Do you feel stressed? There are some effective and simple tactics that can help you relax in no time. Find out about them here.

Relaxation Techniques for Relieving Stress

Last update: 04 June, 2023

Congested rush-hour traffic, job demands, deadlines, tricky relationships at work, or money concerns. Have you experienced any of these stressful situations? In fact, anyone can experience stress. It tends to lead us to look for ways to alleviate this overwhelming feeling. There are certain relaxation techniques that can help.

As a matter of fact, learning to deal with these situations and preventing them from becoming a constant source of stress is essential if you want to take care of your physical and mental health. Indeed, stress can be the gateway to many diseases. So, we’re going to suggest some really simple relaxation techniques. But, first, we’re going to define stress.

Understanding stress

According to the book, Comprender el Estres, (Understanding Stress) by Xavier Torres, stress is a normal physiological response of the body to the demands of the environment. As such, it’s considered an essential and effective reaction for survival. However, when the individual can’t manage these demands, stress becomes harmful and jeopardizes their well-being.

Stress causes an increase in the secretion of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. They prepare the body to react to the perceived threat. Moreover, the increase of these substances in the body makes the individual more prone to disease.

Causes and types of stress

Stress can be caused by many different factors. For example, work, personal relationships, health, etc. The stress response has different levels of intensity and can be situational and of short duration, or prolonged and sustained over time.

According to a study published in the journal, Medical Humanities, there are different ways of categorizing stress. One of the most common is as follows:

  • Chronic. It lasts for weeks, months, or even years. It’s caused by various factors. The negative effects of this typology are long-term.
  • Traumatic. It arises after a natural disaster, an assault, or a serious accident. The most common manifestation is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Acute. It’s experienced in short, high-intensity situations, such as an accident or a fight. It can be useful for dealing with a specific event. However, if it persists for a long time, it has negative consequences on physical and mental health.

It should be noted that these types can overlap with each other. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of stress in the body and learn to manage them appropriately.

Eustress versus distress

Have you ever heard it said that we tend to work better under pressure? Do you think that some stress is good for us? The answer is yes, there’s a kind of stress that’s beneficial for performance and motivation. It’s known as positive stress or eustress.

Based on research published in the Redices Repositorio Institucional, eustress is understood as the body’s physiological and psychological response to situations perceived as challenging or exciting. This type of stress increases energy and motivation and improves concentration.

Eustress is different from negative stress, also known as distress, which occurs in situations perceived as threatening or dangerous. But can eustress become distress? The answer is yes.

In fact, it’s important to note that eustress is only beneficial if it’s kept at moderate levels and controlled. If it becomes too intense or prolonged, it turns into distress and has negative health consequences.

Relaxation techniques for relieving stress

Stress is a common problem in our modern society. In addition to disrupting our physical health, it affects our mental well-being. Luckily, there are several relaxation techniques that can help quickly relieve this feeling.

Next, we’re going to detail some methods described in the journals, Revista Confluencia and SEMERGEN Medicina de Familia, which have been analyzed and given positive results in certain trials.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing is a simple and effective relaxation technique. It helps reduce stress in a matter of minutes. By practicing it, you decrease your heart rate and reduce your cortisol levels.

Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a slow, deep breath through your nose. Feel how the air fills your abdomen and hold your breath for a few seconds. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth.


Meditation is popular for lowering stress and anxiety levels. There are many forms of meditation, but one simple way is to sit in a quiet place and focus on your breathing. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to focus on your inhalations and exhalations once more.


Visualization involves imagining a calm and relaxing place. Think of a beach, a lush garden, or any other place that makes you feel peaceful and happy. Focus on the details of that space and try to project yourself there.


Yoga combines physical postures with breathing and meditation, which is why it’s an excellent relaxation technique. Even if you’re inexperienced, you can try some simple poses, like Child’s Pose or Downward Facing Dog.

Do an activity you like

Doing something you enjoy is really useful for clearing your mind. For instance, you can read a book, listen to music, or draw.

Practice gratitude

Take a moment to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. This will make you feel calmer and improve your mood.

Take care of yourself

Spend time on self-care by learning to recognize and manage your emotions and mood. It’ll help you deal with conflicts in a healthy way.

What if you have too little time for relaxation techniques?

If you have little time to practice relaxation techniques for the purpose of relieving stress, don’t worry. Some options don’t require investing long periods of time. Next, we list some suggestions proposed in the book, Managing Stress, by Brian Luke Seaward

  • Take a break. Giving yourself a few minutes to get away from a stressful situation goes a long way. If possible, change your location or activity for a while.
  • Listen to relaxing music. If you have a few minutes to spare, listen to music to relieve your stress. Pick a song or playlist that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable.
  • Simple stretches. They release tension and reduce stress in a short time. You can do some simple ones like leaning to the sides, stretching your arms up toward the ceiling, or rotating your shoulders.
  • Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a quick and effective stress-relief technique. Take a few minutes to focus on the present moment and observe your thoughts and physical sensations without judging them. You can do this while walking, waiting in line, or during a break at work.

Incorporating relaxation techniques to relieve stress in your daily routine

Incorporating relaxation techniques into your everyday life is a great way to improve your overall well-being. You can try the following:

  • Take breaks. Schedule regular breaks throughout the day to practice deep breathing or use visualization to recharge yourself.
  • Make relaxation a priority. Make sure you take time for yourself, every day, even if it’s just a few minutes. You’ll soon see how your quality of life and well-being improve.
  • Use reminders. Set alarms on your phone or in your calendar to remind you when it’s time to practice a relaxation technique. This will help you to be more consistent.
  • Establish a routine. Set a time to practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, when you get up or before going to bed. This will ensure that they become a habit.
  • Find quiet moments. Look for opportunities where you can practice stress-relieving techniques. For instance, when you’re waiting in line or riding public transportation. Use this time to close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

If you need it, seek support to relieve your stress

We all need help at certain times in our lives. Talk to someone you trust, like a friend, family member, or mental health professional. Remember that there’s no single solution. Find the relaxation techniques that best suit you. Make an effort to incorporate them into your life, creating a habit so that, in the absence of motivation, you have discipline.

It’s important to bear in mind that effective stress management is an ongoing process and requires time and effort. If your symptoms persist, see a professional to identify and treat any underlying issues.

Remember that these are just a few examples and that we all have different strategies for relieving stress. You simply need to find what works best for you and practice it regularly, for improved results.

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Being a veterinarian is a rewarding profession, filled with opportunities to care for animals and make a positive impact on their lives. However, the demands of the job can sometimes make it challenging to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Long hours, emotional stress, and the pressure to provide excellent care to patients can take a toll on a veterinarian's well-being. In this article, we will explore strategies to help veterinarians achieve a sustainable work-life balance and enhance their overall quality of life.

  1. Set Boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life is crucial. Define your working hours and try to stick to them as much as possible. Avoid the temptation to bring work home or respond to work-related emails and calls during your personal time. Communicate your boundaries to your colleagues, clients, and staff, so they understand and respect your need for downtime.

  2. Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for maintaining work-life balance. Make self-care a priority by incorporating activities that bring you joy and relaxation into your daily routine. Engage in regular exercise, practice mindfulness or meditation, spend time with loved ones, pursue hobbies, and ensure you get sufficient sleep. Remember, taking care of yourself allows you to be at your best both personally and professionally.

  3. Delegate and Collaborate: As a veterinarian, it's essential to recognize that you don't have to do everything on your own. Delegate tasks to capable team members, such as veterinary technicians or support staff, to share the workload and reduce stress. Foster a collaborative environment where everyone works together towards a common goal. Effective teamwork can streamline processes and improve efficiency, allowing for a better work-life balance.

  4. Manage Time Effectively: Developing strong time management skills is crucial for veterinarians. Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, and create a schedule that allows for adequate breaks and personal time. Avoid overbooking appointments or taking on too many responsibilities simultaneously. Learn to say "no" when necessary, as taking on too much can lead to burnout and a compromised work-life balance.

  5. Foster Supportive Relationships: Build a network of supportive relationships both within and outside the veterinary profession. Connect with colleagues who understand the unique challenges of veterinary work and can provide valuable advice and support. Seek out mentors who can guide you in your career and provide perspective on work-life balance. Additionally, nurture relationships with family and friends who can offer emotional support and help you maintain a sense of balance.

  6. Practice Stress Management: Stress is an inevitable part of being a veterinarian, but learning effective stress management techniques can help mitigate its impact on your well-being. Explore stress-reducing activities such as exercise, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or journaling. Find healthy outlets for expressing emotions and processing the challenges you encounter at work. Consider seeking professional support through counseling or therapy if needed.

  7. Plan Regular Breaks and Vacations: Taking regular breaks and vacations is crucial for rejuvenation and maintaining work-life balance. Plan your time off in advance and communicate your vacation plans to your team and clients well ahead of time. During breaks, disconnect from work-related communication and give yourself permission to fully unwind and recharge.

  8. Reflect and Realign: Regularly reflect on your career goals, values, and priorities to ensure alignment with your desired work-life balance. Assess whether your current job or work environment supports your aspirations. If necessary, explore options for career development, part-time work, or alternative paths within the veterinary field that offer a better balance.

Remember, achieving work-life balance as a veterinarian is an ongoing process that requires conscious effort and adjustments along the way. By implementing these strategies, you can create a fulfilling and sustainable

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NOTE: This PR was first published in the Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.

Freediving is an exciting sport that combines underwater exploration and holding your breath. But it’s important to remember that safety should always come first. There are potential risks involved, especially shallow water blackouts, which can be life-threatening. Understanding the importance of safety measures and the risks associated with freediving is crucial for a fun and secure experience.

Imagine diving deep beneath the surface, surrounded by the peaceful beauty of the underwater world. Each dive reveals a secret realm filled with vibrant marine creatures and stunning coral formations. Freediving allows you to experience this incredible connection to the vast underwater domain. But in the midst of this captivating journey, it’s crucial to stay aware and prioritise your safety and well-being.

During the ascent part of a dive, shallow water blackouts pose a significant danger to freedivers. As they rise from deep water, the pressure surrounding them decreases, leading to a decrease in the concentration of oxygen in their lungs. If a diver has consumed too much oxygen during the dive, the oxygen concentration in their lungs may become so low that their body cannot effectively utilise it. This can result in a loss of consciousness and potentially lead to drowning. It is crucial for divers to be aware of this risk and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

Having a dependable dive buddy is incredibly important for freedivers. A well-trained buddy keeps a close eye on the diver and watches how they respond as they come up. If a shallow water blackout occurs, the buddy can provide immediate help, rescue the diver, and use life-saving techniques like proper breathing and emergency procedures.

There are other risks to be aware of during freediving. Barotrauma is a common problem caused by not equalising pressure in the ears, sinuses, or lungs properly. It can lead to injuries like ruptured eardrums or lung problems. Learning proper techniques, practising equalisation, and seeking advice from experts can help reduce these risks.

Hypoxia is another concern. It happens when a diver holds their breath for too long and doesn’t get enough oxygen. It can lead to confusion, loss of control, and blackouts. It’s important for divers to know their limits, not push themselves too hard, and get proper training in breathing techniques.

To ensure safety in freediving, it’s recommended to get professional training and certifications. Qualified instructors can teach important skills, safety rules, and how to handle emergencies. Divers should stay updated on safety guidelines, practice drills, and know the local diving rules and environmental factors.

