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Abdominal breathing teaching device

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Project Overview

The prescription of breathing exercises is common in both medical and psychological practices. In particular, slow, deep, abdominal breathing has been shown to have therapeutic benefit for a variety of clinical problems including asthma, anxiety in patients receiving chemotherapy, motion sickness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiac disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is also used extensively in stress management programs. In Japanese culture, there is a variation of abdominal breathing, called hara or tanden breathing, which is taught in Zen meditation, that has also been shown to be related to health.

To date, very little emphasis has been placed on how to optimize the acquisition of the skill of abdominal breathing, let alone hara breathing. While electronic biofeedback devices using strain gauges or pressure sensors have been shown to be useful in training people in hara breathing, the laboratory equipment used in these studies is expensive and impractical to use in one’s daily life. Another analog device based on a manometer sheathed in cloth has been developed, however, it is also cumbersome to use.

The purpose of this project is to develop an inexpensive digital biofeedback device to monitor abdominal pressure, and output these pressure readings in a format that can be ingested by diagnostic applications.

Team Picture

Team members from left to right: Lexi Doersch, Ben Ratliff, Ben Myers, Kayla Huemer, Melanie Loppnow.
Team members from left to right: Lexi Doersch, Ben Ratliff, Ben Myers, Kayla Huemer, Melanie Loppnow.

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Melanie Loppnow, BME 300 - Team Leader
  • Benjamin Myers, BME 200 - Communicator
  • Benjamin Ratliff, BME 200 - BSAC
  • Lexi Doersch, BME 200 - BWIG
  • Kayla Huemer, BME 300 - BPAG

Advisor and Client

  • Dr. Willis Tompkins - Advisor
  • Dr. Ken Kushner - Client

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