lot of people allergic to pests, and being close to them can trigger mild to severe reactions. However, individuals are most likely to experience an allergic reaction if a pest bites or stings them. 

For example, bed bugs do not pass diseases to humans, but they can trigger an allergic reaction by biting and feeding on blood. The bitten person may break out in a rash, and scratching the affected area may lead to infection.

Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, can cause fatal symptoms that require immediate medical attention. Without treatment, it may cause death. Symptoms usually affect multiple organ systems, such as the lungs, skin or mouth, the heart, and the gut. Some symptoms include the following:

  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, or throat
  • Skin itching, rashes, or hives
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or any breathing difficulty
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Vomiting, stomach pain, bloating, or diarrhea
  • Sense of dread or feeling like something terrible is about to happen

Insect bites can also trigger non-allergic reactions, such as a toxic reaction that occurs when the body treats insect venom like poison. Serum sickness can also occur after an insect bite. This disorder is an unusual reaction to a foreign component in the body that can cause symptoms that linger for hours or days after the sting.

While there are various causes of allergies and asthma, it is crucial to identify and reduce exposure to the specific triggers. This way, asthma patients can take an active role in reducing, managing, and controlling the frequency and severity of their reactions.

Eliminate the Risk of Disease Through Prevention

Pest infestations can have fatal consequences for a person’s health, ranging from allergic reactions and mental health impacts to the transmission of diseases. These risks underscore the significance of maintaining proper pest control practices at home. 

Below are simple tips to help you adopt good hygiene habits. After reading, you can easily create environments that are comfortable, safe, and free from the health risks brought by pests.

  • Remember to maintain cleanliness. Regular cleaning can serve as the first line of defense against pests at home, so ensure all areas are free of stale water, food crumbs, and clutter. The mess can attract pests, so clean your house regularly.
  • Store food properly. Keeping food in airtight containers can deny pests access to your snacks. This method is essential for food items like grains, pet food, and cereals.
  • Dispose of trash regularly. Remember that pests are attracted to garbage, so you must dispose of waste in sealed bins and take them out of your home regularly.
  • Seal possible entry points. Check your home for gaps, cracks, and other openings that pests can use. After inspection, seal these entry points to prevent easy access.
  • Work with professional pest control service providers. Trying to keep your property pest-free by yourself may not be enough to deter pests from coming in and invading your home. If you want effective and long-term pest control, hire professionals to do the job.
  • Inspect your property regularly. Regular inspection for signs of pests, such as chewed wires, droppings, and nests, can help you detect any infestation early and prevent it from worsening.

Protect Your Home From Harmful Pests

Even for healthy individuals with no allergies or pre-existing medical conditions, pest infestation can cause dangerous health problems. Exposure to pests may result in the development of new allergies, worsen existing reactions, or lead to the contraction of fatal diseases. The longer you ignore the issue of pest infestation, the worse your health may be impacted.

Different pests bring diseases and contaminants that may be tough to avoid or eliminate. While you may not always prevent the infestation from occurring, taking precautions after seeing the first signs of the issue can reduce the adverse effects on your health.

To protect your home from pests, consult with a qualified pest control professional to examine your property. With the proper care and prevention plan, you can keep yourself and your family safe from the dangerous health risks brought by pests.

 

 

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GLOBAL PHENOMENON:
The most common causes of holiday depression are a hectic schedule, having too much food and alcohol, and not getting enough sleep

  • By Huang Tzu-yang, Jonathan Chin
    and Jake Chung /
    Staff reporter, with staff writers

Doctors shared tips for reducing stress over the Lunar New Year holiday, as the festivities can result in sleeplessness or episodes of depression or anxiety for some people, while road rage is also an issue.

Holiday depression is a global phenomenon and is not unique to East Asia, said Chen Chang-sheng (陳長聖), an attending physician at Taiwan Adventist Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, adding that Westerners most commonly experience the syndrome over Christmas.

The most frequent causes of holiday blues include having a schedule that is too busy, binging food and alcohol and not getting enough sleep, as well as stresses such as dealing with elders who ask too many personal questions, Chen said.

Photo: CNA

Keeping a normal sleep-wake cycle throughout the spring vacation can prevent exhaustion-related stress, and people with insomnia or anxiety should avoid mahjong or other intense games associated with Lunar New Year gatherings, he said.