In conclusion, freediving is an amazing adventure that lets you explore underwater wonders. But remember, safety always comes first. Learn about the risks of shallow water blackouts, barotrauma, and hypoxia. Take safety measures, have a trustworthy dive buddy, and get proper training. With these precautions, you can have an exciting and safe journey beneath the waves.

If you’d like to learn more about freediving safety, message or visit

Stay safe and enjoy your underwater adventures!

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The best Anxiety apps is a highly prevalent yet profoundly disruptive experience. It can cause sleepless nights, missed opportunities, physical pain, and crippling panic attacks, all of which make it hard for a person to feel like themselves.

Checking out one of the anxiety apps mentioned in this article can help you deal with and control your symptoms. These apps can be used along with professional therapy to help people deal with or accept their anxious thoughts and feelings. Also, they give you a sense of control when you are not in therapy.

Even though it’s normal to feel anxious and nervous before a test or when starting a new job, anxiety becomes a problem when it has a big effect on a person’s daily life for a long time. People with anxiety disorders may feel fear, anxiety, panic, or worry all the time, which can make it hard for them to do things they used to enjoy. Below we have mentioned the best Anxiety apps.

Best Anxiety Apps Comparison Table


Best Anxiety Apps
  • Guided meditations to help with stress and anxiety.
  • exercises for breathing and ways to calm down.
  • Bedtime stories and relaxing music can help you sleep better.
  • Daily exercises and reminders to stay calm.
  • Sounds and pictures of nature can help you relax.

Calm was started in 2012 and quickly became well-known. It says that it is the best app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation because it has over 1.5 million 5-star reviews, and we agree. Currently, this is one of the best Anxiety apps you can download now.

The app is easy to use and has many ways to help with anxiety, such as breathing exercises, meditation, and dance therapy. With help from an expert, it’s easy to learn the different ways to meditate. Calm’s Sleep Stories, which are read by famous people like Harry Styles, LeVar Burton, Kate Winslet, Kelly Rowland, and Pink, make it stand out from other apps. deadmau5, Moby, and Alanis Morissette have also made ambient music tracks.

There is a free version of the app with limited features, such as timed meditations, sleep scenes, a bedtime story, a breathing exercise, journaling resources, and a monthly calendar with mindfulness prompts to help you focus and calm down. The app also has a lot for kids, like stories, music, and ways to relax.


  • Offers a variety of guided meditations and stories to help you fall asleep.
  • Relaxing music and sounds of nature are available on this app.
  • Includes exercises for breathing and being present.


  • You have to pay for some of the more advanced features.
  • Some people might find the interface too complicated or distracting to use.
  • There aren’t many ways to change how meditation sessions work.


Best Anxiety Apps
  • Online counseling is possible with the help of licensed therapists and counselors.
  • Messages, live chat, and video sessions that are easy to use and private.
  • Therapy plans that are made just for you and your anxiety needs.
  • Tools and resources to help you keep track of your moods, set goals, and write in a journal.
  • Support networks and community forums are great ways to meet new people.

The BetterHelp app makes it easy to find the right therapist for you. It has more than 25,000 of them. You’ll start by filling out a short intake form. Then, the company will match you with a recommended therapist who fits your needs, usually within 48 hours. You can change therapists as often as you want until you find the right one for you. All of its therapists have a master’s degree or a doctorate and have worked in the field for at least three years and 1,000 hours. Thus, this is one of the best Anxiety apps you can download now.

Your app subscription gives you access to one live chat, video, or phone session every week. You can also send your therapist a message at any time, day or night, and they will usually answer quickly Monday through Friday. The service also offers a personal and private online journal and group seminars, called “groupinars,” that cover topics like setting boundaries and learning how to deal with stress. You can cancel your membership at any time if you don’t like the service.


  • Offers online therapy sessions that are easy to get to and are convenient.
  • Gives you a large network of licensed therapists from which to choose.
  • It lets people talk to therapists through messages, live chat, or video calls.


  • You have to pay for a subscription and it can be expensive to use for a long time.
  • Depending on what each person needs, online therapy may or may not work well.
  • Not good for people who need help right away because of a crisis.


Best Anxiety Apps
  • For dealing with anxiety, mindfulness exercises and guided meditations can help.
  • There are ways to improve focus, lower stress, and become more self-aware.
  • Sleep sounds and exercises to calm down can help you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Yoga and other gentle workouts that involve moving with awareness.
  • When you’re panicking, you can do SOS exercises to calm down right away.

Headspace was started in 2010 by a former Buddhist monk named Andy Puddicombe and a marketing and brand development expert named Richard Pierson. Their mission is to “improve the health and happiness of the world.” It does this by making it easy to meditate, even if you have never done it before. It feels like the meditation app for people who don’t like to meditate because it has fun, colorful animations and game-like milestones that make learning a blast. Currently, this is one of the best Anxiety apps you can download now.

Meditation teaches you to welcome the thoughts that run through your head, but also to learn how to let them go. It helps you learn how to be with yourself. The Headspace app has a lot of different meditations and courses that can help with anxiety, stress, motivation, refocusing, and increasing your ability to pay attention. The app even has short, two-minute meditations called “SOS” that can help you calm down when you are about to lose it. There are “mindful fitness” sessions that work your mind and body, and there are “sleepcasts” that help you fall asleep with soft sounds and stories without a plot.


  • Offers different guided meditations for people with different needs and goals.
  • Includes short meditation sessions that are good for people just starting out.


  • You have to pay for some of the more advanced features.
  • Long-term users may get tired of the same content over time.

Smiling Mind

Best Anxiety Apps
  • Programs that can be changed to help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • There are mindfulness exercises for people of all ages, from kids to adults.
  • Guided meditation sessions that are made to fit your needs or situation.
  • To motivate and track personal growth, keep track of your progress and achievements.
  • There are mindfulness programs for the workplace and for schools.

Smiling Mind is an evidence-based app made by psychologists and health professionals. It was originally funded by the Australian government to help kids deal with stress by teaching them mindfulness. The app is still free and is run by a non-profit, even though it won Australia’s #1 Apple Health & Wellbeing App in 2018. It has a lot of content for kids, including things for 7- to 9-year-olds, 10-12-year-olds, 13-15-year-olds, and 16-18-year-olds. Even guides for teachers on how to bring mindfulness into the classroom are included.

The app starts kids off with a short meditation called “The Bubble Journey.” Kids earn badges based on their progress, which keeps them interested and coming back for more. You can also keep a journal, learn how to count your senses, and do other mindfulness exercises. There is a lot for adults, too. For example, healthcare workers and teachers can get help with focus, relationships, concentration, mindful eating, and more through special programs. Still, this is one of the best Anxiety apps you can download now.


  • Offers exercises for different age groups to help them be more mindful and meditate.
  • Offers programs that are made to help people deal with stress and anxiety.
  • There are no in-app purchases and the app is free.


  • The design and user interface of the app might not be as polished as those of some other apps.
  • Compared to other apps, this one doesn’t have as many meditation programs.
  • The voice instructions might not be what everyone wants.


Best Anxiety Apps
  • There are a lot of different designs and patterns in this coloring book app.
  • Color therapy can help you relax and feel less stressed.
  • A way to express yourself creatively and take your mind off your worries.
  • There are social sharing features that let users connect with each other and show off their work.
  • There are new coloring pages and themes added every day.

Colorfy is an easy-to-use app that lets people color flowers, animals, gardens, mandalas, unicorns, and more to get creative and feel calm. The content for premium users is updated every day, giving them more gradients, brushes, images, and color schemes to use. You can draw a mandala, color a picture that was made from a photo, and write a message that you can then color. Currently, this is one of the best Anxiety apps you can download now.

A lot of the content is about the senses, with pictures of food and people doing things. This lets users get out of their heads and focus on how they feel. Taking a break to color is a great way to relax, and with the Colorfy app, you can do it anywhere and at any time. There is a free version with a lot of ads and very little content. You can try out the premium version for free for three days. Every day, new content is added to the premium version. Even though the app is aimed at teens, it has a lot to offer people of all ages.


  • Offers a way to relax and be creative by coloring.
  • There are a lot of coloring pages and patterns to choose from.
  • Comes with soothing music and sounds.


  • It’s mostly about coloring as a way to relax, which may not be for everyone.
  • Some features and coloring pages may need to be bought inside the app.
  • There aren’t enough interactive features or specific advice for dealing with anxiety.


Are these anxiety apps free to use?

Many anxiety apps have free versions with limited features or a trial period, but to get the full set of features, you usually have to pay for a premium subscription. Some apps have both free and paid content, while others don’t have any paid content at all. Checking the app’s pricing structure is the best way to find out which features are free and which ones require a paid subscription.

Can anxiety apps replace professional therapy?

Anxiety apps are not meant to replace therapy or treatment from a professional for people with anxiety disorders. But they can be helpful ways to deal with anxiety symptoms, take care of yourself, and improve your overall health. If you have a lot of anxiety or have been told you have an anxiety disorder, it’s important to get help from a mental health professional who can give you the right advice and care.

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Warren Scott
SOMETHING NEW — Representatives of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, family and friends helped Alexis Moreland, owner of Cosmic Flow of Toronto and her staff to mark the opening of her new business with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

TORONTO — Alexis Moreland wants everyone who steps into Cosmic Flow, her new business in the city’s Gem City Plaza, to leave feeling better.

Moreland knows that whether their minds are focused on work, relationships or other concerns, many people don’t take time to truly relax.

“We’re often overstimulated. We don’t give ourselves time to recharge,” she said, adding that her goal is to remedy that through a variety of techniques and products.

That includes dry float therapy, in which a visitor lays on a hard surface lowered by a hydraulic system until it is replaced by a soft, water-filled mattress warmed to body temperature.

While laying in a dimly lit room, the visitor can choose soundproof headphones or relaxing music to help them attain a peaceful state.

In practice in the U.S. since the 1950s, float therapy often involves individuals being placed in a saltwater-filled sensory deprivation tank.

Its supporters say it helps to relieve tension and improve sleep.

But Moreland said she has taken a water-less approach to eliminate the need for clients to undress and shower and allows them to benefit from the experience during a shorter period of time.

“They can come during their lunch breaks and do 20 minutes,” she said.

Moreland said Cosmic Flow also offers the services of Christi Dempewolf, who practices reiki, another technique that is aimed at reducing tension.

Clients lay on a massage table but unlike massage, reiki involves the application of only a light touch intended to transfer energy from one person to another, she noted.

Recipients of the touch have said they feel heat, tingling, pulsing or nothing at all, but the ultimate goal is relaxation and about an hour normally is reserved for the sessions, said Moreland.

She added visitors to Cosmic Flow can engage in an elemental breathing session led by her mother, Toni.

Participants of the sessions are engaged in a pattern of breathing which, combined with music and meditation, is designed to help them to relieve stress.

Cosmic Flow offers classes in yoga, another long-time practice often pursued for mental wellness as well as body flexibility.

Taught by Alicia Troski and Annie Cutri, regular sessions are offered for beginners and those more experienced in yoga.

Moreland said regular sessions are posted on Cosmic Flow’s website and Facebook page. Appointments for sessions at a variety of hours can be made through the business’ app or by calling (740) 512-0958.

She said Cosmic Flow sells incense, oil burners, votive candles, jewelry and other items used for relaxation or to express spirituality or individuality. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Cosmic Flow is located at 1336 Franklin St., not far from state Route 7’s southern exit to Toronto.

(Scott can be contacted at [email protected].)

