Gill’s Moliterno named editor of prestigious cardiovascular journal

David Moliterno, MD, FACC

The American College of Cardiology has named Gill Heart Institute’s Dr. David J. Moliterno, the new editor-in-chief of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Moliterno is the Jack M. Gill Chair and professor of the Department of Internal Medicine at UK. He is also a member of the interventional cardiology faculty at the UK Gill Heart Institute. He has been involved with numerous investigational studies in cardiovascular medicine over the last two decades, with a primary research interest in acute coronary syndromes.

“Interventional cardiology is an ever-growing and exciting subspecialty in cardiovascular medicine that is essential to treating our sickest patients,” said Moliterno. “I am honored to be the next editor of  JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions at a time when so many important advancements are occurring in the field.”

JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions covers interventional cardiovascular medicine and is ranked among the top ten cardiovascular journals for its scientific impact.

Moliterno has been an active member of the ACC, including as a member of the Board of Governors, Strategic Education Committee, and the Interventional Section Leadership Council.

Moliterno’s term will begin in March.


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Making the Rounds with Dr. Susanne Arnold

Meet oncologist Susanne Arnold, second-generation doctor and proud Kentuckian

Making the RoundsOur featured provider in this week’s Making the Rounds is Dr. Susanne Arnold, an oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center who treats patients with lung cancer and head and neck cancer.

Dr. Arnold is particularly interested in early therapies for cancer and leads several clinical trials at Markey.

How did you become interested in medicine?

My first memories of my life were going with my dad to the hospital because he was a doctor. And that’s how I first became interested in medicine. He was the director of the Center on Aging here for over 25 years and so I have great pride in being a second-generation doctor here at the University of Kentucky.

And even deeper than that is my love of Kentucky, because I’m an eighth-generation Kentuckian and my children are ninth-generation Kentuckians. So serving Kentucky in the little area that I can make a difference – which is in cancer care, where we have some of the biggest health disparities and highest mortality rates – is a real calling to me.

What is your patient care philosophy?

Cancer is really scary, and when you think about how you care for someone with cancer, you have to think about what their goals are first and foremost. I try to put the patient in the center and say, ‘What are your goals? How are we going to help you live your life with cancer and hopefully past the time that you have cancer?’

What characteristic do you most admire in other people?

In my patients, I admire courage because they have to face so many things and they face it so much more courageously than I feel like I would. In others, I admire those who are genuine and care about people.

If you could meet any person from history, who would it be?

I always have wanted to go back in time and see what the heck Stonehenge is really about. That seems really weird, but it’s such a wild thing. I’d love to know why it’s there. What the heck were they doing? I don’t know that I’d want to meet the Stonehenge caveman, but I would love to see that.

And I would love to meet J.R.R. Tolkien because I love his books.

How would your friends describe you?

Nerdy and that I work too hard. I hope people think of me as a kind person and that I’m generous.


Watch our video interview with Dr. Arnold, where she discusses what types of patients she sees at Markey.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about clinical trials at Markey, where our experts are advancing cancer care and giving patients access to the latest treatment options.
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with any form of head and neck cancer or lung cancer, our specialized treatment teams are here to help. Learn more about the leading-edge, personalized care we provide.

Markey joins forces with national cancer leaders to encourage HPV vaccinations

Uniting with each of the 69 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, the UK Markey Cancer Center is once again urging young people in the U.S. to get a vaccination against the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

HPV vaccination rates are low, especially in Kentucky

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, incidence rates of HPV-associated cancers continue to rise, with approximately 39,000 new HPV-associated cancers now diagnosed each year in the U.S. Although HPV vaccination can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers, vaccination rates remain low across the U.S., with just 41.9 percent of girls and 28.1 percent of boys completing the recommended vaccine series.

In Kentucky, the rates are even lower, with just 36.2 percent of adolescent girls and 17.1 percent of adolescent boys having completed the series.

New guidelines from the CDC recommend that children aged 11 to 12 should receive two doses of the HPV vaccine at least six months apart. Adolescents and young adults older than age 15 should continue to complete the three-dose series.