People should not stop exercising entirely on vacation, but 30 minutes of moderate exercise is enough for an endorphin boost, Chen said, adding that psychiatrists recommend exercising at least three times a week.

Breathing exercises and meditating for 15 minutes a day also lessen stress, he added.

Photo courtesy of Tzu Chi Hospital

Eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables and good fats, while not consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and meat, can help with sleep, he said.

People who feel ill at ease when interacting with older family members can manage stress by preparing for answers beforehand, and reminding themselves that their probing questions are usually not asked with bad intentions, Chen said.

Elders who genuinely care about the well-being of the younger people in their families can be treated as fonts of experience and wisdom, while braggarts should simply be ignored for peace of mind, he said.

Separately, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital doctors offered suggestions for people prone to road rage during the holiday.

Lee Chia-fu (李嘉富), a doctor in the Department of Physical and Mental Health, said that road rage is medically considered to be a type of intermittent explosive disorder (IED).

People can try breathing exercises to calm their nerves and reduce stress, Lee said, adding that research has proven that music — especially songs with a slow tempo, bass notes and no lyrics — can helps reduce stress.

People are diagnosed as having IED if they become irrationally angry — such as cursing at or physically assaulting others over minor incidents — more than three times a year or more than two times a week for more than two months, he said.

While they might feel happy after acts of violence, the “anger attack” usually only lasts 30 minutes or less and is followed by feelings of guilt, Lee said.

IED could be related to issues with the amygdala or the prefrontal lobe of the brain, he said.

People with IED are usually unaware that they are exhibiting symptoms of the disorder and instead think they are simply hard to get along with or have a bad temper, or, in some cases, that they are experiencing the effects of menopause, he said.

Lee urged people to avoid allowing friends or family to drive if they are known for impulsive behavior or bursts of emotion.

People with IED should try to see things positively, and when they encounter triggers, they should give themselves 10 seconds to calm themselves, he said.

Lee also urged family members to try to strike up a conversation with the driver to draw their attention away from whatever is triggering them if they notice that they are angry, anxious or experiencing an extensive range of emotions.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

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Sudarshan Kriya, a transformative breathing technique rooted in ancient Indian wisdom, has become a beacon of hope for those seeking inner peace, emotional well-being, and improved overall health. This rhythmic and controlled breathing practice has gained global recognition for its numerous health benefits and its ability to promote emotional well-being. In this article, let us delve into the details of Sudarshan Kriya, how to perform it, and the health benefits it offers.

Also Read: Pranayama: Health Benefits, Types and Techniques To Breathe Easy

 What Is Sudarshan Kriya?

Sudarshan Kriya, often referred to as "SKY," is a structured breathing technique that combines specific rhythms of breath with deep meditation. The term "Sudarshan" translates to "beautiful vision" or "right perception," and "Kriya" means "action." In essence, Sudarshan Kriya is an action that helps individuals gain clarity, peace, and a better understanding of themselves and the world around them.  With a focus on the breath as the gateway to holistic wellness, Sudarshan Kriya offers a profound journey of self-discovery and transformation.
Sudarshan Kriya

Also Read: 5 Incredible Ways Deep Breathing Helps Your Body And Mind

 The Key Components Of Sudarshan Kriya And How To Do It:

Sudarshan Kriya is typically taught in a structured program by certified instructors. The key components of Sudarshan Kriya are as follows:

 Ujjayi Breathing:

Sit in a comfortable and relaxed position, with your spine straight. Close your eyes, clear your mind and take a few deep breaths. Begin Ujjayi breathing, where you inhale and exhale deeply through your nostrils, creating a soft hissing sound in your throat. Focus on the rhythmic sound and sensation of your breath.

 Benefits:

This technique helps calm the mind and prepares it for the subsequent phases of the kriya.

 Bhastrika (Bellows Breath):

Continue Ujjayi breathing for a few minutes. Transition to Bhastrika, which involves rapid, forceful inhalations and exhalations through the nose, keeping your mouth closed. Maintain a steady rhythm of about 20-30 breaths per minute for a few minutes. Return to Ujjayi breathing for a brief period to restore calmness.

 Benefits:

Bhastrika helps to energize the body, clear the respiratory system, and release accumulated tension.

