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Breathing Practices for Mental Health and Aging 

Breathing Practices for Mental Health and Aging
Chapter:
Breathing Practices for Mental Health and Aging
Author(s):

Patricia L. Gerbarg

and Richard P. Brown

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199380862.003.0016
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date: 31 March 2020

Voluntarily regulated breathing practices (VRBPs) have the potential to mitigate the effects of stress on mental and physical health and to enhance mechanisms of health maintenance. It is possible, by using specific breath techniques, to counteract pathophysiological processes that contribute to age-related disease progression. VRBPS can be integrated with other mind-body practices and conventional treatments to alleviate illness symptoms, support mental and physical health, and improve quality of life.VRBPs are particularly suitable for addressing the challenges of aging because they are low in side effects, do not interact adversely with prescription medications, and exert positive effects on key components of the aging mind-body complex. They can be safely adapted for use in medically ill or frail patients and they are affordable for those with limited means.

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