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A friend of Queen Elizabeth II has questioned Prince Harry’s “special relationship” with the late queen and denounced his fervent claims that he and his wife Meghan Markle were a great source of delight and comfort to her in the last two years of her life.

The opposite is true, the unnamed friend has explained in a new interview with the Daily Beast. The renegade Duke of Sussex caused his 96-year-old grandmother anguish when she was dying and in physical pain, mostly because of the way that he and his American wife decided to go public with their various grievances against certain members of the royal family and the institution she had represented for 70 years.

If Harry truly was close to his grandmother or cared for her well-being, he should have been sensitive to the fact that she was in “a lot of pain” in the last years of her life, particularly after the April 2021 death of her husband, Prince Philip, the friend suggested to he Daily Beast.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry attend at the annual Chelsea Flower show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 18, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Simmonds - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 18: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry attend at the annual Chelsea Flower show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 18, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Simmonds – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

During that period, the queen had to issue her famous “recollections may vary” statement in response to the couple’s explosive allegations to Oprah Winfrey that the royal family was insensitive, dysfunctional and harbored a family member who said something racist about the color of their son’s skin. She also knew that her grandson was finalizing his memoir, “Spare,” which would prove to be his best-selling vehicle for spilling royal secrets and criticizing his father, King Charles, his brother, Prince William, and stepmother, Queen Camilla.

“In the final months, of course, it got very much worse,” the friend said. By the time of the Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, the queen’s health had declined to the point that “she couldn’t see very much, she couldn’t hear very much, and she was easily confused.”

“That was the time for Harry and Meghan to bite their tongue,” the friend told the Daily Beast. “Instead they produced this unending stream of incredibly hurtful films and interviews attacking her life’s work. For Harry to announce he was writing a memoir when his grandmother was not just recently widowed but actually dying herself, as he must have known she was — well, the cruelty of it takes the breath away.”

This friend’s comments, offering “rare insight” into “the closely guarded circumstances” of Elizabeth’s death, come in response to a report by the U.K. tabloid The Sun, saying that Harry and Meghan are supposedly going to stop dishing dirt and trying to monetize on their connections to the royal family, the Daily Beast said. The friend said the couple should have kept quiet much earlier, when it was clear that the queen was dying and in pain.

Buckingham Palace has refused to elaborate on the queen’s declining health, other than to say that she increasingly missed public engagements because she was suffering from “episodic mobility problems,” the Daily Beast said. Her death certificate said she died in September of “old age,” but her friend Gyles Brandreth subsequently reported that she was suffering from bone marrow cancer, which is known to cause severe, chronic pain. Such a diagnosis could have been the cause of her “mobility problems,” the Daily Beast also said. There are reports that she he had begun to use a wheelchair to get around the palace, though she was never photographed using one.

Harry seemed to be aware of his grandmother’s failing health when he told the “Today” show’s Hoda Kotb in April 2022 that he and Meghan had stopped off in the U.K. to visit her when they were in Netherlands for the Invictus games. He reportedly aggravated family members when he suggested that he was the only family member who was truly looking out for the queen’s welfare.

He told Kota: “I’m just making sure she’s, you know, protected, and got the right people around her.” Members of the family thought his remarks were pretty tone-deaf, given that Harry and Meghan’s interview with Winfrey and other actions had caused the queen “a great deal of unhappiness and stress,” the Daily Beast said.

It’s well known that the queen was disappointed that Harry and Meghan opted to step away from royal life and leave the U.K. in 2020. She was “mystified” by the decision, felt it was a “missed opportunity” and believed her grandson’s love for Meghan “clouded his judgement,” according to the book “Our King,” by veteran royal reporter Robert Jobson. Still, her “affection” for Harry led her to hope that he and his wife would “find peace and happiness” in the United States, Jobson also said.

Harry always sought to portray his relationship with his “Granny” as extremely close and to make it clear that she wasn’t the target of his complaints.

In early 2021, Harry told his friend James Corden on “The Late Late Show” that his grandparents participated in friendly Zoom calls with him and Meghan, during which they were able to see their son Archie, then nearly 2, running around their home in Montecito, California. He told Corden that she asked what Archie wanted for Christmas, and Meghan told her a waffle maker. “She sent us a waffle maker for Archie. So breakfast now, Meg makes up a beautiful organic mix in the waffle maker,” Harry told Corden.

In his memoir, “Spare,” Harry wrote about how he and his grandmother shared “little secrets” and could communicate with  just “a glance.” “Special relationship, that’s what they said about us,” Harry wrote about her after she died. “And now I couldn’t stop thinking about the spiciness that would no longer be. The visits that wouldn’t take place.”

But other accounts align with the unnamed friend’s view that the queen was feeling worn down by Harry’s behavior. In Jobson’s book, the author said that the queen’s affection for Harry was severely tested by his grandson’s ongoing complaints and behavior.

“Even the Queen, who had always had great affection for him, eventually tired of his outbursts,” Jobson wrote. “First, she had wearied of the volatile exchanges between Harry and his brother (Prince William), which sometimes took place in her presence. Then Harry and Meghan had started publicly criticizing both the monarchy and members of the royal family. At that point, the Queen was frankly mystified by the couple’s behavior, describing it as ‘quite mad.’”

Another friend of the late queen told the Daily Telegraph in January, just before the publication of “Spare,” that Harry and Meghan’s “ambushing” of the family “had an impact” on the queen’s health. The prospect of his memory had played “on her mind in her final months,” this other unnamed friend said.

The friend told the Telegraph: “This stuff was shoved in her face on an almost weekly basis. It had an impact. She had lost Prince Philip, and then the constant ambushing of the royal family by a much-loved grandson did take its toll. At that stage in your life and your reign, you just don’t need that on top of everything else.”

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Fingal County Council has been awarded a Gold Medal at this year’s Bord Bia Bloom festival for its remarkable show garden, “A Breathing Space for Fingal.”

This large-scale garden showcases its stunning collection of more than 3,000 perennial plants and mature trees, creating a forest bathing space within the grounds of Bord Bia Bloom.

Designed by the talented Jane McCorkell, “A Breathing Space for Fingal” showcases the invaluable contribution of well-designed open spaces to the overall liveability of our villages, towns, and cities.

This exceptional garden underscores the importance of incorporating nature into our everyday lives.

One of the remarkable aspects of this garden is its commitment to sustainability.

Nearly all construction materials used in its creation were recycled or upcycled from old materials sourced from Fingal County Council’s store yards.

This innovative approach highlights the council’s dedication to environmental conservation and its vision for a more sustainable future.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Howard Mahony, expressed his delight at the recognition: “We are incredibly proud to have received the gold medal at Bord Bia Bloom 2023. This remarkable garden reflects our commitment to creating sustainable and inclusive spaces that enhance the wellbeing of our communities.”

Following the conclusion of the Bloom festival, “A Breathing Space for Fingal” will find a permanent home as part of a Community Garden located in Lanesborough Park, Meakstown in Dublin 15.

The garden will also serve as a lasting tribute the people who endured hardships during the challenging period of the Covid-19 pandemic, reminding us of the importance of resilience and the healing power of nature.

Kevin Halpenny, Senior Parks & Landscape Officer at Fingal said: “The garden’s focal point is the carefully curated selection of trees, representing a diverse range of species.

“Trees of varying heights, including multi-stem Cornus, birch, pine, bird cherry, and beech, all of which have been thoughtfully chosen to imitate the dense canopy found in natural forests.

“The arrangement of these trees creates a serene and peaceful atmosphere, inviting visitors to explore and unwind amidst the beauty of nature.”

For more information about “A Breathing Space for Fingal” please visit:

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Our brain is a remarkable organ that plays a crucial role in our everyday activities. Despite its importance, it is often overlooked as we cannot see it working. However, when its functions are affected, it can have a significant impact on our overall well-being. Various diseases and conditions can affect the brain, making it imperative to prioritise brain health. In this article, we will explore different ways to keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best.

 Brain detoxification: The brain requires regular cleansing to eliminate waste and toxins. During deep sleep, the glymphatic system in the brain undergoes a 60 per cent shrinkage, creating spaces that allow cerebrospinal fluid to flow and excrete waste products. This detoxification process is essential for maintaining optimal brain health. Lack of proper sleep and socialising can contribute to sleep deprivation and negatively affecting brain function. Sufficient sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal brain function. During sleep, the brain consolidates memories, repairs itself and removes toxins. Aim for seven to eight hours of good quality sleep each night to support your brain health and overall wellbeing. Plus, chronic stress can also have detrimental effects on the brain. Sleep well, focus on deep breathing, pranayama and meditation to manage stress and cleanse the brain.

 Essential fatty acids: Including essential fatty acids in your diet is crucial for brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and fatty fish, have been shown to support brain function and offer protection against cognitive decline. If your diet lacks these sources, you can consider taking omega-3 supplements to ensure an adequate intake.

 Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in nutrients that benefit the brain. They contain antioxidants, healthy fats, and vitamins that promote brain health. Almonds and walnuts, in particular, are known for their brain-boosting properties. Including a tbsp of nuts and seeds in your daily diet can provide  numerous benefits for your brain.

Also read: Seven ways you can improve your eating habbits

 Green leafy vegetables (GLVs): Incorporating green leafy vegetables into your meals is another
way to support brain health. GLVs, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients that nourish the brain. They can help protect against cognitive decline and improve overall brain function.

 Berries: Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries and blackberries, are excellent sources of antioxidants that have been shown to benefit brain health. These fruits help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which are associated with cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. Including these fruits in your diet provides essential vitamins including Vitamin C and nutrients for optimal brain function.

 Black coffee: Enjoying a cup of black coffee can also contribute to brain health. Coffee contains caffeine and antioxidants that can enhance cognitive function and improve alertness. However, it is important to consume coffee in moderation and avoid drinking it on an empty stomach or with milk as these practices may hinder its beneficial effects.

 Turmeric: Turmeric, a vibrant yellow spice commonly found in curry dishes, contains a compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that curcumin may help improve memory and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Adding turmeric to your meals or consuming it as a supplement can be beneficial for your brain health.

Also read: Eight lifestyle habits that might cause you pre-mature wrinkles

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Smart Air Purifiers Market: Breathing Fresh Air with

Clean air is essential for our health and well-being, but indoor air quality can often be compromised by pollutants such as dust, allergens, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To combat this issue, smart air purifiers have emerged as a popular solution, integrating advanced technology to remove contaminants and improve indoor air quality. In this blog, we will explore the thriving smart air purifiers market and examine the features and benefits that make these devices a game-changer for indoor environments. global smart air purifiers market size was valued at $5.5 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $14.4 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 10.1% from 2021 to 2030.

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Key companies profiled in the smart air purifiers market report include Coway Co., Ltd., Dyson Technology Limited, Honeywell International Inc., Levoit, LG Electronics Inc., Xiaomi Corporation, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Sharp Corporation, Unilever PLC (Blueair AB), Winix Inc. Key players within the market are profiled in this report and their strategies are analyzed thoroughly, which help understand competitive outlook of the smart air purifiers market opportunity.

The Need for Smart Air Purifiers: Indoor air pollution can have adverse effects on our health, leading to respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues. Smart air purifiers are designed to combat these problems by efficiently removing pollutants and creating a cleaner and healthier indoor environment.

