By Andy Hirst, Special Correspondent

A former Colne Valley secondary school teacher has come up with a revolutionary invention to help ease people’s mental health and sleep problems using nothing more than the power of deep breathing.

Michael Crinnion, 39, saw the impact of mental health first hand in schools where he was responsible for how mental health affected both students and staff where he taught. As a pastoral leader he shared his experience of conscious breathing in his schools, having used the technique for 20 years to help his own anxiety.

It’s well-known that conscious breathing – slowing and controlling breathing – can help to calm people down if they are feeling anxious and this invention helps people with a range of conditions from stress and depression to post traumatic stress disorder. It also helps them to drift into a deep sleep.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and Michael has invented the Luma³ – short for Lumacube – a handy-sized cube which uses soft waves and pulses of gentle, soothing light and colour to guide people’s breathing so they can focus on their breath and not think about timings. It naturally induces a feeling of wellbeing and calmness.

Luma³ can be used at work – a pre-set timer gently nudges people to take a 5-minute conscious breathing break every hour – and is also ideal at night to help people drift into a deep sleep. The gentle cascade of colours also help relaxation – like you’re in your own spa – and it’s powered by a rechargeable battery so can be taken everywhere with you.

Michael Crinnion

Sleep health specialist Dr Kat Lederle said: “Luma³ offers a gentle nudge to pay attention to what we all do – breathe. Sleeping is a natural function and so is breathing. They can both impact one another. Luma³ provides a simple way to support both.”

Luma³ has also been used by counselling psychologist Dr Gregory Warwick, who said: “Luma³ guides people to regulate their breathing which can help them with their stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic back pain or autism. I’m excited to have Luma³ in my toolkit. It will be a great addition for anyone who needs simple assistance with mastering conscious breathing.”

READ MORE: Huddersfield Giants back Offload mental health project

The Luma³ is needed like never before with one in eight children in the UK having a diagnosable mental health condition and one in six adults experiencing mental health problems. It’s a major issue in both schools and workplaces – but they can be eased by using Luma³ as it’s so simple to use.

The Luma³ is especially ideal for people who work from home and university students to encourage them to take proper relaxation breaks hourly.

READ MORE: Platform 1 warns of big spike in mental health issues

Michael – who was a design engineer before he became a teacher – is keen to give back to schools having seen the impact mental health can have on pupils. His 10:1 Initiative means that for every 10 Luma³ sold, one will be donated to a school, college or university.

He said: “Mental health is an emerging crisis in our schools and our young people desperately need to learn to self soothe and regulate their emotions. Luma³ helps them learn to do this.”

Michael, of Brighouse, taught at Ryburn Valley High School in Sowerby Bridge from 2010 to 2019 and was then vice-principal at Colne Valley High School in Linthwaite until March 2021 when he left teaching to set up his own company, Mind Body Goals Ltd to concentrate on working on Luma³ full-time.

Profits from sales will also help Mind Body Goals fund and provide support in schools to directly support young people’s wellbeing and mental health.

Michael is working with renowned product design specialist Richard Hall – whose portfolio includes life-saving medical equipment – and well-respected business funding specialist Colin Glass, OBE, to launch the product by crowdfunding.

Luma³ with oak finish

It has just been launched on Kickstarter and Michael and his team need to raise £40,000 to start manufacturing to make an initial 800 Luma³s. To help, all people need to do is to pledge to buy Luma³ – they are not having to put any money down at this stage and they will only pay the campaign ends in June.

It already has more than 100 backers and well over £6,000 has been raised. There are up to 28% discounts to buy the Luma³ on Kickstarter so they start at just £48 although people can pledge smaller amounts if they simply want to support the concept.

Michael added: “By backing this Kickstarter now you’re helping yourself but also helping our most vulnerable young people to develop healthy habits.” To make a pledge CLICK HERE.

How Luma³ works

Luma³ has four conscious breathing cycles which are scientifically proven to have a profoundly relaxing effect on our body’s nervous system. It places the heart, lungs and circulation into a state of coherence where the body is working most efficiently at its natural rhythm and provides a simple yet effective workout for the diaphragm, making it a quick and easy way to de-stress and re-focus.

Simply follow these simple steps:

* As the light rises up take a long deep breath, filling your lungs.

* At the top of your breath Luma³ will indicate how many seconds to hold your breath using gentle pulses of light.

* The light within Luma³ will slowly fade back down, guiding you as you slowly breathe out.

* If the cycle also includes a breath hold at the bottom of your breath, then this will be counted out for you with pulses of light.

* This will then repeat for 5 minutes, allowing you to focus on nothing but the light and your breath.

* Written by former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content ANDY HIRST who now runs his own Huddersfield-based agency AH! PR specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting for business in Yorkshire and across the UK.