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California Firefighters Learn BREATHE Stress Reduction Technique

John M. Kennedy, MD

Cardiologist John M. Kennedy, MD leads Kindred Health Systems in Gardenia, California. He developed the BREATHE™ technique, an application which features controlled breathing and guided imagery to reduce stress in the workplace. John M. Kennedy, MD, presented the benefits of using the stress reduction tool to the Watts Fire Station’s firefighters whose heart rates remain elevated for a long time even after an emergency situation has been mitigated.

Among firefighters, heart attacks are the leading cause of mortality, which links directly to high-stress levels when responding to emergencies. In addition, constant exposure to events that are traumatic and life-threatening can build up into a situation of chronic stress, which increases blood pressure and poses additional cancer and diabetes risks.
Recognizing stress as a major contributor to heart disease, Dr. Kennedy taught first responders in Watts how to utilize the BREATHE app, which can be easily employed during work breaks, in managing stress and reducing heart disease.

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