Advantages of Smart Air Purifiers: a) Advanced Filtration Systems: Smart air purifiers are equipped with highly efficient filtration systems, typically consisting of multiple filters such as pre-filters, activated carbon filters, and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These filters work together to capture and eliminate a wide range of pollutants, including dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and harmful VOCs.

b) Real-time Monitoring and Control: Smart air purifiers feature sensors that continuously monitor the air quality in the surrounding environment. The data is then relayed to the user through a smartphone app or display panel, allowing them to track and control the air purifier's performance in real-time. Some models even adjust their operation automatically based on air quality readings.

c) Smart Connectivity and Integration: Smart air purifiers can connect to Wi-Fi networks, enabling seamless integration with other smart home devices and systems. Users can remotely control and monitor their air purifiers using their smartphones or voice assistants, enhancing convenience and ease of use.

d) Personalized Air Quality Insights: Some smart air purifiers offer personalized insights and recommendations based on the air quality data collected. Users can gain valuable information about pollution levels, allergens present, and tips for improving air quality, helping them make informed decisions to create a healthier living environment.

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Market Trends and Growth Factors: a) Increased Awareness of Indoor Air Quality: Growing concerns about indoor air pollution and its impact on health have driven the demand for air purification systems. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the air they breathe and are willing to invest in smart solutions that provide efficient and effective purification.

b) Technological Advancements: The smart air purifiers market is witnessing technological advancements, such as the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. These technologies enable the devices to adapt to user preferences, learn from usage patterns, and optimize filtration processes for improved performance.

c) Rise of Smart Homes: The increasing adoption of smart home technologies has created a conducive environment for the growth of smart air purifiers. Integration with smart home ecosystems allows users to automate air purification based on various factors, such as occupancy, outdoor air quality, or specific schedules.

Key Players and Market Outlook: The smart air purifiers market is highly competitive, with key players including Dyson, Honeywell International Inc., Philips, Coway, and Blueair. These companies are continuously innovating to introduce new features, enhance filtration efficiency, and improve user experience.

The market is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years due to rising health consciousness, increased awareness of air pollution, and the growing demand for smart home devices. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect further advancements in air purification systems, including improved sensor accuracy, integration with air quality monitoring networks, and AI-driven optimization.

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Smart air purifiers are revolutionizing indoor air quality management, providing efficient and intelligent solutions for creating healthier living environments. With their advanced filtration systems, real-time monitoring capabilities, and smart connectivity features, these devices offer convenience, peace of mind, and improved respiratory well-being. As the smart air purifiers market continues to expand, we can look forward to even more innovative features and enhanced performance, ensuring that we breathe clean and fresh air wherever we are.

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Allied Market Research (AMR) is a full-service market research and business-consulting wing of Allied Analytics LLP based in Portland, Oregon. Allied Market Research provides global enterprises as well as medium and small businesses with unmatched quality of "Market Research Reports" and "Business Intelligence Solutions." AMR has a targeted view to provide business insights and consulting to assist its clients to make strategic business decisions and achieve sustainable growth in their respective market domain.

This release was published on openPR.

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Achieving quality sleep is crucial for maintaining overall well-being and optimizing daily performance. With the advancement of technology, smartwatches have become valuable companions in monitoring and enhancing sleep quality. In this listicle, we’ll explore five exceptional smartwatches that excel in sleep tracking and provide features to help you improve your sleep patterns.

  1. Fitbit Versa 3:The Fitbit Versa 3 is a feature-packed smartwatch that includes comprehensive sleep tracking capabilities. It monitors your sleep stages (light, deep, REM), sleep duration, and sleep quality. It also offers a Sleep Score that provides a quick overview of your sleep performance. Additionally, the Versa 3 provides personalized sleep insights and suggestions for improving your sleep habits.
  2. PLAYFIT CHAMP 2 : The 1.69″ Full Touch TFT Display, 24×7 Heart Rate & SpO2 Monitoring, PLAYTIME of up to 5 Days, several training modes, IP68 Dust and Water Resistance, and many other features make the PLAYFIT CHAMP2 smartwatch the ideal blend of premium style, performance, and comfort.The Playfit Champ 2 fitness tracker promotes better health through activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and motivating features to help you stay active and improve your well-being.
  3. Garmin Venu 2:The Garmin Venu 2 is a versatile smartwatch that offers an array of health and fitness features, including robust sleep tracking capabilities. It provides detailed sleep analysis, monitoring your sleep stages, respiration rate, and movements during the night. The Venu 2 also offers insights into your sleep quality, allowing you to identify patterns and make necessary adjustments for better sleep.
  4. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4:The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a powerful smartwatch that prioritizes sleep tracking and improvement. Equipped with advanced sleep sensors, it tracks your sleep duration, sleep stages, and even detects and analyzes your snoring patterns. The Galaxy Watch 4 provides personalized sleep recommendations and integrates with the Samsung Health app for a holistic view of your sleep data.
  5. Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro:The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro combines elegant design with extensive sleep tracking features. With TruSleep 2.0 technology, it accurately monitors your sleep stages, heart rate, and even provides insights into your breathing quality during sleep. The Watch GT 2 Pro offers personalized sleep suggestions and stress-relieving exercises to help you achieve a more peaceful sleep.

A good night’s sleep is essential for overall well-being, and these smartwatches can be valuable tools in monitoring and improving your sleep quality. Whether you prefer Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung, Huawei, or Amazfit, these smartwatches offer advanced sleep tracking features, personalized insights, and recommendations to help you achieve better sleep and wake up refreshed. Embrace the power of technology and prioritize your sleep for a healthier lifestyle.

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Oxygen Wellbeing at West Down Farm in Corton Denham, reached out to help after learning of the Dorset Cancer Care Foundation’s (DCCF) wish to help more people in the north of the county <i>(Image: Oxygen Wellbeing)</i>

Oxygen Wellbeing at West Down Farm in Corton Denham, reached out to help after learning of the Dorset Cancer Care Foundation’s (DCCF) wish to help more people in the north of the county (Image: Oxygen Wellbeing)

A DORSET clinic which offers Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy hosted a coffee morning to help a Dorset cancer charity.

Juliet and Steve Thornton, owners of Oxygen Wellbeing in Sherborne, reached out to help after learning of the Dorset Cancer Care Foundation’s (DCCF) wish to help more people in the north of the county.

Steve is a retired Metropolitan firearms officer and the couple set up the business largely because of Steve’s ongoing work with people from blue light and military backgrounds who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - or HBOT - sees users breathe 95 per cent oxygen within a pressurised hyperbaric chamber. The drug-free therapy is used to help the body heal from injury or surgery and relieve pain and reduce inflammation in conditions such as arthritis, long covid and multiple sclerosis.

Juliet said: “We are also privileged to be helping some local cancer patients, so, when we heard that the DCCF was trying to publicise its work in and around Sherborne we were keen to help.”

The DCCF helps Dorset people and their families who are experiencing financial hardship because of a cancer diagnosis.

The charity’s non-refundable grants are used by recipients to pay for costs such as travel to and from their hospital treatment, household costs, childcare and respite breaks.

Funded entirely by supporters and events, since 2010 the DCCF has given over £663,000 to 760 individuals and organisations.

Oxygen Wellbeing’s DCCF Coffee Morning raised over £135.

Steve said: “We were blessed with great weather and great company and as well as raising funds for the charity, Jaz and Meryl from the DCCF were able to share valuable information with our visitors. We also had a raffle which was kindly supported by local businesses.”

Jazmine White, charity manager for the DCCF, said: “We were delighted when Juliet and Steve offered to raise money and awareness for the charity.

“The DCCF is making a real difference to the lives of people with cancer in the east of the county and we would like to help people from all over Dorset.

“We know there are many people who would benefit from our help, and perhaps would also like to fundraise for us. So, please get in touch.”

The DCCF can be contacted via phone 07593 890879, via email at [email protected] or online at

Oxygen Wellbeing can be contacted on 01962 34996, or via [email protected]


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Yoga is a powerful practice with many positive impacts on physical and mental health. It involves deep breathing techniques, stretching poses, and meditation to help you relax and reduce stress. It can also help improve your posture, enhance muscle and joint flexibility, and increase your motion range. Even if you’re not a professional athlete, physical therapy yoga can help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

Impacts of Yoga on the Mind


1. Improves Concentration

Yoga requires you to focus on your breath and body movements, making you more aware of your surroundings. When distractions and worries enter your mind, you can practice returning to the present moment. Your mind becomes more attuned to the present, which can boost your concentration and help you stay focused. This is especially beneficial for employees who must remain productive and on task throughout the day. Students can also benefit from these concentration-boosting benefits to help them stay focused while studying.

2. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

When you’re stressed, you may experience tension and discomfort in your body. Yoga helps to reduce this physical and mental stress by calming the nervous system. The deep breathing exercises you practice during yoga help to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, allowing you to relax. The physical poses also aid in releasing muscle tension, while meditation can help you regain inner peace. Regular yoga practice increases your stress resilience, allowing you to cope better with challenging situations and stay calm even in the face of adversity.

3. Enhances Your Moods


Your body produces endorphins during physical therapy yoga, hormones that give you an uplifting, energized feeling. When you start your day with this practice, you can experience better moods throughout the day. Combining deep breathing, physical poses, and meditation also creates a sense of harmony between body and mind, allowing you to gain inner peace. This can give you an overall feeling of joy and contentment that helps to boost your mood.

4. Boosts Self-acceptance

Accepting who you are is key to developing healthy relationships with yourself and others. Yoga can help encourage you to accept your body and mind as they are, without judgment or criticism. It fosters a more compassionate attitude towards yourself, reducing self-doubt and improving overall mental well-being.

Impacts of Yoga on the Body


1. Enhances Flexibility and Range of Motion

The physical poses used in yoga involve stretching your body in different directions, which helps improve your flexibility and motion range. When your body is more flexible, you can complete everyday tasks easily without feeling strained or uncomfortable. Flexibility also reduces the risk of injury, allowing you to enjoy running or playing sports without getting hurt.

2. Improves Posture

Yoga encourages proper alignment of your body, allowing you to stand tall with a straight back and shoulders. When practicing postural poses like Warrior I and II, you engage your core and back muscles to achieve a well-balanced posture. As you become more experienced in the practice, these postures become ingrained in your muscle memory, allowing you to maintain better posture without even thinking about it.

3. Boosts Core Strength


Yoga requires you to engage your abdominal muscles for various poses. Poses like boat pose, plank, and cobra engage your core and hold it in position for extended periods, helping to build strength. This improves your stability and balance, improving your performance during physical activities like running or playing sports. A strong core also reduces the likelihood of lower back pain, allowing you to move freely without much discomfort.

4. Strengthens Your Immune System

A strong immune system makes you less prone to illnesses. Physical therapy yoga can increase blood circulation, allowing cells to receive more oxygen and nutrients. Increased oxygen helps boost the production of white blood cells, which help in fighting infections. It also helps reduce inflammation, allowing your body to heal and recover quickly from injuries and illnesses.

Leverage Physical Therapy Yoga for Better Health and Well-being

These are just some of the many mind and body benefits you can gain from yoga. This practice can help you to become more physically fit, mentally calm, and emotionally balanced. The beauty is that you can practice in the comfort of your home or office with online classes. Find a suitable yoga instructor, join their class, and start your journey towards a healthier and more peaceful life.

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Simple yet effective, pursed lip breathing has a significant positive effect on general well-being. You can enjoy a variety of benefits for your physical and mental health by actively managing your breath using a certain technique.

