Independent dev team, Fun Driven has released Breath Ball 2.1.2, their breathing guidance app for Mac OS X. The app helps users to relax by guiding their breathing rhythm. Breath Ball was originally developed for use by patients at the Neurological Therapy Center Gmundnerberg in Austria who suffer from severe brain damage caused by cancer, stroke, accidents and other issues.
Users of the app simply follow along by watching the on-screen ball. Folks are encouraged to find a comfortable place to sit, start the app, and then breathe in as the ball grows in size, exhaling as the ball shrinks. The breathing rate can be set to whatever is most comfortable for the user, they are then encouraged to slowly lower the rate until they reach the optimum relaxation rate of 6 breaths-per-minute.
“Breath Ball was originally designed for use by the patients at NTC Gmundnerberg, who suffer from severe brain damage caused by accidents, strokes, cancer and other medical incidents or conditions. The doctors there needed a mindful breathing app that would be easy to use by even the most challenged of patients,” shares Michael Holl, the founder of Fun Driven. “We created the app, and have continually worked to make it as easy as possible to use by anyone who needs to relax from stress.”
Breath Ball makes it easy for anyone to relax by regulating their breathing rhythms. The app’s “Simple” mode defaults to 6 breathing cycles per minute, but the cycles can be adjusted from 4 per minute to as fast as 15. The default rhythm of 6 cycles per minute has been found to help patients under severe stress to relax.
The app’s “Advanced” mode was created in response to requests from Breath Ball users. Advanced allows the configuration of the entire breathing cycle. Users can set the time in seconds for the length of time to breathe in, how long to hold a breath, the length of time to breathe out, and also how long to wait before once again breathing in.
The Advanced mode is especially helpful for users who would like to configure custom breathing patterns, such as Dr. Andrew Weil’s well known 4-7-8 breathing pattern. The exercise is designed to help users fall asleep quickly by inhaling for 4 counts, holding the breath in for 7 counts, and exhaling to an 8 count. Dr. Weil believes the exercise can cause a user to fall asleep in as little as 60 seconds.
While the app is simple to use, any of its options can be easily customized by the user. All display colors can be adjusted, just in case the default blue/white color scheme isn’t to their liking. In addition there is a “hide controls after 5 seconds” option that hides anything that might distract the user. An “Audio Guide” option allows users to use the app with their eyes closed, by playing a sound effect to indicate when it’s time to breathe in, hold the breath, and then breathe out.
“Breath Ball has been a philanthropic project from the beginning, and it will continue to be just that, with no charge for its use. In addition, we are committed to responding to feedback from our users,” continued Michael. “Users are invited to use the app’s ‘Send Feedback’ function to share their feedback, along with any thoughts on how we can improve the app. Every feature we added since Breath Ball’s initial release has originated from user feedback. We hope everyone uses the app in good health.”
Breath Ball 2.1.2 is free and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Medical category. The app is also available in iOS, Windows and Android versions.