WELLNESS: Apps Got You Stressed? Breathe2Relax

NOTE: All images courtesy of the National Center for Telehealth & Technology. News release credit: U.S. Department of Defense.

The weather outside may be frightful later as the Northeast braces for a major blizzard Friday, anticipating coastal flooding, power outages, and travel delays on the road, rails and at airports. Stuck at home or wherever you are, what better way to pass the time than mobile apps on most smart phones, iPads and tablets. Temple Run 2 getting you frazzled, though? Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja becoming too much of an addictive good thing? Take a deep breath and relax … literally.

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Breathe2Relax, part of a growing collection of mobile apps designed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), is a cool way to chill out, in my opinion. I had some doubts initially when mentioned on The Dr. Oz Show, that is, until I downloaded and used it while waiting in an annoyingly long line. The app is designed for iPhone, iPad and Android. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s “fight -or-flight” stress response and help stabilize moods, control anger and manage anxiety, according to a B2R news release. Video-based instruction in Breathe2Relax explains the body’s reaction to stress and shows proper breathing exercises. You can even tweak the app to feature your own music and images.

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The U.S. Department of Defense released the mobile app in 2011, reporting that it can help reduce the stress associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. Capitalizing on touch-screen technology, a user can record their stress level on a ‘visual analogue scale’ by swiping a small bar to the left or to the right. Breathe2Relax uses the latest graphics, animation, narration, and videos to deliver an advanced, immersive experience, developers explain.

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The National Center for Telehealth & Technology is a component center of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). T2 serves as the primary Department of Defense office for cutting-edge approaches in integrating technology with psychology and focuses on the needs of service members, veterans, and their families. The National Center for Telehealth & Technology, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., designs, develops, and deploys state-of-the-art tools for assessing, preventing, and treating behavioral health problems.

DISCLAIMERHealth and wellness material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, cure or to prevent any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. You should consult a qualified health care professional before starting any diet, supplement, home remedy or exercise program, or if you have or suspect you may have a health condition. I encourage individuals to research all avenues for optimal overall wellness.

Recommended:

National Center for Telehealth &  Technology (T2): http://www.t2health.org/

U.S. Department of Defense: http://www.defense.gov/

Macworld iOS Apps Review: http://www.macworld.com/category/ios-apps/

PCMag Mobile Apps Review: http://www.pcmag.com/reviews/mobile-apps

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