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Functional Breathing Therapy

"If breathing is not normalized no other movement pattern can be."
Dr Karel Lewit, MD

What is your habitual breathing style?

Have you felt how your breathing pattern shifts throughout your day? Like when you listen to music, encounter challenges and stresses, when you are close to your loved ones, enjoying nature, focusing on a heavy duty task at work, doing your favourite exercise or just simply walking up stairs, or chilling out with your fur buddy. What do you notice?

They way you breathe can be influenced by many factors. Breaking it down into these core categories, can indicate to you which part of your life tends to be the driver for how you breath:

  1. Biochemical: oxygen, carbon dioxide, pH, nitric oxide imbalances.
  2. Biomechanical: fascial tension, hyperinflation, mouth breathing, unstable pressure changes.
  3. Psychosocial/psychophysiological: anxiety, lack of body awareness, subconscious breath holding, vagus nerve.

Breathing retraining has been getting a lot of attention over the past few years. My first proper introduction to 'it is all about how you breathe', was through Buteyko training in 2016. Since then, I've continued to broaden my understanding with breathing institutes, Integrative Breathing Therapy and BradCliff Breathing Method.

Your body seeks homeostasis through the breath by the gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, balancing pH levels, and nitric oxide production. But as mentioned earlier, a biomechanical and/or psychophysiological aspect in your life may also be holding you back.

Using my skillset in bodywork therapy I help your body to unravel fascial tension and restriction patterns, so your respiratory system has the room to move and breathe! It is known that having an efficiently moving diaphragm it will work like a pressure change pump. This aids in the circulation of blood, lymphatic fluid and cerebral spinal fluid throughout your entire body, and improves the peristalsis of your digestive organs. Click through to read more about bodywork therapy modalities.

Rhythmic, deep and slow breathing (resonance breathing) has a psychophysiological influence on your autonomic nervous system. You can use your breath and body felt awareness to calm nervous tension for mind-body coherence; improved brain oscillations of beta and delta waves.

The vagus nerves also has a role in breathing and your ANS. Having a felt sense awareness of knowing where your nervous system is at and building vagal tone resilience with self-regulation exercises, helps immensely to achieving your breathing goals.

Breathing exercises are designed to

  • Re-educate and recalibrate the respiratory centres in your brain, using neuroplasticity to switch from an over-breathing state to small non-audible breathes, naturally reducing the number of breathes per minute (ideally 8-12).
  • Increase the absorption of nitric oxide through your upper respiratory system, improving vasodilatoin.
  • Allow your accessory breathing muscles in your neck and shoulders to take a step back as your main breathing muscle, the diaphragm, is activated correctly and strengthened.
  • Supply your smooth muscles with oxygen (via having enough circulating carbon dioxide) for muslce relaxation and improving your cardio fitness.
  • Stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system; regulating your autonomic nervous system.
  • Alleviate conditions such as: post-viral illness (eg fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, long covid), asthma, coughing, excess mucous, frequent yawning, snoring, excess sweating, dizziness, brain fog, vagus nerve & autonomic dysregulation, headaches, high blood pressure, pain in the chest, anxiety, racing heartbeat, depression, fatigue, muscle pain, gum disease, IBS, itchy skin, bed wetting, and sleep apnoea.


Respiratory Muscle Strength Training

Respiratory Muscle Strength Training
Think like it is weightlifting drills for your diaphragm.

The Expiratory Muscle Strength Trainer, EMST150 & Lite75:

  • Swallow & cough related conditions
  • Vocalization, talkers and singers
  • Instrumentalists
  • Sleep & upper airway dysfunction
  • Internal intercostal & transverse abdominus muscles strengthening

The Inspiratory Muscle Strength Trainer adapter IAI50:

  • Pulmonary & oxygenation support
  • Asthma, shortness of breath
  • Diaphragmatic paralysis
  • Balance and ankle instability improvements
  • External intercostal muscle strengthening

Note: These breathing trainers are calibrated to a pressure threshold resistance of cmH2O. There are other types of devices such as incentive spirometers and breathing resistance trainers that are similar to breathing in through different sized straws. There is no calibration of load, as there is with pressure threshold resistance.

ABN 38 016 837 325

Miriam Bunder
Integrative Bodywork Therapist

ATMS Member 15464

I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I share my work, the Cammeraygal clan of the Eora nation, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
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