 Chanting:

The final phase involves chanting "Om" or another chosen mantra three times, focusing on the vibrations and resonance of the sound. Conclude with a few moments of deep, mindful breathing. This sequence is typically repeated a few times under the guidance of a trained instructor.

 Benefits:

This phase is a powerful way to harmonize body and mind.

 Sudarshan Kriya:

The core of the practice involves a specific rhythmic and cyclical breathing pattern. It consists of three distinct phases: slow, medium, and fast-paced breaths, with each phase followed by a breath retention period.

 Benefits:

This unique sequence is repeated multiple times, promoting deep relaxation and emotional balance.

 Meditation:

Sudarshan Kriya concludes with a period of meditation, allowing practitioners to experience a heightened state of awareness and inner peace.

 Health Benefits Of Sudarshan Kriya

Sudarshan Kriya has been extensively studied, and numerous health benefits have been attributed to regular practice. Here are some of the significant advantages:

 Remedies Stress:

Sudarshan Kriya is known for its stress-reducing effects. It helps regulate the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, promoting relaxation and a sense of calm.
yoga practice

 Improves Mental Health:

Regular practice of this breathing technique can remedy the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders naturally over time. It enhances emotional stability and promotes a positive outlook on life.

 Enhances Respiratory Functions:

Sudarshan Kriya encourages deep and conscious breathing, which can improve lung function, increase oxygen levels in the body, and aid in the management of respiratory conditions.

 Increases Focus and Concentration:

The practice sharpens mental clarity and cognitive function, making it easier to concentrate and make decisions.

 Uplifts Immune System:

It boosts the body's immunity by reducing stress and promoting overall well-being, helping the body fight off illnesses more effectively.

 Promotes Sleep:

Regular practice can lead to better sleep patterns and alleviate insomnia.

 Emotional Healing:

Sudarshan Kriya provides a safe space for individuals to confront and heal emotional wounds, past traumas, and negative thought patterns.

 Improves Relationships:

The practice encourages positive interpersonal relationships by reducing anger, aggression, and other negative emotions.

 Holistic Well-Being:

Sudarshan Kriya promotes overall physical and mental health, which can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.

 Conclusion

Sudarshan Kriya is a profound breathing technique with a wide range of health benefits. By integrating rhythmic breath patterns with deep meditation, it has the power to transform one's physical, emotional, and mental well-being. If you are interested in exploring this practice, seek out certified instructors who can guide you through the process and ensure you experience the full spectrum of benefits that Sudarshan Kriya has to offer.

 References:

  1. Sudarshan kriya yoga: Breathing for health - By Sameer A. Zope and Rakesh A Zope1

docs.google.com/document/d/1QqyQkufnaT17F4OdF-aFbTBDjV7dLs3om4zhSCo-S3g/edit

  1. Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part I—Neurophysiologic Model - By Richard P Brown, Patricia L Gerbarg

www.researchgate.net/publication/7984597_Sudarshan_Kriya_Yogic_Breathing_in_the_Treatment_of_Stress_Anxiety_and_Depression_Part_I-Neurophysiologic_Model

 Disclaimer:

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider for any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition. Reliance does not endorse or recommend any specific tests, physicians, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the blog.

 

 

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When Silence Isn't Golden: Decoding Nighttime Body Noises and Their Link to Sleep Disorders

Amidst the tranquil stillness of the night, our bodies sometimes emit sounds that can be alarming, intriguing, or downright bothersome. These nocturnal symphonies are often dismissed as mere quirks, but they might hold clues to underlying health conditions, particularly sleep disorders. Recent studies, for instance, have established a strong correlation between even mild cases of COVID-19 and sleep disturbances, emphasizing the far-reaching impact of the virus on individuals' overall well-being.

The Orchestra of Nocturnal Sounds

From exploding head syndrome, characterized by loud banging sounds upon falling asleep, to pulsatile tinnitus, where one hears their heartbeat in their ears, these auditory phenomena can be perplexing. Cracking ankles and knees, a result of tendons snapping over joints, may seem harmless unless accompanied by pain or swelling. A whistling nose starting after an injury could indicate a perforated septum. Even seemingly innocuous sounds like clicking jawbones, ringing in the ears, or throat clicks can suggest various underlying issues.

