Consider, breathing is perhaps the first thing and the last thing we will do. It’s completely natural, on autopilot, so our bodies should therefore know how much air we would require for any endeavor we undertake, so what could possibly go wrong?
How can things get so out of tune that our breathing is not quite right and can result in us sleeping poorly, feeling lethargic, not maintaining basic fitness, and ending up with a respiratory condition or heart disease?
Things have changed in the last few centuries so living daily in our stressful environment, poorer air quality, perhaps not having the time or inclination to make good food choices can result in chronic over breathing.
Some signs and symptoms of over breathing may include:
- Mouth breathing, through the day, night or during physical activity, instead of breathing through the nose
- Dry mouth
- Blocked nose
- Upper chest breathing
- Noisy, audible breathing, including snoring
- Sighing, coughing or yawning excessively
- Restricted and unsatisfying breathing
- Gasping for air when talking
There is a misconception that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a waste, in fact it is critical in controlling our breathing and body chemistry. The breathing centre in the brain monitors our CO2 levels and things like deep over breathing, yawning, and sighing that drop CO2 levels and interfere with the normal respiratory mechanisms.
While our bigger breaths take in more oxygen (O2) the increased supply is unusable. This is relevant to all of us but particularly athletes.
We require the correct amount of CO2 in our blood to allow the O2 to be released from the hemoglobin (red blood cells) to be metabolized (used) by the working cells in the body…the Bohr effect.
The correct pattern of quiet, gentle and efficient breathing can be retrained and an result in improved sleep, higher energy levels, better concentration, less anxiety and a sense of calm, as well as improved athletic performance.
Health professionals are recognizing the importance of quality, restorative sleep. How you breathe through the day will determine how you breathe at night.
Working with a breathing retraining educator, as well as your Doctor, can deliver outstanding results in health and wellbeing.
Resources, books, CD, and a 12 module on line course are available on the website.
All enquires as well as appointments in Melbourne can be made via the Contact us page.
NOTE: Certain medical conditions or medications can alter your breathing, because it may be the body’s way of coping. In some situations or certain medical conditions, people may be prescribed “therapeutic” breathing exercises. For example, with pulmonary disease, or in pre and postoperative situations specific exercises may be prescribed and these exercises are different to breathing retraining. Breathing retraining is about more than relief of symptoms; it aims to get you back to breathing correctly during the day, during sleep, speech, and exercise So that your body functions normally.
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