Top 5 Fridays! 5 Important Aspects of Breathing | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Important Aspects of Breathing

My studies with Better Physiology and their Capnotrainer have been very enlightening. They made me look at breathing more objectively (literally with the Capnotrainer).

Here are 5 Important Aspects of Breathing

1) Location
  • where is the majority of breathing coming from?
  • sternal breathers
    • has been associated with headaches and neck pain
  • belly breathers
    • not the only thing that you should stress
    • along with anterior movement of the abdomen, there should be lateral and posterior rib expansion, indicating good thoracic mobility
2) Rhythmicity
  • what is the breathing rate?
  • without a capnograph, there is no objective method for knowing the patient's PECO2 levels
  • with practice you will be able to find a rate of breathing that may help relieve the patient's complaints, anxiety, etc
3) Transitions
  • there should be a pause between the inhale and exhale
  • the exhale, in particular should have a pause at the end prior to inhalation
  • otherwise the exhalation is aborted, and this often raises lower PECO2 levels
4) Control
  • inhalation should be active, but not overactive (accessory muscle use at rest)
  • exhalation should be passive
  • have the patient close their eyes and concentrate on their breathing in a relaxing position to start
  • have them really pay attention to whether or not there is effort with exhalation
  • I was even surprised to note my exhalation was active
5) Depth
  • many overbreathers are compensating with improper brain stem regulation
  • as a result of anxiety, stress, or being in a sympathetic state, the brain strem tries to regular breathing by slowing down breath
  • this increases oxygenation, and lowers PECO2, thus causing a hypocapnic state
  • often, increasing the rate, and/or decreasing the depth of breath, will actually improve a patient's complaints
    • however, this initially may be very uncomfortable and may increase their anxiety, due to feelings of air hunger
I still have to take the official courses in the Capnotrainer which I am starting this weekend. Hopefully I'll have enough sleep!

Keeping it Eclectic...

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