Diaphragmatic Breathing During Functional Release | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Diaphragmatic Breathing During Functional Release

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and wonderful New Year! Here is a tip to quickly take minutes of of your Functional Releases.

So what is it? Diaphragmatic breathing! Not only does this have it's benefits like properly getting the core to function, but it is one of the first things taught during relaxation and meditation courses.

It preps the CNS for movement, and also has a calming effect. You'll notice it reduces abnormal tone where you are releasing it.

Example 1: Cervical paraspinal release
  • many of these patients are sternal breathers, facilitating the scalenes and SCM, inhibiting the deep neck flexors
  • promoting proper breathing patterns during your release will facilitate tone reduction faster
  • combine this with some light cuing of cervical nodding will further reduce tone if used with reciprocal inhibition
Example 2: Psoas release
  • this can be a very uncomfortable technique, but I have managed to greatly reduce that discomfort and the time of the actual technique
  • once you are deep and "on" the psoas, have the patient perform three to four really well done diaphragmatic breaths and most of the abnormal tone/tension will be gone
  • this makes the need for using hip, trunk, and arm movements for additional release options often unnecessary (I still use them on stubborn cases - but that often tells you there is an additional contributing dysfunction elsewhere)
So between reciprocal inhibition and diaphragmatic breathing, your release per area should not take longer than 1-2 minutes, vs my previous instruction only 2 years ago of 3-5 minutes.

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