Perhaps the most prevalent nighttime noise is snoring, affecting roughly 5.4 million Canadians. This ubiquitous sound could be a symptom of sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder with two primary types: obstructive and central sleep apnea. The former is a mechanical problem caused by the collapse of the upper airway during sleep, while the latter is a signal problem resulting from the brain's failure to accurately send breathing signals.

COVID-19's Hidden Aftermath: A Surge in Sleep Disorders

The connection between body noises and sleep disorders has taken on new significance in light of the ongoing pandemic. Recent research indicates that 76.1% of recently infected patients experienced insomnia symptoms, with anxiety or depression being significant factors. This suggests that the psychological impact of the virus might play a more significant role in sleep disruption than the physical symptoms or duration of COVID-19.

A systematic review and meta-analysis revealed a 45% pooled prevalence of sleep disorders among patients recovering from COVID-19. This staggering figure underscores the urgent need for comprehensive mental health support and tailored interventions to address this burgeoning health crisis.

Heeding the Body's Whispers

As we continue to navigate the complex landscape of health and wellness in a post-pandemic world, it is crucial to listen to the body's whispers, even - or perhaps especially - in the dead of night. Nighttime body noises, while sometimes innocuous, can serve as important indicators of underlying health issues. By seeking timely medical advice and adopting a proactive approach to health management, we can ensure that these nocturnal symphonies do not become silent alarms.

In a world where silence is often equated with peace, it is essential to recognize that some silences are deceptive. The absence of nighttime body noises might seem like a welcome respite, but it is the sounds themselves that can provide invaluable insights into our health and well-being. So, let us tune in, listen carefully, and heed the body's whispers, for they hold the key to unlocking a healthier, more balanced tomorrow.



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Stress-Free Life: 7 Relaxing Yoga Poses To Alleviate Daily Pressure
Eases stress and soothes the mind, fostering a mind-body connection.

These amazing yoga poses can help you relieve stress. Read to know more.



Written by saumya pandey |Published : February 11, 2024 5:00 PM IST

Daily stress is a common challenge for many people, ranging from mild to overwhelming. Managing stress effectively is crucial for maintaining mental and physical well-being. One effective way to alleviate stress is through the practice of yoga. Here, we explore seven yoga poses specifically designed to reduce daily pressure and promote relaxation. Yoga offers a holistic approach to stress relief by combining physical movement with mental relaxation. Incorporating these stress-relieving yoga poses into your daily routine can help alleviate daily pressures and promote overall well-being. The mind-body unity achieved through yoga reflects its therapeutic benefits, making it a popular choice for stress management and healing.

Standing Forward Bend

  • Stretches hamstrings, thighs, and hips. Effective for relieving stress, fatigue, and mild depression.
  • Stand tall and exhale while bending forward, allowing your palms to touch the floor and your head to press against your legs.
  • Bend your knees slightly and focus on stretching your spine in various directions. For a deeper stretch, straighten your legs.
  • Hold the pose for 6-8 breaths, then inhale as you raise your arms and torso back to a standing position.

Cat-Cow Pose

  • Soothes and stretches the lower back. Massages the spine and relieves stress.
  • Start on all fours and exhale as you round your back toward the ceiling (Cat pose), then inhale as you tilt your pelvis back and lift your tailbone (Cow pose).
  • Repeat the movements, flowing between Cat and Cow poses, while focusing on your breath.

Easy Pose

  • Opens hips, lengthens the spine, and promotes serenity. Relieves physical and mental exhaustion, and eliminates anxiety.
  • Sit up straight with your legs extended in front of your body.
  • Cross your legs in toward your torso, placing each foot beneath the opposite knee.
  • Place your hands on your knees with palms facing down, and align your head, neck, and spine.
  • Hold the pose for about a minute, then release and change the cross of your legs.

Head To Knee Forward Bend

  • Relieves mild depression and anxiety. Calms the brain and helps with headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.
  • Sit with one leg extended and the other foot placed against the inner thigh of the extended leg.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale as you fold forward, placing your hands on either side of the extended leg.
  • Hold the pose for 5-6 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Bridge Pose

  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backaches, and insomnia. Provides gentle stretching of the legs and back.
  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Inhale as you lift your hips off the floor, pressing into your arms and shoulders.
  • Hold the pose for 4-8 breaths, engaging your legs and buttocks to lift the hips higher.

