Image by Ian Keefe

WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL BREATHING THERAPY?

 
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The four pillars of functional breathing 

A healthy person who has good functional breathing patterns will breathe light, slow and deep through the nose. Their breathing will be so quiet, soft and gentle that you would hardly be able to tell if they are breathing at all. If one of these  pillars is ignored or out of balance then dysfunctional breathing patterns and poor breathing habits may start to emerge. As a result, over time, symptoms could occur that effect their health and wellbeing.

 

As a Functional Breathing Therapist, I can show you ways to improve your quality of life and manage poor health by addressing dysfunctional breathing patterns.

I work on the Four Pillars of Breathing which follow science-backed approaches:

  • The Biochemistry of breathing - managing the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the blood via The Buteyko Breathing Method &  Oxygen Advantage Functional Breathing protocols 

  • The Biomechanics of breathing - working with the function of the Diaphragm

  •  The Psycho-physiology of breathing - implementing Cadence and Coherent Breathing protocols which alters the speed at which you breathe, allowing for the management of the Autonomic Nervous system

  • Nasal breathing (day & night)  - this plays a crucial role in each of the approaches and is fundamental to the success of the therapy

The focus of the therapy is based on specific, clinically tested and science-backed breathing protocols to allow for light, slow and deep nasal breathing, that will, given a dedicated daily practice, restore healthy functional breathing patterns, which has a profound effect on peoples overall health and wellbeing.

What are the symptoms of dysfunctional breathing patterns or breathing pattern disorders?

  • Breathing through the mouth (day or night)

  • Heavy breathing through the night

  • Snoring

  • Effort-full breathing

  • Audible breathing during rest

  • Irregular breathing

  • Regular sighs

  • Regular sniffing

  • Holding the breath

  • Yawning

  • Breathlessness

  • Taking large breaths prior to talking

  • Upper chest movement

  • Movement of shoulders whilst breathing

  • Lots of visible movements

  • Rapid/fast breathing

  • Short restricted exhales

These poor breathing habits are generally influenced by lifestyle, environment and genetic predispositions and are therefore unique to each of us. They all drive over- breathing, in other words people breathe too much, without engaging the correct breathing muscles. Although these habits are common they can be hidden and subtle, which is why for some people they go undetected.

Many of these dysfunctional breathing patterns are found in health conditions such as:

  • Asthma, Rhinitis, Allergies, Hay fever

  • Snoring, Sleep Apnea, Insomnia

  •  Stress, Anxiety, Panic, Depression, low mood

  • COPD, Long Covid

  • Menstrual Health - PMS, PMDD, PCOS, Menopause

So when it comes to breathing - less is more, and when we learn how to breathe lightly, breathe slowly and breathe deeply through the nose, we can experience significant changes e.g.

  • Dilation of the airways and blood vessels throughout the body

  • Improved oxygen uptake in the blood and oxygen delivery to the cells

  • Reduced blood pressure

  • Reduced breathlessness

  • A calmer, relaxed mind, allowing for a more balanced state of being

  • Stress-less

  • Significant improvements in sleep

  • Increase in energy & physical & mental performance 

  • Better concentration and focus

  • Improved quality of life

The way in which we breathe can impact every aspect of our health, from disease, mental & hormonal wellbeing, sleep, digestion & movement and more. Breathing is an extraordinary natural resource that we each have within us, and this resource has  life-changing potential!

 
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The Buteyko Breathing Method is a therapeutic intervention based around a series of clinically tested and science-backed breathing exercises and guidelines, specifically designed to reduce over-breathing / chronic hyperventilation. Named after its founder Dr Konstantin Buteyko, it has been practised by hundreds and thousands of adults and children around the world, for a variety of health reason, and with great success. I am delighted to be a certified International  Buteyko Breathing Method Practitioner.

 
Image by Amanda Mocci

"We come into this world with a certain number of breaths, we can take them quickly and live a sort life, or we can choose wisely, and take them slowly, and live a long life - the choice is yours"