Anxiety Management

Psychologist who gives anxiety tips standing on his head explains why




  • Meet world’s only founder who gives media interviews on his head

  • “It helps me relax – plus people pay more attention”

  • “Headstand psychologist” is available for interviews – on his head

  • His new set of educational videos on anxiety symptoms, tips, myths and more – all presented standing on his head

  • His revolutionary app, AQ, is turning anxiety management on its head – with real-time tracking and treatments

A psychologist who gives anxiety tips – and media interviews – while standing on his head reveals in a new video why he does so.

“I find headstands to be a great health tonic,” says Dr. Shaun Nanavati, neuropsychologist, Chief Science Officer and co-founder of AQ, the new anxiety app that is itself turning anxiety management on its head by letting users track and manage their anxiety in real-time. “It’s a natural way to reduce anxiety.”

As the world’s only startup founder who gives TV interviews standing on his head, Dr. Nanavati is now releasing a set of short, educational videos on different aspects of anxiety management – all recorded while standing on his head.

Why does he like headstands so much?

“They help me relax. They’re also a good way to converse and to teach, since people tend to pay more attention – plus a vivid and memorable way to illustrate an important point, about the mental health benefits of non-drug anxiety therapies.”

In fact, the first fiction that he debunks in his new video on “Anxiety Myths” is that you need drugs to treat anxiety. “Not true. There are many natural, organic, drug-free ways to manage and cure your anxiety.” Headstands are just one.

As he points out in another new video, on “Anxiety Symptoms and Tips”, these range from taking a deep breath, or walking in the fresh air, to massaging your earlobes or resting your feet up against the wall, which both help stabilize your heart rate.

Other videos in his new anxiety management series include “Job Interview Anxiety”, “First Date Anxiety” and “’Fanxiety’? Tips for Stressed Sports Fans”.

His own relaxation method of choice is, of course, performing a headstand. He starts each day by doing so for a couple of minutes. “But I plan on doubling that, with a session every night to think too, as the perfect balance.”

Like earlobe massage or putting your feet up against the wall or striking the yoga pose Downward Facing Dog, performing a headstand is another natural way to reduce anxiety.

“This might sound surprising,”, says Dr. Nanavati. “But it’s based on hard science. Our studies show that headstands increase the tone of the vagus nerve – the longest nerve in the body – and thus stabilize the activity of both the heart and lungs.”

Many drugs to reduce anxiety, he points out, work by helping pump blood to the brain, “Headstands use gravity to achieve the same thing but more rapidly and with no side-effects.”

Along with earlobe massage, which comes from Chinese medicine, headstands, from Indian medicine, are the anxiety intervention with the longest pedigree in the history of medicine.

“These techniques have been practiced for thousands of years – just not, until recently, in the West”, says Dr. Nanavati.

What is AQ?

Important safety notice

But headstands, he says, are not for everyone. Indeed, they can be dangerous if you have not first learnt step-by-step how to do one.

“No-one should do a headstand,” stresses Dr. Nanavati, “without having an expert teacher to show them how to do one properly and above all, safely.”

Notes for editors

Dr. Nanavati has published research papers on the anxiety-reducing benefits of headstands – but says that the theory that inspired them was first proposed by Dr. Joe Colombo, the leading global neuroscientist and scientific adviser to Mindwell Labs, creator of the AQ app.


AQ™ is the world’s first app that tracks and measures your anxiety and mental health in real time – and provides targeted, real-time advice and treatments to manage your anxiety and improve your mental health and performance.

Created by Mindwell Labs, AQ™ is your personal mental health coach, in your pocket. AQ’s patent-pending proprietary technology and AI analyzes your vitals collected by the Apple Watch in real-time throughout the day to help you understand what in your life makes you anxious or calm. AQ uses your mental health profile to provide you with personalized care based on your specific needs. You currently need an Apple Watch to use AQ™ but will soon be able to use any smartwatch.

AQ™ is available for free download on the App Store; try the premium version, with full personalization and all features, totally free for 14 days; pay $39.99/year or $4.99/month after the free trial.