Are you living your best breath?

Are you living your best breath?

 At Alma Breath we are all about helping you to improve your breathing, which can improve your quality of life. How do you know if your breathing has room for improvement? Read on to discover more about breathing pattern disorder, and whether you might benefit from re-training your breath.

A breathing pattern disorder, also known as dysfunctional breathing, is a condition with problematic breathing and produces symptoms such as breathlessness.  It manifests as a habit – such as breathing too deeply, too fast (both symptoms of hyperventilation), upper chest breathing during rest, or breathing irregularly with frequent breath holding or sighing.  This condition is thought to affect around 10% of the adult population, rising to 30% of people with asthma and 75% of those with anxiety (The Breathing Cure, by Patrick McKeown).

To make matters worse – asthma, anxiety, panic attacks and stress all negatively affect breathing patterns – creating a viscous cycle of inefficient breathing.

With breathing exercises, this viscous cycle can be stopped in its tracks, and then reversed – leading to a reversal in the unpleasant symptoms of dysfunctional breathing that you might be experiencing.

Some of the things to watch out for in your own breathing patterns are

  • You breathe fast and hard into your upper chest
  • You may feel like you can never quite get enough air, or regularly experience cold hands and feet, or feelings of panic and anxiety
  • You experience sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring or sleep apnea, and regularly wake in the morning feeling exhausted.
  • You have frequent or chronic back or neck pain

All these symptoms can point to chronic hyperventilation — habitually breathing more air than your body needs.

We know that dysfunctional breathing often involves fast, shallow, upper chest breathing. Mouth breathing is a key factor in any breathing pattern disorder. Just like any movement pattern, these types of breathing become habits. To address these, we need to replace these habits with new, healthy ones. And to do this, the first stage is always awareness.

Healthy breathing is through your nose, slow and low, 24/7. You can achieve healthy breathing patterns by practicing light, slow, and low breathing.

At Alma Breath we teach you breathing pattern exercises that can improve your breathing.  You can book an initial appointment for an assessment of breathing patterns and learn exercises that re-train your breathing patterns.  In a follow up appointment you’ll learn and practice additional breathing exercises as well as monitor, adjust and embed your new healthier breathing practices.   With improved breathing patterns you’ll be living and enjoying your best breath.