Techniques to Assist with Breathing | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Techniques to Assist with Breathing


Other than tactile and verbal cues for diaphragmatic breathing, there are manual techniques that certain patients may need, particularly if there are certain patterns of restrictions.
Patterns limiting diaphragmatic breathing

  • thoracic mobility
  • psoas tone
  • diaphragm tone

Manual Techniques to assist with breathing

1) Thoracic Manipulation


  • if there are thoracic mobility restriction, there are most likely rib restrictions and proper breathing will be difficult, despite your best cues
  • this is my preferred technique, but any will do - prone, sitting, standing etc...
2) Diaphragm Release


  • one side of the diaphragm may have more tone than the other
  • by PRI standards that would be the left, however, I find myself releasing the right more because of the psoas attachments
3) Psoas Release


  • this is my updated 2013 psoas release, ironically it uses diaphragmatic breathing to assist with tone reduction
  • this may also work with an EDGE Mobility Ball or any ball to increase surface area and make the technique more comfortable.
4) Lastly, here is my video on Eclectic Strategies to Improve Thoracic Mobility


There are more techniques of course, and I will cover them in a future post! I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, a new post will be up for Friday!

Keeping it Eclectic....

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this article. Personally, I think this material is great. I agree with much of your information here. It also motivates me to learn more. I await the next article with great anticipation.

    Neck pain

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  2. I had surgery on my knee, this was in 2012. I guess I'm lucky that the physical therapy helped so much, and surprisingly quickly. I went to Orthopaedics Plus in Burlington, MA (www.orthopaedicsplus.com). It's all about finding the right place and the right therapist.

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