Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Learn to breathe easier with Resperate

When we are stressed, anxious, frightened or angry, our breathing pattern speeds up and becomes quite shallow, using only the upper part of our lungs. In the short term, it's a useful part of our 'fight or flight' response, helping us deal with whatever it is that's disturbing us. In the longer term, it can become an habitual but unhelpful way of breathing, because instead of our mind telling our body that we need to cope with an emergency, the way we are breathing actually conveys to the mind that we have a continuous reason to feel anxious, panicked, etc.

Understanding this can be a useful first step toward using the way we breathe to consciously help regulate how we feel - both emotionally and physically. But it's not always easy to learn to do this, which is where Resperate can help.

Designed primarily to help those with high blood pressure to lower it, the Resperate device works by providing feedback on how you are breathing. It measures your breath rate while playing classical music, then slows it down to encourage a slower pace. It acts as a breathing coach, and used several times a day can help restore a calmer way of breathing. You can actually see how well you are doing, even before you begin to feel it.

With regard to the lowering of blood pressure, nine peer-reviewed medical publications listed on the Resperate site, along with more anecdotal reviews from doctors and users, provide testament to its effectiveness.

I was told about Resperate by a uniquely qualified Ericksonian psychotherapist, Annette Poizner (www.annettepoizner.com), who was telling me how I could improve my lung energy - and why it was important!

For me, if you are (as one professional once put it) a 'managed type A personality' it can be very useful to have some physical evidence that your mindfulness, meditation or other practice, is effective. Like anything else, it demands some commitment, but it's really no hardship to sit quietly and take some time out - whether the result you want is to lower your blood pressure or calm your thoughts.

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