“HPV vaccination rates in Kentucky are extremely low, especially among adolescent males,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of Markey. “We fully support these new immunization guidelines and hope they encourage more parents to have their children vaccinated, which will significantly lower their risk of developing these largely preventable cancers.”

Improving HPV vaccination can save ‘thousands of lives’

Research shows there are a number of barriers to overcome to improve HPV vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer.

In an effort to overcome these barriers, NCI-designated cancer centers have organized a continuing series of national summits to share new research, discuss best practices and identify collective action toward improving HPV vaccination rates. The original joint statement, published in January 2016, was the major recommendation from a summit hosted at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer in November 2015, which brought together experts from the NCI, CDC, American Cancer Society and more than half of the NCI-designated cancer centers, including Markey.

“We have been inspired by the White House Cancer Moonshot to work together in eliminating cancer,” said Electra Paskett, PhD, associate director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) Cancer Control Research Program. “Improving HPV vaccination is an example of an evidence-based prevention strategy we can implement today to save thousands of lives in the future.”

The updated statement is the result of discussions from the most recent summit, hosted this summer by OSUCCC. Nearly 150 experts from across the country, including representatives from the Markey, gathered in Columbus to present research updates and plan future collaborative actions across NCI-designated cancer centers.


Next steps:

age-related macular degeneration

5 questions about age-related macular degeneration

Dr. Claire Fraser

Dr. Claire Fraser

Written by Dr. Claire Fraser, an ophthalmologist at UK Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. Dr. Fraser specializes in treating macular degeneration, an eye disease that can cause vision loss. Here, she addresses five of the most frequently asked questions about age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is very common in the United States and in Kentucky. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over the age of 50.

What kind of vision loss is experienced in AMD?

In general, AMD affects central vision and tasks such as reading, writing and driving. Patients with AMD may notice blurred central vision, blind spots and distorted vision with straight lines appearing wavy or crooked. Early AMD may have no symptoms.

Are you at risk for developing AMD?

Risk factors include:

  1. Age over 60 (but it can occur sooner).
  2. Smoking, which increases risk of the disease and rate of progression.
  3. Race. AMD is more common in Caucasians.
  4. Nutrition. A high-fat, high-cholesterol diet can increase the risk of AMD.
  5. Family history. Having a family member with a history of AMD increases your risk.

What is the difference between dry and wet AMD?

Dry AMD is most common and is usually milder than wet AMD. Visual changes in dry AMD are caused by changes in the retinal pigment epithelium under the retina. Dry AMD can progress to wet AMD. Wet AMD is less common and usually has more severe and rapid vision loss. Loss of vision in wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessels developing under the retina that can bleed or leak fluid.

What can be done to reduce the risk of developing AMD or slow the progression of the disease?

  1. Avoid smoking.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  4. Eat a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish.

Can AMD be treated?

  • Vitamin supplementation using the Age-Related Eye Disease (AREDS 2) formula may reduce the risk of progression from dry AMD to wet AMD by up to 25 percent in some patients.
  • Wet AMD treatments include medications such as Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea, which may reduce abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage. These medications are administered directly to the eye, and may result in some visual recovery.

If you are at risk or suspect you have symptoms of AMD, it is important to see an eye specialist for evaluation including a dilated eye exam and any additional indicated testing.

UK Ophthalmology, now known as UK Advanced Eye Care, is moving! Beginning March 20, all appointments will be located in leased space within the new Shriners Medical Center for Children building, just across South Limestone from UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital.  This new space is not only beautiful, it’s state-of-the-art and will allow us to better serve our patients. We hope you’re as excited as we are. 


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A new study by UK Markey Cancer Center shows that chloroquine – an anti-malarial drug – may be useful in treating patients with metastatic cancers.

New study shows anti-malarial drugs may be able to treat cancer

A new study by UK Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that chloroquine – a drug currently used to treat malaria – may be useful in treating patients with metastatic cancers.

Published in Cell Reports, the study showed that chloroquine triggered the secretion of Par-4 – a protein that kills cancer cells and can limit metastasis – in both mouse models and in cancer patients in a clinical trial.

