Mr. Gerry Gajadharsingh DO – Advanced Breath Practitioner Lifelogix Inc.
This video was filmed and edited by the Fabulous Davide Ongaro (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Breathing therapy concentrates on Breath and life, which are obviously intertwined, as are breath and thought. It is by means of the breath that we remain physically alive. As babies we are born with the inherent knowledge to breathe correctly through our diaphragm but as we grow into toddlers, children and onto adulthood our life experiences and emotions influence and change our unique pattern of breathing.
Gerry Gajadharsingh estimates that 70% of patients that consult him do NOT breathe properly. This may at first seem strange, as breathing is a subconscious activity; as such unless we have an obvious breathing problem (asthma, lung disease etc) we do not usually notice our breathing.
Our emotions influence our breathing patterns and just as importantly,
Our breathing affects our emotions.
You may notice, in other people (or indeed yourselves), that we may sigh a lot, find it difficult to catch our breath or talk very fast – all signs of not breathing properly. We often hear expressions, such as “take a deep breath and count to 10”, before reacting to something that has upset us.
It is no co-incidence that Chi Kung, Tai Chi, Pilates, Yoga and meditation all play significant attention to breathing as their main way of helping people relax. Many of these approaches have validated scientific evidence of their effectiveness in helping many medical conditions from pain to cardiovascular disease.
When seeing a new patient, their history will often alert me to a suspicion of a breathing pattern disorder (BPD). Many patients with medically unexplained symptoms (a proportion of those attending GP practices) will have breathing pattern disorder as part if not, sometimes, the main part of their problem. We need to understand that in diagnosis the normal medical model tries to find pathology – an obvious disease process. Luckily for us, the majority of time, no defined pathology exists. However, there is usually a cause of peoples problems, the answer can often be found in what we call functional disturbance. This can occur on a biomechanical, biochemical/nutritional, psycho/social/emotional level or indeed a combination of all of these levels.
What links all 3 levels is breathing.
You will probably know that when we breathe in, we breathe in oxygen (O2) and when we breathe out, we breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2). However, it is not as simple as that! Whilst the main aim of respiration is to get O2 into cells to help with energy production and the many cellular reactions that our bodies need to survive, this action is dependent on an adequate level of CO2 being present in our bodies.
Almost always, when people are not breathing properly, the issue is one of overbreathing.
The effect of this is to breath out too much CO2 and so the levels of CO2 in our body drop (hypocapnia) and so reduce the ability of O2 to be delivered to the cells of the body (hypoxia).
Ironically trying to breathe more O2 in DOES NOT necessarily help this situation.
Somebody, who is classically hyperventilating (deep and fast breathing), often with symptoms of breathlessness and panic, is breathing in lots of O2 but is actually expelling more CO2, then they should. So the treatment for acute hyperventilation is to hold a brown paper bag over their mouth and nose, so that they re-breath their own breath (mostly CO2) and they return to normal because cellular O2 increases.
How is a breathing pattern disorder (BPD) diagnosed?
Apart from the history and habits described above, the right clinical examination can be very revealing.
- The Breath Pause – Patients with a breath pause of less than 30 seconds may be suggestive of BPD
- Observation – Upper ribcage breathing and poor diaphragmatic use may be suggestive of BPD
- Breathing Rate – Optimum breathing is about 6 cycles per minute, an average patient breathes about 12 cycles per minute. A BR of more than 15 per minute may be suggestive of BPD
- Nijmegen Questionnaire – This validated questionnaire can be suggestive of BPD if the patient scores highly
- Capnography – This specialised piece of equipment measures CO2 levels and breathing rate and is the most scientific method of diagnosing BPD.
Once diagnosed BPD can be subdivided into two categories;
- intermittent over-breathing (mostly situational)
- chronic over-breathing
Please click for an interesting article featured in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Magazine, June 2012, written by Gerry Gajadharsingh DO and Dr Robert Kissner
CAM Breathing Article May 2012
Please call Susie to book your initial breathing assessment on +44(0)20 7631 1414 or email her on email@example.com