Music Guided Breathing

Slow, controlled, deep breathing is also known as Pranayama, resonance breathing or tactical breathing. Deep breathing can reduce blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate. Anxiety and the "fight or flight" sympathetic nervous system response can be diminished by reducing blood pressure. The parasympathetic nervous system can then be engaged to help the mind and body relax.

Eupnea is the natural resting breathing state and is an efficient and effective mode of breathing that increases air intake and decreases muscular exertion. Respiratory muscles are coordinated by a regular rhythm requiring minimal energy to maintain. Eupnea can be reinforced from the practice of deep breathing exercises.

To start, navigate to Goals and choose a goal from the drop down menu. Goals can be short term, long term or ongoing and will reflect the users intention. There are a wide variety of goals to choose from and there is also an "other" option to input your own.

Input how you feel in % on the slider. The range is 1-100%, with a lower number corresponding to feeling bad, a mid number to neutral and a higher number to feeling good. Continue by pressing the "Breathing Ratio" button.

Choose the breathing ratio that best suits your lung capacity. The first number is the number of seconds breathing in and the second number is seconds breathing out (inhale:exhale). The options are 2:3, 4:6, 5:7, 6:6, 4:4 to 4:8 and 8:8 ("4:4:4:4", "Box", "Square" or "Tactical Breathing").

To get an idea of what breathing ratio is suitable for you, expel the air from your lungs, breathe in very slowly and count the seconds as you inhale. This will be close to the first number for a suitable ratio. Other ratios can be used to the same effect if they are similar in length.

The 2:3 ratio can be used by children, people with a compromised lung capacity or as a "Wim Hof" exercise for adults (faster, deep breaths). Make sure to be alert for any signs of hyperventilation with the shorter ratios.

Stop the exercise if you are feeling the effects of hyperventilation which may include: anxiety, pounding heart rate, chest pain or light headedness. If the exercise is done correctly with the correct breathing ratio hyperventilation should not occur.

Most adults have a deep breathing ratio in the 4:6, 5:7 or 6:6 range. The 4:4 to 4:8 has quicker initial inhalations and slowly extends the exhalation time to address acute anxiety.

The 2:3 and 4:6 ratio will start with one high note for breathing in and follow with one low note for breathing out. The 5:7, 6:6 and 4:4 to 4:8 ratios will start with two high notes for breathing in and follow with one low note for breathing out. These ratios all have the same total time (inhale + exhale = 12). The 8:8 ratio follows a 4:4:4:4 pattern with the first two higher notes breathing in and the following two lower notes breathing out.

After you have chosen your breathing ratio, choose how much time you will invest in taking deep breaths. The 2:3 ratio has a 2.5 and 5 minute button. All of the other ratios have a 5, 10 and 15 minute button to load a track with that duration. App requires internet to load the track.

Find a comfortable place that you can lie or sit in with your arms by your side or in your lap. Try to set up your environment so that you won't be disturbed and use headphones for an enhanced immersive effect. You may want to turn your device to "Do Not Disturb" to stop device alerts interrupting. Close your eyes to minimise distractions and focus on the music.

The cycle of notes will guide your cycle of breathing. Breathe in slowly and deeply on the first high note(s) and breathe out slowly and deeply on the following lower note(s). Repeat and follow the melody notes with the higher note(s) breathing in and the lower note(s) breathing out. Use your diaphragm (the muscle below your lungs) to breathe in and out fully and slowly. Diaphragmatic breathing will feel like you are breathing into your belly. Try not to breathe into your chest.

Try to breathe in and out of your nose. Breathing in through your nose and out of your mouth is also fine. Try not to breathe in through your mouth. If you find the breathing ratio chosen is too short or long for your lung capacity, go back and choose a more suitable ratio.

If you lose track just listen for the next cycle of notes and restart your cycle of breathing then. After the track has finished, choose if the goal was achieved from the yes/no option. Register again how you feel from 1-100% on the slider. Press the "Store Result" button to store the result to your devices memory. This data is not shared with anyone and is only available to you. Compare and track results over time on the results page.

Consult your doctor first if you have any cardiac, breathing or diaphragm issues. It is not recommended to do this deep breathing exercise after any abdominal surgery unless under surgeons advice.