In order for Par-4 to be effective in stopping cancer cell growth, it requires the help of a protein called p53. P53 directly induces another protein called Rab8b, which is responsible for transporting Par-4. Unfortunately in many types of cancer, the p53 protein is often mutated or has its pathways disturbed, allowing metastasis to continue.

The study found that when chloroquine is introduced, it’s able to induce p53- and Rab8b-dependent Par-4 secretion from normal cells to help stop cancer metastasis in p-53 deficient tumors.

The study was led by the lab of Vivek M. Rangnekar, the Alfred Cohen endowed chair in oncology research at the UK Markey Cancer Center and a professor in the UK Department of Radiation Medicine. UK Researchers Ravshan Burikhanov and Nikhil Hebbar in Rangnekar’s group were co-first authors in the study.

“Because p53 is often mutated in tumors, it makes the tumors resistant to treatment,” said Rangnekar, also the co-leader of the Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling research program and associate director at Markey. “However, this study shows that the relatively safe, FDA-approved drug chloroquine empowered normal cells – which express wild type p53 – to secrete Par-4 and stop metastasis in p53-deficient tumors.”

At the UK Markey Cancer Center, one clinical trial using chloroquine for Par-4 induction in a variety of cancer patients is ongoing. Researchers are now planning a second clinical trial that would involve giving a maintenance dose of chloroquine to patients who are in remission, with the hopes of preventing cancer relapse.

This research was funded with grants from the National Institutes of Health and the UK Markey Cancer Center/Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, Kansas University Cancer Center and Osaka University in Japan collaborated with UK scientists in this study.


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Cervical cancer is a leading cancers in Kentucky, but it is easily preventable. Through vaccines and screenings, you can take steps to reduce your risk.

Take action to prevent cervical cancer

Dr. Rachel Miller

Written by Dr. Rachel Miller, a gynecologic oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

At the beginning of the year, many women (and men) set resolutions around health and fitness, often focusing on weight loss. But one of the most important habits women can form revolves around regular health checks, particularly for preventable cancers.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, Kentucky ranks in the top 10 in the country for cervical cancer incidence and death rates – a dire statistic considering cervical cancer is largely preventable through vaccination and screening.

Risk-factors for cervical cancer

The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes virtually all cases of cervical cancers. The majority of sexually active women will be exposed to HPV at some point in their lifetime; fortunately, only 5 to 15 percent will develop cervical precancer. An even smaller percentage will develop cancer. Other risk factors include multiple pregnancies, a long duration of birth control pill use, a history of other sexually transmitted diseases and tobacco use.

The importance of the HPV vaccine

Nowadays, you can take an extra step toward protecting your children against cervical and other types of HPV-related cancers through the HPV vaccine. This vaccination used to be a three-dose process, the CDC now recommends that all 11 to 12 year-old children – girls and boys – get just two doses, with the second being given six to 12 months after the first.

Young women can get the vaccine through age 26, while young men can get vaccinated through age 21. Every year, more than 17,000 women and more than 9,000 men get cancer caused by an HPV infection.

Don’t overlook getting a Pap smear

Cervical cancer screening – the Pap smear – is a regular appointment that is often overlooked. This test looks for cancerous cells on the cervix and can even find precancerous changes that have not yet developed into cancer.

I can’t recommend this test enough – at Markey, about 95 percent of cervical cancer patients we treat have not gotten their recommended schedule of cervical cancer screenings. Screenings usually begin at age 21 or three years after first sexual intercourse. Talk to your doctor about a timeline for regular screenings.

Cervical cancer symptoms

One reason the vaccine and screenings are so important is because cervical cancer often doesn’t cause obvious symptoms until its more advanced stages. Some of the most common symptoms reported include abnormal bleeding or bleeding after sexual intercourse, and an abnormal discharge. Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for less serious issues, such as a yeast infection or urinary tract infection.

As the cancer advances further, it can cause urinary blockage, back pain, leg swelling or neuropathic pain, such as a “pins and needles” sensation in the skin.

As you work through your resolutions for the New Year, make taking care of yourself a priority – and that includes scheduling a few regular trips to your doctor.