It's simple to forget the basic but profound act of breathing in the flurry of daily life. However, you can avail a multitude of health benefits by harnessing the power of breath through practices like pursed lip breathing.

Pursed lip breathing technique

It improves respiratory function. (Image via Unsplash/Joey Nicotra)
It improves respiratory function. (Image via Unsplash/Joey Nicotra)

It's crucial to comprehend and practice the pursed lip breathing method to effectively utilize the power of breath. You can quickly implement this method into your daily activities.

To assist you in mastering the method, below is a step-by-step manual:

  • Look for a peaceful location where you can sit or lie down.
  • The body should be at ease when you inhale deeply through your nose and fill your lungs with air.
  • Puck your lips as if you were about to extinguish a candle.
  • Exhale gradually through pursed lips, letting the breath leave the body easily and gently.
  • Focus on keeping a steady and regulated flow of breath as you continue to exhale for longer than you inhale.
  • For several minutes, go through this cycle again to give yourself time to settle into a rhythm.

Purpose of pursed lip breathing

This breathing technique serves several important purposes that contribute to better health and well-being. Let's examine in more detail:

1) Enhancing respiratory function

It increases air exchange during each breath, which enhances respiratory function by increasing lung capacity and efficiency. This method aids in keeping the airways open, reducing build-up of stale air and improving oxygenation.

2) Promoting relaxation and stress reduction

Pursed breathing helps in relieving stress. (Image via Unsplash/ Eli Defaria)
Pursed breathing helps in relieving stress. (Image via Unsplash/ Eli Defaria)

It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which causes a relaxation response. That promotes relaxation and reduces stress, which lessens tension and anxiety while fostering a calm and healthy state of mind.

3) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease symptom management

People with COPD can benefit greatly from this breathing technique. Breathlessness, labored breathing and symptom management can all be helped by slowing the breath and lengthening exhalation.

4) Supporting exercise performance and endurance

People who are physically active, like athletes, can gain benefits from this breathing technique. Limiting fast breathing and assisting in maintaining adequate oxygen levels for longer endurance, regulates breathing during exercise.

5) Facilitating better sleep and managing sleep disorders

It can be a helpful strategy for people who struggle with sleep disorders like sleep apnea in terms of promoting better sleep and managing sleep disorders. It can lead to greater sleep quality by enhancing relaxation and respiratory function.

Benefits of pursed lip breathing

This breathing technique improves oxygenation. (Image via Unsplash/Lutchenca Medeiros)
This breathing technique improves oxygenation. (Image via Unsplash/Lutchenca Medeiros)

Pursed lip breathing has numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Let's examine a few of them:

Increased oxygenation: This breathing technique increases the effectiveness of oxygen exchange in the lungs, resulting in greater oxygenation of body tissues and improved general vigor.

Nervous system calming: Pursued lip breathing, which controls breath, activates the vagus nerve, inducing relaxation response and lowering stress and anxiety level.

Alleviating breathlessness and shortness of breath: Pursed lip breathing reduces the sensation of air hunger and slows down breathing rate. That makes it easier to engage in physical activity and lessens the discomfort connected with breathlessness.

Pursed lip breathing is a straightforward technique that has several benefits, including calming thoughts and lengthening exhalations.

You can use as many repetitions as you'd like. The need to exhale more frequently could indicate a respiratory disorder. In this situation, speak with your doctor for the next course of action.

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Kundalini yoga is a dynamic and powerful form of yoga that incorporates physical postures, breathwork, meditation and chanting.

It focuses on awakening the dormant energy at the base of the spine, known as Kundalini energy, and channeling it upward through the chakras. This practice, rooted in ancient yogic traditions, offers a wide range of benefits for both the body and mind.

How Kundalini yoga boosts health?

Kundalini yoga (Image via Pexels)
Kundalini yoga (Image via Pexels)

#1 Energy awakening and vitality

One of the primary benefits of spiritual yoga is its ability to awaken and increase energy levels.

Through specific postures, breathwork and meditation techniques, spiritual yoga activates the Kundalini energy, which is believed to reside at the base of the spine. As the energy rises, it rejuvenates and revitalizes the body, leading to a sense of increased vitality and overall well-being.

#2 Emotional balance and stress reduction

Spiritual yoga is known for its profound impact on emotional balance and stress reduction.

The combination of physical movements, breath control and meditation helps regulate the nervous system and release emotional tension. Kundalini yoga can help manage stress, reduce anxiety and promote a sense of inner calm and peace.

Regular practice can lead to improved emotional resilience and greater ability to navigate challenging situations with equanimity.

#3 Increased awareness and clarity

Kundalini yoga cultivates heightened awareness and mental clarity. The focus on breath and movement, coupled with meditation, enhances concentration and mindfulness.

This yoga helps quieten mind, allowing for greater clarity, insight and intuition. This increased awareness extends beyond the mat and can positively impact decision-making, problem-solving and overall cognitive function.

#4 Strength and flexibility

While Kundalini yoga is primarily known for its spiritual and energetic aspects, it also offers physical benefits.

The practice includes a variety of dynamic movements, postures and repetitive motions that work on strengthening and toning the body. Regular practice of spiritual yoga can improve muscular strength, endurance and flexibility.

Additionally, the practice emphasizes a strong core, which supports good posture and spinal health.

#5 Stress resilience and adaptability

Spiritual yoga equips practitioners with tools to build resilience and adaptability in the face of life's challenges.

The practice incorporates specific breathing exercises and meditation techniques designed to balance the nervous system and increase ability to cope with stress. This yoga teaches individuals to respond rather than react to stressors, fostering a sense of calm and empowerment in the face of adversity.

#6 Enhances spiritual connection

Spiritual yoga is deeply rooted in spirituality, offering a pathway to connect with one's inner self and the divine.

The practice encourages individuals to tap into their spiritual essence and experience a deeper connection to something greater than themselves. This yoga can lead to a profound sense of spirituality, inner peace and a greater understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings.

#7 Emotional healing and self-transformation

Spiritual yoga is often regarded as a powerful tool for emotional healing and self-transformation.

The practice can help release stored emotions and trauma from the body and foster emotional healing on a deep level. Spiritual yoga techniques, like mantra chanting and specific meditations, facilitate inner shifts and support personal growth and transformation.

Kundalini yoga offers a unique and transformative journey toward physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

From awakening energy and increasing vitality to fostering emotional balance, clarity and strength, the benefits of Kundalini Yoga are extensive. Incorporating this yoga in your regular practice can have a lot of benefits.

Embrace the power of this yoga form, and experience the holistic benefits it offers for a balanced and fulfilling life.

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'Sick' renter living with black mould infestation issues desperate plea for help - as they reveal terrifying health battle

  • Renter is suffering health difficulties due to mould 
  • Fellow tenants have advised her to break her lease 

A renter has issued a desperate plea for help after revealing they are living with black mould and grappling with a terrifying number of health issues because of it. 

The person, who wished to stay anonymous, posted about their 'desperate situation' and 'poor living conditions' in Sydney on the Don't Rent Me Facebook group.

'Moved in, 2 months into the lease noticed black mould growing on walls and ceiling. I tried to clean it, got dehumidifiers in every room - no result,' they wrote.

A Sydney renter suffering health complications due to black mould in their home has been advised by fellow renters to leave now. A young woman is pictured in an apartment

A Sydney renter suffering health complications due to black mould in their home has been advised by fellow renters to leave now. A young woman is pictured in an apartment

'To make it worse, it seems to have given me an allergic reaction (skin rush, issues breathing, itchy eyes). 

'My REA (real estate agent) was quick to get mould cleaners out, and they found issues with ventilation and a roof leak.'

But the renter said what the cleaners did was just a temporary fix and they don't know what to do. 

'So very likely the mould will grow back. Unless they fix the root cause - which would require a decent renovation.' 

The person is wondering if they 'should break the lease', but concerned for the legal implications if they do so and the health implications if they don't.

They are also worried about trying to find somewhere else to live in the midst of Australia's worst rental crisis in years.  

'Think it's easier for (the landlord) to let me break the lease and get new people in while the property still looks mould free after the clean... sick cycle,' they added.

There was a furious response from other posters on the board, with many advising them not to risk further damage to their health as mould can be deadly. 

'Surely there should be grounds to break a lease with no cost due to health conditions such as this. It's not liveable,' one person wrote.

'My sister broke her lease for a similar issue, she got her REA friend to help her write a letter so she could break her lease at no penalty to her as the unit wasn't safe to live in,' another said.

A third commenter advised them to make a report to the 'council about the roof repairs and mould so they cannot re-lease the property without repairs taking place'.

The renter said the mould (pictured) clean up was just a temporary fix and they don't know what to do

The renter said the mould (pictured) clean up was just a temporary fix and they don't know what to do

The NSW Tenant's Union said agents and landlords have to disclose mould in a property's condition report if they know about it.

'Whether or not they note the presence of mould/dampness, (the landlord) cannot avoid the obligation to keep the premises in reasonable repair during the tenancy,' their website said.

Fair Trading NSW Additionally said the repair is considered 'urgent' if the mould is causing health problems, such as in this case.

New research by three Australian universities found a majority of rental properties across the country are putting people's health and wellbeing at risk.

'This leaves many people with no option but to endure poor living conditions such as houses that are cold, damp, or mouldy,' University of South Australia architecture lecturer Dr Lyrian Daniel said.

The Don't Rent Me Facebook group allows renters to air their gripes and seek advice from others in a similar position, but it bars landlords and property agents.

'Landlords and agents are not allowed, as they have been found to continuously flame & bait tenants in our group,' the website said.


Black mould, which is also known as toxic black mould, is a type of mould often found in damp or water-damaged buildings.

A woman is pictured looking at mould

A woman is pictured looking at mould

To grow, black mould needs very high moisture levels. These can be the result of flooding, leaking roofs, plumbing issues, or poor building maintenance. 

Black mould typically grows in materials such as timber, plasterboard, wood framing, composite wood flooring, carpets and carpet underlay.

Black mould has a mildewy or musty smell and is black in colour, whereas other mould species that grow in houses may be pink, grey, white or brown. 


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Investigators took a step toward formally identifying postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), also known as long COVID, as a new condition with an analysis of self-reported symptoms across multiple organ systems present at six months or more after infection.

The study, published in JAMA, looked at data from 9764 patients who participated in the National Institutes of Health’s Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative, including 8,646 infected with SARS-CoV-2. Investigators identified 37 symptoms that were more often present after COVID, with frequency of 2.5% or greater and adjusted odds ratio of 1.5 or greater.

Twelve symptoms were included in a composite scoring framework for identifying PASC. Symptoms include postexertional malaise, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, palpitations, changes in sexual desire or capacity, loss of or change in smell or taste, thirst, chronic cough, chest pain and abnormal movements. Each symptom was assigned a value to determine a composite PASC score, with higher scores associated with worse well-being.

“A framework for identifying PASC cases based on symptoms is a first step to defining PASC as a new condition. These findings require iterative refinement that further incorporates clinical features to arrive at actionable definitions of PASC,” the authors, led by Tanayott Thaweethai, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, wrote.

Participants were enrolled in the study in 33 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. A total of 71% of study participants were female; 16% Hispanic/Latino; and 15% non-Hispanic Black. The median age was 47.

Overall, 1990, or 23%, of all infected participants scored PASC positive along with 41 of 1118, or 3.7%, of uninfected participants. Most common symptoms were postexertional malaise, reported among 87% of PASC-positive participants, fatigue (85%), brain fog (64%), dizziness (62%), GI (59%), and palpitations (57%).

