Freespira for Panic Disorder
Freespira is an at-home therapy that trains patients diagnosed with panic disorder how to control and normalize their breathing patterns. Freespira was FDA-cleared in December 2013. This innovative new anxiety treatment includes a handheld tablet pre-loaded with the Freespira App and a small sensor to measure your breathing rates and level of exhaled carbon dioxide. The app uses simple audio and visual instructions to guide you through your breathing sessions.
The system is used at home as a 4-week treatment program while you remain under the supervision and care of your psychologist. The treatment is safe and has been demonstrated to be effective in clinical studies.
How Does Freespira Work?
Research shows that people suffering from panic disorders and anxiety attacks breathe differently than other people—at all times (not just during panic attack event). This is indicated by respiration rates (number of breaths taken) and exhaled CO2 levels. Respiration and CO2 together make up your breathing patterns.
Based on this, a protocol was designed to teach and train patients with panic disorders how to change their breathing patterns. This protocol was used in clinical studies and was shown to be successful in reducing panic symptoms in panic disorder patients. This research led to the creation of Freespira.
Freespira uses a handheld sensor to measures breathing rate and the level of exhaled CO2 which is then displayed on a handheld tablet by the Freespira App. The app will provide instructions to help you adjust breathing patterns and optimize your CO2 levels and respiration rate. You will start by working with your psychologist who will explain Freespira. Once you’re comfortable with the system, you take it home and use it every day for just two 17-minute sessions for four weeks. The breathing information is saved by the app and reviewed during your treatment appointments.
Do You Need to See a Psychologist?
You need to consult with your psychologist to be able to use Freespira. You will meet with your psychologist to be taught how to use the system. If you would prefer to have your consultations and progress tracking via online therapy or phone conference, talk with your psychologist to determine if that is an option.
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