Next steps:

  • If you or someone you love is interested in receiving the HPV vaccine, schedule an appointment with the Markey Cancer Center online or at 859-323-5553.
  • Markey also offers a comprehensive cancer screening and prevention program, including tests for cervical cancer. Learn more about our program.
Michele Staton-Tindall focuses on substance abuse intervention to help women to make better choices transitioning back to the community.

UK researcher strives to empower at-risk women in Appalachia

Michele Staton-Tindall grew up in rural Appalachia during a time when people felt so safe they didn’t even lock their doors at night. The ensuing drug epidemic that now ravages her former home has dramatically impacted the lives of the Appalachian people and broken that sense of security.

Staton-Tindall, an associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at the UK College of Medicine, and a faculty associate at the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, has made it her mission to make a positive difference in the Appalachian area, particularly for women in the criminal justice population who have fallen prey to substance abuse and high-risk behaviors. Her research focuses on intervention before release from jail to empower women to make healthier and safer choices during the transition back to the community.

As a social worker, Staton-Tindall loves the stories the women tell of their life experiences: real people, real problems and tough choices. Their stories not only inform her research but also fuel the passion for her work as well. At the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, Staton-Tindall works with professionals across campus who take a multi-disciplinary approach to widespread problems of substance abuse.

Watch the video as Staton-Tindall discusses her research and why it is so close to her heart.


Next steps:

Experimental treatment at UK targets Parkinson’s disease symptoms

About 14 years ago, Bill Crawford noticed a persistent twitching in one of his fingers that was interfering with his rehearsal time as the music pastor at Porter Memorial Church.

“It was driving me crazy,” the 57-year-old Lexingtonian said.

He’d noticed a few other things too, like weakness. He had mentioned it to his primary care physician, who ordered heart and lung function tests, but both were negative.

Finally, however, he was so weak that he could no longer ride his bike. “I just couldn’t seem to go,” he said.  So he made an appointment with a neurologist.

After a few minutes with Crawford, the neurologist asked him to return on Monday – and bring his wife, Lisa, with him.

On that dreadful day, the neurologist told Bill that he had Parkinson’s disease. At the time, Bill was just 44 years old.

“Obviously not what you want to hear,” he said. “But then I began to think of Michael J. Fox and all he had accomplished, and I thought I could do that too.”

Needing more than medicine

Eventually, though, the medicines that helped Bill control his Parkinson’s symptoms began to lose their effectiveness.

“There is no cure for Parkinson’s, and treatments we currently have at our disposal can only reduce symptoms,” explained Dr. John T. Slevin, a specialist at UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, who began treating Crawford in 2006. “The disease progression inevitably overcomes the drugs’ capacity to alleviate the rigidity and tremor that are hallmarks of Parkinson’s.”

That meant that Crawford would go into what he called “full body charley horses” – sudden, painful involuntary spasms that left him paralyzed and lying on the floor for as much as 45 minutes.

“It was the pits,” Crawford said. Sometimes at the last minute he would be unable to conduct musical performances at church services, which was particularly disheartening. “I didn’t want to be a spectacle.”

It was then that Slevin suggested a treatment called deep brain stimulation, or DBS, and connected Crawford with UK HealthCare neurosurgeon Dr. Craig van Horne.

A new version of deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure used to treat the problems associated with Parkinson’s disease. The procedure involves implanting electrodes into the brain that are connected to a small, pacemaker-like device implanted in the chest. These electrodes produce electrical signals that override the abnormal electrical impulses caused by the disease, which attacks and breaks down nerve cells in the brain.

The procedure isn’t suitable for everyone and requires thorough psychological testing and motion studies to ensure that a patient is ready for DBS.

“I wasn’t sure I would qualify,” Crawford said. “But I knew this was my last chance.”

Crawford considers it a blessing that he was, in fact, qualified to receive DBS. But then came an additional surprise: After further testing, van Horne told Crawford that he was qualified to participate in a study for a new version of DBS called “DBS Plus.”

