Anxiety could be eased by hugging a pillow that mimics breathing


Prototype pillow comprises an inflatable chamber that connects to an exterior pump and motor, enabling it to broaden and deflate like human lungs

Well being

9 March 2022

A huggable pillow that mimics respiration has decreased nervousness as successfully as guided meditation for individuals who have been about to take a arithmetic check.

Interactive tactile units, equivalent to Paro the cuddly seal robotic, have beforehand been linked to decreased nervousness, probably offering near-immediate aid with out medicine. To raised perceive the potential of those units, Alice Haynes, now at Saarland College in Saarbrücken, Germany, and her colleagues developed a pillow prototype that expands and deflates like human lungs.

The crew received a bunch of 129 volunteers to finish a questionnaire that measured their nervousness stage earlier than and after they have been instructed they would wish to finish a maths check.

Subsequent, 45 of the volunteers hugged the prototype pillow throughout their chest and torso for simply over 8 minutes, whereas 40 of the members listened to a guided meditation and the remaining 44 volunteers sat and did nothing, appearing because the experiment’s management group. The volunteers’ nervousness was then measured once more.

Hugging the pillow was discovered to cut back pre-test nervousness by the identical quantity because the meditation, whereas the management group’s nervousness elevated forward of the check.

“I believe in the end, it’s simply good to present individuals with nervousness a selection of various methods to assist themselves,” says Haynes. “A advantage of the cushion is that we haven’t needed to give anybody steering on utilizing it – it appears to be very intuitive. It’s acquainted and also you don’t have to make use of an app or be in your telephone or any of your units.”

The pillow, which is 36 centimetres lengthy, comprises an inflatable chamber that connects to an exterior pump and motor.

Many of the volunteers tailored their respiration to match the pillow’s enlargement, in accordance with Haynes. “Gradual respiration practices on the whole activate the a part of the nervous system which is related to relaxation and digest,” she says.

Journal reference: PLOS ONE, DOI: doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259838

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