Corpse Pose

  • Promotes full-body relaxation and eases stress. Slows breathing, lowers blood pressure, and quiets the nervous system.
  • Lie flat on your back with legs together and arms at your sides, palms facing up.
  • Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing, relaxing each part of your body from head to toe.
  • Hold the pose for 4-5 minutes, allowing your body to fully relax.

Child's Pose

  • Quiets the nervous system and lymphatic system. Eases stress and soothes the mind, fostering a mind-body connection.
  • Kneel on a yoga mat with your legs together and sit back on your heels.
  • Extend your torso forward, resting your chest on your thighs and your forehead on the ground.
  • Hold the pose for 5-6 breaths, allowing your shoulders to curl around and your hands to rest beside your feet.




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Research is continuing into long COVID, marked by fatigue, brain fog, body aches, headaches and changes to the heartbeat.
Getty Images

Q: Is there anything new on long COVID? I have it, and it hijacked my life. I get tired really easily, can't exercise like I used to and my heart often beats too fast. The worst part is the brain fog, which affects my work. Is there any progress on a treatment or on determining what causes it?

A: Your letter is one of many we continue to receive about long COVID. We hope our answer to you will be helpful to any other readers facing similar struggles.

Nearly four years since long COVID was first identified, most us are familiar with the condition. The term refers to the collection of symptoms that drag on after someone's initial bout of COVID-19 has ended. These often include the decline in stamina, changes to heartbeat and brain fog that you are experiencing. Also common are muscle and body aches, headache, difficulty breathing, an ongoing loss or diminishment of the sense of taste and of smell, gastrointestinal problems, extreme fatigue, insomnia, changes to cognition and depression.

The one thing all people with long COVID have in common is an initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. That's the coronavirus that causes the disease. Beyond that, it affects each person differently. At this time, more than 100 different symptoms and health problems have been documented in people diagnosed with the condition. And despite intensive study by researchers throughout the world, neither the cause of long COVID nor a specific treatment have been identified. Lacking that, doctors focus on managing each person's specific symptoms. Depending on the complexities of each case, this can involve specialists in the fields of neurology, cardiology, psychiatry, immunology, pulmonology and physical therapy.

Despite the lack of a definitive breakthrough, researchers are amassing a growing body of knowledge about long COVID. Several studies found that fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can persist in the body long after an initial infection. This can cause ongoing inflammation and may contribute to some symptoms.

Another school of thought looks at long COVID as an autoimmune disease, in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes the body to attack its own tissues. A recent study highlights the potential role of immune cells known as monocytes, which alert other white blood cells to the presence of infection. It appears COVID infection can damage the structure of those immune cells, and thus scramble their behavior. There is also speculation that COVID infection may awaken existing viruses that had previously remained dormant in the body. These may include the Epstein-Barr virus, which has symptoms in common with long COVID. Each of these discoveries highlights potential avenues of treatment.

One thing has become clear: It is impossible to predict who will develop long COVID. Although a bit more common in those with severe COVID-19, it does occur in people who had a mild illness. It is now understood that Paxlovid, a medication effective in treating COVID-19, does not prevent long COVID. However, a new study links being vaccinated with a markedly lower risk of developing long COVID. This topic is firmly on our radar, and we will be back with updates as needed.

Elevated creatinine levels can impact kidney function

Q: My father has diabetes and high blood pressure. Sometimes he fails to follow medical care for these diseases. Now his level of creatinine has reached 2.6 mg/dL, which is very high. He is getting weak and has cramps at night. How do you decrease high creatinine?

A: Creatinine is a natural waste product produced by the activity of our muscles. It's a byproduct of creatine, an organic compound that supplies energy to the muscles. We recently wrote about creatine, which plays an important role in physical activity and has become a popular dietary supplement. We bring this up because creatine and creatinine sound similar. However, they are two distinct compounds and have very different effects on the body. It's important not to confuse the two.

Each of us produces and excretes creatinine in a continual cycle. It is filtered from the blood by the kidneys and exits the body via the urine. As a result, the concentration of creatinine that is present in someone's blood or urine is used as a measure of how well the kidneys are functioning. Among the conditions that can contribute to developing high creatinine levels is a common complication of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes known as diabetic nephropathy. Sometimes referred to as diabetic kidney disease, it is estimated to affect up to one-third of people in the U.S. living with diabetes.

Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels that serve the kidneys and also the nephrons, which are tiny structures that serve as filters. Individuals with diabetes who fail to manage blood sugar levels are at particular risk of this type of damage. It leaves the kidneys unable to effectively clear the blood of waste products and other toxins, which can cause a cascade of increasingly grave health problems.

The results of your father's creatinine blood test are indeed quite high. The normal range for an adult man is 0.7 to 1.3 mg/dL (that's milligrams per deciliter). For women it is 0.6 to 1.1 mg/dL. The symptoms that you say he is experiencing — feeling weak and experiencing cramps — are among those that high creatinine levels, and the impaired kidney function they suggest, can cause. Additional symptoms include high blood pressure, feeling nauseated, vomiting, chest pain and fluid retention.

When it comes to lowering creatinine levels, there is no single solution. Because meat is a source of creatine, from which creatinine is derived, lowering the amount of meat in the diet is important. Several studies have found that adding high-fiber foods to the diet can have a beneficial effect on elevated creatinine. Dehydration can raise creatinine levels, so drinking enough water is also important. Avoid tobacco products, reduce salt and limit the use of NSAIDs, each of which can put a strain on the kidneys.

In your father's case, with uncontrolled diabetes and high creatinine levels, we urge him to seek immediate medical care. The doctor will evaluate your father's kidney function and screen him for kidney disease. Based on a physical exam, test results and a medical history, your father will be advised of the appropriate path forward.

Several treatments available for nosebleeds

Q: I am a 76-year-old woman not prone to nosebleeds. However, I recently started having heavy ones. Thrombin spray helped, but only for a week. A CT scan was normal. What can be done? A friend with nosebleeds had his nose cauterized. Might that be helpful for me?

A: When viewed from the outside, our noses look fairly basic. But peek inside, and things get remarkably complex. The bones, flesh and cartilage of the visible nose serve as a protective entryway to a series of hidden passages and chambers. These include the airways that moisten and filter the air we inhale and the olfactory system, made up of the nerves, cells and organs that enable us to smell. Lining the interior of the nose are specialized cells and glands, known collectively as the mucosa, which keeps these inner surfaces moist. This layer is served by a rich network of tiny blood vessels, which, if ruptured, cause a nosebleed.

Nosebleeds (the medical term is “epistaxis”) often occur due to physical injury, such as a bump or a fall, or blowing the nose too hard or too often. Inflammation from a respiratory illness, infection or allergy can cause a nosebleed. So can dry air, which dehydrates the tissues of the mucosa and can cause them to crack. The physical changes that take places as we age can also make blood vessels in the nose more fragile. In fact, nosebleeds are fairly common in older adults.

The thrombin spray you were treated with is one of several medications used to encourage what is known as a coagulation cascade. It works by activating proteins known as clotting factors, which stanch the flow of blood. But sometimes blood vessels in the nose grow fragile and are easily damaged, which leads to repeated nosebleeds. When this occurs, cauterization, the treatment your friend underwent, can be helpful. Your ENT will let you know if you are a good candidate.

Cauterization involves the use of either a chemical swab or an electrical current to seal off the affected blood vessels in the nose. This creates scar tissue, which helps prevent further nosebleeds. The doctor begins with an exam to identify the cautery site. On the day of the procedure, the inside of the nose is numbed with an anesthetic. The doctor will then cauterize the affected area, a process that takes about 10 minutes. Aftercare often includes an ointment to keep the interior of the nose moist and to prevent infection. Healing occurs over the course of two weeks. After the procedure, mild pain and itching can occur. The scent organs are located deeper in the nose than the site of cautery, and thus are not adversely affected.

Nosebleed aftercare is important. Always be gentle when blowing your nose. Keep nasal tissues moist with humidifiers. The saltwater used in nasal lavage can have a drying effect, so use sparingly. So can the chemicals in swimming pools. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, can also add to risk of bleeding, so when pain meds are needed, choose an alternative.

• Dr. Eve Glazier is an internist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Dr. Elizabeth Ko is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Send your questions to [email protected].

© 2024 UCLA Health. Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication

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