Investigators reported results in three subcohorts: acute Omicron, postacute pre-Omicron and postacute Omicron. Among them, 2231 were first infected with SARS-CoV-2 on or after Dec. 1, 2021, and enrolled in the study within 30 days. Based on the symptom framework, the study identified 224, or 10%, as PASC positive at six months.

Participants who were infected before the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 became dominant were more likely to be PASC positive with more severe manifestation, with 35% of those in the postacute pre-Omicron subgroup scoring PASC positive. However, the authors noted that those infected earlier may have been more likely to enroll in RECOVER because of PASC. Those with recurrent infections during the Omicron era also were more likely to be PASC positive, and vaccination was associated with a modest reduction in PASC.

“Given the heterogeneity of PASC symptoms, determining whether PASC represents one unified condition or reflects a group of unique phenotypes is important,” the authors wrote. “Recent evidence supports the presence of PASC phenotypes, although characterization of these phenotypes is inconsistent and largely dependent on available data.”

Limitations of the study include that the symptoms included in the framework may not reflect the impact of other symptoms, selection bias was likely as symptoms may have affected study participation and uninfected participants may have had previous asymptomatic infections.

The authors described the PASC scoring system as a launching point for further investigations andnoted that a definition of a classification rule for PASC requires a more detailed algorithm that incorporates biological features.

“The research exemplifies the benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration informed by extensive input from patient representatives,” Robert Gross, MD, MSCE, and Vincent Lo Re III, MD, MSCE, wrote in an editorial comment. “These efforts will continue to be needed to determine whether this phenomenon represents one entity with a single definition or multiple phenotypes that arise after COVID-19 infection requiring separate case definitions (ie, E unibus pluram [from one, many]). Addressing this question and finalizing the definitions of these postacute sequelae should facilitate more robust research that ultimately leads to high-quality care and treatment for patients with late effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

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Have you ever had the kind of day when deadlines suddenly appear on your calendar, the coffee machine has a meltdown, and you discover your cat's new favorite chew toy is your treasured earbuds? We wouldn't blame you if your go-to response is to flop onto the couch, feeling frazzled. But what if you could simply say, "Alexa, help me relax," and let technology guide you towards tranquility?

In this article, discover a few of the lesser-known benefits of your voice assistants. No, they're not only useful for setting reminders or checking the weather. You can also use them to find calm amidst the chaos.

Types of Voice Assistants

There are long-standing debates about which voice assistant is best—for example, Siri vs Alexa or Amazon Alexa vs Google Assistant. They all offer unique features. For instance, Alexa is much more than just a virtual shopping assistant. In addition to having the ability to help you battle anxiety and stress, Amazon is constantly expanding its health offerings.

You can use Alexa to access Alexa Together, Amazon helps keep people connected with its remote caregiving service. At the same time, Google offers various health services such as Google Health Studies, DermAssist, and medical self-assessments. You can even set up Google Assistant to remind you to wear a mask.

Meanwhile, if you're already an Apple enthusiast, Siri can connect to your iPhone's Health app, serve up wellness advice, and even remind you when it's time to take a mental health break.

Using Voice Assistants to Help With Guided Meditation and Relaxation Exercises

Guided meditation and relaxation exercises are like GPS for your brain. They steer you down a path to tranquility, even when stress is causing a mental gridlock.

By providing verbal guidance (sometimes with soothing background music), guided meditations can lead you step-by-step toward a state of calm and mindfulness. And the best part? Your voice assistants are ready and waiting to guide you on this journey.

Alexa Can Help You Wind Down Before Bed

The day is coming to a close, but worries are still buzzing around your head like mosquitoes, preventing you from drifting into dreamland. No worries, Alexa's got your back. Simply say, "Hey Alexa, play today's meditation on Headspace" which will serve up your daily dose of tranquility.

Alternatively, you could say "Alexa, let Headspace know I'm prepping for sleep." Just like that, Alexa brings forth a meditation crafted to gently guide you toward the land of rest.

Using Voice Assistants to Deliver Breathing Exercises

Effective breathing—the kind that can help manage stress and anxiety and improve overall mental well-being—is both a science and an art. These techniques involve consciously controlling the rate, rhythm, and depth of your breath. Voice assistants can guide you through a variety of these exercises.

Alexa Has Emergency Breathing Exercises

Say you've just ended a Zoom call where you gave a high-profile and nerve-wracking presentation. Your heart's racing, and you're feeling a bit jittery. Now would be a perfect time for some deep breathing techniques.

Simply say, "Alexa, guide me through a Deep Breath session." Alexa will provide step-by-step guidance, helping you to slow down your heart rate and calm your mind.

Using Voice Assistants to Deliver Positive Affirmations and Motivational Quotes

Positive affirmations and motivational quotes are like bite-sized pick-me-ups for the soul. These nuggets of positivity can help reshape your mindset, boost self-confidence, and fuel motivation. Now, how about sprinkling some of this positivity into your daily life with the help of your voice assistant?

Alexa Helps With Your Morning Primer

Imagine you've just woken up, and instead of reaching for your phone to check emails, you say, "Hey Alexa, give me a daily affirmation." And like the uplifting sunrise, Alexa helps you remember to be upbeat as you tackle the day.

Or perhaps you prefer an inspiring quote to kick-start your day? Just ask, "Siri, share an inspiring quote," and let the words resonate as you set your intention for the day.

Using Voice Assistants to Help With Mental Health Tracking and Journaling

Mental health tracking and journaling can be potent tools for maintaining your mental well-being. They allow you to track your moods, thoughts, and emotions over time, acting as a mirror to your mind. Now, let's see how your digital pal can lend a hand in this area.

Alexa Handles the End-of-Day Debrief

You've had a whirlwind of a day, and it's time to unload. Rather than typing out your thoughts, why not dictate them to your voice assistant? Say something like, "Hey Siri, create a new note in Evernote," and then spill your feelings, thoughts, or reflections. It's the convenience of voice journaling at its finest. Your words are recorded just as they are, raw and unedited.

If you find it difficult to remember to journal every day, voice assistants can help. You could say, "Alexa, remind me to track my mood at 6 PM daily" or "Hey Google, remind me to complete my mental health check-in every evening." With these reminders, keeping tabs on your mental health becomes a hassle-free daily habit.

Using Voice Assistants to Access Mental Health Resources and Support

When it comes to mental health, the right resources and support can be lifesavers. There's a vast ocean of help available, from helplines and therapists to insightful articles, enlightening videos, and immersive podcasts.

Suppose you're going through a tough time and need immediate help. You can ask your voice assistant, "Alexa, give me the number for a mental health helpline." If you're looking for more sustained support, try, "Hey Google, find local mental health professionals." Within seconds, you'll have access to immediate assistance or contact details of local experts.

Getting More Out of Your Voice Assistants

From guided meditations and breathing exercises to positive affirmations and mental health tracking, these digital sidekicks are ready to lend an ear (or a voice) whenever you need them.

So, next time stress tries to muscle its way into your day, or you need a dose of motivation, don't hesitate to call upon your voice assistant. They might just become your favorite new wellness companion.

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Residents of the Virgin Islands are reminded of the dangers of smoking as the Territory observes World Tobacco Day 2023.

Public Health Officer in the Ministry of Health and Social Development Ms. Renee Leonard said that smoking is one of the major risk factors for the development of chronic non-communicable diseases. 

“Among the greatest concerns are heart and lung disease and various forms of cancer,” Ms. Leonard said, adding, “We want to advise persons to refrain from this practice and encourage smokers to quit.”

According to Ms. Leonard, there are many benefits to smokers quitting including improved circulation in the hands and feet, improved blood pressure, easier breathing, and a decrease in the risk of lung cancer.

“The bad habit of smoking can reduce your life expectancy, diminish your quality of life  and ultimately kill you, so do not think about doing it and if you are already doing it stop,” the Public Health Officer said.

The community is also reminded that the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 prohibits smoking in public places including office buildings, restrooms, elevators, stairways, health and educational institutions, any premises in which children are cared for a fee, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, beaches accessible to the public and any other facilities.

“We are reminding proprietors and other occupiers of public places that ‘no smoking’ signs must be placed in a prominent area, clearly indicating that the establishment is smoke free and any infractions should be reported to the authorities,” Ms. Leonard said.

The Public Health Officer stated that "No Smoking" signs must be flat and rectangular at a minimum size of eight and a half by eleven inches; must display the symbol for no smoking and carry the message in English, "It is unlawful to smoke in this location".

Owners or managers of public places who fail to prominently display the prescribed signs that clearly indicate smoke-free zones will be liable to pay a fine of $125.

Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) holds World No Tobacco Day on May 31. Their goal is to spread awareness about the risks of tobacco use and what can be done to make the world tobacco-free. The day is being observed under the theme, “Grow Food not Tobacco.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively impact the health of the population are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and well-being.

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In today’s society, physical appearance is an important issue, as we have deeply ingrained this saying in our culture. “How They See You, They Treat You”, This is the reason why more and more people are looking for alternatives to stay fit and healthy.

For many people, especially women, one of the most problematic areas when working to achieve a slim body is the abdomen, because Fat accumulates and is difficult to remove. However, it seems that Asians have discovered a secret to “sweep” the fat that has accumulated in this area.

It’s the long-breathing regimen that basically involves “standing in a fixed position, breathing in for three seconds and exhaling forcefully for another seven seconds,” as explained by the newsletter’s experts. . Target.

The Long-Breathe Diet is a technique that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many health benefits. It is based on the principle that the way we breathe can affect our general health and well-being.

According to Asians, learning to breathe deeply and slowly can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve digestion, increase energy, and improve sleep quality. In addition it is believed Taking long breaths can help increase lung capacity and improve blood circulation.

To follow this diet it is necessary to learn to breathe properly. most commonly used technique diaphragmatic breathing, which involves inhaling deeply through the nose, filling the lungs with air and expanding the diaphragm downward. Then slowly exhale through the mouth, making sure to empty the lungs completely.

Once you learn the diaphragmatic breathing technique, you can start practicing it regularly throughout the day. Many people find it helpful for a moment take deep breaths before eating or before bedtime to improve digestion and sleep.

In addition to practicing diaphragmatic breathing, it is also important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This can include nutrient-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Too It’s important to avoid processed foods and refined sugars, which can lead to inflammation and other health problems.

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As a complement to this technique, you may choose to consume green tea on a regular basis. This drink has been used in Asian culture for centuries and is believed to have many health benefits, including weight loss. Green tea contains a substance called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which has a thermogenic effect on the body. This means that it increases the metabolic rate of the body and helps in burning more calories.

In addition, green tea is also rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can help prevent disease.

But how should green tea be consumed to get these benefits? Experts recommend drinking three to five cups of green tea daily to reap the health benefits. especially Green tea is not a magic bullet for weight loss And for best results it should be combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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Pneumoconiosis is a set of pulmonary diseases associated with inhalation of an agent (e.g., dust, fumes, fibre), normally in an industrial setting where retention of a particular component is a key causative factor.1 There is no cure for pneumoconiosis, and it progressively affects patients by causing respiratory symptoms, physical impairment, and premature death.2 Due to poor control of occupational hazards, pneumoconiosis has become a serious occupational health concern across the world, especially in developing countries such as China, Brazil, and India.2,3 According to the Global Burden of Disease study,4,5 the incidence of pneumoconiosis increased from 36,186 cases in 1990 to 60,055 cases in 2017, and 125,000 deaths resulted from pneumoconiosis annually as of 2010.