The central nervous system – which comprises the brain and spinal cord – is unable to heal itself after injury or disease, van Horne said. However, peripheral nerves from the rest of the body are able to regenerate.

“Our study is designed to test whether taking a small part of peripheral nerve tissue and putting it in the brain would prompt healing in the areas of the central nervous system damaged by Parkinson’s,” he said.

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With DBS Plus, van Horne and his team (Greg Gerhard, PhD, and George Quintero, PhD) take a small piece of nerve tissue from the patient’s ankle and implant it in their brain.

Because the tissue is from a patient’s own body there are no concerns about rejection, and because the experimental treatment is applied during a procedure that was declared safe and effective by U.S. Food and Drug Administration almost two decades ago, DBS Plus is considered relatively safe with only minimal additional risk.

A marked improvement

Nonetheless, van Horne is cautious about the process of enrolling patients in the study.

“It’s more ethical, in my opinion, to wait until after a patient qualifies for the basic DBS before I tell them about my study,” he said. “I don’t want patients to elect to do DBS just because they want DBS Plus.”

And van Horne says he was thrilled that Crawford qualified for the study.

“When I met Bill for the first time, he was lying paralyzed on the floor in the treatment room,” van Horne recalled. “It was a startling and heart-breaking sight.”

Crawford received DBS Plus in August 2015. His family can’t get over the dramatic changes in his mobility.

“I’m climbing ladders now, I can plan our church’s worship time, I can lead the services, I can still lead others in worship,” he said.

The charley horses have gone away, and Crawford now takes just one or two pills a day, down from 12 before the surgery. A before-and-after video of Crawford walking the halls outside van Horne’s office is astonishing.

Promising results

To date, 34 patients have participated in the DBS Plus study with encouraging results.  Of the 17 patients that are 12 months out from their procedure, 65 percent of them have shown a clinically important improvement in motor performance as a result of the graft.

Van Horne is quick to point out that the study needs to be tested on a larger sample size at many other medical centers around the country before it can be deemed a viable treatment. Furthermore, he cautions, while 12-month results are promising, it’s important to evaluate effectiveness over a longer term. But assuming all goes as well as it has so far, DBS Plus shows promise as a means of slowing down the disease process.

Van Horne and his team garner no financial benefit from DBS Plus, which adds just a fraction of cost to the DBS surgery that is already covered by most insurance plans.

“Our payback is the gratification we receive in seeing our patients do well,” van Horne said.

Crawford understands that DBS Plus isn’t a cure for his Parkinson’s, but is delighted to have a little more time to enjoy life.

“‘Feeling the beat’ is critical to my work as a musician, and my Parkinson’s had begun to take that away from me,” he said. “I couldn’t even snap my fingers with the music anymore.”

But as he woke up from the surgery, Crawford said he instinctively began to tap his fingers like a metronome. Two members of the team, Julie Gurwell, the physician assistant responsible for programming the DBS equipment, and Ann Hanley, a Parkinson’s patient who personally accompanies patients through their surgeries, were sitting with him, and they asked him what he was doing.

“I was too emotional to explain but I managed to say ‘I can feel the beat.’ And they high-fived each other,” Crawford remembered.

“I just knew God had answered my prayers.”

Media inquiries: Laura Dawahare, UK Public Relations, laura.dawahare@uky.edu.


Next steps:

  • The promising results of Dr. van Horne’s DBS Plus treatment were recently highlighted in the Louisville Courier-Journal. Read the story here.
  • Learn more about the UK Movement Disorders Clinic, which provides specialized treatment for patients with a range of conditions and diseases including Parkinson’s, dystonia and Huntington’s disease.
In Berlin this past fall, a multidisciplinary team of UK scientists presented research on traumatic brain injuries in equine sports.

UK presents protocol on traumatic brain injuries in equine sports

Equestrian sports contribute to the highest percentage of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in sports, based on findings in the National Trauma Databank. Multiple concussions and head trauma can have long-term consequences, including acute injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.

First-ever international protocol

Health providers, researchers and other professionals from UK who work in the area of traumatic brain injury developed and presented the Saddle Up Safely Concussion Assessment Tool and Return to Riding Protocol for Concussions in Equine Sports at the 5th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sports in Berlin, Germany, this past fall.

