Breathe Your Way to Reduced Health Care Costs

A person meditating on the beach

We all know that stress is bad for our health. What medical researchers are beginning to uncover is to what degree negative immune responses triggered by stress can be mitigated with relaxation techniques.

A recent Harvard-affiliated study found that meditation, yoga and prayer can reduce the need for health care services by a full 43 percent! That number not only translates into big health care savings, but empowers individuals to achieve better health through free and easy relaxation response techniques.

KOMO-4 News recently visited Bastyr University’s Kenmore campus to talk with students and Brad Lichtenstein, ND, BCB, about ways to use relaxation and breathing to focus and relieve stress — and reduce health care costs.

Dr. Lichtenstein is known for his work healing with mindful breathing and meditation. In his riveting TEDx talk “Breathe Into Your Life,” he describes his journey toward helping others. "I came into health care because I was interested in one question alone: How do you want to live?" he says.

Breathing offers a powerful path to wellness, says Dr. Lichtenstein. Your breathing can make you tense and guarded — or it can make you open, attentive and awake to the world. It can make you ready to be inspired (a word from the same root as respirate).


For many people, one of the more stressful things in life is traffic or a daily commute. Dr. Lichtenstein even has suggestions for dealing with that particular stressor. This summer, Q13 FOX did a “traffic stress experiment” with one harried reporter and one very calm doctor. See what they had to say about strategies for chilling out behind the wheel:



Want even more stress-relief information from Dr. Brad? Check out Relieve Stress During the Holidays and Beyond, a lecture that was part of the Bastyr Center for Natural Health Living Naturally Lecture Series.



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