In China,6 the incidence of pneumoconiosis kept increasing from 2000 to 2016, with more than 20,000 new cases per year after 2010. In 2019, the Chinese National Health Commission issued the “Pneumoconiosis Prevention and Control Action Plan”, aiming to enhance diagnosis, treatment, and pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for pneumoconiosis patients from the grassroots level.7 Pneumoconiosis mainly occurs in rural migrant workers who are employed in unhealthy and unsafe working conditions,8 and it causes serious mental problems,9 economic hardship,10 and reduced quality of life (QoL)11 in patients. To support the vulnerable migrant workers with pneumoconiosis, a patient advocacy non-governmental organisation (NGO) named Love Save Pneumoconiosis (LSP)12 was established in 2011, and it has been promoting community-based pulmonary rehabilitation (CBPR) programs for migrant workers with pneumoconiosis since 2016.

PR is a comprehensive intervention based on a thorough patient assessment followed by patient-tailored therapies that include but are not limited to, exercise training, education, social support, and behavioural change,13 which is the most effective therapeutic strategy in managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.14 Recent quantitative studies have validated PR’s effect on pneumoconiosis patients’ lung function, physical performance, and health-status outcomes.15,16 However, qualitative evidence regarding PR’s impact on pneumoconiosis patients’ health and lives is lacking in the literature. Therefore, this study applied a qualitative approach to address this knowledge gap by exploring pneumoconiosis patients’ experience in a CBPR program.

Study design

Rather than starting with a theory, this qualitative study adopted the phenomenological perspective to inductively develop patterns of meaning through participants’ views of their situations and experiences.17 Web-based semi-structured interviews using a self-made interview guide were conducted. The interview Guide was designed by reviewing relevant literature and referring to Chenail’s18 report on conducting qualitative research on patients’ experiences. Thematic analysis was applied to analyse participants’ narratives, for it allows researchers to discover common themes and thoughts from more than one participant and it is beneficial to allocate a narrative to the diverse data to gain a clear, logical understanding of the participant’s thoughts and to convey their experience.19

Study setting

The study was set in Sanchuan Pulmonary Rehabilitation Centre in Henan province. LSP established the PR centre in August 2018, and it had 215 registered pneumoconiosis patients by May 2021. The CBPR program included physical exercise (e.g., biking, dumbbell lifting, stretching exercise, breathing training), health education, leisure activities, home visits, as well as financial support and donation (e.g., financial support for medical expenses and children’s education, donation of essential medical equipment, medicine, food, and daily goods) from the NGO.

Participants and recruitment

The convenience sampling method was used to recruit participants. A PR instructor working in the PR centre assisted with the recruitment in May 2021. In this study, we only targeted male patients as pneumoconiosis is dominantly prevalent among men. The eligibility criteria for participation were: 1) man with a certified occupational pneumoconiosis diagnosis; 2) being over 18 years old; 3) PR participation was longer than one month; 4) being able to communicate in Chinese, and 5) absence of medical or cognitive conditions that would prohibit participation. Participants were acknowledged of the purpose and methods of this study by reading the recruitment post. A shopping card valuing 50 CNY (US$7.76) was rewarded to participants for their participation.

Data collection

Participants’ demographic and medical information was collected using a Patient Information form (Online Supplementary Document, Appendix A). The first author conducted the interview following the self-made Interview Guide (Online Supplementary Document, Appendix B) via Zoom videoconferencing platform.20 Before starting the interviews, the interviewer introduced herself and explained her background of growing up in a coal mine industrial area and her research interest in immigrant workers with pneumoconiosis. Participants attended the interviews during their exercise break or after the PR session in June 2021. All interviews took place in a private meeting room in the PR centre. All participants provided verbal and written consent to participate in this study and agreed to video record the interviews.

Data analysis

Data analysis was performed using the thematic analysis method. The interview data were transcribed and translated into English for analysis. Firstly, the authors thoroughly read the transcript and familiarised themselves with the data. Then a primary line-by-line coding using NVivo21 was carried out to identify the initial meaning codes. Based on the initial coding, a secondary paper-based coding was performed to confirm and finalise the meaning codes. After coding, codes that shared collective meaning were clustered into subcategories, and subcategories were furtherly abstracted into categories. Finally, categories were summarised into four themes based on their similarities and interrelationships. Although the development of the codes, subcategories, categories, and themes was described linearly, back-and-forth discussions and revisions were carried out to ensure an accurate and meaningful interpretation of participants’ responses.

Ethics considerations

This study was conducted according to the principles of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki, and it was approved by the Research Ethics Committee at St. Luke’s International University in Japan (Approval Number: 20-A086) and Central South University in China (Approval Number: E202121). Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Characteristics of participants

Data saturation was reached after fifteen interviews, as all the topics from the Interview Guide (Online Supplementary Document, Appendix B) were fully covered after completing thirteen interviews, and no new themes were generated in the last two interviews. Interviews ranged from 31 to 72 minutes (median 42 minutes) in length. The fifteen participants aged from 49 to 71 (median 54). Their education level was primary school (8 participants) or middle school (7 participants). Most of them lived within 5km away from the PR centre. Their median registered PR attendance in the CBPR program was 170 (20-256) times. Participants’ sociodemographic and medical characteristics are shown in Table 1.

Table 1.Participant characteristics

Characteristic N Median (Range)
Age (year) 54 (49-71)
Education Primary school 8
Middle school 7
Marital status Living with spouse 15
Unmarried or widowed 0
Number of parents 0 12
1 2
2 1
Number of children/students 1/0 4
2/0 3
2/1 6
3/1 1
3/2 1
Disease suffering time (year) 7 (3~12)
Pneumoconiosis stage* Stage 1 1
Stage 2 6
Stage 3 8
Smoking history Current smoker 1
Ex-smoker 10
Never smoked 4
Home oxygen therapy Using 4
Not using 11
Distance to pulmonary rehabilitation centre ≤ 1km 6
≤ 5km 8
≤ 10km 1
Pulmonary rehabilitation attendance 170 (20-256)

*Chinese diagnostic criteria of pneumoconiosis (GBZ 70-2015)

Experience of patients with pneumoconiosis in CBPR

Interview data on pneumoconiosis patients’ experience in CBPR was concentrated into 26 sub-categories, nine categories, and four themes: triggering of a difficult life, reconstruction of life, sense of empowerment, and gaps in PR. Themes, categories, and subcategories are elaborated in Table 2. A schematic representation of the situation is shown in Figure 1.

Table 2.Experiences of patients with pneumoconiosis in community-based pulmonary rehabilitation

Themes Categories Subcategories
Triggering of a Difficult Life Impaired well-being Deteriorating physical health
Serious mental stress
Family difficulty Financial difficulty
Burden of caregivers
Reconstruction of Life Pulmonary rehabilitation-centred life Increased knowledge of pulmonary rehabilitation
High motivation to take pulmonary rehabilitation
Good adherence to pulmonary rehabilitation
High satisfaction with the program
Improved well-being Improved physical status
Improved mental health
Improved quality of life
Activated socialization Peer support
Sense of belonging
Sense of Empowerment Recognition of multiple supports Supportive family
Supportive PR staff
Gratitude for NGO’s support
Enhanced coping ability with pneumoconiosis Adaption to pneumoconiosis
Regaining sense of control
Self-management health skills
Gaps in pulmonary rehabilitation Needs Continuing family support
Necessary equipment and service
Financial support for pneumoconiosis families
Barriers Lack of knowledge
Conflicting priorities
Environmental obstacles
Figure 1

Figure 1.Experiences of patients with pneumoconiosis in CBPR.

Triggering of a Difficult Life

Living with pneumoconiosis, participants suffered respiratory symptoms (e.g., dyspnoea, cough, and wheezing) and had limited physical ability and mobility to perform daily activities. Their deteriorating physical health increased the risk of exacerbation, and some of them experienced frequent hospitalisation. In addition to the physical suffering, participants suffered severe mental problems from pneumoconiosis. Knowing the disease was incurable, they felt devastated and hopeless, and some of them even anticipated impending death. The poor physical and mental health disturbed their social confidence and put them at high risk of social isolation.

I will have to go to the hospital if I catch a cold. I have been hospitalised several times this year. Catching colds is very frightening to me. (02)

I thought my life could only last for a few months and I would die very soon when I was told I had pneumoconiosis. (06)

I used to be out of breath when I came to the 3rd floor. I was thinking like, I’m still young, but my health is no better than an older man’s, which frustrated me very much. (03)

Having pneumoconiosis, (In the past) I felt very stressed. It made me feel I was inferior to others. I didn’t want to talk to other people or even stay with them. (14)

Pneumoconiosis also triggered heavy financial strain and care burden in participants’ families. As the disease progressed, many participants lost their workability and became dependent, which made it impossible for them to support their families. The financial difficulty was a major cause of their mental stress and sometimes even restrained them from seeking timely and necessary treatment. Due to their inability to support the family, their wives had to shoulder the heavy family burden of being the only breadwinners, caregivers, and housekeepers in their families.

I need to feed my family…. I feel so stressed when thinking that my parents and children are relying on me. My parents have diseases and they can’t take care of themselves, and my child needs to go to school. (08)

I can’t work now. We have no income but some financial aid from the government. Generally, I don’t take medicine unless my condition is severe. Usually, I just put up with it…. (I couldn’t do anything but) wait and see. (06)

Knowing my health is not good, my wife tries to reduce my stress by sharing the family burden as much as possible. (14)

Reconstruction of Life

The CBPR program provided pneumoconiosis patients with an opportunity to reconstruct their lives. During their participation in PR, participants experienced restored physical and mental health and improved QoL. They reported improved physical capacity in performing PR exercises and daily activities. They also sensed alleviation in their symptoms (e.g., breathing difficulty) and a reduced risk of exacerbation. The only participant who didn’t see any noticeable physical improvement explained his health condition and stated that PR retarded his disease progression. Besides the physical benefits, participants also reported improved mental state, daily diet, and sleep quality.

Sometimes I go up the hill to pick up some herbal medicine and firewood. It used to be difficult, but now I can do it without too much effort. (12)

I still wheeze when I walk and don’t feel any noticeable improvement because the disease is getting worse and worse, and I know that…. It seems as if the effect is insignificant, but if I didn’t do exercise, my condition would have been worse. (02)

As I started to exercise, my mood improved, and I could sleep well. I’m not as scared as before. Now three years have passed, and my condition is still okay. (06)

Participants experienced activated socialisation and developed peer support and a sense of belonging in the CBPR program. Pneumoconiosis patients participating in the CBPR program shared similar backgrounds and occupational experiences, which enabled them to have mutual understanding and trusting. They were willing to actively engage in their peer conversations and show sympathy and encouragement to their peers. Participants also enjoyed group activities such as playing chess and singing karaoke in the PR centre. Many of them stated that the atmosphere in the PR centre was pleasant and relaxing that they would spend time in the PR centre rather than stay home.

