Deep Breathing Exercises May Be Key to Better Health
I had my yearly check-up today.
My blood pressure was 110/80. My oxygen level was very good, but I'm flabbergasted that I'm drawing a blank about what they told me my weight was.
The real eye-opener came when I was asked if I'm exercising in moderation. I became flush with the feeling that twinge of remorse brings. Despite that, the nurse practitioner said she wasn't necessarily talking about just physical workouts. She was referring to exercising the upper muscle of my esophagus, which plays an important role in diaphragmic breathing.
She sounded excited talking about research published in Nature Medicine, which says scientists at MIT have completed an artificial intelligence model that detects the existence of Parkinson's disease using nighttime breathing patterns during sleep.
The idea comes from research that dates back to 1817 when it was first discovered that there's a definite link between Parkinson's disease and breathing.
The MIT researchers were curious to know if respiratory symptoms manifested decades before the physical symptoms of Parkinson's. That's why this is a major advancement if, for no other reason, they can use this in the assessment of Parkinson's patients. But this is also a major health news story because from now on, a sensor will be able to detect Parkinson's by how we breathe.
I know the benefits of deep breathing because, as someone who's on the radio, I have to maintain proper breath control to talk. Sometimes, during a break, I'll breathe in through my nose until I fill my big belly, and then I breathe out, giving equal time for both.
In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for further developments in this major health-news story.