Even after years of work, it still feels like we're just getting started. Now we have a blog!
BreatheAware is about serving people and populations who want to take control of personal skills and behaviors that promote health, reduce healthcare costs, and—as a happy bi-product—improve enjoyment, engagement and productivity in life. Mind body skills are as basic to healthcare outcomes as vaccinations, regular physicals, eating right and exercising. A physician we’ve worked with called it “driver’s education for the body.” We couldn’t have said it better.
Consider a few data points about stress and anxiety. Healthcare expenditures due to this dynamic duo are the third largest in the developed world, behind only heart disease and cancer (each of which carries its own correlation to stress and inflammation). 90% of those who experience stress are frequent users of primary care services and can comprise up to 70% of a physician’s case load! In the US alone, it’s estimated that these ailments cost employers more than $300b in annual expense and lost productivity, largely due to absenteeism. Real or perceived, 75% of US workers say they have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago.
Now consider a few things we know about breathing and relaxation-producing mind body practices. Eliciting the relaxation response—an essential function of being human—is shown to reduce billable healthcare services use by 43% percent. Why? Start with lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and the production of stress-producing hormones like cortisol that drive inflammation and weight gain. Relaxation practices have even been shown to markedly improve the way your genes work. For companies, mind body programs see up to $3,000 in annual savings per employee. For hospitals, stress prevention programs have reduced medication errors by 50%, helping drive a 70% reduction in malpractice claims.
People want to feel better, live longer, do more, and do it better. Companies want to reduce healthcare costs and improve the employee experience. As the healthcare system focuses more on prevention and less on intervention, adapting mind body practices to modern society using next generation education and technology platforms can and will achieve these goals. That’s what we’re about, and what we’ll write about in this blog.
We stand on the shoulders of so many great researchers, doctors, athletes, teachers, thinkers, meditators, yogis and others, all who make the work we do at BreatheAware possible. In addition to sharing what we're up to, thinking about, and working on, we'll try to offer posts from others who work in this area too.
Please write us with ideas or topics you'd like us to cover. Take time to breathe today!
Thanks for your support,
Curt Rosenthal & Pete Hermann