Breathing retraining aims to normalize all aspects of the breathing pattern and optimize mental and physical health.
What is breathing retraining?
Breathing retraining is the specific discipline in which the primary goal is to normalize each aspect of the breathing pattern (rate, rhythm, volume, mechanics, use of the nose), for all situations (awake, asleep, at rest, during eating, speech and exercise).
–Tess Graham, PT
The Breathing Retraining Process:
Initial assessment to review client's history and establish baseline breathing pattern and goals.
Six core sessions to learn and establish healthy habits of breathing.
Optional follow-up sessions, as desired.
What Our Clients Have Achieved:
Significant reduction in anxiety levels and frequency of anxiety attacks.
Improved sleep quality.
Reduction/elimination of insomnia and snoring.
Decreased allergy symptoms.
Easier breathing and reduced water requirement during exercise.
Reduction in over-eating habit.
Improved overall well-being.
Improved ability to control emotions.
Significant reduction in frequency and number of dizzy spells.
Boost in mood/self-confidence while tackling stressful tasks.
Reduced jaw tension.
Reduced gastrointestinal symptoms.
New sense of inner calm.
Poor breathing can lead to dehydration and irritation of airways. This scenario leads to swelling of the airway tissues, a potential increase in mucus accumulation and congestion and can lead to breathing being/feeling labored and potential of sound day and/or night. Poor breathing disturbs the body's blood-gas balance, interfering with oxygen uptake and other body processes.
Improving the way you breathe improves how you feel during all activities, waking and sleeping.
The most significant detriment of mouth breathing on overall health is that it is high-volume breathing. This causes changes in physiology which can lead to poor sleep quality, snoring, sleep apnea and increased levels of stress and anxiety. Mouth breathing does not allow correct tongue or lip rest postures, changes the aesthetics of the face and strains body posture though positioning the head and neck slightly forward to make breathing more comfortable.
Mouth breathing increases risk of dry mouth (xerostomia), oral inflammation, bleeding gums and periodontal disease. There is often an increase in frequency of upper respiratory infections.
Correct breathing is nasal breathing with all aspects of the breathing pattern normalized. Most people can convert to nasal breathing even if they have been mouth breathing for decades.
Snoring, Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB), Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
A person's baseline breathing pattern, is central to these conditions. Breathing retraining improves these conditions through normalizing the breathing pattern. Breathing retraining, in part, addresses airflow; medical and dental interventions keep the airway physically open - both are important in SDB and OSA.
The benefits of breathing retraining to enhance treatment outcomes for these conditions are greatest in combination with orofacial myofunctional therapy and in collaboration with the clients sleep medicine dentist or physician.
It is safe to address snoring with breathing retraining alone, and even loud snoring can often fully resolve. If snoring does not fully resolve then dental appliances can be used as well.
Stress, Anxiety and Panic disorder
Anxiety is a very common and serious condition which can be debilitating for many people. Most people who have anxiety also have a dysfunctional breathing pattern. Improving the baseline breathing pattern is calming to the nervous system and helps in the management of stress, anxiety and panic.