The conference was hosted and organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association, International Ice Hockey Federation, International Olympic Committee, World Rugby, and Fédération Equestre Internationale and has evolved into the world’s most influential process for policy makers on concussions in sport.

UK’s multidisciplinary team

Representing UK at the conference were Dan Han, chief of UK Neuropsychology Service and director of Neurobehavioral Studies Division; Bill Gombeski, senior adviser at UK HealthCare;  Fernanda Camargo, associate extension professor at the UK College of Agriculture; and Carl Mattacola, professor in the Athletic Training Program at the UK College of Health Sciences. Also playing a major role in the development of the concussion tool but unable to attend the conference were Dr. Erika Erlandson, assistant professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the UK College of Medicine, and Jill Stowe, director of Equine Programs at the UK College of Agriculture.

The multidisciplinary effort represented Saddle Up Safety, the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, the Sports Medicine Research Institute, the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the Equine Program, and UK HealthCare.

The UK team identified key questions that needed to be addressed in advance, identified and reviewed relevant articles, and developed early recommendations which they presented to conference attendees.

A world leader in equestrian sports concussion protocol

“It was clear that in the area of equestrian sports concussion and return to riding protocol, that UK is one of the world leaders,” Gombeski said. “Individuals attending the conference from around the world discussed the work that the UK group shared and to learn more about using the concussion assessment tool and return to riding guidelines that members of the Saddle Up Safely program created.”

The Return to Riding Protocol for Equine Sport is the first of its kind for equine specific head injury. Presentations (5 in total) by the UK team members will be published in the May 2017 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The conference recommendations created this year will come out online in February.


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Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it can have very negative impacts on health. However, there are ways to manage it, such as mindful breathing.

Stressed? Try mindful breathing, says UK expert

John A. Patterson, MD, MSPH

Written by John A. Patterson, MD, MSPH, an associate professor of family and community medicine at UK.

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it can affect every organ system and cause negative impacts to your health. While we can’t always eliminate our problems, we can learn to manage and relate to stress so that it doesn’t cause so much suffering. Research shows that the regular practice of mindfulness can help you prevent or manage a range of stress-related symptoms, including pain, headache, emotional distress, poor sleep and digestive problems.

Mindful breathing is a portable mindfulness practice that is always available to you for the skillful, non-pharmacological management of stress. Even one minute of mindful breathing can restore a sense of mastery over your life.

Although mindfulness practices may allow reduction of some medications, these instructions are not meant to replace prescribed medication without consultation with your prescriber.

Instructions for mindful breathing

  • Assume a comfortable position lying down, seated or reclining. Closing your eyes improves focus and reduces distractions.
  • Allow your muscles to relax, especially the neck, shoulders, jaw, face, back and anywhere you are tense.
  • Take a few deep breaths, paying attention to the physical sensation of breathing.
  • Notice the pause at the end of the out-breath. Without prolonging that pause or thinking about it, experience its calmness, quietness and peacefulness.
  • Shifting your attention to your belly, allow your belly to be soft, rising with the in-breath and falling with the out-breath. A soft belly increases the movement of the diaphragm. This stimulates the parasympathetic (‘rest and digest’) impulses of the vagus nerve, which runs through the diaphragm, acting as an antidote to the sympathetic (‘fight or flight’) impulses of the stress response.
  • Finally, simply feel the physical sensations of the breath in the nostrils, throat, chest and belly. Notice when the thinking mind wanders and, without judging yourself, simply return attention to feeling the breath.

To maximize the benefits of mindful breathing, practice 5-20 minutes once or twice daily. Practicing before meals may aid digestion. Taking just one mindful breath can re-connect you to the present moment, the only time in which you ever truly are alive. After your practice and throughout your day, be grateful for this inner resource and the gift you are giving yourself.

Mindful breathing is part of the eight week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, offered January-March and March-May at Mind Body Studio in Lexington. UK Wellness offers a reduced rate for UK employees. Find more details at www.mindbodystudy.org.


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