There are many pneumoconiosis patients here. We do exercises together and talk with each other. We have chances to talk about our feelings and problems. (02)

We encourage each other to exercise by sharing our good experiences. If somebody has too much stress, we can talk to him, and it will help him reduce his stress. (13)

I feel very good the moment when I enter here. Even though you don’t exercise, it’s good to chat with people or play chess with each other. You can just have a good time here. (03)

It’s easy to feel stressed and unhappy when staying alone. Coming outside and meeting people here makes me feel relaxed and happy. (05)

As participants gained positive physical and psychosocial experiences in the CBPR program, they tended to lead a PR-centred life. Many participants formed a habit to do exercise. For some people, PR had become an essential daily routine that they would not skip; as one participant described, “skipping PR was like skipping meals for me”. Participants showed high intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to take PR. Those with young children were highly self-motivated to take PR to prolong their survival so that they could keep their families complete and watch their children grow up. Many participants expressed gratitude for the CBPR program and were motivated to take PR to show their appreciation.

I developed a habit of exercising after I came to the rehabilitation centre. I can always find time to exercise, whether rainy or sunny, no matter when and where. (06)

(My motivation for taking PR is) To save my life and keep my family complete. As long as I am here, my family is fine, and my children have a father, so I keep exercising and try to stay in a good mood. It’s good for both my family and me. (02)

I am grateful that this PR centre was built in Sanchuan. Personally speaking, it’s very beneficial for me. I’m quite satisfied that my body has recovered to this extent…. I formed a habit of exercising. When the time comes, I want to come here. If I don’t have anything to do at home, the best thing I can do is to come here and exercise. (03)

Sense of Empowerment

Through taking PR, participants were empowered with strengthened disease-adapting and coping abilities. Instead of being devastated and frustrated, they learned to accept and adapt to pneumoconiosis by adopting positive thinking. Participants regained hope and confidence to maximise their remaining health by adhering to PR and applying healthy behaviours. As they gained greater control over their health, they tried to positively influence their peer patients by sharing their good experiences.

Before, I always thought that pneumoconiosis was incurable, and I worried about the side effects of the medicine…. Now I know I don’t need to stress myself with negative thoughts. (14)

By doing exercise, you can stay healthy and live for a few more years. It’s for your own sake. Now the society and policy are getting better and better. To experience more of it, you need to have the courage to live. (09)

Some people think nothing can make a big difference because they believe the disease is incurable. However, I want to encourage them to put away the psychological burden and focus on exercise…. You will get experience if you continue, and you can share your experience to help others. (02)

Participants were empowered by the support from their families, PR staff, volunteers, and the NGO. Their families’ understanding, caring, and their supportive words and gestures positively influenced participants to take PR. The PR instructors were perceived as patient, responsible, and trustworthy by participants. They not only gave PR instructions but also conducted regular home visits to investigate patients’ family difficulties and link them to necessary support from the NGO. As a patient advocacy NGO, LSP kept offering donations and financial and social support to help migrant workers with pneumoconiosis and gained their heartful gratitude.

Sometimes my wife encourages me to go for a walk when I’m not feeling very well or don’t want to move. She would accompany me for a walk outside and then suggest coming to the PR centre…. Now I can always come without being reminded or pushed by her. (03)

The PR instructor always tells us that PR is good for pneumoconiosis and that the effect could be better than medicine…. She also tries to help us to have a good mindset and encourage us to continue to exercise. (04)

Volunteers come to give us donations, such as rice, wheat, oil, and quilts when winter comes. They support us as much as they can…. Knowing that many kind people care about us, we have no reason to give up on ourselves. (10)

Gaps in PR

Although participants were highly appreciative of and satisfied with the CBPR program and no perceived downsides of PR were reported, they still had unmet needs and barriers in the CBPR program. They needed additional equipment and services in the PR centre, including adequate exercise equipment such as bikes, oxygen machines for renting, leisure entertainment, countermeasures for emergencies, and health check-up services. They also expected supporting policies for pneumoconiosis families and financial support for their children’s education. Participants identified barriers to taking PR as lack of knowledge, exacerbations, conflicting priorities, and environmental obstacles (e.g., bad weather, inconvenient roads, and long-distance).

Well, there will be no income if I can’t work any longer… then my child’s education will be a problem. I have nothing to expect but support for my child to go to school. That will be enough. (07)

Love Save Pneumoconiosis and the volunteers have helped us a lot…. I hope the government takes more responsibility to help improve our lives. (06)

If my parents are ill or hospitalised, I will have to take care of them. If there is field labour to do, I will not be able to come. (08)

This study disclosed pneumoconiosis patients’ experience in PR and added to the understanding of the CBPR program’s impact on the health and lives of rural migrant workers with pneumoconiosis in China. Pneumoconiosis caused deteriorating physical health, severe mental stress, social isolation and financial hardship to patients. The CBPR program allowed them to restore their physical and psychosocial health, and they achieved reconstructing their lives by leading a PR-centred life. Participating in the CBPR program, pneumoconiosis patients recognised multiple supports and were empowered with enhanced disease-coping abilities and strengthened hope to survive. Overall, participants reflected on their positive experience in the CBPR program, despite their unmet needs and existing barriers in PR.

Pneumoconiosis patients’ disease-suffering experiences regarding respiratory symptoms, deteriorating physical condition, limited mobility, and social isolation are also reported among patients with other chronic respiratory diseases.22,23 This study highlighted pneumoconiosis patients’ serious mental suffering, which is in line with Huang and Hu’s9 report on the significant low self-esteem and high level of anxiety and depression among pneumoconiosis patients compared to the general population in China. As middle-aged men who are expected to take a pivotal family role in traditional Chinese families, their inability to support their family harms their self-esteem and confidence and burdens them with heavy mental stress. Meanwhile, their wives experience jeopardised physical, emotional, and social well-being from the demanding and overloaded care burden.10,24 These findings suggest that future research on the family-oriented management of pneumoconiosis is needed to improve the health and lives of both pneumoconiosis patients and their caregivers.

Pneumoconiosis patients’ healthy transition and life reconstruction experiences in the CBPR program are congruent with former PR-related studies revealing patients’ PR experience in terms of reduced symptoms, improved physical, mental, emotional, and social function, enhanced sense of control, and increased disease management ability.25–27 Pneumoconiosis patients reported improvements in their mental state, physical capacity, mobility, and daily activities, which corroborated the quantitative evidence regarding PR’s effectiveness in improving physical functional capacity,15,16 psychological symptoms,28 and QoL16 for patients with chronic respiratory diseases. In this study, pneumoconiosis patients also delightfully reported their active social life in the CBPR program. They shared commonalities and mutual understanding and had a sense of bonding and belonging in their groups. For pneumoconiosis patients who bear heavy mental stress and are socially isolated, peer support in the CBPR program may effectively reduce their mental problems, boost their social confidence, and increase their participation in PR.

A sense of empowerment was abstracted from pneumoconiosis patients’ narratives in this study. In China, migrant workers with pneumoconiosis are part of the lowest socio-economic populations who face social and spatial injustice and have limited access to social resources and health services.8 The NGO-supported CBPR program functioned as a patient advocating and supporting platform that links pneumoconiosis patients to necessary support and health resources. Participating in the CBPR program, participants recognised multiple supports from their families, peer patients, PR staff, volunteers, and the NGO. They not only developed enhanced disease-coping skills but also regained hope and confidence to maximise their health and lives. These findings suggest that promoting the CBPR program and providing multiple supports to patients and their families are critical strategies to empower the vulnerable migrant workers with pneumoconiosis in China.

In contrast to the low uptake and poor adherence in PR reported among COPD patients in former studies,29–31 this study encouragingly found that pneumoconiosis patients had relatively high uptake and good adherence in PR. Several reasons may contribute to this finding. First of all, participants showed strong motivation to take PR. They were highly self-motivated to stay health so that they could take care of their families, especially their young children. They were also motivated to take PR to show their appreciation for the support they received from the CBPR program. It was reported that patients living alone or lacking family support had low motivation to take PR.30 In this study, all participants lived with their families, and family support positively influenced them to take PR. Financial strain was reported as an important barrier for patients with low economic status to use PR services.32 This NGO-supported CBPR program for pneumoconiosis patients was free, and patients could receive donations and apply for financial support for their hospitalisation and their children’s education, which might be a critical incentive factor that facilitated their participation. Another contributing factor was their convenient access to the CBPR program for travelling distance and transportation were identified as significant barriers that hinder patients’ uptake and adherence to PR.30,33 Last but not least, comparing to patients with other chronic respiratory conditions, pneumoconiosis patients in this study were averagely younger and thus, they might have a higher physical potential to take physical exercise and experience positive outcomes, which might have enhanced their continence in PR.

To achieve successful participation in PR, a flexible and tailored approach is required to deliver PR according to patients’ needs and preferences, and PR programs should be fun and provide experience that patients don’t want to miss.34,35 Among all the unmet needs stated by participants in this study, one participant passionately suggested integrating leisure entertainment (e.g., karaoke) into the CBPR program, which implies that enjoyment is a critical element to keep patients in PR. Participants’ barriers to PR identified in this study regarding lack of knowledge, bad health conditions, conflicting priorities, and environmental obstacles correspond to previous PR studies.30,32,33 Lacking knowledge and perceived benefit of PR interfered with both uptake and completion.30 The initial and essential step to engage patients in PR is to provide education and counselling to increase their knowledge and enhance their motivation for behavioural change, and ongoing adherence could be enhanced by tangible results, improved health outcomes, increased self-confidence, and a supportive environment in the PR program.36

Although this study achieved data saturation and gained insight into the CBPR program’s impact on pneumoconiosis patients’ health and lives, several limitations should be considered when interpreting the results of this study. Firstly, in this study, participating patients were highly homogeneous regarding their demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status, which may limit the representativeness of patients with different sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., underdiagnosed patients, young patients, patients with better social economic status, and female patients). Secondly, participants might want to appear grateful for the CBPR program and thus might have emphasised their positive experiences and neglected the downsides. Thirdly, the interviews were conducted in Chinese, and the interview data were translated into English for analysis. There were minor translation adjustments during the translation process. However, the meaning of what the participants said wasn’t changed.

The CBPR program integrating multiple supports empowered the vulnerable migrant workers with pneumoconiosis and facilitated their health transition and life reconstruction experience. To optimise their PR experience and improve their QoL, health service addressing their unmet needs and barriers in PR is needed. PR for pneumoconiosis patients with different sociodemographic characteristics and family-oriented management of pneumoconiosis should be explored in future research.


We want to express our gratitude to Dr Erika Ota, Dr Edward Barroga, and Dr Maasa Kobayashi for their valuable insight, comments, and advice on this study. We thank Dr Sarah E Porter for her English editing support in this manuscript. We also appreciate Ms Qiuli Shi’s support in participant recruitment. Finally, we would like to thank the fifteen participants for their contribution to this study. This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee at St. Luke’s International University in Japan (Approval Number: 20-A086) and Central South University in China (Approval Number: E202121).

Data availability

The data supporting this study’s findings are available on request from the corresponding author (PM).


No funds, grants, or other financial support were received for this study.

Authorship contributions

This work is based on the master’s thesis of the first author (PM). YN supervised this work. PM and YN together developed the study conception and study design. PM was trained to conduct interviews and use NVivo to perform qualitative data analysis. PM conducted the interviews and translated the transcript. PM and YN performed data analysis. PM drafted the manuscript, and YN provided critical instruction and revision.

Competing interest

The authors completed the Unified Competing Interest form at (available upon request from the corresponding author), and declare no conflicts of interest.

Corresponding author:

Panpan Ma
Email: [email protected]
Address: Room 207, Livil Shangri-La, Murakami 2092-3, Yachiyo, Chiba, 276-0028, Japan

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